New owner of a 2013 Prius 2

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by onlyturbo, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. onlyturbo

    onlyturbo New Member

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    So I just bought our first hybrid car. I like performance cars, always did since I was a kid, but I also like gadgets as I am an engineer. We are not new to green energy, as we have a 10kw solar PV (39 panels), had it for over six years now (all paid off now), and solar hot water since 2006.

    The car is a 2013 Prius 2, with 119k miles. The car was a one owner female, and had no kids. Never been in any accidents, and as far as I was told never had any issue except for standard maintenance by a Toyota dealer.

    Anything I should be checking/looking for, or any advice for a Prius newbie would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
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  2. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Active Member

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    Try and find your Service and Maintenance booklet. If you can't, create an account on the Toyota Owner website with your VIN and download the PDF. Prior to 120K miles, suggested service interval is 5K miles. You will get a reminder in the dash every 5K miles. Recommended to rotate tires and check fluids. Oil change interval is 10K miles using 0W-20. 120K miles is the point you need to be thinking about "major" maintenance service: spark plugs, engine and inverter coolant, brake fluid, "transmission" fluid are a few. Pay attention to the 12v battery. Degraded 12v battery can induce several faults. Pay attention to the traction battery while driving. Look for rapid swings from full to empty and vice versa. The computer attempts to keep the battery level in the middle to top half of the range. You don't want the battery reaching the extremes, either full or empty, during routine driving. This can signal a degraded traction battery that is incapable of holding a normal charge.
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Check the integrity of the plastic underpanels, particularly behind front bumper and under engine bay.

    Change transaxle fluid asap, on assumption it's never been done. Toyota doesn't spec an interval, but it's an easy job. Stick with Toyota ATF WS fluid, and don't let dealership tell you it's a terrifically complex job: it's a simple drain and fill. You fill with the car level, and when it starts coming out you've got the level right. I can post repair manual info in a bit.

    Brake fluid I'd recommend to change. Again, fairly straightforward, Toyo USA says nothing, Toyo CDN says triyearly or 48K kms.

    Last but unfortunately not least: EGR circuit cleaning, and intake manifold cleaning. Also, consider an oil catch can. There are increasing cases of head gasket failures, coking up piston oil rings, and runaway oil consumption, and the aforementioned services might help you dodge these problems.

    @NutzAboutBolts has videos on all of the above, pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum.

    A few links:

    Intake manifold cleaning | PriusChat

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat
     
    #3 Mendel Leisk, Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome, all the best!(y)
     
  5. onlyturbo

    onlyturbo New Member

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    Thank you everyone, I will follow up with everything you recommend!
     
  6. onlyturbo

    onlyturbo New Member

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    Have been driving the car for two days now, put around 70 miles so far, mostly local. Avarging around 48+49 mpg. Driving in ECO mode, easy on the throttle. We have some small hills around here, nothing too long. The battery has been cycling I noticed between one bar below full, to one bar above half. Is this a good healthy sign?

    The brakes are almost knew from what I can see, tires are 20% worn, not bad. Under body panels are all intact and in good shape.

    Interesting driving experience so far, very different from anything else I have driven. Car has power when you need to, but trying to baby the throttle for decent milage. Car has a little bit too much lean on turns, I wish this could be corrected. I inflated all tires to 40 psi

    I read somewhere that atcheiving 60mpg is an easy thing to do, so far I don't see how...
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    normal. learn the pulse and glide technique (you tube) you can get a stiffener for underneath, see the mod threads.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Switch ECO mode off (just leave it in default, not PWR), and you might find pedal response more "linear", and likely see no change to mpg. If anything, I find it harder to modulate gas pedal travel in ECO, the pedal travel is too great to modulate easily.

    Achieving an overall mpg of 60 (not just short trips, tank after tank, year round), is definitely not easy. Take a look at what people are getting at Fuelly.

    Our current lifetime 4.9 liters/100km equates to 48 mpg. That's with 17" tires (which impose some penalty) for the majority of the year, snow tires the rest.

    We're not rabid hypermilers, just try. Our very best tank was a 4.2 liters/100km, which equates to around 56 mpg. This is calculated, the dash tends to exaggerate, anywhere between 5 and 10 percent.
     
    #8 Mendel Leisk, Mar 21, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  9. bettergolf

    bettergolf New Member

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    I see you're in Long Island.
    When the temps come up you'll get better mileage. I'm in NC and through the winter ave around 48-49 locally and a little less on highway trips.
    In 60+ temps I ave 52 mpg overall, some slower trips I can see 57-60...the battery just works better in warm temps.
    Tire pressure at 40 front/38 rear.
    2015 prius 2, 44k miles.
     
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  10. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Active Member

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    This is what I was saying above, "The computer attempts to keep the battery level in the middle to top half of the range. You don't want the battery reaching the extremes, either full or empty, during routine driving." Sounds like you've got a healthy traction battery...
     
