Maintenance Rip-Off?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by carlbarry, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    I have a 2012 Prius with 20,000 miles.
    I just brought it in for a recall, oil change, and annual inspection.
    When I picked up the car, I was told no inspection was done because "it wouldn't pass if we did one." The "technician" has recommended the following:
    Inverter Service (I have no idea what that is)
    Transmission Service
    HV Fan Service (they want to clean it?)
    4 tires (I checked the tread; seems to be OK)
    Alignment
    Coolant Service (perhaps the only legitimate thing I see)

    I'm concerned about the "inverter service" and "HV fan service" in particular.
    I need input from the experts as to if these are real, or just intended to make money. I'm extra suspicious because I think the only thing that would affect the inspection is the tires.
    Thanks!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed, boat payment time. did they mention the required wallet flush?

    only thing you need to keep in mind is that you have a lot of years, so you need to follow the time schedule, not the mileage.

    for now, take it to an inspection station and see what they say.
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yap, I smell "Rip-Off" for sure. Your car is very low mileage, so even if you go with 7 years, which would be equivalent of 70K miles, none of the services listed are required by your manual. And I can't see failure to perform any of those "services" would make your state inspection to fail automatically, though I don't know for sure what rules are in your state. Your are correct that the tire tread 2/32 is the legal limit, and that would be the only thing I can think of being a base for inspection failure. But you said it has plenty of tread on them?
     
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  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Some of this may be because this is a REALLY low mileage Prius.

    The Prius has two separate coolant loops One for the engine, one for the inverter. if what they describe as Inverter service is just a drain and fill of coolant, That is real

    Transmission service seems early (in miles) to me I recommend 30,000, 100,000 and then every 100,000 miles. But you need to consider time as you are not driving the car. i am not saying they are wrong, I just have no experience with a garage queen Prius.

    HV Fan service has to do with YOUR environment: do you carry dogs? llamas? Dusty roads? Open windows?

    Tires do age even without mileage, especially in sunlight. How Old - and Dangerous - Are Your Tires? | Edmunds
     
  5. Ed Beaty

    Ed Beaty Member

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    Ditto. I also recommend assessing the health of your 12V battery, as it could be toward the end of its life.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Was this a dealership?

    Assuming yes: you're at very low miles, I'm not sure if they would be considering the service based on miles or months. The attached is a transcription of what's in the US Warranty and Maintenance booklet.

    2010 Prius Maintenance Schedule (US).jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Yeah but in the US schedule, even by months, engine coolant drain-and-fill is at 10 years, and the inverter at 15 years. Sometime in 2022 at the earliest, for the engine coolant?
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the only things i see are at 10 years

    oops, you beat me mendel :)

    as for tires, that's a personal decision. i have never replaced old low mile tires unless i see serious sidewall cracking.
    others feel differently, and mfg's want to sell tires
     
  9. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    Yes, this was at the dealer where the car (my second Prius from them--first one was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy) was purchased.
    I'm not in a dusty environment--Long Island, NY. No pets in the car. Car is kept in the garage.
    I did some research, and learned the "inverter service" must be for the inverter coolant. What I've read is that service is only necessary when the service light for that comes on. Which seems a little late to me.
    Previously, the dealer used to try to hit me for the, gee, I forgot the name, that flapper valve under the engine air filter. I cleaned it myself (wasn't very dirty), and they stopped trying to hit me for that. And of course, $130 "on special" to replace the 2 air filters; no thanks, I'll take 5 minutes and do it myself for $12.
    Thanks for the input. I'm going to double check my tires, and see what the tread wear is. They are not cracked, etc.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    When someone trots out an esoteric expression, and you don't know what it is: ask what they mean, something like "what exactly does that entail, what are you going to do?"

    Just going by miles, if they're proposing an inverter coolant change, that's about 130,000 miles early. Going by years, it's about 8 years early.

    IMG_1259.JPG
     
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  11. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    I take it to the dealer for the inspection because it's free LOL. There are no inspection stations here. You have to take it to a repair shop for $35, and almost all are notorious for "finding" something wrong. I had a friend who was suckered into spending $100 for 2 windshield wiper blades.
     
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  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Sound very familiar. lol :LOL::LOL::LOL: I had a car fail inspection because of rust on the brake line, not corroded or leaking brake line, just rust on the surface of the line. Well, it would be hard to find a car in our area without any rust on the brake line that has operated more than 1 winter. They wanted a big $$$ to replace it and pass the inspection. I took the car to a different shop for inspection and passed without any problem. Your dealer could be very, very expensive "FREE" inspection. Do you have different place to take your car for an inspection?
     
  13. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    I guess I do have a different place, now! Actually, I used to take it to a local shop that was honest, but when I bought the Prius and they offered free inspections, I started going there. But now they seem to have gotten very, very greedy. $1,000+ worth of needless work is unconscionable.
    And if I go back there before my expiration this month, they will see the notice for all this work, and just tell me it has to be done to pass inspection. By the way, this dealership is owned by a company (NY Auto Giant) that has 24 dealerships here on Long Island!
     
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  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sort of takes the free out of 'free'

    same for the 'free' donuts
     
  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Visible cracks are not the only indicator of deterioration due to age.
    The general consensus is about 7 years, regardless of tread wear.
    Being inside most of the time is a plus......but even with that, you are approaching the maximum recommended life.

    The story about "Not passing inspection" is a big scam.
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I see multiple yacht payments in there.

    Blacklist this shop and find someplace else.
     
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  17. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    Yes. I know the tires are approaching retirement, but the method of doing business is a big turn off to me.
    I just received an email with a request for a rating, from the dealership. I wrote that I felt there was a rip-off attempt, and they lost a long term customer.
     
    #17 carlbarry, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  18. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    just watch my video if you want to learn how to do it yourself. If you don’t want to, you can bring it to an independent shop and show them my videos on what you want to be done to your Prius.

    all dealerships try to up sell you things that you don’t need, that’s how they make money and rip customers off. If you’re equip with knowledge, they can’t rip you off if you question them why. Service writers are notorious of trying to up sell because they have a quota to hit.
     
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  19. Pluggo

    Pluggo Active Member

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    While it's still on your mind, call Toyota USA (800) 331-4331 and share your experience with them. It's going to be a black-eye for that dealership. Find yourself a different one.
     
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  20. carlbarry

    carlbarry Junior Member

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    Well, I'll see what the dealership's response is to my bad review on their survey. I doubt Toyota is going to do anything to a company with so many dealerships.
     
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