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Regular & Less Frequent Self-Maintenance List?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Nowihaveaprius, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Nowihaveaprius

    Nowihaveaprius Junior Member

    Mar 18, 2019
    2011 Prius
    Hey everyone. I bought my 2011 Prius (4 Cyl, 2WD, CVT) in January with ~142,000 miles on it and recently passed 150,000mi. This is my first car so I don't know a ton about maintenance. I'm looking for any suggestions for regular (~every 1-2 months) & less frequent self-maintenance and inspections (& also less common shop maintenance) I can do to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. Here's what I've gleaned from this site and the owner's manual so far:

    (I've bolded and colored red any questions I have about info in the list)

    Regular (~every 1-2 months):
    • Check tire pressure
    • Check fluids (every 5000 miles?)
      • Are any of these duplicates/the same?
      • Oil & Oil Filter (pg438-439)
      • Engine/power control unit coolant (pg442)
      • Radiator & condenser (pg444)
      • Brake fluid (pg444-445)
      • Washer fluid (pg446)
    • Check tire tread wear (pg 453 & 457-458)
    • Check wipers
    • Check/clean filters
      • (Which ones? Engine air & cabin pollen?)
    • Wash exterior
    • Clean interior
    • “Vehicle Maintenance and Care” section (pg416) of the Owner’s Manual
      • General maintenance/inspection (pg424-426)
      • Engine compartment image w/ parts labeled (pg437)
      • Checking and replacing fuses (pg471-480)
    Less frequent:
    • Wax exterior (~2-3 times a year?)
    • Rotate tires (after how many miles?)
    • Change spark plugs (every 120,000 miles)
    • Replace PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve at regular intervals (what are the intervals?)
    • Fluids
      • Oil & Oil Filter
        • Change every 10,000 miles or 12 months (is this correct for the filter, too?)
      • Inverter coolant
        • (Correct?) Drain & refill at 100,000mi, then every 50,000mi
      • Automatic transmission/transaxle fluid (ATF)
        • Drain and refill at 30,000mi, then every 60,000mi interval (30/90/150/210 etc.)
    • -Engine air filter & cabin pollen filter
      • (Correct?) Change myself every 12 months

    #1 Nowihaveaprius, Sep 19, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  2. Siward

    Siward Active Member

    Aug 7, 2014
    2012 Prius
    I am lazy, so I strive for minimal maintenance.

    I check all fluids every time I pop the hood which is about twice a year. This happens once in the fall before winter and once in the spring after winter.
    - Some Priuses burn engine oil, in which case you need to guess when it will drop low and check/top up accordingly. My 2012 Prius doesn't burn oil so I don't really bother checking.
    - Coolant level usually drops about 2-3 cm during winter so I keep it topped up at the "F" in the fall and spring.
    - You should never have to top up brake fluid as long as you maintain or replace your brakes on schedule. The brake fluid will drop a little as your pads wear. You only have to worry if your brake fluid drops significantly. The brake fluid is usually topped up after brakes are replaced or bleed.
    - Top up washer fluid before/during winter depending on usage. You really need the fluid during the snowy months.

    I replace my cabin filter once a year. Although you can save money by simply taking it out and vacuuming it. There are usually some leaves on top after fall. The dealer recommends replacing it once every second oil change, but I think is unnecessary. You can decide for yourself as it filters the air for your air conditioner/heater.

    I replace the engine air filter once every two years. The thing doesn't get very dirty. I vacuum it once a year. You can decide to replace or vacuum based on how dirty it looks. The computer will adjust accordingly to the air/fuel mixture as long as it is not clogged. Of course, you will get better mileage with more air. The dealer recommends replacing this every year.

    I simply wash my car with soap that has wax in it. You only wax to protect your paint and for appearance. Wax is not absolutely required. How often you wash is up to you. The more washes the better. I only wash my car twice a year.

    I drive with a set of all season and winter tires. I only rotate my tires once they get swapped. It really depends how much you drive.

    I follow the owner's manual for the rest.
    Pseudonymm likes this.
  3. Pseudonymm

    Pseudonymm New Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    The great northeast
    2010 Prius
    Change oil filter at every oil change. Knowedgeable sounding owners are recommending a 5k mile / 1 yr interval for the oil.

    Every 5k or 10k miles check that your brakes aren't dragging (particularly the rear ones) by lifting the car and spinning the wheels.

    I recommend screening off the engine air intake (square opening by ww fluid funnel) with metal mesh that won't impede flow, and also and the intake to the glove box (under the big metal tray that holds the ww motor) to keep rodents out.
    #3 Pseudonymm, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    May 11, 2005
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Plug-in Base
    follow the maintenance schedule that came with your car. if you didn't get one, log in to the toyota owners website and get one there.

    correct on the engine air filter and cabin filters. i just check them, tap them out and replace as needed.

    also the battery cooling fan and intake grille/filter.

    correct on the tranny fluid, and consider cleaning the egr circuit and adding an oil catch can.

    keep an eye on your 12v

    all the best! (y)
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

    Oct 17, 2010
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    2010 Prius
    US Maintenance Schedule says 100K miles or 10 years for the engine coolant, 150K miles or 15 years for the inverter coolant, and 50K miles or 5 years for both. The instruction in the book is tricky, to put it mildly: it's says to change both at 100K, and then adds a footnote, which basically contradicts, says to leave the first inverter coolant change till 150K.

    FWIW Toyota Canada says to change both at (roughly) 100K miles or 10 years. So maybe your call?

    This is covered, albeit in cumbersome event-by-event format, in the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet. If you're missing it, you can download pdf format, from Toyota Tech Info for one.

    I do a couple of times a year, spring and fall. I think about once yearly, but guess I'm kinda hooked.

    See the aforementioned booklet, but basically it's every 5K miles or 6 months.

    There is no published interval. Maybe every 100K miles??

    Yes, and for filter too. Toyota Canada tells me every 8K kms or 6 months, fwiw. And with fourth gen they sync with Toyota US

    I'd do a first drain at 12 months or 10K miles, then every 60K.

    I would inspect every 12 months, replace only as warranted. FWIW, I'm at 84K kms, car 10 years past it's build date, on the road for about 9 years, and still have both original filter in the car.

    The attached spreadsheet translates the event-by-event format (from the US Warranty and Maintenance Booklet) into graph format, and extrapolates to 240K miles.

    Attached Files:

    RMB likes this.
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

    Oct 17, 2010
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    2010 Prius
    Some extras, none of which are in the schedule, and all kinda overdue:

    1. A complete clean out of the intake manifold, intake ports.

    2. A complete clean out Exhaust Gas Recirculation circuit.

    3. Install Oil Catch Can. (There's pros-and-cons, I would.)

    4. Do a brake fluid replacement. (FWIW, Toyota Canada recommends this tri-yearly or 48K kms (30K miles), whichever comes first.)

    Go through @NutzAboutBolts videos, pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum, just to get a feel for what's involved.
    TacoPrius, RMB and frodoz737 like this.