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Toyota Prius

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Comments

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Has anyone looked at replacement tires beyond the Goodyears now that come with the 04 models? I would like to know what folks have experienced since tire selection can effect MPG performance.

    Thanks,

    Mike
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    What are the oil change requirements for the Prius??? Can they be done by yourself or must you take the vehicle in to get oil changed???
    ...I assume if the engine runs only 50% of the time that oil breakdown is delayed and thus if one uses Mobile 1 synthetic oil one could extent the life of the oil as well as its replacement (10,000mile intervals)?????

    Are there any other fluids that must be replaced on the electric side??? or the mechanical gear box side that we need to be awear of????

    Thanks,

    Mike
  • duh123duh123 Posts: 1
    I'm in Green Bay as well.

    I put my "order" in at the Green Bay dealer back on December 22, and at that time they estimated May/June for delivery. So it looks like the wait has increased a bit more here. I'm using the wait time to save up so I won't need to take out any financing when the time finally comes to pick it up.

    Good luck on your search.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I would be willing to bet that any OEM HID system has self-leveling and that if manual adjustment is available the limit will still be at the same "high" point as OEM.
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    I phoned Michelin's Tech Dept and asked if there were any Michelin tires that would be compatible with the 04 Prius's extra load rated tire requirement...they stated there was nothing planned for now but there may be in the future...The only tire that would be recommended is the OEM tire or Goodyear Integrity. Hopefully the other tire manufacturers will take notice and get the tire rolling for the Prius.

    Mike
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > 04 Prius's extra load rated tire requirement

    There is no XL requirement for the 2004. There are just plain old STANDARD tires.

    The confusion is due to the classic having smaller tires, hence less to hold up the weight. But size the tires on the 2004 are bigger, so that is totally completely a non-issue.

    Too bad Michelin doesn't know that.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > What are the oil change requirements for the Prius???

    Every 5,000 miles for the 2004.

     
    > I assume if the engine runs only 50% of the time that
    > oil breakdown is delayed and thus if one uses Mobile 1
    > synthetic oil one could extent the life of the oil as
    > well as its replacement (10,000mile intervals)?????

    The oil does last much longer. That's because the engine isn't used as much, it never revs as higher as a traditional engine, and it runs cooler than a traditional engine. BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO CHANGE EVERY 5,000 MILES.

    The benefit of synthetic is better protection and a minor increase in efficiency.

    JOHN
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    John,

    Do you know if the engine drain plug is readily accessible from under the car?...most Toyota's are just behind the front bumper so that oil changes are very easy and a DO-IT-YOURSELF excerise. Also is the oil filter easy to get at?? I like to DO-IT-MYSELF every now and then.

    Beside the Air and Oil Filters, are there any other filters which require replacement on the electric side of the engine???

    Mike
  • mazamamazama Posts: 5
    Don't own a 2004 Prius, but spent some quality time under the hood of one at our local auto show. As a longtime DIY type for auto maintenance, I was curious about the Prius in this respect. I expected a maintenance nightmare but Toyota actually did a pretty good job of providing access to routine wear items. If I remember, all the fluid reservoirs were nicely accessible along the firewall. The oil filter is small and a bit of a reach down, but I was able to wrap my hand around it from above- don't remember exactly how I did it, but there was enough of a "hole" behind the belt cover near the passenger's side that I was able to get to it. It's almost vertical, which is nice- that limits oil spillage when you pull it out, and you can pre-fill the new one to limit the oil pressure buildup time when the engine starts again with new oil. The car sits too low so I wasn't able to find out where the drain plug is, but hopefully Toyota thought that out too. One thing, for DIY maintenance on this car, you will need a set of wheel ramps that are designed for low clearance cars. These are readily available at car parts stores. Hopefully there's also drain plug for the CVT, otherwise you have to pull the whole trans. pan just to drain the transmission, which is dumb.

