Can local shops service Prius V as well as dealership in this day and age?

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by jimmythefung, Jun 10, 2019 at 6:23 AM.

  1. jimmythefung

    jimmythefung Jimmy Fung

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    Back in 2012 I recall hearing that since Prius V was a new product line, with many unique electronic components that many shops don't have the resource / experience to service it. So I generally went back to the dealer despite the higher costs.

    Is it no longer the case now?
    What are your thoughts on the serviceability at the local shops?
    What would you say are things that's better done at the dealer than local shops?

    For background reference, I am in NYC. The particular area I am considering today is tire servicing. I want to:
    - Replace all 4 tires with the Michelin Premier A/S
    - Wheel balancing.
    - 4 Wheels alignment

    Here's a quote I got, before tax:
    Hillside Toyota Dealership: $883.
    Mavis Discount tire: $770

    After tax I think the difference is about $150. I made a service appointment with the dealership thinking they will do a better job so my Prius will last longer.
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    There's nothing about those three tasks that requires anything different from the average car. Any garage could do that stuff.

    Diagnostics & repair on the hybrid powerplant? That's different. You want somebody who has seen one before. If you're in NYC you've almost certainly got a few independent hybrid specialists available. Bet you'll find half a dozen between Long Island City and Middle Village- somebody's keeping those taxis going.

    I usually suggest taking cars to the dealer when they're new- the dealer technicians have (theoretically) been trained. But they are usually only trained on the latest, so after a few years of employee turnover you're less likely to find an expert there.

    The independent specialist has lower overhead, allowing better prices for you. And often that's where the experienced technician wound up when the dealer couldn't retain them.
     
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  3. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Tires, balancing, tire mounting/changing and alignment are commodity items and services. Mavis will do the same work, professionally, for $150 less than the dealership. In addition, you will not get the dealership’s push to do unrelated “recommended” work.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    If you really prefer to go to the dealer (eg more convenient location, timing etc), see if they will match the price. Except for the alignment, I would go to Costco where you can get free balance, repairs, rotations and nitrogen for the life of the tire which makes their price hard to beat long term.
     
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Two items I would go to the dealer for:
    Recalls
    Brake work (a specialized Hybrid mechanic would be as good as the dealer)

    Almost anything else in the way of routine maintenance, any mechanic will do.
     
  6. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    I would add electrical (CANbus) system work to dealership scope.
     
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  7. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I would not typically choose a dealer for tire and alignment work. This isn't their specialty, their rates tend to be higher, and in my experience they have no incentive to do good work. With an independent shop, their name is their reputation and they have an incentive to protect that.

    In my area, being a Costco member, I may get the tires installed there and then take the car to a shop that is known to do good alignment work. Or find a good tire shop that can do it all and match the Costco price for the same tires. Some tire shops will offer lifetime alignment for a reasonable upcharge (our local Firestone, for example). My last four sets of tires came from Costco, and the alignments were done by a local independent shop.

    Around Omaha Nebraska, we have independent shops that specialize in Toyota, Honda/Acura, VW/Audi, German cars, Japanese cars, etc. They typically do the best work at the best prices. Many use only OEM parts for certain jobs, as they have found which parts work best in each application. Only after I exhausted their expertise would I go to a dealer as a last resort.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    look for a shop that throws in free lifetime alignments, and winter tire changes if you use them
     
  9. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    I choose a tire shop, same one that put tires on my Porsche, Avalon, Acura, CRV, etc for me. No downside. Mine tests the rims for trueness (once found 3 were off), and feels the old tires to see if an alignment is needed. This done before proceeding with the tire swap.
     
  10. jimmythefung

    jimmythefung Jimmy Fung

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    Those are very good advice! After reading through what everyone says I'm canceling the dealer appointment.

    Going to have the tires serviced at Mavis.
     
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  11. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR Member

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    I had new Michelin Premier A/S tires installed two days ago on our 2012 v, $556.00 with discounts.
     
  12. jimmythefung

    jimmythefung Jimmy Fung

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    That's a very good price installed!

    I doubt I could come close to that price point being in NYC - $556 gets me 4 raw tires at best nothing else.
     
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