30k mile service question

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by letsgobobby, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. letsgobobby

    letsgobobby Junior Member

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    My '12 Prius needs 30k mile service, first one off ToyotaCare maintenance.

    I replaced the air and cabin filters myself.

    I had read on this forum that some recommend transmission fluid/transaxle service at 30k miles, then every 60k miles, so I asked the dealer to do that as well.

    They are coming back with $385+ for oil change, fluid check, and transmission service.

    I know dealers upcharge but geez.

    So what are my options? Jiffy Lube for oil change? Any halfway decent mechanic for the transaxle service?
     
  2. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    I can promise you that JiffyLube will never get their paws on my Prius.
    Do you have a local shop that specializes in Prius and/or hybrid cars? Most areas do.

    My dealer charges $70 for an oil/filter change with synthetic.
     
  3. letsgobobby

    letsgobobby Junior Member

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    How much should the transmission service be?
     
  4. sprtent

    sprtent Member

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    I would get 4 quarts of WS ATF and an oil filter from the dealer for around $50, get a Mobil1 0W-20 jug from Walmart for around $26, then bring to a decent shop for labor (~$50?).
     
  5. letsgobobby

    letsgobobby Junior Member

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    I have a good mechanic that I've used for years on other Toyotas, but I don't know if they have any special expertise with hybrids/Priuses. Is there some reason I wouldn't trust him to do the labor you suggest above? That's $125+ saving me $260+ over the dealer quote.

    Also, I'm a little confused as to why I need to do an oil change at 30k miles at all, if the interval should be 10k miles and I just had this done at 25k miles per Toyota MaintenanceCare.
     
  6. sprtent

    sprtent Member

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    Any good mechanic should be able to do an engine oil and transmission fluid change. Doing both of these the mechanic doesn't touch on any of the hybrid stuff of the Prius. Oil change is just the usual drain and refill of about 4.4 qrts with filter. The oil filter is of the cartridge type so might or might not be the same to your other Toyotas, depend on what year, but he should be familar with it. The transmission fluid is even simpler with a drain and refill to almost 4 qrts. If he can't reset the service minder, you can do it following simple instructions on here.

    Let say dealer changed the oil at 25k, if they indeed used the Toyota Synthetic 0w-20 oil (which I think is the case), then I would wait to when you reach 35k to do all of these at once. If the dealer used regular oil at your 25k service, then I would do these now. Look at your 25k invoice to see which oil type they used.
     
  7. rluna15

    rluna15 Junior Member

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    Toyota Care does not change the oil at 25k! Its just a check up and tire rotation. Take a look at your paperwork or online at the owners page on the Toyota website. I'm due for the 30k as well and am planning on doing the transmission drain/fill. If your handy, it doesn't seem that hard to do on your own. NutzAboutBolts have good videos on the 3rd gen on YouTube.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Any competent mechanic can do the transaxle fluid change. I'd suggest you supply them with:

    (4) - 1 quart (or liter) bottles of Toyota ATF-WS fluid (it should take about 3.5)
    (2) - 3rd gen transaxle drain/fill bolt washers

    (The above can be purchased from any Toyota parts department)

    Also give them the following info:

    Drain/fill bolt torque: 29 ft/lb (both bolts are 10 mm hex socket head)

    Fill spec: 0 to 10 mm below fill lip, with car level (basically, you fill till it starts flowing back out)

    He will need some method to get the fluid down to the transaxle fill hole. A funnel and 3' of hose will work.


    This is something you can also do yourself, if you have safety stands, floor jack and a concrete slab garage. The parts are around $40. For someone with a hoist it would not take over an hour. I would suggest to completely take off the plastic engine undershield, for better access, to avoid wear-and-tear on that oil change flap, and to avoid messing it up.
     
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  9. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I think Luscious Garage is in the low $300 range for their 30k, which includes the Trans service. So your dealer price seems about right. Just make sure that they are not sneaking in additives and fuel system cleanings with that package.
     
  10. letsgobobby

    letsgobobby Junior Member

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    I ended up just having them do the oil change and tire rotation for $55, on special. I will change the filters myself, purchased for $25 total. They said the filters still look very clean so no need to change yet.

    Is there a consensus here that the transaxle fluid should be done at 30k? She definitely looked at me funny when I said I wanted it done, saying it was 'lifetime.' I did see the thread about metallic bits at 30k which is why I was pondering.
     
  11. michinnom

    michinnom Member

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    Why go by 'someone' from this forum when you have a perfectly good maintenance guide that came with your car? Toyota has spent countless millions and man hours developing the vehicle and you're going to trust someone from the forum? I'd advise against any needless premature maintenance that is not recommended by your manual.
     
  12. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    I would do the transaxle fluid change at the dealer. Ask for the drain and fill should be $95 out the door. If you wait a month or two that is fine.

    Premature axle fails are common since the transmissions works very hard with regenerative breaking. The oil drain and fill reduces these rather expensive repair scenarios for a minimal cost

    Oil analysis shows many metal particles in the original oil.

    Best to drain and full at 30,000 miles and every 60,000 thereafter

    Toyota maintenance is to get you past the warranty. Your goal is to eliminate catastrophic failure
     
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  13. sprtent

    sprtent Member

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    Having done 2 first time transmission oil changes on 2 Prii, one at 25k and another at 45k, I am a FIRM believer in changing the ATF at 30k.
     
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  14. zebelkhan

    zebelkhan Member in good standing

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    Transmission fluid change is not on the list of recommended regular maintenance items for a Prius. However, it does not mean that it should not be done, just that it should be based on your individual needs, use and experience with the vehicle. Personally, I think renewing fluids on a regular basis is a good idea, especially if it does not cost a lot. It is also a good way to ensure optimum fluid levels are maintained. First transmission oil change at 30k miles makes sense just to be sure all contaminants are out, with subsequent changes every 60k miles or so.
     
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  15. letsgobobby

    letsgobobby Junior Member

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    thank you all. Guarantee my dealer did not quote me $95 OTD. She said TF change is not recommended (I knew that) and said $350+tax OTD.

    So I'm not saying the correct magic words apparently. "Drain and fill transaxle fluid" - are those the magic words that get me down to a C note from $350+?
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    ^ Service writers run the gamut in experience. The person you talked to might have just walked back into the shop and asked a mechanic for info: a mechanic who's dealt with Toyota's more conventional automatics, but never done a Prius transaxle fluid change.

    You can either wash your hands of them, go with a third party. Or persevere: question the amount, pointing out the simplicity of the transaxle fluid change. There's advantages to the latter, if you care about having all the service paperwork at the dealer.

    Personally I've given up on dealerships for routine maintenance, as long as it's reasonably doable. I've done a couple of transaxle fluid changes to date, it's quite easy, costs about $40 for parts.

    I have had the car in once, for the brake booster recall.
     
  17. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    The magic word is drain and fill. Try a different service advisor or better a different dealer
     
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