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  11. onlyturbo

    onlyturbo New Member

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    Great information, thank you everyone!

    So I called the dealer where the car was serviced at since 2017. According to the service advisor the car well maintained. Only thing needed is the following,
    Inverter coolant replacement$189
    Cabin and engine air filters $119
    Break fluid flash $189
    Throttle body clean $189

    Now this to me looks like a LOT of $, are this typical charges? I will do the filters myself, but do not feel like doing the rest unless supper easy.
    I asked about the EGR, and they said it is fine....will definitely look into it.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    It can be hard to avoid extremes though, and I wouldn't sweat it too much. If you've got route choices, and one's less hilly, go for that. but some situations are unavoidable. As an example, if our destination is in a parking lot or garage, I find the charge will invariably run right down. Slow speeds, tooling around a parking lot, it's gonna go to electric-only, you can't avoid it. And two~three minutes thus, the charge meter will get down to two bars. And then the engine kicks in, no big deal. For all such scenarios, you have to trust that the car's software is taking care of things.
     
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  13. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Active Member

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    Yes...
    You can get these at Amazon for maybe $35 for both and do them yourself...
    Yes...
    No...they'll just add a can of gas treatment to your tank!
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    I would suggest to just check the condition of both filters first; no point in replacing filters still serviceable.

    I doubt that; don't think they'd be that ballsy. That would do absolutely nothing to the throttle body. They will likely remove the air filter housing, and clean the throttle body throat in-place. Taking off it's bolts/nuts, lifting it off the intake manifold (leaving coolant hoses connected) would afford a better cleaning, and they might do that. Torque value for those bolts/nuts is 7 foot/pounds.

    Watch @NutzAboutBolts video, pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum, for in-place throttle body cleaning.
     
    #14 Mendel Leisk, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  15. MikeNinMass

    MikeNinMass Junior Member

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    Hmm... need new filters - indicating the 120k service wasn't done -, but not spark plugs, which is part of the 120k service? Are you sure?

    Spark plugs in this generation are a PITA. You have to remove the windshield wiper cowl, which means you also need to remove wipers. I just paid for a 2012 (pick it up Monday) from a reputable Toyota dealer's "used car annex" (down the road) with 119+k and they wouldn't do the plugs. The dealer service dept said a plug change would be $200. I got the used car salesperson to throw in a set of plugs ($18 each from the dealer parts dept). I'll need to remove the wipers, etc. to get to the EGR cooler anyway, so I figured no big deal. Plus I'm going to get a loaner boroscope from Autozone (no charge, just a deposit which you get back if you return it in 90 days) to look at the cylinders through the plug holes anyway. And I'll probably do a compression test and possibly a pressure test, so I'll be all over the plugs anyway.

    Do the coolant change right away. There's speculation that old coolant becomes acidic and weakens the already endangered head gaskets. At least you have the newer gasket, which is hopefully more durable.

    By the way, how do they know the EGR system is okay? I really doubt they took it apart. Maybe the EGR valve itself isn't broken, but it's not trivial to check the whole system down to the internals of the cooler.
     
  16. onlyturbo

    onlyturbo New Member

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    Thank you everyone again, great information!

    I changed the cabin air filter yesterday, it was pretty filthy, and had few tears... I ordered an OEM engine air filter on Amzn for $18, dealer wanted $25, saved few bucks, why not...

    Yes, I viewed the spark plugs changing procedure, what a pain in the.....Definitely doable, just very time consuming. I need to call Toyota again to verify they did change the spark plugs before I tackle this.

    When I get the new air filter, I will clean the EGR pipe at the same time, does not look that bad of a job, only requires the removal of the air filter box to get access to the pipe.

    I need to find a good local mechanic to replace all the fluids mentioned above. I could most likely do everything, but do not I have the time for this right now. And it sounds as a pretty urgent thing to do.

    Yesterday I got 67+ mpg on a local 17 mile trip (avaraged 30-35mph), I can't believe it, VERY impressive. Used the pulse and glide method in regular driving mode as mentioned above by Mendel Leisk (thank you). I noticed this time the battery went all the way down to two bars at one point, I guess I was using EV mode for a very long time. On way back I took the parkway the second half of the trip, drove ~60 to 65 mph, and got 56 mpg. Supper impressive I have to say!
     
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  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Active Member

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    Doing the spark plugs is really easy. It is NOT that hard to remove the wiper assembly, and it doesn't take long.
    I watched the video that NutzAboutBolts made on the wiper assembly. Took me about 10 minutes.
    Even doing the EGR is pretty easy. Lot's of things to do, but just go slow and be careful.
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    It's a frustrating lot of bs though. Used to be step one of removing the spark plugs was...: removing the spark plugs.
     
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