Prius Prime oil change frequency?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by scm2000, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    In your case, you still have fewer cold starts than with a non plug-in Prius. But not drastically fewer, like some people who average only one or two cold starts per week. What would be your impromptu estimate of cold starts per year?

    For simplicity's sake, I am making the same assumption that most manufacturers make when prescribing X months or X miles: That the "cold" cold starts in winter roughly balance out the "warm" cold starts in summer, plus a margin of safety.

    Admittedly, counting cold starts is a crude and imprecise rule of thumb, but I think it is more accurate and sensible than just counting months for plug-in hybrids which can have tremendously different duty cycles within the same time period.
     
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  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Right now with the Covid-19 situation, I have no daily commute. But in the past, I did one cold start a day during warmer months when I drove mostly on EV but the engine aways came on after I depleted EV range on my way home from work. During colder months, the engine was forced to come on both ways due to the inability of the heat pump to generate heat or use of the defroster. I would say on the average 5 months of warm and 7 months of cold, and 5 days/week x 52weeks plus 1 cold start on weekend x 52 weeks. That makes 362 cold starts/yr compared to your 600 cold starts/yr, making it possible to stretch the oil change interval to ~16kmiles or every 19monts.

    But lately, I have been doing most of my drives EV mixed with HV intentionally to make the EV range longer. This makes the cold start number very close to regular hybrid. Thus I will stick with the Toyota recommended 10K or 1-year interval for my oil change.
     
    #62 Salamander_King, Jun 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  3. JoePriusPrime

    JoePriusPrime Member

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    Hi All,
    I agree with Salamander that we should stick with Toyota recommended 10k or 1 year because when it's time to sell, having a consistent maintenance Carfax record will only help your resell value. Now we can argue for days about at what mileage does the oil break down.

    Motor oil does not actually break down, its main function is to pick up dirty particles and carries it to the oil filter where it becomes trapped. Once the oil filter is full of particles, the oil looses its ability to clean the engine. You splurge for that full synthetic Mobil 1 Annual Protection 0w20 guaranteed up to 20k miles but dealer probably put the cheapest oil filter along with it.

    What I want to know is how dirty the oil filter is at 20k miles. A really good resource is a youtube channel called "project farm" this guy did independent analysis and held an oil championship on 16 different types of full synthetic motor oil. Fun video to watch and Mobile 1 was not the winner, not even close.
     
    #63 JoePriusPrime, Jun 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  4. JoePriusPrime

    JoePriusPrime Member

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  5. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    For many people, that's a perfectly good reason to to follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. For a few people like me, who keep their cars much longer, it doesn't make much difference.

    Yes, a good base oil itself hardly breaks down, but the vital anti-wear and anti-corrosion additives become depleted as a direct result of how they function. Generally, the anti-corrosion additives tend to be used up more as a result of cold starts, and the anti-wear additives tend to be used up more from running under load.
     
  6. yoyoman

    yoyoman Active Member

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    Quick update.

    I finally decided to replace my 2017prime oil yesterday at 30k myself. My last oil change was done by dealer at~20k. My commute is about 12 miles each way so my prime runs >90% in electric. Also I purposely run the gas tank to empty in summer with AC on 100% before putting a fresh tank. Total 2 full tanks were used.

    Before replacing my oil, I have checked my oil level and oil color on my dip stick. It is like new. However, after I drained my old oil, it looks very dark like after 10k miles. See photo.

    My take is Dip stick only showing the oil level and don’t use it to judge oil life. My oil already showing some wear and I’m glad I replaced it. Just one less thing to think about. :)


    IMG_8215.jpg


    iPhone ?
     
  7. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I'm confused - did you have the oil tested to show it was showing "wear"?
     
  8. Red Ruby

    Red Ruby Junior Member

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    I just went to my 12 month maintenance, and the dealer told me "we didn't change your oil because it's fully synthetic and needs to be changed only every 10k miles". So all they did was topping fluids and rotating tires.

    I'm feeling that they were just being lazy? Anyone else ever run into something like this? It doesn't really bother me, for all the reasons discussed in this thread and since I'll wave their paperwork at them if there's ever a warranty issue ... but still ...
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Toyota USA says 10K miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Seems your dealership "knows better"?

    FWIW, Toyota Canada, with our 3rd gen, says change the oil every 6 months or 8K kms (roughly 5K miles), again: whichever comes first. We're only putting on 4~5K kms yearly, and I'm still adhering to that.
     
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  10. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Does anyone else think the dealers are unhappy about having to do the 2 years free?

    I mean how much was a 2012 Prius 4 and what did it's service schedule look like cost wise over a year on average.

    But wait, I see that a new study is saying the hybrids are doing more damage to the environment than regular gassers. SUV's and Trucks !
    Gotta wonder how much they charged for that study.
     
  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    The "new study" is only talking about Plug-In Hybrids - which aren't ever plugged in, but bought for the "perks" only.
     
  12. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I met one of those at a chargepoint. Couldn't care less about the pack since it was gonna get traded in after 2 years. Sad. Is it the same down your ways? throw away society.
     
  13. Hicksite

    Hicksite Junior Member

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    I’m guessing Toyota reimburses the dealer for the free maintenance.
     
  14. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    It's still a used PHEV on the market in two years that wouldn't otherwise be available. They probably can't do much damage in two years.
     
  15. Red Ruby

    Red Ruby Junior Member

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    Thanks. Can't argue with anything you wrote! They texted me to ask if I was satisfied with service, and I wrote back asking about this. Silence ...
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Those emails/texts maybe are automated, virtually bot driven?

    Maybe nothing nefarious, just too hard for them to track miles AND months? The car's maintenance reminder is a dumb counter too, doesn't help.
     
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