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Toyota Prius Basic Care & Maintenance



  • tsvitsvi Posts: 3
    Eyeman2, did you find a solution to the beep problem?

    We have a new 05 and also find the reverse beep annoying...actually more than annoying. My wife has hearing aids and the beep causes ringing and discomfort. I have also noticed that someone standing behind the car cannot hear the beep, so it only discomforts the passengers and does not help protect pedestrians against the stealthly moving car in its electric drive mode. Strange...the rest of the car seems so well engineered.

  • tsvitsvi Posts: 3
    05 maintenance manual recommends first oil change at 5k miles. Conventional wisdom, at least in the previous century, was that a new car should have its oil changed at about 500 miles to get rid of any fine metal filings from the break-in. Was that an urban legend or are new Toyotas more precise when made or the new filters better, etc? Anyone out there know? We have about 300 miles on our Prius now.

  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    All of the above. Most modern engines can go at least the standard maintenance interval from the factory. Special "Break-in" oils, etc. are mostly a waste of money today.
  • We're about to buy a 2005 Prius. We live here in S. Florida for six months of the year. When leaving our present car,a 10-year old Camry, we have someone start and run it for 20 min. every two weeks. Any advice on proper maintenance in this situation for a Prius?
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    If you can get 30 minutes every two weeks or so you'd be fine. Or get a battery tender hooked up to the 12v battery, and just have it run for 10-15 minutes every month or so for the high-voltage battery.
  • flyslow2flyslow2 Posts: 1
    I have searched the owners manuals of my 05 Prius and can find nothing about cleaning the touch screen. Anyone know the approved method?
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Clean water on a soft cloth should do it. Better to clean with the ignition off so you don't accidentally press any "buttons".

    Don't spray anything onto the screen as there's a chance it could drip down into the innards.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    I might add that anything but 100% cotton cloth may be abrasive. I only use a cotton washcloth or towel on my laptops with just a bit of dampness. Unless the screen is glass it will scratch with cleaning.
  • tsvitsvi Posts: 3

    Did you get your answer to the worth of the prepaid maintenance contract? We got talked into one, but when it was received, I noticed it really only covers oil changes, fluids & inspection of hoses. When sold to us, I was told that Toyota does all kinds of electronic tests on the condition of the car that cannot be done elsewhere.

    I also saw in the fine print that one can get out of the contract within 60 days...I have a few days left to that point.

  • jjprinsjjprins Posts: 2
    I've always changed the oil of my previous cars myself, and would like to do the same with my new '05 Prius. Is the procedure the same as for any other car, or do other steps/ precautions need to be taken? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  • gdfgdf Posts: 2
    To turn of the the "beep" when putting the car in reverse, follow the instructions inserted below. Enjoy the silence :).

    - Greg

    1. Power on the car to IG-ON or READY. IG-ON will do for this purpose.
    2. Using the Trip/ODO button, set the Trip/ODO display to ODO (not Trip A or Trip B)
    3. Power off the car.
    4. Now power the car to READY (brake on). This is required so that step 6 works correctly.
    5. Within 6 seconds of powering on, press and hold the Trip/ODO button for 10 seconds or more.
    6. WHILE STILL HOLDING ODO *after* the 10 seconds, shift the "gear" selector from P to R, then back to P. Now release the Trip/ODO button.
    7. If the last step was successful, "b on" or "b off" should be displayed in the location where the Trip Odometer or Odometer is normally displayed. "b on" is beep on, and "b off" is beep off.
    8. Press Trip/ODO to toggle the mode.
    9. Now power the car off to exit the toggle mode.
    10. Power the car on to READY and confirm the reverse beep status by shifting to R. The beep should not be audible if "b off" was selected, and should be audible if "b on" was selected
  • karlheinzkarlheinz Posts: 1
    I can confirm all that tempusvn said. No belts is true

    some misnomers. -- while a small 40A "alternator" isn't in the Prius - a huge generator is. That electricity must come from somewhere.

    While a conventional tiny starter that you start with a key is gone, the main electric motor will turn over the motor to start it - (by the way, the starting procedure is monitored by the computer which controls aspects such as timing, opening of valves, and metering of fuel to ensure a "jerk" free low impulse start of the motor so don't even think of trying to "push" start this baby. If you run out of electrical juice things get tough. yes there are emergency procedures... recommended only for emergencies)

    Most importantly, regarding MPG --- it is calculated from the fuel used (determined from fuel injection metering and mileage.) What is calculated for the min by min MPG is real as can be... except when the MPG goes over 99 MPG or, as happens, goes to infinity (this is when the battery is being charged up by coasting or breaking and no fuel is being consumed yet the car moves.) it only shows 99.9 mpg. The total cumulative fuel usage is still being accumulated in the computer as is the mileage. This means that the 5 min bars will show TRUE mpg "for that 5 min time period" . The total is a compilaiton of all the mileage divided by the fuel use, which is mathematically the same as adding up those mpg bars... HERE IS THE RUB.

