Toyota Care Plus, my thoughts.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by tempehuck, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. tempehuck

    tempehuck New Member

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    My car had 24000 miles on it when I bought it. I brought it in to Toyota for the 30,000 mile service the other day and that was going to cost $229 since it is a synthetic oil car. They said I could buy a pre-paid extension for two more years and including the 35k, 40k, and 45k checkups as well for $299. So I went for it--for an extra $70 I got a total of 4 services instead of just the one I came in for. Like you, I'd rather let Toyota do it then try to do all that stuff on the 30k mile checklist myself. Plus then it goes onto the Carmax records in case I ever want to sell.
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The US 30,000 mile service has about a kajilion "inspections" (that likely won't be done, for the most part are not needed, and actually impossible to do properly), but really: it's tire rotation, an oil change, and a filter replacement or two, depending on your model.

    The latter are easy DIY, and possibly not needed. But the dealership will do them in any event. The filters are hopelessly overpriced. It's trivial to access them yourself, use your judgement as to whether or not to replace. Even the Owners Manual suggests to reverse-blow air through them and re-use. I'd be inclined to do that with the cabin filter, less so with the engine filter.

    For me Toyota synthetic oil (in single liter bottles, from the parts department) is $5.65 per, the filter element $8.53, and the drain plug washer $0.98. For an oil change setting the level at the top mark you need 4.2 liters.

    If you strip out the filters, say take that over, and distil the service down to just the oil change and tire rotation, that should be about $100, tops.
     
    #2 Mendel Leisk, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  3. DumbMike

    DumbMike Active Member

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    That was my thinking, too.

    I also understand those who want to do this themselves. That was me back in the day. Now, I'm at a point in my life where I'm just too old (or lazy) to be crawling under a car. I'll still do work on my car, like I'm learning to program a new key for my car and I'm buying a new HU and will install that myself. But that dirty work is left to others.

    Mike
     
  4. Tiger-Heli

    Tiger-Heli Junior Member

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    Maintenance on a Toyota is synthetic oil change every 10K miles, and filters probably every 30K miles. If you don't want to do it yourself, it should be around $50 for an oil change or $150 for the time beyond the initial 2-years free maintenance.

    The plan also covers tire rotation but not balancing or alignment - I get that for around $40 for lifetime balance at NTB and $160 for 5-year alignment and take the car there every 5K miles.

    Most people will say no - shop around and you should be able to fine 8-years, zero-deductible, and 120K miles for under $1000. At that price, you will likely break even IF you always have the dealer work on the car and IF you fix every little thing that breaks. It is mostly piece of mind, but it can make sense - if the A/C Compressor fails, that can be around $1700 and not covered by the powertrain warranty. More importantly, if some minor $300 part fails, you don't have to replace 5 parts that were good before you figure out what the bad part was, you just drop the car off at the dealer and have them call you when it is running right again.
     
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  5. Cactuscoug

    Cactuscoug CactusCoug

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    Five years; 70,000 miles. Oil changes and tires.



    Five years; 70,000 miles. Oil changes, air filters and tires.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Don't waste your time.
     
  7. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Do you think someone who buys a BMW asks, "Am I overpaying for scheduled maintenance?" :)

    When it comes to maintenance agreements:
    -- Do you have the tools, expertise, time and desire to do the recommended scheduled maintenance? If not, then simply find out how much the dealer (or your mechanic) charges and decide if a maintenance agreement is for you. There are places that offer X number of oil/filter changes for Y dollars, usually resulting in you getting 1-2 free. Even if you don't get any free, you protect yourself somewhat from price increases. If it costs $50 today, it might be $55 in 6 months or next year. Of course, if oil stays cheap, the price could go down and you'd lose.
    -- Don't be fooled by salesmen about the cost of scheduled services. They will often quote you an amount based on the average for all the vehicles they sell. Read the manual, or better yet, get the service manager to go over it with you.
    -- Don't be fooled by suggestions. Even if you don't want to do the work yourself, educate yourself on air filters and how long they last in your area. If they suggest changing them, make them show you the dirty one. Problem here is how to know it's yours and not one they keep around for just that purpose? If you don't trust the mechanic, mark your stuff. Some folks complain that their wheels weren't rotated. Seems simple enough to put a mark on the inside of one tire so you know if they were or weren't.
    -- Research prices for parts before you might need them replaced. Not all dealers gouge on prices. Not all dealers recommend changing things that don't need replaced. Some do so based purely on age, etc., so talk it over. Sometimes parts may "look" perfectly fine, yet still need to be replaced, like 6 year old tires.
    -- Don't dismiss the importance of the recommended visual inspections? If you don't trust that they get done, make them show you, don't just take their word for it.

    Unlike maintenance agreements, extended warranties add absolutely no value unless you need them. So, when it comes to extended warranties, it's even simpler:
    -- Can you afford to be one of the small percentage of owners who has a major failure not covered by the standard warranty?
    -- If you're a traveler, can you afford to be stranded and at the mercy of the nearest mechanic vs a qualified Toyota mechanic? The amount of traveling we do and where we do a lot of it (back roads) was a major consideration in our decision to purchase an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty (our first). AAA Plus will tow you X miles, Toyota will tow you to the nearest Toyota service center.
    -- Most folks will advise against them, but they aren't you, they don't know you and they aren't going to pay the bills, etc. The key point is to do what makes you feel comfortable. I've paid AAA for over 40 years and only used road service twice, both for dead batteries not too far from home. Still, I feel it's worth it for the peace of mind and even though I have the warranty now, I'll still keep AAA for my truck and the other services I use. There is no doubt they make a profit or they wouldn't offer it, but it's all relative. Everything you buy makes someone a nice tidy profit, EWs are no different, though the odds are definitely in their favor more than most. If that bothers you, don't buy one, simple as that.
     
  8. Tiger-Heli

    Tiger-Heli Junior Member

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    Good points, DoubleDAZ.

    A few things to add:

    On maintenance - really with modern Toyota's, in 5-years, for most people, we are talking about 3-4 synthetic oil changes, 10 tire rotations, and a couple of air and cabin filters. Figure out what that would cost to buy separately and what the maintenance plan charges and go from there.

    One thing where the extended warranty makes sense is the following: Most people finance their cars for 5-years or longer these days. Let's say the power steering pump or the A/C Compressor or the heater core fails at 40K miles. Those are all semi-expensive items and not covered by the powertrain warranty. Can you budget to cover those along with your monthly car payment and other bills? (Also - the price of the EW varies from dealer to dealer, but usually only the selling dealer can roll it into the loan).
     
  9. Halcyon24

    Halcyon24 Junior Member

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    Okay, so we got a 5 year/60,000 EW ToyotaCare when we bought our 2014 Prius last week. It cost us 900. I decided to go for it for the peace of mind. I need to check but i think he said 5 years or 60,000 whichever comes LAST, not first. I am not mechanically minded at all, and i wanted the peace of mind. Worth it? Or no? I htink I have two more days to back out of it. PLus, I want all care handled by the dealership and nobody else. Thoughts?
     
  10. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    If you are not inclined to, or do not possess the skills or tooling to maintain you own vehicle, then extended warranties and maintenance plans are for you. Simple as that.
     
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  11. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

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    I would add that one who is unable or uninterested should be included.

    I personally can't be bothered, and prefer to let a mechanic take care of things. However, I am confident in my knowledge and understanding of automotive issues, and will not be taken advantage of.
     
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