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Prius Service: Often and Extra Costs

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Nda3rdCar, Jul 12, 2007.

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  1. Nda3rdCar

    Nda3rdCar New Member

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    <_< OK, love the car... but getting sticker shock from scheduled service. (Toyota, Santa Monica, CA)

    My VW Golf requires service each 10K miles, the Audi only requires it at 15K mile intervals. The Prius service light comes on each 5K miles. My dealer sends out coupons.... "Intermediate Service 15,000 miles at $158.95 plus tax *Additional $21.96 for type T-IV transmission fluid. V8,MR2,Turbo,Hybrids, Supra&Land Cruiser Additional."

    The second "Additional" is $30 because it's a Prius. That's $188.95 plus tax, plus $21.96 if my car uses type T-IV (one service advisor said my 2006 did, another said it didn't.... I'm guessing I wouldn't find out until I pick up the car)

    We've had the Prius about 14 months, the car has required service three times.
    Each service has additional fees "because it's a Prius".
    My first two years of owning a Golf - no charge for scheduled service.
    My first three years of owning an Audi - no charge for scheduled service.

    Service contracts were offered to us when purchasing the Prius, but so costly and now I wonder if the exclusions of coverage include the "because it's a Prius" fees.

    I'm going to shop around at other dealerships. Even if costs come up the same, I would prefer using a company that doesn't bait & switch, or use vauge "additional" in the service description.

    If other people out there have similar experiences, please reply. ( I won't charge you a fee for doing this "because it's a Priuschat reply".)

    - Nda3rdcar, Los Angeles CA
  2. malibucarl

    malibucarl Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    Hi,
    I have taken our (3) Prius cars to the dealer only ONCE for service. That was a free initial service on our 05 car.
    There is a very good "quick" oil change place in Agoura Ca (not Jiffylube). They know all about the Prius and its the same price as any other car. If tires need rotating the local Chevron has a good oil sevice on a rack.
    I think you are getting ripped off a bit.
    Carl
  3. wiiprii

    wiiprii New Member

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    You didn't say why you had to take the car in for service. You don't ever have to take the car in when they say so. Read the manual for service intervals. The dealer is the most expensive place to service a car, but they do use OEM parts. I've found independant mechanics are less expensive and usually do more than the minimum required (for example, the dealer will change your timing belt, but not the tensioner; the independant will do both, which should be done).
  4. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    at 5000 mile intervals the only thing that really needs taken care of is an oil change. Do it yourself for about $15, or an oil change place for $30. Everything else is just observational things like topping off fluids that may have lowered a bit. Look at the service manual and don't let them rip you on the because it's a prius. You commonly get that with other cars as well (because it's an audi, bmw, etc...)
    This another fine reason why I will take the less than 30 minutes from start to cleanup to service my own vehicle, its not even the money it is the principal.
  5. prberg

    prberg Member

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    I hear what you are saying about the extra 'prius' charge. It is totally unnecessary. What I do (the few times I have acutally gone to the dealership to get service done) is tell the service writer that I will only pay the 'normal' (still too high for my taste) sale price and will not pay for the extra prius charge. I tell him that I know how easy it is to change the oil and work on the Prius (unless you are doing some heavy electrical diagnostics) and if they want my money they will have to drop the extra 'prius' charge. If I'm ready to walk away they will usually drop the extra charge.

    give it a try!

    -Peter B
  6. bryan11

    bryan11 New Member

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    I totally agree with the maintenance interval being too soon at 5000 miles. Really it should be every 10000 miles. Not only are dealerships overcharging for maintenance, but do they even do what they say they are doing? Case in point.

    I have been having the dealer rotate my tires since day one. (so far I've done 8 service trips)Every time I get home I basically know the next morning its time to change the tire pressure because I KNOW they don't check it. The tire pressure I had in the rear is now the tire pressure in the front and at least I know they rotated them. So I just change the pressure to 35 front 33 rear again and sigh. One time, I found the tire pressure to be exactly the same as when I took it in for maintenance and knew right away, they didn't freaking rotate the tire even though I paid some 25 bucks for it. I was not happy and called them and said give me my money back, which they did but I still felt irritated. Lucky for me, a customer service rep called for a survey, oh boy that was nice. Why can't Toyota stop the bull and increase the intervals? Because dealers likely love them and plead for them, and likely never actually "inspect" the car like they charge you for. I miss my BMW intervals.

    Just for environmental reasons alone, we need to stop changing oil every 5000 miles. Its a waste.
  7. noelty

    noelty Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Nda3rdCar @ Jul 12 2007, 01:53 PM) [snapback]477708[/snapback]</div>

    So their service department is as bad as their sales department...go figure.
  8. Nda3rdCar

    Nda3rdCar New Member

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    :blink: Oops! I spelled vague wrong in my post.... serves me right for not using spell check.

    By the way.... Thank you to everyone who has replied so far. - Nda3rdcar
  9. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    I bought the prepaid maintenance plan, so I haven't yet run into unexpected costs (and am hoping it stays that way). Cost of the plan was approximately $900.

