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roadtrip: Driving Cross Country.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by H.S., Jun 5, 2020.

  1. H.S.

    H.S. Junior Member

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    Hello fellow prius enthusiasts,

    I wante dto pick the brain of some folks who drove in a prius cross country -

    I am thinking of driving to a number of states in july - cross country going up the Pacific coast - cutting to montana - hitting the south - then back west. The trip rounds out being 8000 miles or so. Will I be fine if I take the car in for maintenance before? Will it be ok to drive that many miles without maintenance of the car? or should I go with a rental? I know maintenance usually is every 5k miles or so, currently I am at 79k miles on my odometer.

    thank you, looking forward to your responses
     
  2. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Your Prius will be totally fine! Just make sure to get all you maintenance needs done before the trip, and while on the trip monitor the oil level in the morning before you start your car. Prii are known to burn oil, especially loaded down, driving at higher speeds, even if they don’t normally burn oil, a high speed road trip can do it.

    these cars are great road trip cars, and very robust! I wouldn’t hesitate
     
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  3. Austin Longenecker

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    Definitely take it in for maintenance as a precaution. I would do that no matter what vehicle I drove. Its just not work the risk IF something goes wrong that could have been caught. And as stated above, always monitor the oil level. I made a 1.3K mile journey in two days this week, loaded down with everything I own that could possibly Tetris into my car with no problems. You've got one of the best vehicles available for a trip like that.
     
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  4. H.S.

    H.S. Junior Member

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    that is really reassuring! I will take it in for maintenance before my scheduled appointment which is 2K away. I am just concerned if i drive over 8K miles will I have to do maintenance half way or 3/4 way or will I be fun up to 8 or 9K on the trip you know?
     
  5. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    You will be fine...owners manual says oil changes are at 10k intervals with normal conditions anyway....the light comes on at 5k to remind you to rotate tires.
     
  6. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    As long as you’re running synthetic oil, and the level is good, you’re totally good doing 9k.
     
  7. Austin Longenecker

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    I personally would do at least an oil change halfway. I change my oil every 5K. Even if you change oil every 10K, due to the constant stress put on the engine for 8 or 9k miles, it will be worth sacrificing half an hour or so to change the oil at 5K into the trip. You SHOULD be good driving 9K if you don't burn any oil, but I myself would change it half way as another precaution. It's a cheap and quick way to guarentee a healthy engine.
     
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  8. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    If you are running synthetic, then 10,000 miles is fine, esp. if it is highway mile. We did our 13,500 mile road trip to/from Alaska two years ago. No oil change in between. Car still doesn't use hardly any oil (I fill to mid-point on dipstick when changing and usually doesn't need any added between annual changes. Btw, Prius makes a great RV. My wife and I slept in the back numerous times on our trip.
     
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  9. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Now would be a good time to review your owners manual.
    The 5K maintenance interval likely applies ONLY to tire rotation and the oil interval is somewhere between 7K and 10K.
    So you should be fine.
    If it will make you feel any better, have full synthetic put in at your pre-trip oil change.
    AND......get in the habit of checking the oil EVERY morning.
    High sustained highway speeds might tend to use a bit more oil. Might.
     
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  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Maybe not.
    You will be out of town at a shop that you are not familiar with.
    And you will be "hitting the road" immediately after.
    IF.....they make a mistake, it might not result in a good experience.
    I vote for NOT messing with it unless you really NEED to.
     
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  11. Austin Longenecker

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    You have a good point. It is pretty hard to mess up an oil change though. Not that it hasn't happened before. Obviously we wouldn't want anyone taking it to a hole-in-the-wall shop, but if a mechanic can be found from a chain that is trusted by the owner of the vehicle, there *shouldn't* be any issues. Preferably one of the drive in oil change places like Valvoline Instant Oil Change where you see everything being done.
     
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  12. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Senior Member

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    I believe that 8k miles of highway at the speed limit is the easiest type of driving for the engine. Even when the speed limit is 80 mph, you can drive 75 mph to put less stress on the car. Just make sure the tires are in very good shape and the fluids are at the proper level and changed within the manual's specs. And check the fluids every morning before heading out.
     
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  13. H.S.

    H.S. Junior Member

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    thank you all for the great responses

    if I take it to a valvoline will they make sure all my fluids are good or just oil? since ill be on the road should I take it to a toyota maintenance instead?
     
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  14. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Leave a bit earlier. Drive a bit longer. Your engine and mpg will thank you. Our family did a 7500 mile x-country trip in our '04 Prius back in '07. Two adults, two teens and all the camping gear, some on the roof rack. We averaged 50 mpg, but stuck to 60 mph. Your preference may vary. :)
     
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  15. Austin Longenecker

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    To my understanding, they do all fluids except transmission fluid. They can check all fluids to see if they're good, they are not equipped to change the prius transmission fluid, I do not think there are any other fluids they won't change. But again, they can check all. I personally only go to the dealer for hybrid/prius specific maintenance due to the ridiculous upcharge. Unless you plan to drive to the Moon, Valvoline is where I go for basic maintenance around here.

    Also, consider running a tank or two of top tier Premium fuel. I don't know what that runs for in your neck of the woods but its dirt cheap here at the moment. Or at least a fuel system cleaner. I like to run a tank of Premium to help remove any buildup before road trips. This last week I noticed an MPG improvement and a smoother engine after some premium. Probably needed the fuel injectors to be cleaned. Worst case scenario, you didn't need Premium and spent an extra $2 or $3 on fuel. Best case scenario your engine runs just a little better. This isn't necessary, it's just something I like to do on road trips. (This topic is argued a lot about whether or not it does anything beneficial and I have no intention to change the topic of this thread. It's just an option I myself do on road trips.)
     
    #15 Austin Longenecker, Jun 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  16. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I think the vast majority of the responses said:
    It does NOT need an oil change in the middle of your trip......anywhere, by anybody.

    If you are going to ignore the responses you get, why bother to ask in the first place ??
     
  17. Austin Longenecker

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    From how I see it, the question being asked is for before the trip, not during or half way. The advise is not being ignored. It was advised that OP check the fluids, so OP is asking if Valvoline will check all fluids before the trip. If the question is referring to during the trip, I did say I myself would change oil at 5K, so OP would have still not been ignoring anything.

    That being said, regularly check your oil level during the trip, not just before, whether or not you've experienced any oil consumption.
     
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  18. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Senior Member

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    I'm not trying to change the focus of this thread but I wanted to ask: I always thought that premium gas came with higher octane but the same amount of detergent?
     
  19. Austin Longenecker

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    I think that depends on where you buy it. I buy it from Shell, Shell puts more detergent and additives in their premium fuel.
     
  20. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    How much more parts per million detergent does Shell have over the other top tiers?
     
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