"Advanced" Maintenance

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by gregbogus, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. gregbogus

    gregbogus New Member

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    All,

    I enjoy doing what I consider "Routine Maintenance" on all of my cars and my 2004 Prius is no different. I titled this thread as "Advanced" Maintenance after I read through the forum and did not see anything like this.

    I would very much appreciate some of the more mechanically inclined members of this group to comment on my lists below.

    Sincerely,
    Greg

    I have a second hand 2004 Prius for about 18 to 24 months that had approximately 60,000 miles on it when I got it and approximately 90,000 miles on it now. I have just taken a position that will require me to put on about 40,000 mostly (90%) highway miles per year. I believe very strongly in preventative maintenance instead of waiting for it to break and then fix it. These are the items that I have done (or will do shortly) to the car before starting my year of travel. Please let me know if I have missed somethnig or if something that I have put on the list is not necessary.

    This car needs to last for at least the next 80,000 miles (2 years), which will put the car at 170,000 miles. I need it to last without any major breakdowns or repairs.

    You will notice (once you read the list) that there is a copious lack of anything to do with the main battery. This is because I have no idea if there is anything I can do, as far as maintenance is concerned, for the main battery; please tell me if there is.

    Part Maintenance Schedule
    Air filter (K&N) clean / re-oil 3,000 miles (1 time per month)
    Balance tires 6,000 miles (Every 2 months)
    Belts 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Break fluid 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Cabin filter 3,000 miles (1 time per month)
    Electric motor coolant 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Engine oil check level 3,000 miles (1 time per month)
    Engine oil bypass filter send oil for analysis 20,000 miles (Every 6 months)
    Engine oil filter change and top off 20,000 miles (Every 6 months)
    Engine thermostat 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Grease inserts 20,000 miles (Every 6 months)
    Half shaft boot 3,000 miles (1 time per month)
    Hoses 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Oxygen sensors 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    PCV 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    engine coolant 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Spark plugs 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Steering fluid 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Struts 80,000 miles (Every 2 years)
    Timing belt 80,000 miles (Every 2 years)
    Transmission oil 40,000 miles (1 time per year)
    Wheel alignment 20,000 miles (Every 6 months)
    Wheel bearings 40,000 miles (1 time per year)

    As far as the engine oil bypass filter is concerned I am currently considering a few different manufacturers:
    * Gulf Coast Filters (gulfcoastfilters)
    * Kleen Oil (kleenoilusa)
    * Puradyn (puradyn)
    And I think I am going to go with the Puradyn due to their statement that they can filter to the sub 1 micron level and that they put additives back into the oil via their filter element. The problem that I have is that I do not see any statements on any of these sites that indicate their capability of removing blow by gasoline from the oil. Comments with experience on these or other bypass filters would be GREATLY appreciated.
     
  2. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    my husband is doing ~1k miles per week in his car, so we can understand needing the car to be reliable! your list looks a bit like overkill imo but overmaintenance never hurt a car unless you do it wrong. i also understand you're trying to put an even time interval on some of these things to remember more easily. here's my input...

    there's only 1 belt and you probably won't need to change it as often as that.
    engine oil bypass filter? really?
    no grease zerks on a prius
    there's no way you'll go through boots every 3 months, unless you just mean to check them.
    same with hoses, those degrade with time and show evidence of their condition. which hoses specifically are you concerned about?
    o2 sensors will let you know when they need replacing, 40k is excessively early.
    pcv ideally has an interval of ~60k but as i said about overmaintenance.
    iridium plugs will last far longer than 40k- standard interval is 100-120k
    electric power steering- no fluid
    you don't need to preventively replace struts.
    timing chain- don't worry too much about this. if your engine seals are leaking, at that point you might as well go ahead and do all exterior gaskets and a timing chain.
    you will get far more than 40k out of wheel bearings!
    check your axle seals occasionally, tie rods, etc- things that start to go downhill with high mileage.

    plan for a few sets of tires too. i have yet to make more than 28k on a set of tires.

