100,000 mile status--Dealer Experience/Advice

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by AZDriverMan, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    I went to the Prius Dealership in Avondale, and I think they probably overcharged me. I got charged $548.13. The problem was, my engine hesitated several times, and it had only started that day. I thought it was going to be so bad, that the car would stall on the freeway. I would be hitting the accelerator, and the engine would hesitate before moving forward. Then, it would go, and then practically stop again. It did this several times. After I turned it off and back on, it hesitated a little, but seemed to be better. However, I did not want to risk going onto the Highway, so I took it in to have it checked. (I also uploaded parts of the Toyota documents.)

    They told me that the drive belts had cracks/wear, and I needed fuel injection cleaning, de carb, and throttle body service. They also changed the spark plugs. They said that these were routine maintenance items. However, I went to Big Two Toyota, and they said that everything was fine with the car (about 2 months ago).

    Was I price gouged by them? I might have gone somewhere else; however, I did not want to risk my car having issues on the freeway.

    Even though it was the drive belts, the extended warranty did not cover that component.
     

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    #1 AZDriverMan, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You always seemed to get charged more when you are a bit desperate, and the dealers sensed it, went in for the kill.

    It's expensive but if the problem is fixed, then it's worth it at 100k miles
     
  3. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Understandable...How much, in your opinion, should this have cost? What would be more reasonable?

    Also, why does an extended warranty not cover drive belts?
     
  4. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    There is no "Drive belt" only the serpentine belt (a wear out item so it is not covered by the Hybrid warranty, perhaps the 36 month drive train warranty covered it) whose only job is to spin the engine water pump, but if it was really cracked (a reasonable thing at 100k miles) replacement is a good idea even though it had nothing to do with your symptoms. The other items may help and I hope that one of them did.

    JeffD
     
  5. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Yes, fortunately, I have not had problems since. And the car has actually seemed to run smoother than it has, so I suppose it is good, even though it was costly. No error codes came up though, ironically. It seemed to do the job though. The next thing I am wondering about is the hybrid battery. He said it usually lasts between 8 and 10 years for the hybrid battery to go out, which is interesting. I've also researched that too on Web sites and have found the same. I believe those cost $4,000 including labor.
     
  6. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Since you live in a hot climate, the HV battery expected life is a bit shorter than those of us who live in cooler climes. My dealer in CT charges $3400 for a new battery. I replaced mine at 195k miles (at about 9 years - both are factors) with a rebuilt battery (ReInVolt, now Dorman) for $2000 including installation. 2.5 years and 65k miles later my 2004 Prius is going strong.

    JeffD
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Every dealer charges different prices for service, I consider the services you did very minor and do those items myself. The diy price for what you did would be around $60.
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The car has logged 100,000 miles on the odometer?

    Was the car rained upon immediately prior to the driveability issues? If so, moisture may have gotten into the spark plug wells causing an engine misfire.

    Any warning lights on?

    Yes, you were overcharged for the services performed but that is normal behavior for a dealership service dept. especially since the car needed help immediately and you weren't in a position to call around for competitive quotes.

    The normal change interval is 120K miles for the iridium spark plugs. The throttle body does need cleaning periodically and a dirty throttle body can cause engine response issues. The serpentine belt needed to be changed but that would not cause the driveability issues.
     
    #8 Patrick Wong, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  9. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    They probably gouged you a little but it was not $5,000. Your car is running good now. Don't look back.
     
  10. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Yes, the car has logged 100,000 miles. Also, it did not rain recently before the car was doing this. Also, no warning lights came on, and the initial person who greeted me was surprised by that.
     
  11. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Yes, the car has logged 100,000 miles. Also, it did not rain recently before the car was doing this. Also, no warning lights came on, and the initial person who greeted me was surprised by that.
    Wow. $60. How DIY friendly are doing those services?
     
    #11 AZDriverMan, Jul 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  12. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Wow, I see. I know that replacing the HV battery is a lot of work. Dealers won't offer the rebuilt, right? I am just not a huge DIYer, other than minor things. Do other places do Prius (hybrid) work other than dealers (other than places in CA)?

     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can look around for some hybrid shoppes while you have time and it is running well. i think the work you had done was worth $350.-400. at a dealer, so that wasn't bad. if you're not a diy'er, unless you want to learn, you're probably better off looking for a triple A mechanic, you don't need hybrid expertise to do most of the maintenance on these cars.
     
  14. AZDriverMan

    AZDriverMan Member

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    Thanks for the advice! How difficult would these DIY jobs be, in particular? I know that certain components are really hard, such as the hybrid battery. I've been interested to learn, but I have not yet had the experience.
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    The dealer charges $125 an hour so everything will be expensive. Y0u seem willing to learn and can take pictures. Lets start with you taking pictures of the throttle body.

    If the car has never had the throttle body cleaned in 8 years the carbon buildup sometimes turns into rust that can't be cleaned.
    Many tb's have failed because of this rust. The throttle butterfly is motor driven (fly by wire) and does not use mechanical linkage to open and close it and sometimes this rust makes it to hard on the little TB motor to operate properly and will fail. The engine will stall and it will throw a dash dtc. Its a very expensive part to replace if it fails around $2000.

    So.....take the air clean top cover off and pull off the air cleaner and take a picture of the throttle body bore and lets see how good a job they did
    for $200.

    The awful part about dealer service is you never get to talk to the guy who actually worked on the car. A good mechanic will tell you things that don't look good or things that are going to be trouble in the future etc. I highly recommend you find a good mechanic as about 90% of all maintenance things your going to need can be done by a decent mechanic at much less cost and much more interaction than the dealer.

    Next thing you need to address is get a transmission fluid change. Your way overdue. Sometimes the dealer is not bad on the price but mostly there clueless and will shue you away telling you its a lifetime fluid. Its not. Cost $40 for 4 quarts of Toyota trans fluid WS fluid.
    Open up 2 bolts. One to dump one to pour the fluid in. Would take the dealer 1/2 hour to do this.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    diy is all about desire. it takes time to learn and time to do. it's not about difficulty, other than difficult takes more desire. for instance, the cabin filter is easy, and yet, some manage to break there glovebox in the process. it's not because it's difficult, it's because they don't want to take the time for proper research, learning and application.
     
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