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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    Toyota already provided that list, see the maintenance and warranty booklet. The question is whether you can have those services performed for less than $750.

    The engine and inverter coolants were supposed to be replaced at 100K miles. The iridium spark plugs are supposed to be replaced at 120K miles. The engine and cabin air filters need to be replaced every 30K miles.

    Since you aspire for the car to last another 100K miles you need this work to be done.
     
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  2. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    I'm getting close to 140000 km now on my 2004 Prius, which means I'm around 85000 miles or so. Sorry, but I haven't read through this entire thread yet, but I'll slowly go through some of it in the next little while... but here is what I see so far:

    I guess that means I'm still OK for the spark plugs, because the recommended replacement is at 192000 km.

    However, it also means it's time to do the struts and shocks. I've never done them, even though it's well over the 50000 mile milestone now. Last year when I got a pair of all-season tires (after a puncture) the store said it's about time I change the struts but then again they also said there was no leak and they were still usable.

    I would have considered replacing them around then, but I didn't really know the quality of the aftermarket struts/shocks they were pushing, as it was not a Toyota dealership but an Active Green and Ross. Still, is it correct to assume I should just go ahead and get them done? If so, is there really any point in getter up-spec'd Toyota struts/shocks, or just the usual OEM ones? I definitely won't be keeping this car past 250000 km.

    What about the battery? It seems fine, and nobody has suggested I replace that yet. I tested it last year using the special MFD display code and it said the voltage was fine, but I understand that test may not be accurate.

    P.S. I was considering just getting rid of the car in 2015 for the next gen Prius, but now that I just plunked down big bux on 4 new winter tires, and will need to get 2 new all-seasons next year, I'm thinking maybe I should just make use of that expense and keep the car longer, esp. considering this 2004 Prius runs fine otherwise, aside from an electrical problem for the left brake light. I'll have to get that checked out too. My wallet is gonna be a whole lot lighter even before the Xmas gift buying binge...
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    OEM would be fine.
     
  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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  5. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    Interesting. What do you mean by "average driver" though? A lot of average drivers get new cars after 100000 miles or so.

    Still, I guess that may explain why they're not mentioned under the maintenance section in my Prius manual supplement.

    However, that gives me more incentive to keep this Prius, if I can safely keep the current shocks and struts to 120000 miles or so. That would give me another 3 years of use out of this car, in time for me to buy a 2016 next gen model, without my having to fork out big bux for the suspension replacement.

    BTW, in Canada the 2013 Prius is $1250 off making the car $24850 CAD, one of the few times I've actually seen this car below $25000. Tempting, but I'm going to hold off for Gen IV.
     
  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The average driver is 90% of the population. Pre-emptive strut replacement is usually a result of a 10%-er either trying to make it drive better than stock, or being sensitive to slight imperfections that come about as a car ages.

    The primary wear/failure items on a 2004-2005 Gen II are engine water pump, inverter cooling pump, coolant control valve, 12V battery. The MFD and combination meter are susceptible to broken solder joints. High mileage engines tend to start consuming oil suddenly and without warning, so check that level every 2-3 refuelings from now on. A stock 12V battery is a candidate for replacement after 5 years or after needing to be jumped started, and should be replaced with a proper deep-cycle battery.
     
  7. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    I've always thought of shock absorbers as "replace when they break" items. Is there something about struts that know when they've reached 100,000 miles? The old test was to bounce the car, and if it bounced more than 2 times the shocks were dead.
     
  8. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    I've already replaced the MFD. The dealer wanted something crazy like $3000 new, or $1200 used, so I sent my broken one to AutoBeYours and got it fixed for $300.

    I have not yet replaced my 12 V battery, but it is 9 years old, and I have stupidly jump started a couple of OTHER cars with it, until I was told that was a bad idea with this small battery.

    I was looking on the Optima site but they don't actually list the Prius there, even though I know they sell direct replacement batteries for the Prius. Makes navigation of their site hard.