    You can NOT take an arithmetic average (what most people think of as average) of the bars to get the true mpg. You have to take a harmonic mean. I won't explain the math. The reason is that what you are really measuring is the fuel used to drive a distance. This is gallons per mile. You can average these figures to get a total fuel usage because what is being used is fuel. In fact they use that method in europe.

    Bottom line if I want to get 50 mpg for 10 min, and I did 25mpg the first 5 min (one half of the desired millage) I would have to get double the mileage (100mpg) for the next 5 min to get an average of 50 mpg - not 75mpg.

    Call this small lesson "How MPG is calculated"
  • plusafplusaf Posts: 6
    please note that the best way to jump-start ANY car with a dead battery is to hook the two systems together and let the live one charge the dead one until the dead one's battery can start the car by itself.

    the 12 battery in the prius is a very low capacity unit, and i'd wager it could be easily damaged by putting a really dead battery across it and then trying to start the disabled car. electronically, a dead battery is the electrical equivalent of a short circuit until it charges up. and the starter looks like a heavy load, too, unless the disabled car starts VERY quickly....

    more details or stories? i used this technique at about 15 degrees below in troy new york, decades ago, and got a friend's car started after he'd unsuccessfully tried a jumpstart from three cars simultaneously !!!!!!! picture that!

    it took us half an hour of chatting in my warm car as my car charged his' battery, and his lit off without any spray ether or whatever. he gave me a buck for the gas consumed, which was a drastic overpayment at the time....
  • plusafplusaf Posts: 6
    yeah, they tried that in the D.C. area on one of the connectors near an airport.

    it cleared out the hov lane all right... it emptied it. onto the service roads, which were then REALLY blocked up...

    if you think arranging a carpool schedule for two people is fun, it goes up exponentially with three!

    if the hov lane is full, as in LA, and all of the lanes are going slow, can you ask yourself why there is an hov lane?

    next, if the hov lane is lightly loaded, and the other neighboring lanes are slow and packed, can you ask why there is an hov lane?

    keep working on that one.......
  • aguy1aguy1 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 with 70,000 miles - the car is going well, and I have had no problems. I follow the service instructions.
    I did talk to my dealer about a trade for another bybrid however he was only willing to offer me $8000.00 on my 2002 because of the high mileage?
    Any feed back about high miles and trade in value would be appreciated.
  • priusfan05priusfan05 Posts: 2
    Hi! I have a "Super White" 2005 Prius, which I love, and I want to keep looking good. What can I do to clean the outside of my Prius when I don't have time to do a real, full-on washing (with bucket, water, soap, etc.)? I've seen "car wash wipes" from ArmorAll, and I've heard that there is something out there that you spray on your car & just wipe off (but I don't have any "name" for that product). Has anyone out there used the ArmorAll product, or used any kind of spray & wipe product? And if so, what was your experience (and where did you find the stuff?)
    Thank you! :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    I suspect that if the Prius 12 volt battery goes out completely, you may have to tow it to a dealer to reset everything. Can anyone who has had this happen confirm / deny this?

    Obviously, if the traction battery goes out, it becomes a 3000 lb paperweight until it is towed to the dealer. The HSD has some advantages over the Honda IMA, but this is the drawback to HSD.
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    OK, so I took my '04 in for it's 30k oil change and asked what
    maintenance was suggested at this point. She printed out the list and
    it came to $379. Of course 2/3 of it were "inspections". The only
    work on it was the oil change, the engine air filter, the a/c air
    filter (both of which I'll do myself) and engine coolant replacement
    and inverter fluid replacement. Does anyone know what the "inverter"
    fluid replacement is? I asked them what it would cost just to flush
    the engine and inverter fluids. The inverter would be $250 and the
    engine $200. Sheesh. I'm having them change the oil. I'll think
    about the other two. Any ideas or opinions? - Rick
  • jjprinsjjprins Posts: 2
    Read your manual, Rick. The only replacements required at 30k are the oil and both air filters. Nothing other than these three things needs replacement until you hit 100k. Most dealerships sure are shamless...
  • I have a 2005 Prius with 1,200 mi. I'm very pleased with it. Not surprisingly, the dealer's maintenance plan calls for a lot of added items to perform ranging from adding oil additives and at 15,000 miles replacing the air filter, a "transmission service" and a "recommended" engine flush service and throttle body! Plus they recommend oil/oil filter changes at 3,750 mi.

