Approaching 100K Miles: Services Suggested by Dealership

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by monicca03, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. monicca03

    monicca03 New Member

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    I have a 2002 Prius that I bought in August. I drive quite a lot for my job and am requiring monthly oil changes.

    When I took it in this morning, I was given a list of services needed in the near future. I am new at this game and I'm just wanting some opinions on what was suggested to me:

    1. Tune Up (Planned on this because of my mileage)
    2. Emission Service (I would like to know what exactly this is and what it will do for my car)
    3. Engine Decarb (Again, would like to know exactly what this is and also what it will so for my car)

    Also, will these three services increase my gas mileage? I'm getting high 30's, lower 40's, but I have been assuming this is a result of my constant highway driving and the bitter weather we're having.

    Again...I'm definitely new in this game and I've never owned a newer car. I'm pretty fresh out of college and this is the first time I haven't had my dad take care of my car. :)

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Miles per month?

    I would look for:
    1. engine air filter, spark plugs, possibly PVC valve
    2. transaxle oil change including a gasket (make sure they drop the pan)
    3. using throttle plate cleaner and injector cleaner (kit includes vacuum pipe cleaner)
    4. inverter coolant change (** special caution)
    5. oil change but NO OVERFILL (must be at or below "F")
    6. tire rotation and alignment check (get the report and post the numbers here)
    At what speeds? To get that low, I have to travel 75 mph or faster. If you can throttle back to 65-70 mph, you'll see a substantial mileage improvement.

    On the oil change, get a small, one cup, water bottle, empty and dry it. Ask them to fill it with the old oil. You don't have to send it for an oil analysis but without a sample, an oil analysis will be impossible. We want to look for:
    1. more opaque (is bad)
    2. smells like melted candle (is bad)
    3. redish tint is normal
    You didn't mention cost but I'd expect this to run about $200 if every item is covered. If more, ask for details. If less, wonder if everything is being covered.

    They should also check the steering linkages and under body for evidence of problems. Also, they need to check the struts for evidence of leakage. Finally, they need to check the brakes for evidence of corrosion, a problem with hybrids driven for mileage.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
  3. monicca03

    monicca03 New Member

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    Hi Bob!
    I drive anywhere between 2000 and 2500 miles a month. I've put on 10K miles on my car since purchase on August 28. Total cost for these repairs will be: $311.97, without tax. The brakes were replaced before the car was purchased. The tires are rotated and aligned every time I have an oil change and I have them balanced every other time I have an oil change. The mileage has increased, I'm getting about 41-42 mpg. Again, I drive highway and my average speed on highway is 68 mph. I think my mileage was so terrible because my boyfriend was driving it and it was getting close to needing an oil change.

    After the oil change and tire rotation this morning, it's running a lot better and getting much better gas mileage. I also wonder if not letting it warm up in the morning is having an effect on the gas mileage? It seems to go down in the morning, but the more I drive as the day goes on, the better the mileage gets. It's a thought, but again, I really have no idea.

    Thank you for taking the time for responding. I really appreciate it!
     
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Try to keep a printed copy of your next alignment report and post it here. We're finding rear wheel alignment in older cars can be less than perfect.
    Good news!

    The first 1-2 miles is the worst mileage of the day as the car warms up. I make it a point to cut through my neighborhood so I can keep the speeds at 25 mph or less. But after warm-up, normal hybrid operation works fine.

    To see what I mean, reset your mileage in the morning before starting the car and then using the trip meter, record the mileage at 2 miles. Then reset the MFD and trip meter. Read out the MPG at the end of the first trip.

    Bob Wilson
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Isn't the recommended oil change interval every 7500 miles? You shouldn't need to be doing monthly oil changes even with the amount of driving you do each month.

    I don't like the list of services your dealer recommended mainly b/c its so obscure. There are specific services that you should have done (listed by Bob) and you should ask that those specific services and if they want to do more you need to find out exactly what's involved. In particular that emissions service and the engine 'decarb'. If it's not specifically recommended in the owner's manual it's not something that'll be done.
     
  6. tuka

    tuka New Member

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    When I drive my prius on warm summer days, I get better mileage. It's when the cold morning months, the engine runs longer to warm up. When the engine runs, it consumes fuel. Driving while the engine runs yields better mileage than sitting there. Distance over time (d/t).

    When the engine is warmed up and it runs in electric mode at slow speeds, I can notice a big difference after I get gas during my day. Fuel up, reset the counter and drive away. The engine will turn on briefly, then back to electric mode. You will see better gas mileage.

    The on/off many short trips will cost more fuel than longer trips. Sometimes, you can't get around that. After getting fuel in San Jose, CA, driving over a 2000 foot mountain road (highway 17) up and down over to Santa Cruz ~33 miles away, I'll get about 56-59 mpg. What kills it down is the next day turning on the engine warming up.

    When I sit at a light, the blue light for cold engine is off, I put the selector to "B"rake mode for a second, then return to "D"rive, and that may turn off the engine while sitting there.

    But basically, the distance traveled while consuming fuel will affect your mileage. If you sit there while it's warming up, it will consume more fuel. If you drive while it is warming up, then you'll get better mileage.

    Hope this helps....
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Do you have Toyota's Scheduled Maintenance Guide? You can determine from that book exactly what needs doing. In our Canadian edition the guides structure was very subjective, I ended up creating a spreadsheet to objectify it:

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...2010-prius-maintenance-schedule-canadian.html

    (I believe it's items are a bit different than the US version, not sure why)

    The US version is better in this regard, explaining exactly what needs doing at each interval. It's intervals are 5000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

    Regarding your items 1 through 3, "Tune-Up", "Emission Service", and "Engine DeCarb", these are all purely dealership fabrications, and have nothing to do with Toyota's recommended maintenance.

    Just for starters, the concept of "Tune-Up" has not made any sense for at least 20 years, with the advent of programmed fuel injection, distributorless engines with long-life spark plugs. It's a catch phrase that used to encompass items like distributor service, timing check and spark plug replacment.

    I would ask your dealership if they could just do the Toyota recommended maintenance. If they stonewall you, and I suspect they will, I'd look for another, more receptive dealership to deal with, and contact Toyota regarding their behaviour.
     
  8. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    Hopefully now after almost 3 years, the OP has gotten the 100K service done and has resolved any lingering fuel economy issues. ;)
     
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    With a 66 mile round trip commute, I think that's a safe assumption:D
     
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