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Maintenance Suggestions, Please @152k miles

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Suzanne Betts, Feb 5, 2023.

  1. Suzanne Betts

    Suzanne Betts Junior Member

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    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Hello friends,
    I got my 2012 Prius 3 used, at 100k, in early 2018 (5 years ago). It drives really well, but I've noticed the mpg going significantly down in the past year. I do the regular oil changes myself with high-quality synthetic oil (Castrol Edge 0W-20) and a high-quality oil filter for synthetic oil, and I change the cabin filter and air filter annually. Feeling rather smug that I am doing the required maintenance (duh) I realized last week (I know, please do have a belly laugh) that it also needs the spark plugs changed sometimes! (OMG!)

    I called the dealer. They suggested this:

    Change 4 spark plugs $299
    Change Engine coolant $234 (it was a little low when I checked a few weeks ago, so I bought some pink stuff that the auto parts store said matched my car and topped it up)
    Inverter Coolant Drain and Refill $167
    Transmission Service $130
    Front Brakes $425
    Rear Brakes $395 (the Les Schwab tire shop told me about a year ago that brakes would "probably need changing on the next tire change")
    Total for all this from the Toyota Dealership is $1650

    I know I've had my head in the sand and feel rather stupid about that, but the $1650 sticker price is a real shock for my limited budget. Do you recommend that I do all these things? Since I bought the car at 100k, I don't know when things have been done before. I think the brakes are original (and I'm at 152k). Certainly the spark plugs have not been changed on my watch, so in 52k miles.

    So, ahead of time, thank you for your kind assistance. Also - can I go to a local repair shop that has very high ratings for servicing Toyotas instead of going to the dealership? It sounds like the local shop may be cheaper and I'll call them about it tomorrow - or do you suggest I only service the car at the dealership?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Senior Member

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    Everything you mentioned above, could be handled by any competent mechanic - in a local shop for at least half the cost. If he/she gets confused, there's always YouTube. Your in the foothills, so if the front brakes wasn't already done, when you bought the car; it should be really close to needing replacement - at least a close inspection. Try using Free Car Repair Estimate - Get Auto Repair Costs | RepairPal for fair estimates.
    Keep an eye on your engine coolant level. Your gen3 is known for blowing head gaskets above 150K miles

    Good Luck...
     
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  3. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Hope all the prospective new members sees this reply before joining the forum and say “I heard the gen 3 was bullet proof and know about the taxi million mile taxi and I want to buy one now” posts.
     
  4. Suzanne Betts

    Suzanne Betts Junior Member

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    Super helpful, thanks!
     
  5. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    A Tesla is in your future if you continue to follow your own custom Prius maintaince schedule. It’s got no radiator fluid changes and sparks plugs change either, that falls in-line with your maint schedule
     
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  6. Suzanne Betts

    Suzanne Betts Junior Member

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    I'd love that Tesla solution! If I could afford it! Thanks!
     
  7. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Considering that you know how to change the engine oil, you probably could change the transmission fluid (oil) yourself, too. That's likely all their "transmission service" amounts to.
    Ways in which the transmission change differs from engine oil change:
    1. No filter to bother with;
    2. May have to take down the large plastic under-engine panel;
    3. Different tool (10 mm internal hex) needed for drain and fill plugs;
    4. Fill through opening in side of transmission, either by pumping from below, or using a hose + funnel;
    5. It's probably safe to skip doing for a while, or even forever.
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Local shop can handle all of that.

    You probably don't have to do all of this at once.

    I would get it in there and have them insect the brakes. If you need brakes, you need them now, and worry about the other stuff a little later.

    Once the brakes are squared away work on the coolant & plugs. You are probably safe to skip the transmission service altogether.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah transaxle fluid change is about on par with an oil change, just a bit different. More info in my signature.

    the fluid and drain/fill bolt washers should be under $50 USD. I’d take the whole engine underpanel off: maybe I’m OCD but I do that for every oil change; see oil change info in my signature for tips on doing that, maintaining its fasteners.

    if you’re on a phone hold it landscape to see signatures.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Feb 6, 2023
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023
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  10. Suzanne Betts

    Suzanne Betts Junior Member

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    Thank you, everyone, this has been very helpful. I found a local well-rated shop that will do the whole gig for $425 less than the dealer and is 30 minutes from home, not an hour like the dealer. That's a 25% savings, and they seem very fair and took time to answer my questions on the phone today. I feel pretty "accomplished" as a 65-year-old girl-mechanic changing my own oil and filters each time, but I throw in the towel on learning more and just not wanting to screw it up! Thanks again!
     
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