Inverter coolant change--did I get rooked?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Scott_R, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    Sitting at a Toyota dealership right now for a 45k service on my 08 Prius. The service rep came out and said the technician recommended a inverter coolant change. Not knowing better, I said OK.

    Then it occurred to me to look it up. The service manuals, from my reading, say to INSPECT inverter coolant at 15k intervals, but the change is recommended at 100k (I have 47k).

    I went back in and spoke to the rep, who said "oh, that's an across-the-nation recommendation. The guy doing your service has 30 years experience and this was necessary in his opinion."

    Did I just get sold a bill of goods? Or is the point of inspecting it at 15k intervals because it just might be necessary at such a short interval?
     
  2. roamerr

    roamerr Member

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    I vote you got rooked. Did they recommend a transmission flush too?
     
  3. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    No. Rear brake adjustment, though.
     
  4. roamerr

    roamerr Member

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    Rear brakes are drums. I think they self adjust when you back up.
     
  5. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    My understanding of brakes is that only drums (not discs) generally need adjustment--that they are built to self-adjust, but that it can still be needed, periodically. I could be wrong, of course.

    I called Toyota while I waited and spoke to a rep. She, quite helpfully, called a Toyota Product Specialist, who was quite clear on the 100K recommendation, absent a specific finding of contamination. I was told that it could sometimes be needed sooner, but that's like 20k--not over FIFTY thousand miles earlier.

    When rep came back out to tell me the car was ready, I asked to speak to the tech and asked him if he'd seen anything wrong with the fluid. He said no, just that it was recommended because of how old my car was (2008!!). I said to him that the recommended interval was 100,000 miles or 120 months--10 years, not four. He said they often do them after TWO years.

    We walked away, and then I told the rep about my call to Toyota. She still brought me to the cashier, apparently expecting me to pay, but I said I had a bad taste in my mouth from the experience. She went to her supervisor, and the charge was taken off.
     
    Jason dinAlt and ftl like this.
  6. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    Good for you!

    I'm also on Long Island - would you mind sharing the name of the dealer? PM me if you'd prefer.
     
  7. jstraw20

    jstraw20 Member

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    Me too. I haven't had an issue with my dealership.. yet.
     
  8. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    PM's sent.
     
  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    You should have let them replace it. They sound like they know what there doing. They were correct in saying because of the age of the car. That coolant has been in there for 4 years. Its not a savings account. If you take the cap off the Inverter coolant tank and look at the rim and bottom of the cap you'll notice white powder. That's aluminum corrosion.
    Which is very hard on coolant. That coolant flows through pure aluminum heatsinks with tiny coolant channels and is easily contaminated. I changed mine at 30,000 miles and noticed an immediate improvement in mileage as the Inverter ran cooler and more importantly the corrosion stopped. I tracked the temp before and after with an IR thermometer. Its the best thing you can do maintenance wise as that coolant cools the 2 most important things in the car. The Inverter & the transmision. Its cheap and real easy.
     
  10. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    I did let them replace it, then had second thoughts. That's why I called Toyota; their product specialist said there was no reason to do so. I also spoke to the tech at Toyota and he said he saw no contamination issues, just that it was time to do so despite not being even halfway to the factory-determined interval. Are you saying that Toyota's factory specs are incorrect?
     
  11. Jason dinAlt

    Jason dinAlt Member

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    May I suggest sharing your experience with others via a rating service.
     
  12. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Yes I am. Btw, those "specs" are nothing but minimum required just like there interval for transmission fluid replacement which we all know now based on UOA's is ridiculous. May I direct you to lusciousgarage.com which is a real world service center catering to Hybrid's and Prius taxi's and there recommendations on fluid changes.
     
  13. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    A $225 service is cheap?
     
  14. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Well I guess it was since you got it for free. But it can be done much cheaper by an independant. And it costs $20 if you do it yourself.
     
  15. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    How can there service guy have 30years experience on a car that has only been around for 8years? Even if you add gen1 cars 12years.
     
  16. WHCSC

    WHCSC Member

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    Where can I find these recommendations?
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    This was necessary since the mechanic's paycheck partially depends upon the number of service jobs he performs.

    30 years of experience is interesting but not relevant if most of the experience was gained on non-Prius vehicles. Also, does the experience mean 1 year's worth of oil-change experience repeated 30x, or does it mean this individual actually is competent to service all parts of the vehicle as a master?

    I would not change the factory-fill inverter or engine coolant prior to 100K miles, as per the maintenance schedule. I have not noticed any issues with the factory-fill coolant lasting that long.

    However, note that subsequent changes are required at 50K miles.
     
  18. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    Well, as per your suggestion, I emailed Luscious Garage. Their response: "We recommend changing the inverter and engine coolant at 100K miles. However, if your coolant looks dirty you could change it sooner. Hope that helps."

    So, I guess you're saying THEY are also wrong?
     
  19. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    Getting something you don't need for free doesn't make it cheap; it's still something you didn't need. Especially factoring in the time wasted.
     
  20. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    thanks for maintaining the secrecy
     
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