Maintenance - What am I missing?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ru5real, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    Hi. I've had my Gen II for about a year and half. I am the third owner and it now has 122k miles on it. I decided to give the Prius a major tune up/maintenance overhaul, "major" being a relative term.

    So far, I've done the following:

    oil change
    engine air filter
    cabin air filter
    transaxle fluid
    ICE coolant
    - I skipped the CCV replacement because it seemed too daunting/time consuming (lazy and scared) considering that even if it were to fail, the car could still be driven safely for a while, with no further damage.
    Inverter coolant - I skipped this entirely because the recall water pump work was done at 100k and service personnel confirmed that the coolant should have been replaced. EDIT: I completed this based on exstudent's rec. Thanks!
    MAF sensor
    throttle body plate
    serpentine belt
    spark plugs
    PCV
    HV battery blower
    Clean/Adjust Rear Drums/Shoes


    I also bought new tires. I have very little mechanical knowledge or experience, so I gave myself a pat on the back and I owe much thanks to the priuschat community for all of the easy to follow instructions and discussions.

    Now for some questions. I haven't touched the O2 sensor or catalytic converter, mainly because I'm too scared that I might screw it up. Are they due?

    Also, am I missing any other easy to DIY maintenance tasks? Any necessary big jobs that I need to take it to the shop for?

    Thanks all!!
     
    #1 ru5real, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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  2. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    What is CCV? Three way coolant control valve? Are you getting a DTC P1121? If so, you may be w/o cabin heat if the valve gets stuck in the wrong position and doesn't correct itself. So depending on where you live and how cold it gets, this will dictate how soon you get this valve replaced.

    You say service personnel, which I interpret as service writer, a person who did not touch your car other than get the odometer reading. Did the mechanic/technician tell you that he indeed do a drain/fill on the inverter when doing the inverter lump recall? It is very unlikely that they did this, as it is easier to pinch off the hoses, resulting in very little coolant loss, when the inverter pump is replaced. The tech has a motivation to do this b/c he can finish this job faster, meaning he can get to the next job faster, which equals more money for him; I believe they are paid hourly and per job. Furthermore, by pinching off the hoses, this means more profit for the dealership as Corporate Toy is reimbursing the dealer for the few quarts of coolant that they are supposed to be using when doing the inverter pump recall, which is supposed to involve a drain/fill.

    So, what do you think was really done? Pinch hoses and top off coolant for the inverter, resulting in more profit for dealership and tech. Or did they do the procedure the service book way, resulting in less profit for dealership and tech.

    Are you getting a code about the Cat converter/O2 sensor. If no, then leave alone.

    No mention of tire rotations? 5000 miles intervals.

    Tire pressure. Most go higher than the door jamb sticker of 35/32. These numbers seem to be used: 40/38, 42/40. Ultimately your choice.

    Consider adding your location to your profile. Useful to offer service shop recommendations. If paranoid about privacy, the Euro hacks already know your info; lie and put a neighboring city further away, or a region (ie, Southern California).
     
  3. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Brake system flush, clean, lube, adjust and repair as required.
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Very nice work on your part, congratulations. If you were able to accomplish that long list of work without causing a problem, your mechanical ability actually exceeds your self-assessment of your capabilities.

    There is no need to be concerned about the air/fuel ratio sensor, the oxygen sensor, or the catalytic converter until a DTC is logged pointing to an issue in the emissions control system.

    As previously suggested, the brake system should be inspected for front pad/rear shoe remaining thickness. It would be nice to remove, clean and lubricate the front disc caliper pins to ensure the pads continue to wear evenly.

    It would be nice to replace the brake fluid but I would rate that as lower priority. My 2004 has 190K miles and I have not done that - the brake fluid color is still reasonably light amber (vs. black as you would see on most cars after 50K miles).

    Inspect the suspension components. The front struts and rear shocks likely need to be replaced and I have posted on how to do both. If you have the proper tools you probably will do a good job there as well.
     
    #4 Patrick Wong, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  5. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    @exstudent
    CCV - Correct, the 3 way coolant control valve. I don't have any error codes and I live in southern California. Definitely plan on doing that on my next coolant replacement.
    Inverter Coolant - I see your point. I sort of considered that they might have taken short cuts, but still made the calculated guess that I'd be okay until 150k (looked good, way better than the ICE coolant, which wasn't that bad anyways). I still might do it, cause you brought up some good points that are making me rethink it. Seems like an unnecessary gamble to skip it, considering everything else I've already done. By service personnel, I meant the ex-sales guys who speak car and are there to upsell you things.
    Tires - I bought new tires, so I'll have to experiment with the tire pressure.
    Thank you!

    @frodoz737
    I forgot to mention that I also cleaned and adjusted the rear shoes and drums. As for the entire braking system, plan is to get that done at a specialty shop or dealership when the pads wear out. Last inspection, I still had 5mm. I don't trust myself to attempt the braking system, mainly because it's safety equipment that can affect others. Thank you!

    @Patrick Wong
    Struts and shocks are something I contemplated, but I think I'm good for now. I don't know the most effective/proper way to test/inspect them, but they're not bouncy, mushy, and I've never bottomed out (not very scientific). However, they are on my radar. Thank you!

    Thanks everyone. IF you guys think of anything else, please let me know.
     
  6. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    I say replace the 3way coolant control valve when it throws a code (P1121). From what many have written about this valve, it will affect cabin heat (lack of, if stuck in wrong position) and engine warm-up (prolong it if stuck in wrong position).

