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    dragonyc New Member

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    I have a 2010 Toyota Prius model 2. This is my first car and first hybrid. I'm curious what do I need or can you recommend to have for my car. The "fluids" I need i.e. break fluids, anti-freeze, window washer fluid, they type of oil you recommend and the location of each and opening the hood of the car. Any recommendations I thank you in advance.
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    Mark57 Active Member

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    Congratulations on owning your very first car and welcome to the forum. You chose a great first car. There is a section in your owners manual that talks about specifications for fluids, etc. It will not give you specific brands, etc. and you'll get a lot of opinions on those. Personally, I use synthetic motor oil (Mobil 1). I'd read through the forum and you'll get a feel for what everyone is using. There are several excellent threads. Also, if you do use synthetic oil, Toyota has lengthened the oil change interval from 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

    Assuming you don't have a lot of miles yet, you have a way to go before you need to be worried about brake fluid and antifreeze. I use a cheapo windshield washer fluid, but there's a lot of opinions on that as well.

    Be sure to read "all" of your owners manual. It will surprise you with good stuff in places so it's not all bad. ;)
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    kbeck Active Member

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    Ha. A newbie.

    First things first: There's the consumables, then the not so consumables.

    First: A gallon of windshield washer fluid. Since that gets used pretty often you'll likely be running out of that on a regular basis. I keep a jug in the car during the winter and in the domicile otherwise.

    Second: Well, it's a liquid: Some decent car wash detergent, preferably without wax built in. I presume you own a bucket, sponges, and have access to water to rinse and wash the car. And wax it, too, once the paint's hardened all the way. Further discussions on the use of clay and such are left for those who are crazed that way :).

    Third: Glass cleaner and a roll of paper towels. Who did you think was going to get rid of that muck on the inside of the glass, anyway?

    Oh, yeah: A traditional fluid that has found itself into the box in the rear of the car has been lock de-icer. It's something that one would squirt into the door locks after a freezing ice storm had frozen the door locks. But with the Prius's wireless locks that might not be very useful. (Of course, having a can inside the car when you can't get in because of frozen locks leads to an interesting conundrum, which is why AAA can be so popular..:))

    OK: Here's a good one: Dry Gas. Unethical gas stations have been known to pump an 80/20 mixture of gas and water (or worse) into a car engine as they pump out the bottom of their tanks. Now, back in the days of carbureted engines with a sump in the gas tank going to the one-way pump on the engine, enough water in the gas would halt the car right then and there. Or maybe a quarter mile down the road, more fun. And, on below-freezing days, you'd have the added fun of ice in the fuel line or tank, usually discovered in the morning when the car won't start. A bottle of dry gas in the tank can dissolve the water/ice into the gas and, hopefully, allow one to proceed.

    With fuel injection the gas is typically recirculated from a pump located in or near the gas tank, to the engine, where what isn't used gets returned back to the tank. This tends to mix up any water with the gas and, with a bit of luck, will eventually get rid of any water present. However, especially during cold months, throwing a bottle of dry gas into the tank once every few fill-ups isn't going to hurt anything and gets rid of any water that may have gotten in there by mistake (rain, condensation) or semi-on-purpose (bad gas station). I dunno, I used to carry a can with my older cars, but only get (and use) a can these days when I feel like it.

    Now on to the imponderables.

    The Prius, like all other vehicles that have an internal combustion engine and rings in the cylinders, burns oil as it moves along. My year's ownership of one has shown that it, like most other cars I've owned, doesn't burn oil particularly fast and, so far, I haven't had to put in a quart in between oil changes. However, like all car manufacturers of my acquaintance, there are all sorts of weasel words in the manual implying, what, that the car could burn a quart every thousand miles or so without violating the warranty. That rate of burn might be true for the first hundred miles or so while the pistons, rings, and cylinders wear into each other and make a better seal. (When rebuilding an engine, one actually scores the cylinders with a kind of grinder, where the scores are supposed to be at a particular angle, in order to facilitate this. It's also why some people change the oil sooner than the maintenance schedule says to, in order to remove all the little bits of iron filings that one gets as a result of this. Of course, the oil filter gets rid of most of these particles. But you should've seen my '71 VW Beetle after the oil was changed at 300 miles after an engine overhaul. That car had no oil filter, by design, and the amount of iron sticking to the magnetic drain plug was something to behold. )

    In any case, if you do need oil, getting a quart at a service station is (a) usually a lot more expensive than at a parts store and (b) good luck with getting the pure synthetic that the Prius uses. Not that it can't be found: It's just that your usual local highway-robbery gas station is unlikely to stock it. So, throwing a quart of the 0-20W synthetic that the Prius uses into the area under the rear cover comes under the class of a Good Idea. Just stick it into something so it doesn't rattle around down there; a leaking plastic oil container would Not Be Fun.

