Prius n00b here - ready to absorb info =)

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by amarine1, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. amarine1

    amarine1 New Member

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    I just bought a 2004 Prius (Package 9) with 195,000 (after selling my previous 1998 Chrysler Sebring Convertible).... because I needed to reduce our family's fuel bill (my going back and forth to the VA hospital in North Chicago, IL. and my wife's going back and forth from the Cancer Treatment Center in Zion, IL.

    I joined this forum so I could learn about what is needed regarding maintenance (as I want to try to own this Prius for at least 10 years). The previous 2 owners kept the maintenance up (and I have a list of work done that I will post later).

    My major concerns are the battery, the HID's, adding a backup camera, and its ability to drive in snow.
     
  2. amarine1

    amarine1 New Member

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  3. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Welcome! Congrats on the prius! If I were you, I'd buy a hybrid battery grid charger to get better performance and longer life out of your battery. HID- thankfully you have the more reliable HID (2004-2005) vs the 2006-, hopefully you won't have any issues. Tires- the prius is very capable in snow if fitted with proper snow tires. The overly sensitive traction control doesn't like crappy tires in ice and snow :) hope this helped!
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome, all the best!(y)
     
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  5. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Congrats on your purchase. And Welcome To Prius Chat. Wealth of information here can be found by doing a Google Search. Search engine here on the forum does not work very well.

    All of your questions should be already answered when doing the Google Search. If you still need help, post again. Someone here will help you personally.

    All are welcome here and tons of info related to the Prius can be found by simply doing the google search.

    FWIW, you may or may not have trouble with the big battery. Age and miles do come into play on this factor. But is nothing to worry about. Conventional cars have expensive parts too. Prius is no different. Just serviced differently at times. But nothing to worry about... Enjoy the vehicle and keep her maintained. When you do that, you will get the best you can from it.

    Peace,
    Ron (dorunron)
     
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  6. FazilHussein

    FazilHussein Junior Member

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  7. FazilHussein

    FazilHussein Junior Member

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    Congrats! Looks clean!

    The most immediate things you should do:

    1) Buy a Mini-VCI and get an old laptop running XP; when the car breaks, you'll need it..best $30 you'll spend.
    2) Check your 12V battery; lots of posts on how to verify operating range. Worst case, spend the $200 for peace of mind.
    3) Check for turbulence in inverter coolant bottle.

    The rest you can do as money comes available:

    1) Routine maintenance -> Oil/filter change, cabin filter, air filter
    2) Transaxle fluid
    3) Coolant (inverter and ICE)
    4) Serpentine belt
    5) Check ICE water pump for play; replace at same time if necessary
    6) Fix cracks in roof channels
    7) Repair headlight lever sensor
    8) PCV
    9) Throttle body cleaning
    10) Clean traction battery fan

    FH
     
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  8. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    +1 on transaxle fluid change. Now is probably not too soon. At least have a sample of the ATF analyzed.
     
  9. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Definitely agree on the transaxle service. simple drain and refill with Toyota WS Fluid. NO flush is necessary or needed. Simple drain and refill. Change crush washers when doing this job. Toyota can do it for you, or you can DIY. Inexpensive proactive maintenance which is NOT in the manual but recommended by most seasoned Prius owners.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    10 years? how many miles a year do you average?
     
  11. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    +1

    Good question/point. Not many keeping Prius ten years after this date for 2004 model... Maybe for later model, but ten years will be stretching it far unless miles per year is very low...

    Ron
     
  12. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    To the OP.

    Just looked at the pics of your Prius. Nice looking car. Reminded me of our older Gen II model.

    You will benefit from using a product called PlastX on the headlight covers. You can find it with the wax/cleaners at your local auto parts house. Follow directions on the container. I use the PlastX on our headlights. Keep them crystal clear and helps to remove/hide scratches. It will take some elbow grease to clean yours up and make them look like new again, but it CAN be done. Don't use those kits to clean the headlights UNLESS you reapply the clear coat afterwards. The lenses are sealed with clear coat. Sanding them removes that coating. All those kits have abrasives in there to clean and polish the plastic lens. Problem is those kits also remove the factory coatings and the dull over real quick after cleaning them up. Now if one was use the kits and then apply the clear coat, they will NOT haze over quickly.

