Is it worth it to buy all the maintainance tools?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by acemason, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. acemason

    acemason New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I was given a 2010 Prius by a friend a few months ago and it’s been running great so far. The car has 214k miles on it and I pulled the service records and it seems like it had basic services done on time. I’ve been getting 50+mpg overall and so far it’s been awesome.

    I’ve been doing a lot of research and came across maintenance items such as:

    1. Changing spark plugs
    2. Changing engine/inverter coolants
    3. EGR cooler/valve cleanings
    4. Cleaning intake manifold

    I’ve spent the last couple of days watching videos on how to perform these and I’m confident I can but the only problem is that I have no tools at all.

    I literally would have to buy everything from jack stands/ramps, oil drain pan, needle nose pliers, wrench sets, cleaning solvents, trim tools, etc. I don’t live at home anymore so I don’t have my own set of these items.

    I plan to keep the car for at least 5 more years (although I only drive around 5-6k miles a year). Logic tells me that it would be good to invest in these things but I wasn’t sure if I should just wait until I notice any issues with the Prius or buy them now so I can get started on the preventative maintenance items.


    Also, I didn’t see in the records that the spark plugs have ever been changed so I’m assuming they’re the original ones. I definitely want to take it apart and check.

    Should I pretty much buy all these tools now?

    Side note: I recently had the 12 volt battery changed and new Energy Saver tires on it yesterday.

    Thanks for reading! Excited to hopefully contribute to this forum.
     
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  2. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    If you bring it to a shop, they’ll charge you easily a good 100$ an hour on labor, and most of these maintenances are 1-3 hrs, so if you add them all together, you’ll be spending at least 1000$ on labor alone, not including the parts price. If you don’t have your own place, maybe you can go over to a friend house and borrow their garage?

    If you’re on a budget, and you don’t use the Prius often, then I would just pay for the minimum services.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!
    if you're a competent auto diy'er, and enjoy the wrenching, yes, it is worth it. otherwise, do as nutzaboutbolts says above. one thing though, at your mileage, if you are going to pay someone eld=se, you may have some expensive repairs coming. i would start tracking oil usage to begin with.
    all the best!(y)
     
  4. acemason

    acemason New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I definitely have a garage and space for now, I just would have to purchase pretty much every single tool and item needed for any maintenance. I guess I’ll go ahead and pull the trigger though since it’s probably more cost effective to do it myself. Btw, thanks for the YouTube vids, they’re very helpful.
     
    #4 acemason, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  5. acemason

    acemason New Member

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    Thanks! My roommate actually originally bought the car 2 years ago at 190k miles (recently gifted it to me with 214k miles) and last year when he took it for an oil change, he was told that the timing cover is seeping. We’ve monitored the oil levels since then and there haven’t been any drops in levels between oil changes so that seems good for now.

    I think I’ll go ahead and purchase all the tools I need and start with the spark plugs, engine and inverter coolant change, and maybe EGR valve/cooler cleaning so I don’t have to keep taking off the windshield wipers.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like a plan, all the best!(y)
     
  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    If SF means the Bay Area, you’re in luck:

    Possible Monthly install meets. Bay Area-Fremont

    Might save you buying some tools and allowing you to space out purchasing them:).

    Keep us posted(y).
     
    #7 Raytheeagle, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    @acemason I would take on one or two items at a time, get you what you need for that, see how it goes. You will have some mis-steps get things you don't need along the way, or things you don't use at first, then finally do. The cheapest/simplest way to get into oil change (for example), would be to just run the front end up on ramps. Personally I really prefer floor jack and safety stands, but your call.

    The very first thing I did was check your age, lol. You've got a lot of years to go, lots of the tools you would acquire would be useful on any and all cars you get.
     
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  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You'll never kick yourself for having tools around. :)

    You certainly don't need to buy everything at once. How about a nice metric socket set, a torque wrench, and the 10 mm hex bit you need for the transaxle plugs if you're planning a coolant change? Plus the 14mm (dinky!) spark plug socket, and a longish extension.

    Oh, and something to read your codes with.

    Around here, there used to be a cheap tool outfit called Homier Distributing, and they had a weird variety of stuff. Not only did they have dodgy no-name complete sets of things for incredibly cheap, they also sold individual sockets in respectable brands like S-K, in bins up by the counter.

    That made an easy budgeting strategy possible: start by buying a complete dodgy set for incredibly cheap. Upgrade individual sockets over the years as the cheap ones break.

    Anyone closely inspecting my tool set will see evidence of this strategy.

    Your friendly local auto parts store probably also sells individual sockets of good pedigree up by the counter, but they'll run a bit more there.

    -Chap
     
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  10. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Get it used on Craigslist, eBay, pawn shop... After you're done you can sell some tools at the same price?

    Pixel XL ?
     
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  11. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Take a look at Harbor Freight if you have it in your town. It is an inexpensive way to start to get some of the items.
     
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  12. Kingsway

    Kingsway Member

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    Tools are an investment - not an expense! As long as they get used, of course! Buy them as you need them, and try not to buy the 'cheapest', When you buy a good tool you only need to buy it once...
     
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  13. Bay Stater

    Bay Stater Senior Member

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    I agree with that strategy! Cheep tools can actually damage your car parts! (y)
     
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  14. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    That’s why I buy mostly MatcoTools, or Snap-On if I feel rich. But most of my tools are craftsman lol... they’re decent.
     
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  15. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    ...and they still honor the Lifetime.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    If I'm not mistaken (don't get out much, lol) Sear Canada (Craftsman brand) is dead? But yeah I picked up a few Craftsman items over the years, never any problems, and I miss Sears. It was a slow/painful demise: every time we would walk through their store it was looking more disheveled, the last few years.

    Lately I'm starting to get a lot of Tekton, they're often at head of search results if I'm Amazon shopping, and so far so good.
     
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  17. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    If you feel a little rich, you should try out matcotools, they feel so nice, way better than craftsman lol.
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Haven't seen them here. A few places have Jet, and hoo boy they are pricey. I've got sucked in once or twice, if I really needed something.
     
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  19. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    You can only order matcotools online, They’re not in stores or on a tool truck. Not from what I know of.
     
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  20. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    No discussion of hand tools for servicing Toyota vehicles could be complete without mentioning Toyota’s own line of service tools, many of which are shown in the “Recommended tools and checkers” sections of the former Special Service Tool List books. There’s also a thread on the IH8MUD forum with some old catalogs.

    Unlike Toyota SSTs, which are distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, Toyota hand tools—other than the handful that come with vehicles—don’t seem to be sold through U.S. dealers, but they are available from parts exporters in Japan. Many are rebranded versions of tools made by Japanese manufacturers such as KTC, Vessel, and O.H. Industrial.

    The Japanese editions of Toyota’s Repair Manual series also have more specific recommendations for tools and equipment. For example, where the “Preparation” section of a U.S. edition might say only “Torque wrench,” the corresponding Japanese edition might say it should be a Tohnichi QL100N4 or SF6N or some other specific model. Banzai, Iyasaka, Mitutoyo, Hioki, and Kaise are among the firms with products so mentioned. Other notable Japanese brands include 3 Peaks, Asahi, Engineer, Hozan, Ko-ken, Lobtex, and Tone.

    If you’re curious about Japanese tools, a good reference is the Orange Book catalog of Trusco Nakayama, a distributor serving the industrial/MRO market. All ten volumes have just been published in English. They don’t take orders directly, but many of the items in the catalog are for sale on Rakuten and similar marketplaces.
     
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