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Toyota Prius Basic Care & Maintenance



  • pripri Posts: 9
    Warning: Make sure you never break your radio mast antenna base. It costs $683.94 (parts and labor) to replace! The cabin ceiling liner must be removed and the base also contains an amplifier. Poor design IMO.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
      Whats a good way to not break the base ?
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    I had my 04 Prius in for it's 15k oil change yesterday. The service rep. tried to get me to do the 15k minor maint. on it also. I looked at the list of what they do and most of it was "checking" things. The only thing they replace is the A/C filter. For this they wanted $189.00. Thanks to this board and others, I knew that the A/C filter wasn't hard to replace (you have to take the glove boxes off though) but the filter itself is only $30.00. I just thought people might want to know what to expect at 15k.
  • azstanazstan Posts: 74
    Yesterday I took my '04 Prius in for 15k maintenance. They charged me $113 for it. Also threw in a "car wash". Will not let them wash it again...but it was a nice gesture on their part.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    It amazes me at the variation in Dealer charges for parts and service. I was looking for a little bottle of touch up paint and it varied between 3 dealers in San Diego from $2.85 to $10.

    AZSTAN: I thought you were not supposed to wash a Prius or it will quit running, or short out ;->
  • The scheduled maintenance guide that came with the car shows you a check list on which ones to look at. Replacing the engine oil and oil filter, and the tire rotation are the two important things to do. The others are just inspections. For somebody who does not know anything about cars except to drive it, $189 may be worth it just to have that peace of mind. To me, paying someone $100 to look at the underside of my car is a rip off. I do my own maintenance so that saves me on labor cost. I do received discount coupons from local dealers on regular maintenance items. Toyota oil filter (90915-YZZA2) is $3.99 and the cabin air filter (87139-47010) is $18.97.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    About a year ago I needed a crush washer for my Civic's oil drain plug, the person at the parts counter gave me two of them at no charge, I went to the same Honda dealer a few months later and they wanted 35 cents each for the same washer (30 cents for the paperwork 5 cents for the washer ((they didn't say that))) maybe Toyota dealers are different but I doubt it.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    From what I've seen Toyota dealers aren't any different, heck one of um near me (Fred Haas)sends out various e-mails & they all say about the same thing, Driftwood Pearl 2004 Prius option code BG asking 31.5 special internet price 24.9 (the "special" price is always MSRP) Someone who doesn't have access to the internet a magazine rack or newspaper might fork over the 31.5 (Fred Haas Toyota hopes so) but the rest of us are going to shop around, and I remember a 35 cent washer ?
  • Hi,

    I've several discussions about problems with the Prius going through the carwash. I am about to have my hands on a 2004 Prius, package #9. The dealer wants $2,000 over MSRP.

    A. The sticker says that the car is equipped with a security alarm. However, the salesman (who has been very nice to me, hiding the car while I make up my mind), says I will need a further alarm system to ensure that nobody can jimmy the doors, or try to break the glass....

    I don't quite understand what type of alarm that Toyota has already equipped the car with.

    B. I see that a number of people are talking about this carwash problem.

    I also see that a number of people who are involved in posting are from either California, Texas, or almost "snow-free" states.

    I am in the NY Metropolitan Area. Usually the weather has been mild, during the winter. However, last year, it was pretty bad. Sometimes, the driveway for the complex wasn't even plowed in a timely fashion.

    So my question is, is whether anyone has had any experience using the 2004 in bad weather, and heavy snow.

    I figure if there are problems going through a car wash, how can you drive through a blizzard, slush, hail, salted roads, and whatever other brimstone.

    I am not sure also how the traction control/vehicle stability system would also handle in snow, too, because of its lightweight.

    Anyone have any experience, or problems dealing with winter weather with the Prius?

    The dealer insists that this car is like any other front-wheel drive car....

    I also live by major power lines, and didn't know how that would affect this car, too, on a regular basis?