    Meanwhile the Prius guide suggests oil/oil filter changes every 5,000 mi. and at 15,000 an inspection of certain items, same thing at 30,000 except to replace the air filter...that's it.

    I plan to adhere to the Prius' plan except I think I should change the oil at 4,000.

    My main concern, however, is that while the dealer's plan suggests replacing the timing belt at 60,000, I can't find any suggested replacement of the timing belt in the Prius guide straight through to 120,000 mi. Did I miss something here?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Follow the maintanence requirements in your owner's guide. Any/all of the "suggested" maintanence from the dealer you're going to is just that.... suggested. Feel free to use a shorter interval for oil changes if it makes you feel more confortable, but in all honesty, it isn't necessary. Same with engine/cabin air filters. Inspect them, if they're dirty, replace them. If not, wait until the next service interval and do the same thing. Engine air filter is more significant as it can make a VERY significant difference in engine efficiency (10% or more).

    Hope this helps.

    Toyota Ken
  • Thanks Ken, that helps. The only remaining concern is what about the timing belt? I assume a Prius has one. Is it possible it doesn't need replacing up to 120,000? Would it ever need replacing (if I ask the dealer of course they'll recommend it)?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Quite honestly, I'm not sure if it's a belt or a chain. I believe it's a chain, however. I can check on this when I get into the store tomorrow and post back with what I find out.

    Toyota Ken
  • Can anyone recommend something to clean and protect the inside of my Prius, I tried Armorall and it left a streaky residue and didnt seem to do much past that.

  • After owning a gas guzzling SUV, I am obviously considering a Prius. However, I am wondering about the average maintanence; does it cost more or is it more frequent than a non hybrid car? Also, I live in a very snowy state; does anyone know how the Prius fares in winter weather?

    Thank you!
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Only have the Prius for four weeks (1500 miles) and live in SoCal so I can't speak about snow. According to the owner's manual it appears that only oil and filter (oil, engine air, and cabin air) changes are required for the first 100K miles or so. There are the usual inspections and Toyota recommends tire rotations every 5000 miles.

    The tires are basic rim protectors and don't hold the road well, but they ride okay and are fine for non spirited driving. I have my doubts they would do well in the snow. The car comes with traction control so even with these tires you should be able to get around during the winter.

    I still have my SUV (MDX) and find it nicer for long drives. Nothng wrong with the Prius for long drives, just not as nice as the bigger (more room inside) car. I'm find that the Prius A/C has to work hard to keep me cool on hot days (95 plus), while my other cars don't. The Prius needs recirculated air and more fan speed, but gets the job done - with more wind inside and more fan noise.

    I've seen other posts that changing tires on a Prius makes a significant positive change in ride, quiet, and handling while not hurting mpg much.
  • I also own a g.g. SUV! I just started looking at the Toyota Prius today. I was wondering the same thing.

    How does the maintenance differ for this hybrid vs. non-hybrid auto?
    How does it handle in snow?
    How long does the battery last? And what's the typical price to replace it?

  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Most of these have been answered earlier in the forum but here some short answers for you. Maintanence is almost the same, but save alot on some things. Oil changes are every 5k along with tire rotations. However, because the brake pads/rotors are not used until almost stopped(regenerative braking) most of these vehicles go over 100k before needing brake service. No transmission = no transmission service.

    For driving in the snow, it is front wheel drive, so works well, you may want to invest in snow tires if you're in a snowy region of the country.

    Batteries have lasted well over 200k for several owners and there have been no issues with many owners over 100k on them. They're made up of smaller "blocks" of batteries, so you don't have to replace the whole battery pack if there is an issue, just one of the MANY smaller packs, and regardless, they're covered for 8yrs/100,000 miles.

    Hope this helps.

  • talleyidtalleyid Posts: 34
    It's been awhile since I've been on the site but I recently moved from the St. Louis area and had my Prius in several winters there. You'll also find info if you search the sites by keyword because I know this has been discussed.

    In short, winter performance was no different to me than with any other car I've drive in a snowy climate. My Prius did seem to provide warm air sooner which I attribute to the faster warming of the engine due to the stored, warm, coolant. I did have a slight decrease in mileage due to cold and winter fuel mixes but it was still in the low to mid 40's on average. In better weather I was averaging closer to 50 MPG. John1701a has dealt with this question extensively here and on his site, if you need more detail.
  • How do I get this warning light to turn off? I had my oil changed at a local service center (not at the Toyota dealership)
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