What services you need and what you don't

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by galaxee, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    another public service announcement from your friendly tech and translator :)

    just a list of commonly recommended services, whether they're needed and if so, when, and other useful info.

    1. brake flush
    may be a good idea after 100k miles/10 years. completely cleaning out the whole system is near impossible with standard brake flush equipment (mainly because the prius has almost 1 gal of brake fluid in it!) possible complications include air in brake system, damage to actuator or solenoid valves. (PS to those of you worried about rusting... the calipers are aluminum body construction with a composite plastic piston.)

    2. clean/adjust rear brakes
    only if you have drums (obviously in the prius, we do). ideally, for optimal brake life and performance, this is probably a good idea every 30k miles. for other cars, 15k a better idea. when you hear a tone out of the rear brakes, it's either time to change the brakes or have them cleaned/adjusted. if it's not done, you can see an increased brake wear rate (front and rear). possible complications are problems due to technician error- adjustment extremely tight can overheat a bearing. otherwise noise, brake chatter, or increased wear rate and glazing if not properly adjusted.

    3. transaxle fluid
    there is no way to "flush" the trans on a prius. if someone tries to sell you this, run. they can drain and fill, however. the fluid is expensive and is supposed to go 100k, but you can never go wrong changing it early. in most cases it isn't necessary. this is the same fluid that goes into a tundra for 100k under towing conditions. the only complication you might see is again due to tech error- using the wrong fluid or not filling all the way.

    4. engine and inverter fluid
    drain/fill is OK, but NO flushes. it's not even possible on the inverter and the engine is difficult but not impossible, however NOT recommended as it can cause serious damage to the electric water pump and switching valves. you do not need the drain/fill until your car hits 100k. if the coolant is still nice and pink, don't do it then either. again, the coolant is said to go 100k. while you're not going to do any wrong by changing it early, again it is expensive like the trans fluid. possible complications include more tech error- bleeding these systems is a PITA and getting all the air out is hard. an incomplete fill, use of the wrong coolant, can damage your car.

    5. EFI or fuel injector cleaning
    really not necessary until you see 100k, if you have a bad tank of gas, or if you start seeing misfires (and you'll see a check engine light when that happens.) possible problems include damage to fuel lines or connectors while disconnecting/reconnecting the adapter equipment to the system. the fuel line that you would access to hook up the adapter is directly above the exhaust manifold... NOT a place you want a leak. other possible problems could include seal failures due to pressure (rare but possible.) since it doesn't idle, most techs will get in and stomp on the gas pedal until the EFI cleaner runs its course. this leads to a condition called "blinky check engine light" which means that you have overheated your catalyst and are in serious danger of melting the insides of your catalytic converter.

    6. three-part service, fuel induction service, throttle plate cleaning
    these are all different names for essentially the same service. (the "three part" also includes a top engine cleaner aka fuel induction service and fuel additive.) this is really only needed if the throttle plate starts to stick. a good idea after 100k, but just the throttle plate cleaning. there is no accessible port to feed the top engine cleaner through, and fuel system additives are not recommended with the bladder fuel tank. possible complications from doing various parts of the service: fuel tank additive can possibly damage the fuel system- unlikely but still possible. biggest issue with this is deposits on the spark plugs, causing reduced power and fuel economy. for the throttle plate cleaning, using too much of the cleaner can cause the car to run funny for a few minutes but that's about it.

    7. PCV valve replacement
    a good idea at a 60k interval just to be on the safe side. if this fails, it will either stick closed (rare) and blow oil seals, or stick open and allow oil to enter the intake. most people forget this valve because it's hidden. but it's a simple replacement and damn hard to screw up.

    8. alignment
    depends on your driving style. aggressive drivers should have it checked every 10k. otherwise every 15-20k just to make sure it's right. a MUST when replacing tires and if you notice uneven tire wear.

    *if you have a question about something that's not listed here, please do ask.
     
  2. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Thanks for posting this. At my 30K service they wanted to do an upsale with injector cleaning and new tires. I declined both, but got the tires elsewhere. I had the alignment done then, like you suggested.
     
  3. Beryl Octet

    Beryl Octet New Member

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    Thanks Galaxee, an excellent list.
     
  4. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    Thank you and your tech husband, Galaxee. I hope he's feeling better. Dealers may try to sell you anything if they can see a profit. It's good to know what may be reasonable.
     
  5. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Feb 22 2007, 08:30 PM) [snapback]395024[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks Galaxee. This is a valuable resource.

    Dave M.
     
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  6. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 What's the catch?

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    And just in time! I'm a only a couple weekend trips away from my 60k check-up. I'll keep all of this in mind as I wait at the dealership for my service, or as I test drive a HiCam or HiHy. With my growing family (read "dog"), it might be the HiHy. But back on topic, thanks Gal (& DH).
     