    Just wanted to share this with you. I don't work for Megiures, but I have used their products and do swear by them.

    Ron


    Meguiar's : Home
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it can be done, i wish i had the fortitude to diy a car from it's 10th to 20th year, the taxi's seem to manage it. you just have to be prepared of anything and everything.:)
     
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  14. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Agreed, I remember when I was younger I would make a car last 15 or 20 years. Of course I had to lot of different things to fix and replace a lot of stuff to keep it going. The only thing that might stop one from keeping any car going is the availability of the parts or the inability to do the needed work...
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    true, and it is tougher with a hybrid. when i was a teenager (1970) cars were a lot simpler, no computers yet.:cool:
     
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  16. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Exactly. I remember the old days. All you needed was a set of points, a condenser and occasionally spark plugs and wires. Used a timing light and a dwell meter to set everything. Those days are long gone... Today - have to have a computer to talk to a computer... Totally different game plan.
     
  17. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Hey, someone else from the Chicagoland area! I'm assuming you go to that Capt. James T Lovell VA center? One of the car clubs I'm in participates in a show there every year.

    Regarding your concerns:

    Snow: They plow pretty good around here, so getting around shouldn't be an issue at all. I put snow tires on (Nokian Hakkapeliitta R) my car and it's basically unstoppable in the snow.

    Battery: Don't have any input on the battery - ours is original at 185k and still OK. Junkyard pulls are only like $500.

    HIDs: no big deal at all. You can pull the headlights out with a 10mm socket (if you're going to refurbish your headlights, you might as well take them out and not be standing in a cold garage) and 20-30 minutes of your time. It's like 8 bolts total.I had one burn out recently and just bought an authentic Sylvania one off Amazon (sold by amazon) for $45 - a big discount from the $115 Toyota charges.

    Backup camera: no idea on this one.
     
    #17 a_gray_prius, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  18. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    The transaxle is unlike anything in a normal car, but mechanically simple. Use Toyota's ATF-WS about every 60,000 miles (there is no official recommendation, so you will hear anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000. The first change is the most important, so I did 30,000, 90,000 and then every 90,000.


    is the theory and then

    is the nitty gritty.

    Back to theory, here is a nomograph for a Gen 1, Gen 2 is similar but the Engine redlines at 5000 RPM.
    Toyota Prius - Power Split Device

    As you play with this you will understand why the engine is always on over 42 MPH. (varies slightly in gen 3, v, and c. For the PHV, it is 62 MPH)
     
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  19. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    Yes some repairs for keeping old cars running for 20 years are harder or require knowledge more and other areas than it used to be but you do need to do fewer repairs than before.

    Here on average cars are now used for more than 20 years. And cars are inspected every year so many car have had more than they original price spend on repairs. Toyotas are normally used longer than average cars and Prius seems to be reliable car (and its fuel efficient) so it’s probably going to be used for even longer. So I see no problem of driving even with 25 year old Prius.
     
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  20. amarine1

    amarine1 New Member

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    Everyone, thanks for the warm welcome. I am a member of a Sebring Convertible club (which has been very helpful to maintain my older Chrysler Sebrings (I just sold a 1998 and still have a 2004 that is our backup vehicle). Going from 10 to 20 years don't scare me when I have complete maintenance info on said cars (and I do for the Prius also). I am a HUGE fan of car forums as it not only helps for getting the straight scoop re: what one can do regarding repair, but one gets to meet great people in the process (I went to the Chrysler Nationals with my son this past summer and enjoyed a great time with over 30 members of sebringclub <dot> net). :)

    Yes, I do go to Lovell in North Chicago. Fazil (and others) who have provided helpful information.... thanks so much. As soon as a get a chance, I'll be posting what maintenance has been done (and will get everyone's opinion of what to tackle over the next 3 months.

    And yes, it is a VERY clean car. I am still pinching myself regarding how lucky I am (God was watching me over this transaction - that's for sure). :)
     
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