    Hoping to test drive a Prius soon, going to check if one of the local dealerships (by chance) has a demo available for day rental.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > If the Prius is a purist "green" car that saves the environment
    > and saves gas then why would they have a rigid 5,000 oil
    > change interval?

    Remember, the "G" in MPG is gallons and the "M" is miles.

    Saving a few quarts every few thousand miles is a bit extreme. And since many are switching to synthetic for the efficiency benefit, less oil is being used in 2 respects anyway.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Do you know if the engine drain plug is readily accessible
    > from under the car?

    That's an understatement!

    Since the engine is offset and the hood is short, it makes Prius one of the easiest cars to change the oil... ever! The oil pan is right there. It's amazingly easy to reach.

     
    > Also is the oil filter easy to get at?

    Yup, it's right there in front of the oil pan, vertical mounted for minimal dripping.

     
    > are there any other filters which require replacement
    > on the electric side of the engine???

    The electric motor is a Brushless-AC. That means absolutely no maintenance ever. (Sweet!)

    The Inverter coolant needs changing every 30,000 miles. The process is supposedly just a few steps more than what you'd do for antifreeze flushing, but I've never tried it.

    There's a lubricant in the Planetary-CVT that needs changing at 100,000 miles, then every 50,000 miles following that. Based on the design, it looks as though there is no filter (remember, it is always engaged) or gasket to deal with, just a drain. So the process would be easier than with an automatic transmission. That's just speculation though.

    Nothing else is needed.

    JOHN
  • scottgbscottgb Posts: 23
    Thanks for the feedback on the wait time for a Prius. Haven't decided whether I'm going to order one yet or not, 7 months is a long time!
    I guess every day I wait, the waiting list is probably getting even longer ;>)
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Thanks for your explanation on the Oil Change and filter location...Toyota usally makes things easy if you need to DIY every now and then.

    Also after the car is out of warranty one could use Mobil 1 and extend to 10,000 miles between oil changes...It's too bad Toyota does'nt allow an official extension of the oil change interval if motor runs approximately 50% of time and cooler...this should mean the oil breakdown is reduced and thus time between change-out should double...

    this would definitely be a Great GREEN selling point and may even be an oversight because we tend to do things just like we always have...of course the Prius is the exception to this rule and someone should ask the engineers this question...of course the maintenance folks would not like to hear this.

    Mike
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Actually, the oil change interval for the classic model is 7,500 miles. But that system had a lower RPM limit and it wasn't at the limit as much as the 2004 is. I definitely noticed the lack of aging (still light colored and pretty thin) when draining the synthetic from my classic.

    5,000 miles is reasonable, especially when many still use 3,000 miles intervals for traditional vehicles.

    JOHN
  • mazamamazama Posts: 5
    Thanks, John, for filling in on the fluids maintenance. I'm encouraged the oil changes are so easy, and have to admit I like the idea of extended oil changes when possible. I'm a member of a VW TDI diesel board, and most owners run 10K mile change intervals. A number have run oil analyses that have shown the oil well within its design parameters (which I won't go into here) after 10K miles, sometimes 15K or more (note these are synthetic oils specifically rated for the VW TDI). These turbocharged diesel engines would seem (I'm speculating here I admit) to be harder on the oil than the Prius, with soot loading to take into account. One would think a good synth oil in the Prius should be able to hold up at least that well. I'd be interested in seeing some oil analyses from Prius owners to see what shape the oil is at 5K. (Maybe I need to buy one myself to find out!)
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Thanks John for the details on fluid changes in the Prius...Inverter Coolant every 30,000 and Planetary CVT lubes 100,000 (then 50,000 thereafter)...I assume then we have only one additional process compared to IC autos...that is the Inverter coolant...the CVT would be similar to Auto Transmission R&R. Great the Brushless AC needs no maintenance!!!!!!!

    Mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Don't forget, the engine oil can be recycled.

    -juice
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    RECYCLE your used engine oil, it NEVER wears out, just gets contaminated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I swear there's an echo in here. :-)

    -juice
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Perhaps it is a glitch in the matrix.

    JOHN
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