I own a 2013 prius.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Tonya 05 Owner, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Tonya 05 Owner

    Tonya 05 Owner Junior Member

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    2013 Prius . I'm due plug replacement and when I called the mechanics shop the guy said he had to remove the firewall and move the motor to be able to change the plugs so it's a 2 hour minimum at $75 an hour. Last November it was $100 with an oil change but today they quoted $228.91 for the exact same service. I've been watching youtube videos on how to replace plugs and it shows taking the plastic Toyota cover off and right theres the plugs but I was told he had to remove firewall ,the wipers and shift the motor to reach these things. Has anyone been able to do this job without having to remove those areas ? I feel like I'm getting ripped off.
     
  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Need to take cowl off to do plugs
     
  3. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    @NutzAboutBolts has a great video on it.

    If you were actually going to attempt this, then an oil change is a walk in the park :LOL:

     
  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    If you have ANY mechanical skills at all, you can do this job.
    Removing the wiper assembly, is easy and a 10-15 minute job.
    Then there is a lot of room to get to the plugs.
    All the work for replacing the plugs can get done in 30 minutes or less, easily.
    All it will cost you is the cost of the plugs.

     
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  5. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

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    Mine took about two hours because I am slow and neat. I clean anything I remove. I was taking my time.
    Someone who knows what he is doing can get it done under an hour easily.
    It is not a 2-hour job but yes it is a lot more complicated than a sparkplug job done on most other cars.
     
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  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    The answer is no, you don't have to remove the motor or firewall. Run, run far away and never look back.
     
  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yeah...the OP isn't asking for a tutorial on how to DIY...the OP is asking if the mechanic shop is being truthful about the labor involved.

    Judging from the Nutz about Bolts video, it isn't as easy as just remove the cowl.
    Watched it to the12:00 minute mark and several parts removed, including windshield wiper motor, before the cowl was removed. Unless you are a pretty skilled DIY mechanic I'd rank the task as pretty challenging.
    $75 two hour minimum challenging?
    Well there seems to be quite a lot that needs to be removed, and then of course re-installed. $150 labor? No bargain, but arguably chargeable. IMO judging from the video.

    If you're a skilled mechanic? Have the tools and time and experience? You're probably going to think paying someone $150 is a rip off....
    But if you aren't a skilled DIY mechanic...it could be worth it
    I don't think the mechanic's shop is offering anything like a discount, but neither do I think they are necessarily way out of bounds.
     
    #7 The Electric Me, Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Reading is an option on prius chat. We just want to be heard :whistle:
     
  9. ETC(SS)

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

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    Huh?

    Did you say something???
     
  10. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    A bargain im sure comparing to a dealership :whistle:
     
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  11. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    I just replaced my spark plugs the second time a couple a days ago, pretty straight forward and took me about 45 mins start to finish.

    also drained my trans fluid and refill. So another hour or so.
     
  12. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Even for a first timer, removing the wiper assembly and cowl is NOT hard.
    Going SLOW as iskoos does, as he cleans everything, it's still easy. It would be a good first time project.
    And then the plugs, no brainer, really.
    So what if it took 4 hours, or 6 hours? Time is not really a factor.
    When I replaced the plugs, I set my MBPro on the passenger seat and watched step by step as NutzAboutBolts
    went through the steps. I had the wiper/cowl assembly out in 10 minutes, including going back and forth.
    When I did the egr system, I had it out in 5 minutes, w/o watching the video.

    So watch the video, take your time, do ONE step at a time, and you CAN do it! :)
     
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  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    How many miles you up to now?

    Trans fluid look good?

    Second time you did that too?
     
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yeah...but you're good at what you're doing. And you have the space, tools and experience.
    For you, yeah, paying someone else $150 dollars would be ridiculous.

    But it's almost a Bakery Shop dynamic.
    I go to a bakery to buy a well made Cake, Pastry, Desert...because I know I don't have the skills to make it myself. So I pay premium for the finished product. Because if I try to go beyond a boxed cake? I'm ending up with a mess.

