DIY visual inspection for dummies

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by 2009Prius, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The "front differential oil" should be ignored. That is the same as the transaxle ATF.

    Regarding the transaxle drain and fill plug washers, you are supposed to replace them each time the plugs are removed. However I think it is safe to reuse them at least once, perhaps more if you want to save the cost of new washers.

    The fuel line runs from the fuel tank up to the engine compartment. If you don't smell gasoline fumes I would not worry about that.

    Inspect the radiator, engine coolant pump, and hoses for leaks, you would see pinkish or whitish stains. Inspect the air conditioner plumbing for oil leaks. No pressure gauge is required.

    The Prius does not have a supercharger so there is no intercooler. Another example of the poor editing of that generic list.
     
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  2. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Is this part metal or plastic (rust concern)?

    A few months ago when the guys did the state inspection they jacked up the car and scraped off some rubber coating near the front jack point:
    [​IMG]
    At first I thought the exposed gray material was just plastic but more recently when I did the 30K mile visual inspection (tons of pics to follow) I looked at it again and was no longer sure whether it is plastic or metal. The concern is that if it is metal then I should paint it to prevent rust.

    Some scraping happened on the other side of the car as well:
    [​IMG]

    Anyone knows whether it is plastic or metal? Thanks!
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Probably steel, but you can hit it with a tool to see if it sounds like metal or plastic.
     
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  4. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    See if a magnet sticks to it.
     
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  5. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Thanks! I did tap it with my finger nail but yes a metal tool will be better.
    Now I feel really dumb. Duh!

    Update: Magnet shows it being metal. I am thinking a layer of touch up paint then plastic dip on top. Any other suggestions?
     
  6. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    30K front brake pads: I took better pictures through the hole this time: right side:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Left side:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of pads left so far. :)
     
  7. MitchSD

    MitchSD New Member

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    new owner and and found this thread very helpful. I really appreciate the detailed photos. I did have a question on checking the various fluids. Should the levels be checked while the vehicle is cold or at operating temperature? I ask because I have previously owned vehicles were this is a concern the difference would drastically effect the level and could cause false readings I measured on a cold engine.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    There is very little difference in level between cold vs. operating temperature, so it really doesn't matter.

    For a complete engine compartment fluid check, you should remove the large black plastic cover over the radiator for access to the radiator cap. That will enable you to ensure that the radiator fluid is at the top of the radiator neck. The radiator cap should be removed only when cool.
     
  9. Gorilla97

    Gorilla97 Junior Member

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    How about using some of the spray on truck bed liner stuff? I think you can even get it in colors other than black now.
     
  10. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Thanks for the suggestion! I ended up using touch up paint and plastidip and that worked out OK.
     
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  11. Fifine

    Fifine Member

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    This answered my question re: how to check the transaxle fluid level.

    Since it is not the convenient pull-the-dipstick-out-and-see, how often should one stick-the-finger-up-and-see?

    If there's no sign of leakage, is it safe to presume the t. fluid will last until the next 30k service?

    On a side note: the Toyota parts catalog lists a transaxle filter. BritPrius says there's no such thing and I read not much about it.
    Is this correct?
     
  12. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The transaxle ATF level should be checked at 30K mile intervals and the transaxle case should be inspected for leakage at that time. Regarding 2G, it is true that there is no filter that can be replaced during normal maintenance.
     
  13. Fifine

    Fifine Member

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    Super.
    Thanks Patrick!
     
  14. Massageguy

    Massageguy Junior Member

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    How come when I would bring my 2007 Prius to the Dunning Toyota dealership in Ann Arbor, MI for regular maintenance intervals they would state that my front brakes had 6mm left, but then when I brought the car to an independent mechanic he said the inside brake pads only had 1-2 mm left, while the outside front brakes were 6mm? The independent mechanic replaced the front brake rotors and front brake pads. This occurred back in June 2014 and my car was at 193,000 miles. I was bringing my car to the Toyota dealership at 180K, 150K, 120K etc. for maintenance.
     
  15. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    Independent mechanic lied to you, Toyota did check it wrong, or your caliber sliders seized and did use the inside bad between the two.
     
  16. Massageguy

    Massageguy Junior Member

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    Can't say I really understand what you wrote.
     
  17. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Either:
    • The independent mechanic lied to you;
    • Toyota checked it incorrectly, or;
    • Your caliper sliders seized (between the two inspections) and it favored the inside pad, causing uneven wear.
     
    #77 dolj, Dec 15, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  18. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    That’s exactly what I meant. Is it really written that badly? But to ad to dolj seizing pins can also cause one brake pad to slowly wear even when you’re not pressing brake.
     
  19. That_Prius_Car

    That_Prius_Car Austin Kinser

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    I don't know if the rust on my 06' with 59,000 miles needs attention yet or if I shouldn't worry about it...
     

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  20. Dino33ca

    Dino33ca Member

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    That_Prius_Car.... Unusual, what part of the world do you live in?
     
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