    i will stress this: you can NOT bleed brakes yourself on a prius. don't even go there, you need the dealer scantool. if you don't have it you will be calling a tow truck. also, the coolant systems require a lot of patience and because of all the routing and valves and such in the engine cooling system it's best to take it to the dealer for that too. the inverter coolant and transaxle oil can be DIY.

    i know you've got special circumstances and put more demand on the car than the average joe, but here's a general guide written for the average joe and also includes tips on what to avoid. http://priuschat.com/forums/care-ma...70-what-services-you-need-what-you-don-t.html

    i'm sure others will chime in and we'll make a conversation of the thread, meanwhile it's late and i have to get to sleep. good luck! ;)
     
  3. gregbogus

    gregbogus New Member

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    Galaxee,

    You were one of the people that I was hoping would reply. Thank you very much for the link; I fully read and understood it before I posted but there were a couple of things that I thought were not covered.

    I'll try to clarify some of my points to your response but in general the items that you mentioned concerns about are check not replace.

    there's only 1 belt and you probably won't need to change it as often as that.
    gregbogus> Is this the water pump or some other belt?


    engine oil bypass filter? really?
    gregbogus> That is really the question. If I don't do an oil bypass I would change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles (1 time per month)


    no grease zerks on a prius
    gregbogus> Not even ones that are "plugged" that you can put a grease zerk in? (I LIKE greasing things!)


    there's no way you'll go through boots every 3 months, unless you just mean to check them.
    gregbogus> This is a check item (replace as necessary)


    same with hoses, those degrade with time and show evidence of their condition. which hoses specifically are you concerned about?
    gregbogus> An interesting comment about the hoses showing evidence of their condition. There does not seem to be a quorum on this one. Some people say you can tell some say you can't. Specifically the hoses for the radiator.


    o2 sensors will let you know when they need replacing, 40k is excessively early.
    gregbogus> I agree 40K is early for the O2 sensors but I have seen them "Get Lazy" before they go (between 60K and 80K) and I started to loose MPG.


    pcv ideally has an interval of ~60k but as i said about overmaintenance.
    gregbogus> Just did this one. She shook so she was OK but it was a PIA to get to so a new one went in!


    iridium plugs will last far longer than 40k- standard interval is 100-120k
    gregbogus> This was a check item


    electric power steering- no fluid
    gregbogus> Understood.


    you don't need to preventively replace struts.
    gregbogus> This was a check item also. Having said that I have never seen OEM struts or shocks go more more than 100K.


    timing chain- don't worry too much about this. if your engine seals are leaking, at that point you might as well go ahead and do all exterior gaskets and a timing chain.
    gregbogus> Understood.


    you will get far more than 40k out of wheel bearings!
    gregbogus> This was meant to say REPACK, sorry. Can you repack these bearings or are they sealed and therefore a replacement item? If they are a replacement item what would a typical life time be?


    check your axle seals occasionally, tie rods, etc- things that start to go downhill with high mileage.
    gregbogus> Understood.

    plan for a few sets of tires too. i have yet to make more than 28k on a set of tires.
    gregbogus> I'm hoping to go through only 1 set ever 2 years but we will see. I have Pirelli P3000 tires on right now (85,000 mile wear rating).

    i will stress this: you can NOT bleed brakes yourself on a prius. don't even go there, you need the dealer scantool. if you don't have it you will be calling a tow truck.
    gregbogus> Understood.

    also, the coolant systems require a lot of patience and because of all the routing and valves and such in the engine cooling system it's best to take it to the dealer for that too.
    gregbogus> Understood.

    the inverter coolant and transaxle oil can be DIY.
    gregbogus> From what I have read here the inverter seems like a PIA also so I am going to have the dealer do that also.
    The transaxle is getting done on Monday!

    Sincerely,
    Greg
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Greg,

    Since you are putting on so many highway miles, why not just stay with regular engine oil and oil filter changes, at 7,500 mile intervals.

    The inverter coolant is fairly easy to replace. The engine coolant is harder to do, but easy compared to strut replacement. The engine thermostat should be good for 100K miles.

    The serpentine belt turns the water pump only, hence it is not under much load. I think that belt probably will be good for 100K miles or more; I'd change it when the surface gets shiny.