    I wouldn't stop anyone who thinks they have the skills or even maybe the desire to learn, from trying the task.
    No disrespect to your excellent tutorial, but if you aren't mechanically inclined it seems there is a lot that could go wrong. Toyota certainly didn't make it an easily user approachable task....by regular citizen standards. I mean it's not DIY friendly when you have to remove the windshield wiper motor, just to get to the spark plugs.

    Flour, eggs, whisk...pre-heat the oven OR....
    Pick it up boxed and ready to eat?
    It's up to the individual.

    IMO the mechanic's shop might be stretching the 2 hours labor time estimate CONSIDERABLY...but charging $150 for the entire task, isn't unreasonable even if it's far from a bargain. That's an opinion. And I concede it's an opinion from someone who probably would seek out a mechanic to do this task for me.
     
  15. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    It depends on what a shops labor rate is, and what the Chilton's book call for the time to do the job.
    Again, is someone does NOT have any mechanical ability, it will be difficult to do. As would replacing
    a wheel to put the spare tire on. I don't know what his skill level is But as I said, "IF" you have "SOME"
    ability, it IS an easy job. The video if very good, and simple to follow.
    IF someone does not want to try it, or physically cannot do it, then they are at the mercy of a shop.
    Finding the lowest price is not always the best place. It is more important to find someone HONEST and
    that will do the job correctly the first time. And back up their work.
    My brother has NO, and I mean NO mechanical skills. It took him an hour to change a flat tire!
    But I taught him HOW to work on his cars. He's done plugs, filters, oil changes, belts, water pumps,
    window regulators, and we recently replace the leather on his seats. THAT was a FUN job!

    By doing it himself, and/or me helping him, he has thousands of dollars he did not pay for labor.
    Labor is almost always the most cost.

    My son, he hates working on his car. And I told him learn a skill, make a lot of money, and you will
    be able to PAY someone else to do it! He does have skills, and he does most of the work, and I help him.
    But he HATES doing it! But again, MONEY not spent....

    Most people CAN learn, if in fact, they WANT too and are willing too. They do not have to be an expert.
    Just good enough for their car.

    Everyone has to make their own choices. But if someone is willing to give it a try, I say go for it.

    I personally hate paying someone to do something I can do. But that's just me.
     
    #15 ASRDogman, Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the plugs are usually good for about 200k
     
  17. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    I think the satisfaction of not only doing something DIY (completed)
    but the money saved, and the knowing it has been done and done correctly (maybe, hehe)....

    is really worth more than paying for the job itself.......
    lol aside from maybe a head gasket job or working on some particular vehicles!
     
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  18. pingd

    pingd Member

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    @The Electric Me I like your analogy - surely we are all capable of baking a cake ... yet nearly all of us here ... rarely do I reckon (for whatever reason: time, ability, infrastructure, personal preference, etc).

    Recently I did the whole EGR circuit, spark plugs, valve cover, PCV, all fluids, etc. But it probably took me 5+ times the time that it would have taken @NutzAboutBolts simply because I had to learn each step, lookup/order parts (broken/rusted/cheaper than dealer), buy more tools, etc. Since I could only do it on the weekends, I had to take the car out of service for 3 weekends! Plus I got completely stuck at replacing the spark plug tube seals, but with trial and error AND THIS SUPER HELPFUL COMMUNITY, got through that part also. So I learnt a lot and can surely do it faster next time!

    Like anything in life, there's risk and reward, so it probably comes down to time constraints, money, some (average) level of ability AND interest. The 2 hours quoted for the OP seems reasonable to me personally (disassemble, reassemble, test, "warranty of work") - but good luck getting the cash out of my wallet! (But hey, the wallet is wide open for a great cake WTH!)
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i trade mine in at 119,999 miles
     
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  20. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_O
     
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