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. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    Well, you could start by asking to see the alleged trouble areas. If you have any questions, you could then post them for comment by group members.

    At 30K miles I would not expect any discrepancies to be noted unless caused by an accident.
     
  2. a030145t

    a030145t New Member

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    Hi Galaxee,

    Thanks for that very valuable information. If I can follow up with a question on that -- I've had my Prius for almost 2 years and have 18,000 miles on it. I live in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area, where there are few Priuses. So far I've had the routine maintenance done religiously and always at the local dealership, since I don't know of any non-dealership shop with Prius certification in the local area. I'm sure I could have the routine stuff done at an independent shop for less money. Do you think I'm safe taking the Prius in to someone who's never worked on one (I understand for major repairs I go back to the dealership) before? And, if so, when I find that maintenance guide you talked about, do I just show that independent guy what it says to do and let him have at it? I'm asking because my guess is any independent shop employee I ask would say, "Sure, I can work on that car," whether he knows anything about it or not. If you think an independent shop owner is capable of doing routine maintenance, would a regular mechanic's license posted in the shop be enough to put my mind at ease or should I be looking for more?

    Also, I understand having a non-Prius-certified mechanic work on the car will not void my warranty, right?

    The only way I can think of to turn up an independent mechanic that other Prius owners in the area might recommend is to ask on Priuschat. Can you think of another?

    I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts you might have on the subject. Thanks so much for your time.

    a030145t
     
  3. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    hi a030154t-

    you can do the basic oil change and tire rotation every 5k through an independent shop if they are comfortable with hybrids. you can also get tires and have alignments and other non-hybrid-specific things at non-dealer shops. some shops will refuse to touch them, so call ahead and ask. when it comes to other stuff, you're probably best off at the dealership for the time being.

    it's always good to get recommendations from other locals- PC is a good place to start! also look for the ASE credentials- it takes experience, studying, and a fair amount of expense to get certified so people who have these are clearly dedicated to their field. if you can get a master tech, all the better- this person has passed at least 8 exams in different fields of automotive repair. they will be proud to tell you what they have achieved- DH was SO proud when he got his master certification. ASE has a Blue Seal program that recognizes certified shops- you can find one through their locator here: ASE Blue Seal Shop Locator

    not all good shops are blue seal certified- and there are of course other factors in the quality of a shop, but well-trained techs is a factor that's way up there.
     
  4. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    Thanks to Galaxee and Patrick Wong, I've just saved myself about $400 for totally unnecessary stuff.

    Turns out when they did my routine 5K oil change they also checked the brakes and did the Multipoint Inspection and found no problems. So in the end all I had to have done was the alignment ($80) and paid taxes on the 4 new tires ($30).

    Originally, they tried to get me to do the 30K "Max Menu Maintenance Package" for... ONLY $500!! And, they would give me a 10% discount if I opted not to get a "free" rental car for a day while they kept my car in the garage. What a deal, eh?

    So now all I really need to do is check my engine air filter and cabin air filter.

    Is Priuschat truly awesome or what...
     
  5. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    that's what i like to hear, zen ;)
     
  6. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    No, you need to do that AND find a different place to get the regular maintenance done.

    That place is lousy with crooks. Their 'standard package' probably includes everything that might need to be done on some cars, like lubing the chassis (which can't be done on a Prius).
    (Yep, just saw your original post. Note all the 'if applicable' items meaning they charge you for it even if they don't do anything.)

    Like my local who charges $18 labor to change the cabin air filter. Why? Standard labor rate for changing cabin air filters is 15 minutes. Doesn't matter that it takes 3 minutes max in a Prius. They don't charge to replace the engine air filter even though it takes about the same amount of time. They also have a flat fee for changing oil which includes 5 quarts of oil (but not the oil filter or the $1 oil pan drain plug gasket that they throw in for free if you buy the filter from the parts dept). Never mind that a Prius takes less than 4 quarts.
     
  7. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    To be fair, these guys are pretty easy to deal with. I've not had any problems with them at all. I just need to learn to be careful and mindful, and read closely the 5K report. Just like after yesterday, I went back to reread that thing and discovered that they already checked my engine air filter and marked it as needing to be replaced, whereas the cabin air filter was marked as fine (which makes sense since I replaced the cabin filter myself at 15K but haven't even looked at the engine air filter since I got the car.)

    I've already bought the Extra Mile package, so I might as well use every penny of it. Also, since the dealership is right across the road from my office, it is very convenient.

    BTW, they replaced all 4 OEM tires for me after 30K. Does this sound reasonable to ya'll? How long do these tires normally last for?
     
  8. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    I'm at 25k and tread wear on the GY Integrity tires isn't awful... but 30k doesn't really sound unreasonable. But replacement of tires (or any parts) should be based on the condition of the part, not a timetable. Your report might indicate tread depth at the time of replacement.