    The wheel bearings cannot be repacked - don't worry about them unless you hear a noise. Typical life is probably 100K miles. No fittings to lubricate.

    Regarding the radiator hoses, you should be able to squeeze them to see if they remain flexible or not. If you want to replace them in advance of an obvious sign of failure, it would be reasonable to change them out at 100K mile intervals. The Prius engine seems to put low stress on the cooling system since the engine doesn't generate tremendous heat.

    Regarding the struts/shocks, it is not always obvious when they are bad. I replaced all four on my 2001 at ~60K miles. The front struts had no oil leaks; nevertheless one would collapse when compressed and took a very long time to recover. One rear shock had an oil leak so that made it easy to decide to replace those.

    If you don't already have a repair manual, I suggest that you either purchase the paper manuals or else download from techinfo.toyota.com
     
  5. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    You DO know that the manual says 5k miles right? I'm sure with synthetic it can be bumped up to 10k miles (or more), assuming you have a high-quality filter. 6k miles is also feasible on dino. 9k or 12k miles on synthetic can be done too - just so u have that monthly rhythm going on. Toss in an oil test or two - just to make sure your not pushing your luck, and you should be good to go.
     
  6. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    nope! sorry, you'll have to get your fix elsewhere. :p

    this is just knowing what a hose is supposed to feel like. if it's too soft/soggy, you can guess that fluid has penetrated into the middle fiber layer- time to replace. if it's too hard, the hose is drying out- time to replace. should feel even across the whole length of hose. with molded hoses, the curved parts will be harder so don't use that as a sole source of judgment.

     
  7. gregbogus

    gregbogus New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. Having read and done as much research as much as I can it looks like I have bought myself a nice, economical, reliable, long lasting car that should serve me well for at least a couple of hundred thousand miles. HEY! for me!

    Sincerely,
    Greg
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    You might want to consider a 4-wheel alignment. The rear wheels can be handled by shims or EZ SHIM and the front wheel camber handled by the Toyota camber bolts. This will help even out the wear and get the maximum miles for a set of tires. You might also look at higher pressure tires.

    Bob Wilson
     
  9. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Oil changes: I run Mobil 1 0W-20 and the dealership oil filter, with oil changes once every fall, or every 16,000 km. Excellent used oil analysis reports.

    If you run a bypass filter, say by using a sandwich adapter plate on the motor, you will be nicely surprised how much you can extend the oil changes - but make sure to follow used oil analysis. Some Prius owners have reported fuel dilution

    Lube points: none that I have ever found, not even a "cap" on the ball joints or tie rod ends. My 1990 4Runner had caps that I removed so I could put zerks on the tie rod ends and ball joints. Even my FJ Cruiser doesn't have zerks on the ball joints or tie rod ends - but it does on the driveshafts

    Coolant change: IMHO that is *way* too often. The factory Toyota SLLC is good for a long time, it should be safe to the maximum interval (Time/Distance) recommended. Bleeding the system is a major PITA

    Brakes: I believe in changing/flushing out brake fluid at least once every 2 years. You'd be surprised the crap that comes out. For the +2004 Prius, this really isn't a DIY procedure. I've attached the official Toyota shop manual section on this, you need the THHT or newer Panasonic ToughBook version to command system solenoids

    Oddly enough, my FJ also has electric assist brakes, but a simple brake fluid flush *can* be a DIY operation. Toyota has learned from the Prius. Only if the master cylinder runs dry would I need a dealer scantool for my FJ

    If you intend to do most of the maintenance yourself, consider a subscription to the official source, Techinfo from Toyota. All Data also offers the same information, including TSB's, and is much cheaper to subscribe to.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Frequent O2 sensor replacement is probably necessary if the fuel contains a lot of metallic additives. Gasolines sold in Canada historically had high levels of MMT, which are mostly incompatible with modern OBDII cars
     
  11. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Interesting from Jayman. If you got ugly stuff out of the brake lines even with fluid that tests OK (1% or less water absorption), then we really should consider increasing the frequency of this maint operation.
     
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