Need basic pointers on caring for my new Prime (oil, ATF, etc)

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by The Big Sleaze, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. The Big Sleaze

    The Big Sleaze Junior Member

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    After decades of doing almost all my own work on my own "beaters", I suddenly feel like I'm 18yrs old again and wondering and fretting about how to do basic car-care on my brand new Prime.

    Dealer said "doing oil change before 10K is just waste of money" and "the ATF is LIFETIME, no need to change, ever". It also occurs to me that the warranties are only 60,000 for engine/AT and 100,000k for "hybrid".

    So....coming up on my first 5,000 mile tire rotation "Maintenance Included for first two years" visit to Dealer, I'm thinking I should tell them to do an oil/filter change, and ATF fluid change at my expense.

    Questions:

    a)Is changing any ATF fluid a major PIA, and how much should it cost, and is it one of those things were not all the fluid is changed, and would it be worth it after "break in" THEN maybe go 40-60,000 till next ATF change?

    b)How big a PIA is it to do oil filter and change on US Prime? Is it a paper filter that goes into reuseable can? (I remember my roomie's old BWM had such a setup and while he'd normally do all his other 4 cars he'd take the old BWM to dealer because it was SO hard to get back together).

    c)IIRC my oil dipstick says "0-16" weight oil but I can only find 0-20. Will 0-20 keep warranty in effect?

    d)any tips on "Dealing with Dealer" when getting any "included service" stuff done?

    Who is your fave Service Dept in Dublin-Walnut Creek-Concord-Antioch area?
     
  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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  3. The Big Sleaze

    The Big Sleaze Junior Member

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    Interesting. I got a set of standard Harbor Freight steel ramps but when I tried to use on my 1995 Saab 900 I had to make "ramps for the ramps" out of a few layers of screwed together plywood. Same for Prius? I'd guess the Saab has more clearance but maybe the problem was its long nose heavy design?

    What is the closest thing to Official Full Shop Manual that available for under $100?
     
  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    You can get a full downloadable version online for $20:):

    techinfo.toyota.com

    Yes you'll need to cobble together something to raise the car up:cool:.

    Hope that helps(y).
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    @jerrymildred made 3" high ramps (2layers of 2x), which got the front high enough that he could then roll his jack under and get it started. The front jacking point is something like 54" back from the front bumper IIRC. Yes, no kidding...

    Transaxle fluid change is about on part with an oil change, just a little different. Proper level is achieved by filling with the car level till the fluid starts coming back out. Toyota recommends to use only Toyota ATF WS, from freshly opened bottles (best not to store unused, for next time. I wouldn't pay more than $100. $80 would be a good price.

    The oil filter is spin-on style now.

    Torque values and various info in the attachments.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    See post #554 here to see what I made so I could use my floor jack at the "front" center lift point. Jerry's Evolving Thoughts on "new-to-me" Prime Premium | Page 28 | PriusChat

    I think, if it was me, I'd take advantage of their free services on their schedule. But check the oil level before you drive away after an oil change. Some shops tend to over fill, although the dealer should be several notches above a Jiffy Lube.

    On the transaxle, I'm in the camp that likes to change it fairly early, but not right away. It's not urgent. I did my Prime at about 37k miles. The PiP already had 54k when I got it, so it was at about 59k. Wife's '07 was at 118k miles since it already had 98k when we got it. If you decide to change the transaxle oil, be sure to get the car level as already mentioned. The fill hole is all the way at the rear of the transaxle, so if you just lift the front of the car, that will prevent you from getting it as full as it should be. It's not hard at all, though. Oil and gaskets came to $48.97.
     
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  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    a) No recommended interval for transmission fluid change by Toyota. It suppose to last "life time", but many owners of Prius here seem to change ATF. Just drain and fill. I had mine done at 30K. Don't plan to do it again until 90K.

    b) Yours is now spin-on filter. Besides cabin and engine filters, oil and filter change is the only thing I do DIY. If I can do it, anyone with proper equipment can do it.

    c) Yeah, that is the new change for 2020 model. For earlier models 0W-20 was used, but for Japanese models of PRIME 0W-16 was recommended since 2017. I read somewhere that is primarily due to availability of 0W-16 oil in North America. You get two free oil changes from a Toyota dealer using Toyota Care. But I don't see any reason not to use 0W-20 on 2020 model. They are basically the same engine as earlier models. That being said, you may want to stick with 0W-16 for the warranty period (that's 5 years 60K miles for the engine).

    d) I used free Toyota Care for the first 5 maintenance. Cost zero. No upsell for other things. And I had ATF drain and fill and oil change on 30K at the same dealer, FREE using points I had with them from the purchase of the car. I don't plan to take it back to the dealer for future oil changes and routine maintenance (such as check floor mat!), but if I need to do a more complicated thing I'm not comfortable DIYing, I may need to go back.

    All that said, the maintenance for my PRIME for the last 2.5 years has been a breath.
     
    #8 Salamander_King, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    That can be easier said than done.

    For my DIY oil changes I'm using bulk oil and a big graduate to measure and pour in the new oil. I'm very careful with putting the spec'd amount in, and i check it immediately thereafter (even without running the engine, filling the oil filter), it tends to display a little low on the dipstick.

    I ignore it, just check it a day or two later, after a little driving. Then it tends to be about 3/16" below the top mark, and so far it stays right there, for the duration of that oil change. That's fine by me.

    I guess what I'm saying: the mechanics could do a good drain, refill with the spec'd amount, and if you immediately check it when they've run it out front, you may stress yourself and them unduly.

    Maybe just check it, but mainly to see that yup there's oil in there, then let it slide a day or two. If you're sure a top up is needed do that yourself. Again, I've found (with 3rd gen) putting in spec'd amount leaves it slightly below the top mark, no big deal. On the other hand, if it seems to be grossly over-filled, then bring that to the dealership's attention.

    Oh, and one trick for checking the oil on the dipstick. Maybe it's been rectified in 4th gen, but 3rd gen the dispstick was a bear to read. Removing the dipstick it tended to draw a lot of oil up the tube, and immediate reinsert of the dipstick and pull out to read, you had oil smears all up and down, almost impossible to discern the true level. Workaround, if needed:

    Withdraw the dipstick and wipe it. Wait five minutes (say check tire pressures), reinsert and withdraw the dipstick. It'll be much clearer, no smears.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  10. MTN

    MTN Member

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    Oil deal: PSA: $25 rebate on Pennzoil 0w16 motor oil | PriusChat

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    Let them do the 5k and 10k services until 25k. At 30k you'll do your first DIY oil change and cabin filter, most likely. I wouldn't touch the ATF and don't plan to. I also DIY anything and everything possible. Not quite overly obsessive, though, but I have changed manual trans fluid multiple times in previous cars, mainly due to excessive reading on forums and not to solve any "issue". Cars would have lasted just as long if I hadn't done that, I'm sure (345k on factory clutch on my car, similar on my mother's car that I maintained).
    I've gotten over the over-maintaining of vehicles. Its a good feeling.
     
  11. Dennis G Waller

    Dennis G Waller New Member

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    Mendel: Does the 2020 Prius Prime (plug-in) have a transaxle?: I thought only the electric traction motor provided power to the front wheels.
    Dennis Waller
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Most definitively. It's different transaxle than 3rd gen, has 2 side-by-side gear arrays (vs one in the older gen's). As usual, there are two motor/generators within the transaxle. As far as I know, the 4th gen Prius and Prius Prime transaxles are the same, or at least very close:

     
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