    But like I said, my dealer said my battery was fine.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'd replace your 9 year old battery, and thank your luck to date. Even if it's fine. Look on it as a consumable, that's mostly consumed, lol.

    I recently did a dry run on ours, dug down to it, loosened the the restraining bracket enough that it could be swung away, measured it, noted the part's nos on the top of case, tried lifting up up on the restraining strap just enough to see it was free, and took a snapshot of the top.

    I also check with a couple of dealerships, the better deal of the two was $235 Can for the OEM battery (3rd gen), plus $20 refundable with return of the old one.
     
  10. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    Struts are not something on a regular replacement interval. They should be treated the same as tires; replace them when they show signs of wear. Strut failure isn't catastrophic, and only poses a slight safety concern due to reduced handling performance.

    I've never had struts that lasted less than 150,000 miles. I'd assume you stand a decent chance of yours going until you give up the car at 250k KM. When I replaced the struts on my parent's Camry at 200,000 miles, I choose aftermarket (lowest price and good reviews) and did the work myself. The only specialized tool required was a spring compression tool, which I bought online for about $30.

    You'll know when it's time to replace the struts when you feel the car wallowing and bouncing around abnormally. For instance, when you hit a single bump in the road and the vehicle bounces several times.
     
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  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I'm on the fence when I'm going to replace struts and shocks on our '04 Prius at 160k miles, but one thing I have decided: I'll take the unit out, and bring it to a shop and let them deal with the springs.
     
  12. Takeshi_Ito

    Takeshi_Ito New Member

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    A wise decision. Taking out those springs is a pain.
     
  13. r619

    r619 Junior Member

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    Where did you change Transaxle fluid for $45. I am in Atlanta, and would need to change it too. Thanks
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Maybe $45 plus the fluid?
     
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    That was my thought too, since at least in the US the fluid costs close to $45 retail at the dealership. I did find the fluid cheaper online, but only as a generic OEM, and in carton (2 exchanges worth) volume.
     
  16. surfenski

    surfenski Junior Member

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    I have had several service appointments where valve clearance or something like that was recommended due age and mileage of the vehicle (2004 @ 125K miles). Never had this recommended on my other Toyota vehicles. Its not cheap. Is it necessary? If so, how frequently?
    Thanks.
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    You should listen to the valve noise at 30K mile intervals. That is an easy thing to do.

    If unusual, then the valve clearance should be checked. You are right that this is a costly procedure because the engine valve cover has to be removed and the camshafts have to be removed if any valves actually have to be adjusted. So expect that the charge will be $500 or more.

    If the valve clearance is ignored, there is a risk that if the valve clearance is too small, an exhaust valve will burn. If the valve clearance is excessive, engine power is reduced.

    However I think that risk is relatively minor compared to the other issues that might happen to your Prius.
     
  18. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    My impression is that wear only increases the valve clearance. Too much clearance may be noisy, and even reduce performance. But $500 worth of problem?

    If you're really worried, how about having the clearance measured? As long as nothing is too tight, I'd just live with the noise/performance.
     
  19. GregAZ

    GregAZ Junior Member

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    Just discovered this thread - you guys are awesome!!! I am about to perform 180kMi service and trying to decide what to do. Before I found this thread, I started a separate one. Any input is much appreciated!

    Here is the thread: 2005 Prius 180kMi Service Recommendations? | PriusChat
     
  20. GasSippr

    GasSippr Junior Member

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    So I have two questions:
    1) My Toyota dealer quoted me $390 for all of the above except #5, #7, and #8. Is this a good deal? If not, could a "regular" mechanic do this (someone who doesn't do much work on hybrid cars). Spark plugs would be an additional $100.

    2) Toyota dealer said they didn't do #5 or #7 typically unless their was a "problem." Should I have them or other mechanic do it anyway?

    They said the job would take 5 hours and I could use a loaner car for free.

    Thanks!
     
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