So I just took my 2012 Prius Four into the local dealer to perform the routine major service (done every 30,000 miles) as it was approaching 120,000 miles and I received a recommended laundry list of pricey maintenance work.
Spark plugs replacement was suppose to be on this list, but I replaced them myself and saved ~$300. Here’s the list of recommended work and what the dealer charges, listed in the order of cheapest to costliest:
- Cabin air filter replacement: $59.95
- Inverter coolant change – maintenance: $159.95
- Engine coolant fluid exchange service – maintenance: $159.95
- Induction service – maintenance: $249.95 (throttle body and fuel injector cleaning)
- Transmission fluid exchange WS – maintenance: $299.95
- Hybrid cooling fan service: $389.00
Tire alignment was also on the list for $99.77 since I’ve recently installed new tires.
Total cost to have everything done at the dealer is $1,453.80 and this was the cheapest quote from Toyota within a 25 mile radius! $1,753.80 if you include spark plug change and this still does not factor in tax and hazardous waste disposal fees.
I have extra time these days since moving back to the South Bay and being minutes away from work, so I can perform these maintenance work myself. Having our own garage is a plus!
Next DIY guide will be on hybrid cooling fan service (basically just cleaning the high voltage [HV] hybrid battery impeller). It takes about an hour and a half and costs zero dollars if you do it yourself. Changing the cabin air filter costs about $15~$40, depending on where you acquire your filter from and whether it’s a genuine Toyota or aftermarket filter. It takes less than 10 minutes of your time.
Since we’ve moved back to the South Bay and I’m a mere 8 minute drive to work, my commute has diminished drastically so the other semi-major work, such as engine and inverter coolant change, transmission drain and fill, which requires jacking up the car, can wait and will happen early 2018. I’ll change the engine and inverter coolant and drain and fill the transmission fluid at the same time since all procedure requires jacking up the car and removing the engine under cover. Come to think of it, this is the first time I’ll ever be draining and filling the aforementioned vehicle fluids, proof that the humble Prius is built like a tank! The brakes are still original. And we’ve taken the Prius everywhere, as far as Vancouver, B.C, Canada and in all season weather. I know owners who drain and fill their transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, which in my personal opinion, is overkill and an absolute waste of money and time. But hey, if that’s your thing, more power to you and I absolutely defend your rights to do it.
Induction service consists of cleaning the fuel injectors and throttle body. I’ll be replacing the positive crankcase ventilation valve (PCV). In a separate weekend, I’ll be cleaning the intake manifold and replacing its gasket, cleaning the exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) valve and cooler at the same time in one afternoon sitting.
More to come and more DIY guides in January and February 2018!