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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    This is highly subjective. Mendel is right in saying that the best practice is to actually remove the valve cover and measure valve clearances. That is too much trouble for most owners - I did that once with my 2001 and the clearances were either at spec or slightly loose.

    There is no need to worry about the transaxle or the ATF being at a particular temperature. If you fill the transaxle with 4 quarts of Toyota ATF-WS and don't leave the fill or drain plugs loose, no problem will result. Add ATF until fluid starts dripping out of the fill hole. Tightening torque is 29 ft.-lb and the repair manual suggests replacing the aluminum washers.

    I've used Q-tips and paper towels to clean the throttle body. Less is more with regards to the throttle body cleaner fluid. Use the minimum necessary to achieve the cleaning result. Do not drown the throttle body in cleaner because that will carry dirt-laden fluid to the throttle shaft and throttle motor.
     
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  2. RebL

    RebL Junior Member

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    Thanks, you're a great help, as always.

    Any idea why the dealership shop would tell me to NOT change the transaxle fluid? He was quite adamant, said it could ruin the car.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    That particular piece of ignorance apparently is widespread across dealer service locations. I do not understand why. They would prefer to sell you unnecessary "engine induction service" or "rear brake cleaning" services, I suppose.
     
  4. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    Not just in the US either! Same here in Ireland. I had to specifically request the Toyota ATF direct from my contact in Toyota Ireland parts as the dealers were not interested as it doesn't need to be changed

    My usual indy mechanic did it in a few minutes for me at 60/70k miles and it looked like crap when it came out. Will be done again at 100k miles early 2016 despite not being needed lol
     
  5. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    I had 3 local dealers tell me it didn't need to be done. One said he would have someone there do it anyway for $85 but then called me back 15 minutes later and said he talked to a mechanic who said it had to be flushed not just drained and filled so that'd make it $300.

    To this day I'm still running on OEM factory fill assuming the first owner didn't change it during the first 60,000 miles or so.

    I think I'm up around 125,000 miles now. I'd happily pay someone a reasonable price to do it but I barely put any miles on the Prius now that the Leaf is my primary car so it isn't a high priority for me and I have no interest in paying hundreds of dollars to a stealership.
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    That dealership that quoted you $300 to have it flushed, you should really not return there. They are really trying to empty your wallet.
     
  7. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    They've made a total of $0.00 in sales and service from me.

    But to be clear all 3 dealerships around here have quoted me $300 for flushing that. It's just one broke rank and almost did a drain/fill for me instead.
     
  8. johnnyb588

    johnnyb588 Member

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    Transaxle failures aren't really all that common. From everything I've gathered here, they're in the <1% range after 150k or so (this is a very rough estimate, don't quote me on it). And most owners (maybe not here, but most owners at large) never replace the ATF and their transaxle still doesn't fail.

    In my opinion, it's not a necessary item. I don't know if there is any solid proof to suggest that drain and fills of the WS fluid actually prolong the life of the transaxle. Intuitively, it makes sense, and also intuitively, it can't hurt much (assuming the drain and fill is performed correctly). But intuition and empirical knowledge are completely different things.

    Long story short, I wouldn't sweat it if your dealerships won't perform this service for you.

    If you REALLY want to have it done (and don't want to perform the repair yourself), find a reputable mechanic in your area. They'll gladly take your money and should do a drain and fill for ~$80. It's ~$40 for the materials and about 15 minutes of labor. I would recommend getting this done, but it's not a strong recommendation. Chances are, you could leave the original fluid in there and drive it another 10 years without issue. The reason I recommend it is that $80 seems like cheap insurance for a multi-thousand dollar repair (even if it's not empirically proven that drain and fills work).
     
    #848 johnnyb588, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  9. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree. My indy mechanic said that he rarely gets asked to change the gearbox fluid on any car and only fussy fnckers like me seem to request it lol

    He changed mine on my last few cars, parents cars etc and has said that it can't be any harm, and I agree. I've noticed a better gearchange on my Honda CRV and my parents the same on their 4x4 and Jaguar. For the sake of €70/80 it's alot cheaper than a new "gearbox". If the €80 prevents the failure, it's money well spent. Same as for the engine oil. The new service interval for the latest Audi A6 2.0TDI 177bhp, the oil change is recommended at 40,000 miles! I know of a few that have it done every 10k regardless as they don't want to be faced with a huge bill for a new engine the day after their 2 yr warranty expires. Audi wouldn't really have an argument if you change it "too often"!
     