    As for the engine air filter, you can easily look at that yourself to see if it needs replacement. Requires no tools to open up the filter box, and you can just hold it up to a light. If you see light through it, it's probably still good for a while. :)
     
  9. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    Ok, so I'm at a little more than 25k miles now... I was doing an oil change last night and noticed something wet and pink on the transaxle. Upon closer inspection it looked like the axle seal at the transaxle was where it was leaky. I took it to the dealer this morning and they told me it needed a new axle seal.

    I was fairly pleased with myself for at least identifying a problem before it did any real damage to the machine... but was that pink stuff the transmission fluid? Does an axle seal replacement also involve trans. fluid replacement or topping off?

    I asked the service writer what might cause such a thing, and he sort of shrugged and said "impact or defect, but it can be hard to tell even after we take it apart. But it's a warranty repair." So I guess that's good enough for me.
     
  10. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    yep- axle seals will leak trans fluid if they're bad. once the seal is out it's pretty f'd up so there's no really telling what caused it.

    you will get new trans fluid because they're taking the axle out.
     
  11. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    Just to be clear, I'll get a complete new trans fluid, so for people recommending a 60k trans fluid interval, I'd be doing that again at 85k?
     
  12. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    yeah, they'll have to drain it before they get started.
     
  13. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    Well thanks for the quick help Galaxee (and Galaxee's DH if you didn't just answer off the top of your head :)).

    End result: The bill is $21. Why not $0? Well they went ahead and replaced the wiper blades. They did that without asking? Well yeah, but I'm not sore about it... they were 2 years old and not clearing well, and the rear one was torn. ;) They even reminded me that my registration had just expired, and probably saved me a citation because I had totally forgotten about that and wasn't going to find out until either trying to do state inspection in a week or so, or getting pulled over. :rolleyes:

    After this I'm starting to seriously consider the BT skid plate...
     
  14. cathcycler

    cathcycler Junior Member

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't

    How about rust proofing stuff for those of us on salt infested roadways?
     
  15. rusty houndog

    rusty houndog mountain rider

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    Re: What services you need and what you don't


    You do NOT need any "rust proofing" on your Prius, or on any other modern car. He who offers "rust proofing" is offering to ruin your car AND lighten your wallet unnecessarily.
     
  16. rusty houndog

    rusty houndog mountain rider

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    How do I turn of the Maint light on the dash after I finish the service?
     
  17. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    1. Hit "Odo/Trip" button until the display says "ODO" and shows odometer (even if you started on odometer, you have to do this).
    2. Power down the car.
    3. Press and hold the ODO button.
    4. Power on and wait while the ODO display does a little dance.
    5. When it's back to showing your odometer, release the ODO button.
     
  18. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    Doesn't the owners manual have a list of recommended services at 30K miles?
    I would go by that.
     
  19. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    The owner's manual does have a list (or the service booklet that comes with it), but this thread's author has direct access to a former Prius tech who knows his stuff. Sure, take everything on the interweb with a grain of salt, but Galaxee is handing out good advice.
     
  20. footprintx

    footprintx New Member

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    Just got back from the dealership, for my 110000 mile oil change on my '04.
    I had my engine air filter replaced at 90,000 miles, other than that it's just been oil-changes and tire rotations.

    The dealer recommended the following for the next time I come in, quote "Nothing's super bad or anything, it's just getting a little dirty is all."

    - Major Service (specifically mentioned Transmission Fluid, and Coolant). They currently have a special going on for $250.00. I'll point out that the maintenance log/service guide doesn't mention transmission fluid until the 120,000 and even then it's under "Driving while Towing." I guess I could just check for "pinkness" as Galaxee mentioned.

    - EFI Service (they have another special right now for $99, for Fuel Injection and Throttle Body)

    - Cabin Air Filter. I'll probably be doing this myself.

    Since I just got my oil changed, I don't want to get anything else done until the next time since the oil change is included in the major service, plus the service writer mentioned that nothing needed to be done right then and there anyway.

    Does all this sound reasonable? I note that the CVT fluid is probably ready to go from what everybody else has said about expected mileage and what-not. The dealership guy didn't mention PCV, the Transaxle or the 3-Part.

    I also notice on the Major Service special, they'll replace the Spark Plugs as required, but in the log it says the replacement interval under the Emission Control Warranty (?) for California is 150,000 (Page 19 in my scheduled maintenance guide). Does that mean they'll be doing 'em when I bring the thing in at 115,000?

    I also haven't ever had my brakes done, but then, nobody's ever mentioned it either and I haven't had any problems. Any other thoughts? Doesn't seem like very many people have made it up to my mileage yet, so most people are still talking about their 30ks and what-not.
     
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