    Thanks for your help. I found it enlightening to know about that Platinum extended warranty. Another dealer told me that it cost $2,200 with no deductible. Didn't know it was possible to haggle.

  • There was a lot of discussion last winter about the Prius handling in snow. A lot of them posted positive feedback on the its performance.

    The salesman is just trying to squeez more money from you on installing a glass breakage sensor. This is an accessory that you can purchase separately and install yourself.

    Worried that your Prius will get zapped by overhead power lines? Absolutely not.
  • Hi, I just got a Prius 05 and am curious about the service maintenance costs.
    1. How much do the Toyota dealerships charge for regular 5,000, 10,000. 20,000 miles etc. services?

    2. I have seen posts of $113-189 for 15,000 miles services. Anyone going through a 30,000 miles service for a 04 yet, and if so, how much does it cost?

    3. I guess I don't have to bring it to Toyota for the 5,10,20,000 miles service, but should I bring the car to an outside shop for the 15,000 miles service?

    Just trying to make sure that it's not worth it to pay $895 for prepaid maintenance for 4 years/55,000 miles.

    Thank you all.

    PS Anyone having trouble programming the garage openers? Also, does the car beep non stop as long as you are on reverse? Thank you.
  • Isn't the Prius supposed to get better mileage in city than in highway driving ? Jjust curious.
  • After 12,000 plus miles and an intense interest in everyones experience with milage, Ive come to a couple of conclusions. City and hiway milage depend on several circumstances. First, if you drive hiway miles at steady 50mph and use the cruise as much as possible, milage can be a de-cent 48-56. If you go 70mph and up it drops to 40-46. While on the other hand, city milage is usually at about 42-45 for short runs and 44-56 long runs. Driver's impatience or patience can make the figures vary significantly. Hills and/or plains also come into play. Are all PRIUS's equal?
    That might be something TOYOTA can and should answer. It be a complex vehicle. I've had days when my PRIUS seems ever so thrifty getting 56-57mpg and two days later I get 40mpg for no appar-
    ent reason. I have noticed very consistant miles per tankfull (450-500). That still makes for a pleasant fillup. I've yet to spend more than $16.00 for a fillup and I've yet to squeeze more than 8.8 gallons in a supposedly 11.9 gallon tank. Lastly I'll share with you one fillup I had. I pulled in while a woman was filling her HUMMER and as I left ($14 lighter in my wallet for a fillup) she was still pumping @ $75.00. I SMILED!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    "I pulled in while a woman was filling her HUMMER and as I left ($14 lighter in my wallet for a fillup) she was still pumping @ $75.00. I SMILED!"

    Welcome to the forum. It is the little things in life that make us Smile. Keep us posted on your mileage experience.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I pulled in while a woman was filling her HUMMER and as I left ($14 lighter in my wallet for a fillup) she was still pumping @ $75.00. I SMILED!"

    Hmmm, she probably didn't even notice the amount paid, just put in the credit card and filled it up... a lot of people just view it as the cost of daily living... expecially those who can afford a hummer H2.
  • Anyone who could afford a Hummer dosen't care about the price of gas. Fortunately, our Hummer riding governor does care about our environment by signing that HOV hybrid bill. Eventually, that Hummer driving lady will notice those Prius zooming past by her on the HOV freeway lanes while she's moving slowly in traffic.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    ". Eventually, that Hummer driving lady will notice those Prius zooming past by her on the HOV freeway lanes while she's moving slowly in traffic."

    Nope, the carpool lanes won't be moving fast enough to call it "zoom". During rush hour they fill up as it is. Some people in Orange County (CA) have suggested requiring 3 people per vehicle, to clear congestion in the HOV lanes.
  • Does anyone know what to use to clean the upolstery in the Prius 04? The upolstery is beautiful but it does get soiled very easly especially where I rest my amm on the center consul.
  • All around the WINDY CITY you can figure on a daily diet of stalled -standstill-goin nowhere, traffic jams. One more time I pleasantly SMILE again toward the young lady in the gas guzzling
    "HUMMER". I'm in electric mode using no gas while she's well...she's making OPEC "SMILE" & very, very happy.
  • engin2engin2 Posts: 8
    I've found mixing a half cup of ammonia and one gal. of water cleans up just about anything on the car. It's used in windshield reservoir, bird droppings, inside windows, and yes, even upholstery.

