Maintenance necessary at 100,000 miles; coolant; tranny; brake fluid specifically

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Prius11and20, May 27, 2022.

  1. Prius11and20

    Prius11and20 Junior Member

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    On my 2011 Prius with 101,000 miles, I'm trying to discern exactly what maintenance I should have done. I am not a DIYer, and want to keep this car running for awhile (especially because of lack of current replacements)
    My main queries after reading A LOT of posts on here are still:
    -- what about engine and inverter coolant flush...?...I see a lot of folks saying how it can create problems if done incorrectly. I will be taking it to my dealership, but certainly don't want anything problematic to happen because I was having 'required' maintenance done. May I hear views on this please, whether I should go and get it done please? I know some say 150,000 miles on the inverter, but is it best just to have them both done at the same time? And is it true that if the coolant in the reserve is nice and pink, coolant flush is not needed? I'm happy to get it done, but am hoping the dealership knows how to do it thoroughly and correctly so that it doesn't create new problems. When I just took it in for an oil change they did not recommend it, and I'm not sure why....
    As an FYI, I leave my car for about 6 months each year (thus the lowish mileage) and any effects this may have on answers would be appreciated.
    -- is tranny fluid change needed at this point? I know it is an unconventional tranny, and seems to be running fine...
    -- brake fluid (they've been keeping an eye on it, but should it be drained and refilled because of possible moisture (it is left and driven in a rainy part of the country)?

    Anything else that I should be thinking of to keep this car running a lot longer, or at least until they start manufacturing more of these critters which I'm pretty much hooked on...they're taking 3-4 months minimum for new ones to come in, plus I like the one I have and know they can run much longer than this.

    The car seems to be running quite well, and I don't want that to change, except for a bit of power loss feeling at lower speeds (any idea what that would be?). More specifically it makes a bit of a noise at times when it is under acceleration at lower speeds. Other than a few creaks, it's running great, and want it to continue doing so. Thanks so much in advance for your recommendations and advice.
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Are you the original owner? Do you have the Toyota USA's Warranty and Maintenance Booklet, say in the glove box? If no, a pdf can be dowloaded; "Toyota Tech Info" site is one source. Google that, and look in the "manuals" tab.

    Here's a screen-grab from that booklet, what Toyota USA says to do, at 100K:

    upload_2022-5-28_7-5-31.png

    It's basically an oil and filter change, visual inspection of the brakes (trivial), possible cabin air filter replacement (would only do if it needs it), tire rotation, and engine coolant change. Yeah I know, it says inverter coolant too, but if you follow footnote "3" you get to this, pretty much contradictory, and governing statement:

    upload_2022-5-28_7-9-50.png
    This booklet is in an event-by-event format, which has it's pros-and-cons. A big con: it's impossible to see the patterns, the frequencies of the various services. Accordingly, I cobbled a spreadsheet format summary (attached).

    Regarding possible extras:

    1. Brake Fluid Change: Toyota USA says nothing about changing brake fluid. FWIW, Toyota Canada says to change it every 3 years or 48K kms (whichever comes first). A gulf of difference there. With your miles it would be worthwhile, but your call.

    I've DIY'd this a couple of tiimes, using the non-Techstream method (outlined in the Repair Manual, excerpt attached). I put the whole car on safety stands, and took off the wheels. This is not techincally necessary, but makes the brake bleed bolts a lot more accesible. With my wife helping, pushing the brake pedal, using a few wrenches, some tubing, and a largish plastic jar to catch the drained fluid, I used two pint bottles of Toyota DOT3 fluid (cost about $15 in tota)I accomplished this in about an hour (not counting the time to raise/lower car, remove/install wheels).

    I appreciate you're not a DIY'r, but I'm just trying to paiint a picture: this is NOT complicated. If the dealership does it, it should NOT much over $100, or you're being ripped off.

    2. Transaxle Fluid Change: Again, just crickets from Toyota USA. Ditto from Toyota Canada this time. But yeah, definitely do it. Ideal would be around 1 year or 10K miles, believe it or not. But anyway: VERY simple procedure, similar to an oil change in difficulty. Repair Manual excerpt attached, just FYI. If dealership does it, should NOT be much over $80~90, or...

