Balancing Act

Joined the 100,000 Mile Club!

100,000 Miles

As of two Saturdays ago on our way down to SeaWorld San Diego, April 15, my 2012 Prius Four has joined the 100,000 mile club! I put in approximately 50,000 miles in just two years! I will be keeping my Prius for as long as I can. It’s paid off, it’s dependable, it’s reliable and it’s fuel efficient!

We are waiting for more details on the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. It looks like a quasi-luxury vehicle with plenty of space. If it fulfills our need, we might just trade in the Prius C, also paid off, and pay off the balance in cash. The Prius Four will continue to be my daily commuter and road trip road warrior.

I’ll continue to work on it for as long as I own it. If the hybrid battery breaks down, I’ll replace it with a rebuilt battery. I’ve replaced my tires in July 2015 and as of last service at Cabe Toyota of Long Beach (where I realized, after the fact, I ran into Subcode’s red Prius [ you were right behind me ]) the tread level was at 50%. Once it is time to replace the tires, I’ll swap in 17″ Konig Oversteer black wheels in place of the OEM black wheels.

I don’t plan to make any crazy changes to the Prius at this point forward, just cosmetic upgrades, etc. I have a son now and family is first and time is scarce! It probably needs a detailing session and head light de-hazing! Stay tuned for a DIY.

I also got into a rear bumper bender, nothing dramatic, but nothing that can be buffed off either. The fender bender came at a pretty good time, ironically. My rear bumper suffers from the rear-bumper-sagging syndrome that many 3rd gen Prius owner experienced and I’ve been meaning to replace it. The rear bumper sags on the passenger side, which you can see in the photo below, causing an unsightly gap. This happen because the rear bumper on the 3rd gen Prius does NOT have any kind of support on the center of the bumper itself, besides the side retention brackets and various bolts and screws. If you sit on the rear bumper or place heavy load on it, nothing is there to support the rear bumper, so over time, tabs break resulting in the sagging. I decided to fix the rear bumper myself.

That is, remove the Prius PLUS rear ground effect components and transfer them onto a new bumper and install everything myself. One of the three Prius PLUS rear ground effect component was scratched up in the whole debacle, so it will need some sanding, prep and retouch work done, another feat I will perform on my own as I’ve done so in the past. The total cost, plus material, amounts to $254 (new pre-painted rear bumper and touch-up materials from Paint Scratch).

The trick now is to find an available weekend! The scratch doesn’t bother me as I’ve removed most of it with polishing compound. It’s barely noticeable from afar, but pretty obvious if you’re standing right in front of it. Because of this, I’ll take my sweet time to fix it. Hopefully before the summer heat wave rolls around!

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