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  10. Mike NJ

    Mike NJ New Member

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    Hey all,

    First post here. I recently purchased a certified pre-owned 2012 Prius III with 49,000 miles. I figured I would go with the pre-owned and a warranty for my peace of mind -- having read some horror stories elsewhere. Anyway, I've been reading a lot of the comments, which are very informative.

    I've read the scheduled maintenance suggestions from Toyota and the manual. But my main concern is regarding the transmission fluid. After reading the comments, I'm thinking I should take the car in for the ATF to be drained and filled, since I'm not sure how the car was maintained before I was handed the keys.

    Is this overkill? And should I just wait until 60K or so?

    I anticipate having the car for a long time and checking in regularly here, so any other recommendations would be helpful!

    Thanks
     
  11. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It is not overkill and there is no problem doing the fluid change now. It is a good idea to replace all engine compartment fluids when acquiring a used vehicle because you don't know what may have been added by the prior owner(s), you don't know if the transaxle fluid may be low, and this gives the car a fresh start.
     
  12. Mike NJ

    Mike NJ New Member

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    Thanks. I reached out to a dealership and the prices don't seem bad -- $90 for the transmission replacement. If I'm doing that, should I replace the both the engine and inverter coolants as well? (Again, it doesn't seem too bad at about $150.) Otherwise, since I'm bringing it in, any other specific things you can think of that I can get flushed and refilled would be appreciated.

    On a side note, since I just got the car about two weeks ago and it's pre-certified, the service guys were confused about why I would want anything done to the car now. Is this to be expected?

    And finally, I live in norther New Jersey in the Metro Area, so if anyone can suggest a good Prius mechanic, I would be much obliged! I got it at and will probably bring it back to the Toyota dealership in Hackensack. Anyone ever brought theirs there?
     
  13. johnnyb588

    johnnyb588 Member

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    There is no need to do any other fluid flushes/drain&fills in conjunction with the ATF drain and fill. At 50k, I probably wouldn't recommend any fluid changes either. The engine coolant should be good till 100k (8 yrs). The inverter coolant till 150k (12 yrs). As long as the levels and pumps are fine, I wouldn't touch them. Of course, swapping those fluids early won't hurt anything except your wallet, so if you really want to do it for peace of mind, go ahead. But those flushes are pricey.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    That's really strange. Well maybe not, just par for the course: considering the culture of ignorance at dealerships regarding such a simple procedure.

    This is for 3rd gen:
     
  15. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    We went ahead and paid the dealer to change both coolants and the trans fluid as part of the 120k major service. No regrets; the peace of mind is worth it to us.
     
  16. tampaite

    tampaite Member

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    How much did you pay towards changing both coolants(engine and inverter) and the transaxle fluid?

    Thanks.
     
  17. trungdok

    trungdok Junior Member

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    I agree. My 2005 Corolla has over 320k miles with original ATF fluid. There's no slippage or any other noticeable shifting issue. However I'm not recommending people to go that long without changing the fluid though. I do check its ATF fluid every now and then to make sure it's not burning.

    For my Prius, I changed the ATF fluid since checking the fluid is a bit more involved so I rather just change it.
     
  18. Iamjo20

    Iamjo20 Member

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    OK - YES, I HAVE a low mileage Prius--Gen 2, 2008, owned since 9/2007 ; 26,000 miles to date---
    What service should I definitely have completed?

    Yes, I have done regular oil changes, rotated tires, changed air filter

    I live in Tampa Bay Area, mostly do short trips

    Thanks!
     
  19. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    Cabin air-filter and engine air-filter are simple enough to be done by just about anyone, ~$30 for the two filters at AutoZone, 5 mins to install, or pay the dealer to do the job for you! (…you pays yer money, you takes yer choice!!! :rolleyes:)
     
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  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The main issue I would explore is the condition of the 12V battery. If you don't regularly charge the battery it may be close to failing in cold winter weather.
     
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