Basically a first car, looking for advice.

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Sakuryu, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Sakuryu

    Sakuryu New Member

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    So, as the title says I basically just got a first car. I've had others before but they were picked for me and lemons.

    I just got a 2015 Prius V Persona with 94k on it, regular maintenance and checks from Toyota dealerships, and a single owner. It looks and feels nice.

    As this is my first good car, and my first hybrid, and my first Prius. I'd like some maintenance and cleaning advice since it's so immauclate and honestly a bit of reassurance. I got it for 2k down and 10k financed. Is this okay? Good deal? Bad deal? Good car?

    I don't really have parents to help me with this process, I have cousin's who are mechanics but they're hundreds of miles away.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like a good deal over the intranets:p

    follow the maintenance guide that comes with the car, and consider adding a tranny fluid change, and egr circuit cleaning. you can find both on nutzaboutbolts youtube videos.
    and check the 12v health, air and cabin filters, along with the oil level.
    pump up the tires ifneded and check the pressures at every fill up along with the oil.

    i think you got a great car, take care of it, and it will take care of you.
    all the best!(y)
     
  3. Sakuryu

    Sakuryu New Member

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    I know next to nothing about cars, can the maintenance be handled at a Toyota Dealership or other certified maintenance location? It has a CarFax Gold Seal for records and I'd like to keep it that way, though I think it'll be my car for years to come. The Dealer I bought it from did a 160 point check and gave me green across the board. Would they have checked that stuff?
     
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  4. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    NADA gives a rough trade-in value in my area for a Prius (package v) persona as $13,050 and average at $14,445 so it sounds like you got a decent deal at $12k assuming you lined up reasonable financing.

    2015 Toyota Prius Liftback 5D Persona Series I4 Hybrid Prices, Values & Prius Liftback 5D Persona Series I4 Hybrid Price Specs | NADAguides

    In my opinion, most dealers' 160-point check is usually pretty superficial - I really doubt that anyone is going to run like a compression or leakdown test. That said, Priuses in general are pretty reliable and not too much goes wrong on them often as evidenced by the fact that they've led Consumer Reports' reliability rankings for years (as always, there are going to be exceptions to the rule). I'd ask for a service history at a dealer and see when the last fluid services happened. You can also register on the Toyota owners website with your VIN and see some of the service history.

    I don't have much to suggest in terms of maintenance - a lot of owners like to change the transmission fluid on a 60k mile interval despite it being supposedly a lifetime fill from Toyota.

    I've personally also recently taken to using nu-finish (yeah, the as-seen-on-tv stuff) because it really seems to be a durable finish (and I live in a salt state where I'm not going to go out in freezing weather and wash/wax the car).
     
  5. Sakuryu

    Sakuryu New Member

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    It's been serviced up till it's 85k check at Toyota Dealerships exclusively. After that I'm not totally sure, but there is a dealership only about 30 minutes out of town where I can do the newest check and maintenance. I did register on the Toyota website :D It seems to run pretty fine and whatever like that but luckily I have a coupon from my insurance dealer to get a full service exchange for about $20 but it would be at a tire shop instead of the Toyota dealer.
     
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  6. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    One thing I almost forgot to mention: if you want to do oil changes with synthetic oil (not sure what the Gen 3 specifies for oil), you can pick up 5-quart jugs of Mobil 1 at Walmart (loathe as I am to shop there) for about $23 and Mobil 1 often has $10-12 mail-in rebates. That brings the cost of the oil to about $12-13 and the Toyota dealer should charge you about $20-25 for the labor and filter.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    of course, any dealer is fine, but usually quite expensive. in the meantime, ask around for decent mechanics and hybrid shoppes. most of the maintenance can be done by a conscientious mechanic, but sometimes hybrid experience or just awareness is needed.

    tranny fluid is easy, egr circuit is on many cars, but cleaning is slow and tedious.

    these two items wouldn't have been checked, and stay away from tire shops, except for tires.

    learn how to check your oil and tires pressure.
     
  8. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Active Member

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    You seem to have purchased a well cared for vehicle with lots of dealer service. While it is true that dealer service *can be* more costly than non-dealer service, it can also save your butt! The real question in my mind when deciding on dealer or not, is how knowledgeable to they seem on YOUR CAR?
    - Do they try and sell you services that are not in the maintenance guide?
    - Do they treat you and your car like a valued customer?
    - Is their pricing competitive for your area?
    - Do they ALWAYS give you an estimate for any work before they spend your money?
    - Is the work area clean and well organized?

