Am I being taken for a ride at the dealership?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by UGAflyer04, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. UGAflyer04

    UGAflyer04 New Member

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    First off, I would like to preface that I am not very savvy when it comes to automobiles and I am always apprehensive when I go to the dealer and they try to up-sell things that are not called for in the maintenance schedule. I figure Toyota knows what is BEST for the car and include all that is needed in the maintenance schedule (except for unforeseen issues etc.). I just took my 2011 Prius III in for it's 60,000 mile service which basically called for replacement of oil and filters, air filters, rotation of tires and inspection of most vital fluids.

    As expected, about an hour after waiting in the lobby, the service technician (more of a salesman if you ask me) comes up to me and tells me he wanted to chat with me about what the technician found. He prefaced his discussion with this is normal for Hybrid vehicles at this mileage.

    - He explained that the Blower Motor (I'm assuming this is the fan that cools the hybrid battery) can get dusty and moldy over time and that engineers have recommended the tech perform a "Hybrid Vehicle Blower Motor Service" to prolong the life of the hybrid battery itself...$380.00

    - He also wanted to perform (something that he said went hand in hand with the hybrid system) an inverter system service...$130.00

    - Then he recommended a "Hybrid Vehicle Tran service" which he explained was a transmission fluid dump and fill....$150.00

    - And lastly a Brake System flush...$120.00

    I've checked some forums online and have seen mixed recommendations on whether or not this stuff is needed and most of these things aren't addressed until 100K miles. My thought is that they are not as the maintenance schedule doesn't call for any of it. I figure if Toyota doesn't recommend it in the schedule, then I'm probably being taken on a ride by this particular dealership.

    Any words of wisdom from any of you would be greatly appreciated.
     
    #1 UGAflyer04, Aug 17, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Just follow the schedule set by the manufacturer. Yes you are being taken
     
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  3. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    Blower Motor - Do you typically carry animals that shed hair? If no, then decline. If yes then a good recommendation. $380 is really high. This is an easy DIY job.

    Inverter Coolant Drain and Refill - good recommendation and $150 not bad. Another easy DIY job.

    Transaxle drain and refill - good recommendation and $150 not bad price.

    Brake fluid flush - I do not think this is necessary. Others on here will disagree with me.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    All of the above are worth considering, well except "inverter system service": this is not the first mention here of that that, and no one has conclusively determined what the heck they mean by that. If it is indeed a inverter coolant change, it's way early for that.

    Checking the "hybrid vehicle blower motor" is worth doing once in a while. It's something you can do yourself in an hour, with a ratchet wrench with extensions and 10mm and 12mm sockets, a few trim pry tools, a wet/dry vacuum (better if it can blow too), and a few brushes and q-tips. I believe @NutzAboutBolts has a video on it, pinned in the 3rd gen maintenance section. It'll take you about an hour tops, not hard, not worth $380 imho.

    Brake system flush, for $120, I might tell them to go for it. Caution them to test drive and verify everything is ok, let them know you'll be on their case otherwise. But that's not a bad price, and it IS in the Canadian Prius schedule for one, as of 2014 it's every 3 years or 48,000 kms:

    upload_2016-8-17_8-3-18.png

    Just to be forewarned: the last time I had a brake fluid flush (recently, a Honda vehicle, at a Honda dealership), they lost half the bleed bolt caps, and managed to disable one of the rear brakes. After the service, the car was a menace. I recall trying to stop for a yellow light, ending up over the cross walk, the anti-lock braking going off like crazy. Took it back and raised hell.

    Bottom line: it's worthwhile, the price is good, but it can be screwed up: be careful.

    Again, @NutzAboutBolts has a video on this, same place. But for $120, as long as they don't screw it up, not bad. Do verify they re-install all the bleed bolt caps too, you can do this without raising the car.

    The transmission fluid drain and fill is a good idea, even sooner too. A first drain around the one year mark is not crazy, then you can stretch the interval. $80 would be an decent price for this though, $100 max. Again, relatively easy DIY, @NutzAboutBolts has a video on it, same place. In the video they use a pump from below; I found a funnel and three foot of hose from above very cheap and effective.

    I've done ours a couple of times, and I'm not even at your mileage, lol. The first time, at 1 year mark, the fluid was quite dark. Second time, at 3 year mark, the fluid still looked near-new.

    You need to raise and level the car, drain the fluid, then run new fluid in till it starts coming back out. Use Toyota ATF WS fluid only. I'll attach the instruction.
     
    #4 Mendel Leisk, Aug 17, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! none of that is needed, but some recommend the tranny service. if your interested, shop around for someone to do it for $100. or so. i hate to ask what they're charging just for the toyota recommended service. :whistle: all the best!(y)
     
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  6. supersatchelsloth

    supersatchelsloth Junior Member

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    All of the things he recommended are things that you should eventually do, but you certainly don't need to do it all right now! IMO the most important items are changing the transaxle fluid and perhaps the brake fluid flush. The rest of it can probably wait until closer to 100k miles.
     
  7. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    The shop rate for cleaning the "hybrid blower motor" (fancy way of saying "fan") is $60 at Luscious Garage in San Francisco. $380 is a ripoff. At 60,000 you only need to change oil, oil filter and maybe the $20 cabin air filter (an easy, no-tools, do-it-yourself).

    If you want to keep the car a long time, at 60,000, I think you should replace the tranny fluid. It should cost $80-$100 at a shop.
     
  8. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    Just Youtube everything :D
     
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  9. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Or just check out the Sticky thread
     
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  10. UGAflyer04

    UGAflyer04 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice and input, I'll definitely check out how to do some of these myself. Thanks again
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what is inverter service, fluid change?
     
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