    Brake fluid is another problematic one. First, if you find yourself putting brake fluid into the brake reservoirs, it's most likely because you've got a leak. In that case, you high yourself to the nearest mechanic and get it fixed right away, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, and by driving cautiously the redundant brakes will take you there in one piece. If there is a leak the mechanic is going to dump lots of brake fluid in there anyway. On the other hand, I could maybe envision a situation where a large rock came up and took out a brake hose (has never happened to me): In which case, you might want to stick some fluid in while you limp to the nearest repair. Oh, well: As an insurance policy, put a can of the right type of brake fluid in the car and expect never to open it while you own the car. Oh, yeah: If you do happen to open the can, then pretty much figure you'll toss it after the emergency is over. Brake fluid is highly hydroscopic (absorbs water) on purpose, the better to keep brake components from rusting and Not Working When You Need Them. Once you open the can, no matter how tightly you screw the lid on later, it's going to leak water vapor into the fluid, so old brake fluid is generally a no-no.

    There are at least two different types of coolant and associated antifreezes for same in the Prius. They get changed out at, what, 100,000 miles, usually with a flush. I've bought and used antifreeze in this fashion for cars that I maintained myself, but I really can't see keeping a jug in the back of a car. If you ever do manage to get into an emergency (heater hose fails, you have to limp somewhere with antifreeze sloshing around inside the cab), then a gallon jug of potable water in back is nearly as good as antifreeze and provides an added benefit of water for you. (Useful, say, in a desert.) So, frankly, I wouldn't bother. Unless you plan hanging out in the Mohave or something, in which case a one gallon jug wouldn't be enough.

    More stuff in the "not worth the bother" department would be:

    • Ball bearing grease
    • Chassis grease
    • Ball joint grease
    If you need any of that stuff because you're doing your own maintenance, then go out and get it when you need it and not before.

    Good luck with the new car!

    KBeck.
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    SageBrush Senior Member

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    RTFM. Twice. Or maybe three times :)

    I think it even shows you how to open the hood.
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    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    * Brake fluid: Just for insurance, I'd stick to the spec'd. Toyota product. There a possibility of incompatibility with some different fluid, just wouldn't risk it. FWIW, you should not have to touch it for some time: hybrid brakes go a long time.

    It's worthwile replacing brake fluid periodically. Honda recommends every 3 years, regardless of mileage. Likely a maintenance the dealership should do, and there might be resistance if you ask for this: it's not in the Toyota maintenance schedule.

    * Windshield washer fluid: I've been going with the cheapy, -35 degree blue stuff that you can find everywhere. And finding it is freezing on the windshield, just one or two degrees into freezing temps. This at a standstill. I've resolved to look for better/stronger stuff: Canadian Tire for one advert's -45 degree rated fluid, for around $7~8 per 4 liter.

    Also, I avoid the pink stuff: found it can stain.

    * Transaxle fluid (if you get ambitious): Only Toyota ATF-WS fluid. Again, there is no interval for changing this in the Toyota documentation, but the concensus is that never is a bit too long... Also, a relatively early first change is likely very beneficial.

    * Anti-Freeze: I would stick with the Toyota Long Life stuff. Better safe than sorry, concerning compatibility. Again, this might be something left to the dealership. The interval is quite long, though you might want to accelerate it a bit.

    I've done my own in past, but I'm a little leary with the Prius, due to there being two coolant circuits, and the need to disable some of the car's behaviours during the warm-up process immediately following coolant replacement, getting the bubbles out. It's my understanding that some components could be damaged if this is not done right.

    * Engine oil: any 0W20 will do, but I'd be tempted to stick with Toyota's offering: it's fairly reasonably priced, synthetic (I believe). If you're doing your own, you'll have a single document with the filter, drain bolt washer and engine oil, all together.
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    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    The other thing you need along with the correct year Owner's Manual is Toyota's Scheduled Maintenance Guide. If you don't have it the same info is here:
    Toyota Parts and Service
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    JimN Let the games begin!

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    dragonyc, :welcome:. The 1st thing you need to do is update your car's details. You have a 2010 II no package.

    To the list I'd add:

    A spritz bottle of alcohol for removing frost

    Using RainX on the windshield & adding it to the washer fluid.
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    krelborne New Member

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    Damn, I wish I had known this about 4-5 months ago.
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    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Or your brake pads are getting thinner.

    I've found brake fluid level a good indicator of pad thickness. At least with Honda's, as long as there were no leaks, brake fluid level nearing the low mark in the reservoir equaled pads nearing the end of their useful thickness.

    That said, on hybrids the pads tend to last a long time, since regen braking is used a lot of the time.

    On the subject of brakes, if you do get into doing your own: a tin of anti-sieze compound, which will pretty much last you a lifetime if you're sparing with it, is the stuff to use on points of contact between back of brake pads and shim plates and/or caliper contact points.

    There's also a lubricant on the pins that alow the brake calipers to float. I've never touched those, just checked that they were moving freely, but: does anyone have a name or part no. for that. I'm pretty sure it's not dyelectric compound, though I believe it looks similar.
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    lwhanna4x4 retired

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    Check with your dealer first. The 2010 Prius comes with a two year 20,000 mile free service. It gets sent to you in the mail.

    It includes oil and filter at 10K and 20K plus a 17 point safety check. There are coupons for the safety checks and tire rotation at 5K and 15K.

    I had the 10K service a few weeks ago and I kept checking the oil from about 6K on. By the time I hit 10K the level was still right at the full line.
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    twittel Senior Member

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    I don't think a Prius II offers an Advanced Technology Package (ATP). So, OP's description is wrong or this post may not be legit. Also, how can someone invest nearly 25K without understanding required fluids and maintenance. And if this post is legit, what does it say about the delivering dealer and salesperson!

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