    Good luck............Engin2
  • There will be somebody who may have miscalculated that curb and scrapping the plastic cover on your passenger side wheels. It happened to me a lot of times and it makes me feel bad. I found out that Dupli-color auto spray, paint code DSGM 340 silver, exactly matched the silver color of the Prius wheels. Just smoothen the scratch with a file and spray over it. From 10 feet away, nobody will even notice that scratch.

    I also make it a point to keep those scratched wheel cover on the passenger side wheels whenever I do a tire rotation. This will always keep the driver side wheel covers scratch free.
  • I'm looking for a good after market repair manual for my '04 Toyota Prius. Any suggestions?
  • Greetings! Just wondering if my '05 Prius uses a serpintine (sp?) belt? Couldn't see one, and no mention of it in the maintenance schedule.


    I know there is no alternator / starter motor... just wondering what else there might be (or not be) that is shared with a convensional car that might go bad. Water pump?


    Finally, when coasting and braking, the current MPG goes up to 99.9. Just wondering if that is figured into the average MPG report. For example, if I have 3 readings of 35 MPG, 45 and 99.9, will my average be 40 (thowing the 99.9 out) or will it be 59.9?
  • tempusvntempusvn Posts: 119
    Sorry, no Belts


    Alternator - Gone

    Starter - Gone

    Water Pump - Electric

    AC - Electric

    Power Steering - Electric

    Brake Pump - Electric (With UltraCaps no less)


    MPG is calculated by fuel injection metering. The 5 minute bars are just displays and those numbers aren't used in the calculated total.
  • This is my first time to post on this forum. I live in the sunny Southwest and I am considering purchasing a Pruis. I went to look at one recently and it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I sat in the car thinking I was going to have to learn to drive all over again, with the gear shift set up, etc. BUT I'm very impressed with the mileage, and the fact that the Prius is so friendly to the environment. I do have some questions as I start to make my decision to buy or not to buy. I've read a lot of information here and find it very helpful. I have been told that the battery can cost $3,000 to replace. Is that true, and if so how often does it have to be replaced? That is a scary thought that I would have to add 3,000 to the cost of the car every time I replace the battery. I'm sure I'll be picking your brains in the upcoming months and I figure out what the best car for me is going to be. Thanks for your help. Joan
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    I have been told that the battery can cost $3,000 to replace. Is that true,

    Welcome to the Forum,
    The main battery has a 10 year 150k mile warranty if you live in CA. That is the law on cars rated AT-PZEV. Any part that is required to keep that rating is covered. I don't think I would let that discourage me if I liked the car.
  • Thanks for the information. It is amazing how everyone tries to act like an expert when you are considering a new car purchase. Glad I've found this forum to get my questions answered by people who actually own Priuses. Joan
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Also, Toyota has yet to replace a battery pack for normal wear and tear in _any_ Prius, and they've been selling them in Japan since 1998.
  • bobraxtonbobraxton Posts: 11
    "The main battery has a 10 year 150k mile warranty if you live in CA"
    Does the Platinum warranty (or any other) provide that same coverage in the state of VA where I live?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    "The main battery has a 10 year 150k mile warranty if you live in CA"

    That was forced onto the hybrid manufacturers by CARB. To get the AT-PZEV rating you have to warranty the components that can drop that rating. I would think that most of the drive train should be covered. Anything that does not operate properly can screw up the emissions.

    I don't believe you can get the AT-PZEV rating in any state that does not mandate low sulfur gasoline.
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