    3. EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) System Cleaning: 100K is a very opportune time to get on this. This is a new pollution control system with gen 3, that also aids fuel efficiency. The big problem though, is the new design slow-but-sure clogs with carbon, and leads to head gasket failure.

    The dealership will very likely be the last place you want this done. They will tell you it's not necessary without codes/symptoms (by which time it's typically too late), and that the only way to go is replace parts. The parts replacement alone will run over a grand, without labour.

    I would suggest you start by reading through the first link in my signature. If DIY is completely out of the picture, I'd look for an independent mechanic who's knowledgable about this, or a fast learner.
     
  3. Noahdoge

    Noahdoge Member

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    The Prius is not a car that you want to just leave without use for months. Nickel metal hydride batteries do not like to sit for long periods of time. This is not really an issue with lithium batteries. A Prius with 150k miles could have a stronger battery pack than one with 100k if it was used more consistently. I know there are ways to store the Prius for long periods of time but I would honestly sell your car in this hot market and get a used Corolla or civic that’s easier to store for longer periods of time like 6 months in your case. This is just my opinion, but the 3rd gen Prius is loaded with issues beyond replacing fluids.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Good point. Owner's Manual says this:

    upload_2022-5-28_9-13-33.png

    For the 12 volt battery, steady connection to a smart charger (3~4 Amp rating) will protect it, or at the least disconnect and isolate the negative cable.

    Sitting for 6 months the tires may start to develop flat spots. Airing them up to max sidewall will help prevent this. Also good to have full gas tank, fresh oil change.
     
  5. Prius11and20

    Prius11and20 Junior Member

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    Thanks Mendel ....am fully aware of what is listed in the Maintenance booklet. Was more looking on opinions of necessity of doing the engine coolant/inverter flush; transaxle and brake fluid. After reading many threads on here got conflicting views. Called dealership yesterday, and they said it's all been checked and is fine; not to worry about it. I've regularly had check-ups done, and top-offs of fluid, etc. Like I mentioned, with the unavailability of new cars this makes me a bit more vigilant. And no, I am not at all a DIYer...have many talents and interests, but that is NOT one of them. I guess I'm going to go with the dealership's recommendation not to worry about it at this point, but am going to delve a bit further into the EGR issue. I remember being told once by them that with a recall that was done, much of that was taken care of, but will relook into it. Do you know what car symptoms I might be noticing if there was a problem with the EGR? I only use this car half the year, and so if I can just get through this season until October I'm good. Still hoping to buy new one when they become more available, just for reliability's sake. Also don't want to throw a bunch of unwanted money not needed into the car, especially when she's not really acting like she needs it....only the noise I spoke of in my original post. Regardless of my leaving her half the year for the past 6 years, she's still doing really well all things considered...Toyotas are amazing. Just trying to be prudent and proactive if necessary.




     
  6. Prius11and20

    Prius11and20 Junior Member

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    I know it is not ideal leaving the car, but that is my life, and have been doing it for 6 years with no issues. Hybrid battery seems to be just fine. This is my third Prius, and have not had any issues leaving any of them, except once a bad shaking upon start-up which turned out to be a recall problem which I had fixed. I see what you're saying about changing out cars, but really like my Prius, and am going to keep doing what I'm doing and hope for the best. So far on this 2011 have not really had any issues after 11 years, and I figure it's all kind of gravy now that I've had it this long, considering that my lifestyle is such that it is left; and on the other hand it doesn't get worn out as much from overuse. My only concern is how tough it is to get new cars, and wanting this to last until it is a bit easier.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Engine coolant change IS scheduled for 100K in the States, not an extra. FWIW, in Canada, the recommendation from toyota is to do inverter coolant also, at 100K.

    An EGR "problem" is more-or-less inevitable. The system reliably clogs up with carbon. Somewhere between 150K and 200K, as the head gasket lets go, it moves on to cold-start shakes, coolant loss, and if ignored long enough: a hole in the block. 100K is the latest you want to leave this, if you plan on keeping the car.

    This might trump all the possible issues.
     
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