    If you answer YES to all of those, why change?

    At the end of the day, there is nothing that will keep a vehicle in good repair better than quality service performed in accordance with the OEM's maintenance guidelines.
     
  9. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Dealers like to tout ### point check. Look at what they are checking; some of the items are utter Bull Shite (floor mat check-properly positioned and hooked in, horn-are you deaf? windshield chip/crack-are you blind?). A lot of it you are able to do yourself (horn, wipers, wiper spray nozle, windshield chip/cracks, headlights low/high beam, turn signals, back-up light, brake lights, air filter, oil level, coolant level, ...). I could look at your car and come-up with a 500-point safety check. Would this make you feel better?

    Contact member Tampaprius.com to get his perspective on competent Prius mechanics/shops. Maybe he might know of some in your area?
    Home - Tampa Hybrids Inc.


    Read this. Granted it is for a Gen2 (2004-2009), but a lot of it will be applicable. Go by the scheduled maintenance guide for your vagon. Most places always try to upsell you on stuff using scare tactics.
    What services you need and what you don't | PriusChat

    Read Post #473. Good info on upgrading to a strong magnetic transaxle drain plug and compelling reason to change the transaxle fluid. ATF fluid changes ARE Required. | Page 24 | PriusChat

    CHECK the engine oil level with some regularity (every gas fill-up, every week, bi-weekly, monthly) and ideally on flat level ground, and hours later or next morning. Always KEEP oil close to the top FULL mark, Don't overfill! If you check the engine oil level regularly, you will be in the top 10% of owners; sooooooo many people today can't be bothered with this simple but critical maintenance item.
     
    #9 exstudent, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  10. Sakuryu

    Sakuryu New Member

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    Funnily enough, previous owner took the floor mats! I'm getting grass and junk all over my poor cars beautiful floor :( . I have an appointment at Treasure Coast Toyota tomorrow. The quotes they gave me for stuff they might need to do are fainting worthy. So... I hope I can get by without them. Everything from an oil change up was $65-130!
     
  11. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Just because its a dealer servicing the car doesn't mean that they do a particularly good job. I've had two separate dealers put the wrong oil in our car on three distinct occasions. The way I see it, it's not like they have a ton of incentive to do a great job since there's so many customers - there's a line out the door and service is booked for most of the rest of the month. If they mess up, they shug, go
    "sorry man", and go on to the next paying customer.

    The floor mat proper positioning and hooked in is probably two points :)

    I'd argue that you should check the engine oil level just after getting the oil changed as well. Some of the time, the dealers underfill our car (and we have oil consumption after 265k miles, so it's an issue). My habit is to do it every second tank of gas.
     
  12. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Buy WeatherTech of similar type floormats for Front, rear, and trunk. If you buy from Weathertech Floorliner All-Weather Mats for Toyota Prius Prime - PriusChat Shop a portion of the sale goes to Priuschat.com to support their operation.

    You get what you pay for.
    Dealers have the most expensive labor rate b/c nice waiting rooms, free coffee, free shuttle rides, free exterior car wash, and in theory top rate mechanics who are factory trained. Be weary of places that say they are hybrid "specialist", remember talk is cheap. Not surprisingly, dealers actually more most of their profit from Service and Parts (57%) vs New Car Sales (8%); Finance Dept is very profitable too (20%).
    The Surprising Source Of Car Dealers' Profits - Business Insider

    READ THE OWNERS MANUAL and MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE.
    Sadly, few people seem to read either.

    As for 95K service. It should be cheap; $150 tops. But at dealer pricing, will probably start at $250.
    IMO, this interval is essentiall oil change, tire rotation, and brake lining check (maybe clean & relube the brake caliper pins). I sincerely doubt any dealership ship or service center actually checks and "tightens nuts and bolts on chasis and body," b/c this would require them to test each nut/bolt w/ a torque wrench to make sure that the nut/bolt is tightened correctly. A lot of the "inspection" is an easy visual that is done when the car is suspended on the lift.