  7. SSimon

    SSimon New Member

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    Awesome! Printed and going in my owners manual for future reference.
     
  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    sweeet! Thanks Galaxee!

    Is it stickied yet?

    our dealer had us do the fuel injector cleaning on the Camry at 70,000ish kms. Let's just say, after that, the auto-trans fluid and tyre changes, the total bill was..... $1,000... ugh.
     
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  9. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Copied & saved in my prius folder. Thank you.
     
  10. Oxo

    Oxo New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SSimon @ Feb 23 2007, 01:36 PM) [snapback]395308[/snapback]</div>
    Me, too!
     
  11. FishHawk

    FishHawk New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Oxo @ Feb 24 2007, 12:06 PM) [snapback]395805[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks for your input. Question ,what about changing the spark plugs at around 60K? I heard it's a good idea even thought the plugs are rated for 100K. From your advice , we just change the oil and rotate the tires. and adjust rear brakes every 30K. Pretty maintenance free car. You got to love it.
    FishHawk
     
  12. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    fish hawk:

    if it gives you peace of mind, go for it at 60k. but you really don't need to worry about it till 100k.

    it was designed to be pretty much maintenance free, with the exception of some of the adjustment items (alignment, brakes, etc.)

    yep, gotta love it!
     
  13. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    So, is it the Engine Coolant or Inverter or both that many have been suggesting to get changed at 60k? My 60k service is coming up in about 2 months (going in for 55k tomorrow) so I'm trying to figure out how much I'm going to get done.
     
  14. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Ok, a little bump and a request for clarification...
    Gal + DH...
    Your 60k service is coming up and (just pretend) you have to pay for the entire thing yourself. I assume you'll have everything in the 'passport' done. I'd imagine you'd have an alignment done (if not done recently). But what else will you have done? What things would you LIKE to have done/recommend having done, but may not due to cost factors?

    I'm making a list for my upcoming 60k service and I'd like to optimize things for the next 60k miles but don't want to throw away money.
     
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  15. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    E-

    whatever's in the passport, the rear brake clean/adjust, alignment, and the PCV valve are what we'd do. have they checked out your 12v battery at all? most dealers have an appropriate tester for this type of battery now.

    rebalancing tires might be something to consider too if you're *really* looking.
     
  16. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Feb 26 2007, 06:25 PM) [snapback]396957[/snapback]</div>
    Ok, several others have suggested the transaxle fluid change...was just curious about your feelings on that. I guess I'm still considering that though it does seem expensive and probably unnecessary...just some annecdotal reports that it's been pretty dirty looking at 60k by a few folks.
     
  17. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    no disrespect meant to those who feel it should be changed early, but he really doesn't feel it's necessary. it is meant to be there long term. this is one of those popular topics we've chosen not to stick our noses in, along with the extended oil change interval (which we did discuss a bit and that didn't go so great :lol:)

    so if you wanna spend the money for a little peace of mind, you're not gonna hurt anything. but if you don't do it, it's not like you have cause for concern or anything.

    edit: so he has looked at fluids around 60k. no, it does not look brand new. but ya really can't expect it to after 60k. he has yet to see a normally operating prius with fluid that concerned him. but it's not something he looks at on EVERY one... because it's a bit of a PITA to check. he saw one with 89k on it that started to look like T4 that 60k of hard driving on it in a regular automatic trans. that one would be the closest to recommending a drain/fill he's ever seen.
     
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  18. Miss_Taz

    Miss_Taz New Member

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    Tomorrow I am going in to get my 15k mile service. I'm a bit torn between having the 15k mile service package as the dealer sells it, and just having them change the oil & rotate the tires...

    The dealer says the "15k mile service" costs $179.95 and includes more than just the oil change. He mumbled something about transmission service, electrical somethingorother and brake adjustments.

    Reading this topic leads me to believe that these are unnecessary services (at this time in my Prius's life)...

    I'm strongly leaning toward just paying for an oil change and tire rotation (and ordering myself a cabin air filter, which is kinda cruddy), and calling it a day.

    Any comments/agreements/gotchas with this approach? :huh:

    Thanks!

    -Vikki

    PS - I don't have any of the extra harsh conditions listed in the manual (towing, dusty off road, etc)
     
  19. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 What's the catch?

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Miss_Taz @ Mar 6 2007, 02:22 PM) [snapback]401034[/snapback]</div>
    I would agree with your plan. Save yourself some money. :D
     
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  20. alexstarfire

    alexstarfire New Member

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    Well, once I hit 60k miles on my Prius I'll be back here asking for some advice. I should probably get mine check out before then, but I'm a little tight on cash ATM.
     
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