    Have taken the car in for 5,000 mile service twice (at 2,200 and 6,100 miles, respectively). I never noticed an additional 'Prius' charge on the invoice; Putnam Toyota, Burlingame CA.
  10. mootsman

    mootsman New Member

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    Wow, it appears that some folks on this forum could keep a dealership profitable just from not understanding service schedules. I didn't realize folks fell for those service solicitations dealers send out. I just got one for our other vehicle (Element) offering a great deal on the "50,000 mile checkup." Only problem is there is no recommended 50K checkup -- there is one at 60K that requires very very little.
    READ THE SERVICE SECTIONS OF YOUR MANUALS.
  11. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    i agree with mootsman... your own awareness is key. dealerships will try to sell you every stupid little useless expensive thing they can possibly come up with in the name of their profit. if you go in there asking for the "5k service" you are really asking for it.

    at 5k intervals you need an oil change and a tire rotation. that is all. so go in and ask for an oil change and tire rotation. some of the bigger intervals do need other stuff.

    as far as stuff you do need, see here and be informed next time: http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=29898
  12. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Show them your blue "Passport" maintenance guide. Tell them to do what it says at each mileage interval and no more. I've never paid more than $30 every 5k miles...I didn't do anything special even at 30k, though an arguement could be made to do a little more according to the blue book. I did pay through the nose at 60k and had them do an alignment, rotation and I opted to change the PSD fluid (not necessary until 100k, but recommended by many). I also let them 'do with me as they wished' and paid the full price for the dealerships recommended 60k service. Total bill was about $260. But they won't touch the car again until 100k miles since I'm doing my own oil changes until then and only every 10k miles at that.

    This is a buyer beware issue. The extra $30 b/c it's a Prius is ludicrous and, were I you, I'd go back and demand every bit of that $30 every time they charged you in the past.
  13. chuck_k

    chuck_k New Member

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    Is this any surprise?

    We seem to coddle people who don't bother to read the owner's manual, and laugh it off when they ask about something very obvious.

    But then we berate them for not reading the owner's manual for service.

    They need to read the manuals that came with the car. If they haven't read those manuals, and they come here to complain or ask obvious questions, they need to be told to read the manuals that came with the car.
  14. Trevor

    Trevor Member

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    This sort of thing is not really limited to the Prius. I goofed and paid that much for my 15k, but I went into it knowing what the deal would be. The service people don't even have the Prius in their computers so they use the Corolla pricing and it's pretty much what you experienced.

    The next time I'm their it will be to buy a cabin air filter and oil filter and I'm going to do it myself.
  15. Swanny1172

    Swanny1172 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Pinto Girl @ Jul 12 2007, 06:31 PM) [snapback]477768[/snapback]</div>

    No, the you paid the additional 'Prius' charge up front when you bought the prepaid maintenance plan. $900?? How many oil changes does that get you? Even if you get them all the way to 50,000 miles, you are still looking at $90 per oil change.
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Nda3rdCar @ Jul 12 2007, 12:53 PM) [snapback]477708[/snapback]</div>

    I think it's safe to assume the service/maintenance schedule is very similar for both Canada and US.

    Note that BMW, Audi etc give free scheduled maintenance for the length of the warranty. That's not applicable to Toyota or Lexus (first two free though).


    That looks rather pricey.

    In Canada, the first 3 services are oil changes (Cdn$34.95). Starting with the 4th (so that's 32,000km or the 20,000 mile service), we do the full maintenance (~$130) and then alternate from there.

    Prices quote are before tax. I go to two different dealers (cause I'm not satisfied with my "Home" dealer so I only go there for warranty issues). Both charge extra for tyre rotations. However, one was because I wanted it rotated at one year (2nd service) and it's only an oil change service so tyre rotation is, naturally, extra because it's only included in the full maintenance. The charge was $14.95. My home dealer charged $24.95 for my 3rd tyre rotation (part of the full maintenance.. it even says so on the print out) and yet it's $24.95 and not free.


    oh and we got charged for some "hot oil flush" service. Can someone (galaxee?) tell me what the hell it is?


    Sorry, there's my answer and rant at the same time lol.
  17. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Jul 12 2007, 09:41 PM) [snapback]477852[/snapback]</div>

    funny, DH always wanted to know what they charged to do this... :unsure:

    basically, it's an oil system flush. kinda like a trans flush but in your engine. they don't even do this where he works. most toyotas will go 200k easily with proper care, and they don't need engine flushes to get there. though he is kinda interested in how it's done.
  18. chuck_k

    chuck_k New Member

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    I'm pretty sure the "hot oil flush" involves the lube on your backside as they extract money from your wallet.
  19. singingtiger

    singingtiger New Member

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    When I bought my 04 three years ago the sales lady said "You know that any service on your Prius costs $100 per hour!" (at that dealership).

    I bought the pre-paid maintenance plan from Troy via this site for $670 and have had all scheduled maintenance [not just oil changes]
    service completed at an independent auto shop with excellent results.
  20. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    My car is due in 3000 km (got about 5000 km on it so far). I get two "free oil changes with filter per year", from Kingsway Toyota. I think I'm going to do them myself, including paying for the filter and oil, of course.

    I don't trust them with my car, and I don't want to go through the "hassle" of making an appointment, taking my car to them, and waiting. Even though they are just 6 blocks away!

    My last two new Japanese cars never saw the dealer service shop but once. The Toyota 4Runner had its' first oil change there (free). The Nissan Pathfinder had a failed O2 sensor replaced (warranty - no charge).

    If you do plan to extend the oil change interval beyond the 5000 mi/8000 km interval, plan to change the filter anyway at the normal interval. They do clog fairly quickly. I'm told in the oil filter facts reading I've done, they tend to clog and run in bypass mostly after as little as 500 mi. Wish I could find a place to purchase Mobil 1 filters or Champion manufactured ones here in Canada.
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