    I bet they will try to sell you a new engine air filter and cabin air filter. I will make the assumption that the vagon engine air filter is of a similar medium (fabric type material) like the Gen2. If so, a visual inspection and the light test will work too. I just use a bright light source (even the sun). Changing Your Cars Engine Air Filter | AAA Approved Auto Repair Article
    Changing your own air and cabin filters will save you a lot of $.
    upload_2018-11-9_0-33-49.png
     
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  13. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Active Member

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    For the record, no one has claimed that dealers are perfect, all do a good job, are equal to or superior to quality aftermarket service, much less than that was the case in this thread.

    Obviously anyone that thought otherwise is not an industry professional and has no clue why most customers take their vehicles to shop A vs shop B.

    It has been postulated that dealers are:
    - upsellers of needless products/services
    - more costly than non-dealers
    - careless/unprofessional (use the wrong oil for example)
    - uncooperative/irresponsible

    There are as many, if not more indy shops that are all of those things and more and most dealers DO NOT engage in such behavior, not one part of it. Some do, absolutely and they have empty bays because their mistreated customers do not come back.

    The POINT I made above was that the vehicle in question had quality service and the previous owners were not afraid to pay those higher dealer prices (sic), tolerate the needless upselling (sic), and carelessness (sic) with which their NEW CAR was treated. :rolleyes:
     
  14. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Greetings and welcome aboard!

    1. Do not worry about whether or not you "got a good deal" because it's your car now.
    FWIW, it sounds like you might have gotten at least a fair deal of the v.

    2. Here's the web link to the owner's manual and the schedule of maintenance for your car.
    2015 Toyota Prius V Owners Manual and Warranty - Toyota Owners
    If you look at the bottom of the page, there is a PDF containing the maintenance schedule:
    Toyota 2015 Prius V Warranty and Maintenance Guide
    There perhaps is a paper copy of this guide in your glove box right now...

    An easy way to tell if your dealer is dishonest, REALLY dishonest, or disgustingly dishonest is to compare their maintenance recommendations with those found in the manual provided by the folks that actually designed and built your car.
    Your dealership may have a big honking TOYOTA sign on their business, but they're NOT Toyota, and some Toyota 'groups' have a less than stellar reputation with customer care.
    That's right.....
    I'm looking at YOU Southeast Toyota!

    3. Get estimates before you agree on service and then ground truth them either in this forum or some other source that's not financially motivated to tell you that you need the particular service.
    If the "maintenance" isn't on the 'schedule of maintenance' then......it's not maintenance.
    It's a repair.

    4. Repairs (for me) require explanations, estimations, etc from more than one source.

    I saved the two most important things for last.....

    5. Check your oil level especially and other fluid levels AT LEAST every month and especially after someone other than you lifts the hood on your car. You mentioned grass on your floorboards, which suggests that your car might not be garage parked....so pay special attention for leaks when you park at work.
    Also.....Priuses draw mice.
    I think it's the soy based plastics....so if you do not have cats, take a look at your cabin air filter more frequently and look at some Youtube vids on the subject.

    6. Get multiple opinions on everything.....especially on information found on the internet.
    The v is a good car!
    I don't say this as a fanboy (I own no toyotas.)
    If you take any passing interest in maintaining it, you are dead-bang certain to put another 100,000 miles on this car - and do so cheaply.

    Good Luck!!
     
    #14 ETC(SS), Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  15. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    There's no question that there are a ton of bad indie shops that aren't so great.

    That said, the two dealers that put the wrong oil in our car are still booked solid for weeks. I feel like they have so much business that they don't really care when they screw up. It's telling that just about all the Toyota dealers in Chicagoland have less than 4/5 star ratings on Google Maps. The only dealer that even mentioned we even had oil consumption issues is like 50 miles away (went there for a more major repair because we don't trust the other dealers anymore) - I shouldn't have to drive almost 2 hours just to get a simple oil change done right.

    I feel like I should note that I let the dealers do oil changes because I hate handling fluids unless I have to and I do them myself on our other cars where the oil changes are very substantially more expensive.

    I think OP has a Prius PACKAGE V Persona (since the Prius v didn't have a persona package) as opposed to the Prius v wagon.
     
  16. Skibob

    Skibob Member

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    When I changed the oil in my Prius for the first time the copper washer on the oil plug was about as thick as 2 sheets of paper and the oil filter was on there with about 30 ft lbs of torque. Lady had oil changes done at some oil change place. Changed the washer with a new Toyota one and now I can spin the filter off by hand.
     
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