    Assume the inverter coolant was not drained/filled when the inverter pump was replaced. Cost of one gallon of SLLC + 1 crush washer vs inverter/transaxle failure? This maintenance procedure appears to be well w/in your capability. From Art's Automotive (LINK):
    The inverter coolant looks pretty good at 30K miles. The ratio and pH both test OK as well. So why are we changing it? Because:
    1) Toyota SLLC is just regular ethylene glycol silicate-free premixed coolant with pink dye, and ethylene glycol coolant has had a 2-3 year service interval for as long as I can remember.
    2) The components it protects (the HV transaxle & inverter) will set you back about $7000, just for the parts!
    3) The idea is to replace the coolant before it goes bad to provide continuous protection.​
    If you want to cheap out on this, go back to the dealership with receipt in hand, to find the service technician who worked on you car. Ask him to be honest: did he drain/fill the inverter or just clamp the hoses and top off the inverter reservoir?

    Struts/Shocks
    If you have no proof the struts/shocks were replaced, they are well overdue. I speak from experience.
    Read my post #48 (Hints Regarding Replacement of 2G Front Struts | Page 3 | PriusChat)
    Read my post #3 (Replaced Rear Shocks | PriusChat)
    After this experience, I'm a firm believer in the strut manufactures claim of 5yr/50,000mile replacement interval (to maintain OPTIMUM suspension characteristics).
    Post #6 for parts/prices (2007-2009 Touring,Is steering and handling better than standard prius? | PriusChat)

    Member JC91006 knows of a place that has super cheap and fast labor for strut/shock replacement: fronts ($120), rears ($80). Additional Front/Rear Strut Replacement Parts Needed Too? | PriusChat
     
  7. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    @exstudent

    Where does the "Super Long Life" part come from? You're right in that I should go ahead and do it regardless. Struts and shocks will have to wait though...
    Thanks.
     
  8. Yakoma

    Yakoma Active Member

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    Good job, OP!
     
  9. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Toyota's Coolants:
    LLC (Long Life Coolant; red color)- IIRC (If I Recall Correctly) 50K mile from factory fill, then 25K mile drain/fill intervals.
    SLLC (Super Long Life Coolant; pink color)- 100K miles from factory fill, then 50K mile drain/fill intervals. SLLC has different additives compared to the LLC.

    Art's Automotive believes in 2-3yrs coolant change interval; roughly 36K miles, assuming 12,000miles/year.
     
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I believe the LLC factory-fill and field replacement intervals are both 30K mile intervals. You are correct with regards to SLLC.

    Further the LLC needs to be mixed with distilled water while the SLLC is pre-mixed. If both coolants are priced at the same amount, then SLLC effectively costs ~2x LLC assuming the cost of distilled water is insignificant.
     
  11. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    @Yakoma
    Thank you!

    @exstudent
    The difference between the factory recommended coolant change interval vs everybody else's recommendations seems pretty wide apart. I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry. Thanks.
     
  12. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Toyota's coolant change interval for the Gen2 Prius is at 100,000miles/10years, then every 50,000miles/5years.
    Art's Automotive makes a compelling point to change 36,000miles/2-3 years.

    As some have stated on here, the factory service schedule/recommendations are a minimum. You can maintain it to a higher degree if you choose. You are ahead of the curve as you changed your transaxle fluid (hopefully no later than every 60,000miles) and Toyota only states to check and add ATF-WS if needed. CRAZY! No lubricant lasts forever. But Toyota's idea of "lifetime," is very different than a consumer, as they are in the business of selling cars.
     
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  13. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    Does anyone have any idea how much money I might have saved? Thanks. All of the work took me about two days of research and a day of work.
     
  14. Yakoma

    Yakoma Active Member

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    We don't know what your time is worth to you. Why don't you tell us what you think you saved?
     
  15. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    I guess I'll rephrase. About how much would the work have cost at a dealership in SoCal?

    For car stuff, since I'm not very experienced, I consider the time I put in as learning/brain exercise.
     
  16. Yakoma

    Yakoma Active Member

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    I'm gonna guess...a buttload?

    I'd say you're into the $1500-2000 range at least, but of course, they would have found other things to alarm you with and try to charge you for as well. If you wanted an accurate number, you could call a local dealer and get a quote. Maybe we should all guess and then you can come in later with the real number?

    Here's my guess...$1,895.
     
    #16 Yakoma, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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  17. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Labor only for front strut and rear shock replacement would have cost me $1000 @ Hooman or $800 @ Cabe in Long Beach.

    You really need to price shop what maintenance/repairs you want performed, to know for sure. Auto repairs are always a lot; a lot more at the dealer.
     
  18. Eclipse1701d

    Eclipse1701d Prius Enthusiast

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    One often overlooked item is your HV Battery Coolant fan. I highly recommend you remove the rear passenger side panel, remove the fan and clean it. This will ensure that the HV Battery remains at optimal temperature. From what I have deduced, dirty fans contribute to many HV failures. If you are the third owner, you have no idea if someone used to keep a dog in the vehicle and their hair got sucked into the vent...
     
  19. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Original owner.

    Fan was cleaned when I replaced the rear struts.
     
  20. ru5real

    ru5real Junior Member

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    I've done that... took me a couple of tries to figure out how to get to it, even with instructions. And I forgot to mention this before, but I think the first owner may have been a priuschat member because when I went to do the PCV and HV battery blower, I could tell someone had been in there before (unfastened harness and missing bolt / PCV didn't look or feels like it was 10 years old). I'm pretty sure it wasn't the second owner, cause he didn't mention anything and he was a short term owner, as his wife didn't like the car. If that's the case, makes me wonder why the first owner sold it...

    Also added a spent dryer sheet (air filter) on the inside of the vent cover next to the rear seat.
     
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