Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 11:06 PM
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Default Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment

I have a 2008 Prius with 17,000 miles on it and when I took it in for the 15K service I was told the throttle body was dirty and was dirty and needed cleaned and serviced to the tune of $169.95. Additionally the air filter is dirty and needs replaced ($30) and the interior air/HEPA filter needs replaced ($69.95) - and there is no smoking in this car!

My question is, since when does a new car with just 17K mileage need so much service?? The service rep told my brother that all of the Prius throttle bodies get dirty and need constant cleaning! If this is so, why is it not on the standard service list? I pre-paid the service contract and none of these "standard" things are included.

and on top of that my tires are almost worn out after 17K miles - rediculous

Am I getting ripped off?
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment

Hi, maxcurie,

Depending on if your 17,000 miles was in dusty/dirty driving conditions your engine air filter may or may not need changing. That's easy enough for you to check yourself by unsnapping 4 clips & tilting the filter cover back towards the windshield before lifting it up [you have to remove the cover all the way because you have to lift the filter out & turn it over to look at the bottom side (that's where all the crud gets trapped because the air inlet is under the filter)]. Pay special attention before/as you remove the filter for the original position [there is a tab that is a little off-center at the back edge that is there to help you re-position it properly (some owners didn't notice the tab & tried to flip the filter over right end to left end or front edge to rear edge & then complained here that they couldn't get the cover to go back on & lock down)]. Remember, the bottom side is the side you look at (not the clean top side). If it needs changing you can do that yourself & probably save $10 because at most dealers that replacement filter costs around $20.

The cabin air filter you can probably do yourself too & save a bundle there because that filter is in the $20-$25 range at most dealerships. Changing it involves a little more work [you have to empty your lower glove box (for some people that is a big job depending on how much "junk" they store in there)]. Next you pop the little piston/damper off of the right side of the glove box (just the glove box---leave the piston attached at the upper end of the piston). Then gently squeeze the sides of the glove box together until the tabs on the sides release from the holes on the sides of the glove box housing (which is part of the dashboard) & gently ease the glove box all the way down towards the floor mat. You will see a grayish white plastic assembly in back now. There are tabs at each side of that plastic assembly that don't need to be pushed inward or outward (just grab them & give a gentle but firm tug on them & the whole tray will slide out towards you). Take the tray all the way out & you then just slide the filter element out from under the tabs that hold the element in place. The filter can be very dirty with lots of garbage (fluff, maple keys, pine needles, berries, nut shells, etc.) sitting on top of it as you try to slide it out, so be careful not to let any of that "junk" drop off of the back edge of the filter down into the heater blower motor housing. That filter has nothing to do with whether you are a smoker or not, but all the "junk" I mentioned (that you may or may not see) gets in there through 5 big holes in the firewall that are hidden behind the black plastic louvered panel that sits below the windshield wipers. Some of the stuff gets blown in there & trapped by the filter, but a lot of the other things get brought in by mice, so it's a good idea to screen the 5 holes off if you start finding berries & nut shells (do a search for "mouse hotel" or "mouse problem" & you will find how others have gone about removing parts to screen off those 5 holes). To re-install the cabin filter, just reverse the removal procedure steps.

I would think the filter changes should be covered under your pre-paid service contract, but only at the mileage intervals mentioned in your "Passport" maintenance schedule booklet. The throttle body cleaning wouldn't be, but if it is really that dirty then it's probably because the dealer previously over-filled your engine oil. I have 89,000 miles on my 2005 Prius & I've never needed a throttle body cleaning. If it gets "crudded" up from oil over-fill then probably yes, but at most dealerships it's just a scam to make more money for them (same way with their "injector cleaning service" that usually does more harm than good). Always check your dipstick before you start your car after your oil changes & if you find it overfilled then bring the service manager out to show him & ask that they remove some of the excess oil to bring the level down to the proper amount. It sometimes may be necessary to insist ahead of time that it gets written on the work order to only put 3 or 3.5 quarts in at the dealership & that you will add the extra yourself later to bring it up to the proper point on the dipstick.

Now, as for tires: yes, the Goodyear Integrities do seem to wear out pre-maturely for some owners, but they can be made to last till around 55,000-60,000 miles. Mine showed extreme wear only on the inside & outside edges of all 4 tires (NO wear in the middles) & this was with rotations every 5,000 miles as specified in the maintenance book. The problem seems to be that the guys that do the oil changes & tire rotations are not Prius techs & probably not even techs(mechanics) at all (they do nothing but the oil & tires on all the Toyota's & don't even bother to check the data plates on the door openings for the proper tire pressures of each different model Toyota. At 5,000 miles I found my tires at 24 lbs all around (data plate says 35 front/33 rear) & at 10,000 miles I found they had set them to 28 lbs all around,so at 15,000 miles I requested they adhere to the data plate (which they finally did). My tires had almost no tread on the inside & outside edges (worn but not cupped---so no alignment issue), but they were like new in the middles (classic symptom of under-inflation). So at every 5,000 mile service after that I demanded 42 lbs front/40 lbs rear even though they gave me the argument that the tires weren't rated for anything over 35 lbs (WRONG--- the Integrities are rated for 44 lbs max). Each time I got that argument I had to point out the max rating right there on the tire sidewall & then they set my pressure to 42/40 & I started wearing down the middles (no detectable additional wear on the edges after that) & that's how I got to 55,000 miles on them. I probably could have gotten to 60,000 miles if I hadn't gotten a flat & got all kinds of static from the tire shop about not repairing tires with "illegal" tread (my tires were still NOT down to the wear indicator ridges across the middle of the tread, but they were not liking the wear on the inside & outside edges). The tire shop even went so far as to lie & tell me the reason that my tires wore the way they did was I over-inflated them according to the specs in their computer for a Prius equipped with the Goodyear Integrity tires & I told them "NO, they got that way from being under-inflated for the first 15,000 miles". When I got the Continental Premier Contact tires from them & requested the 42/40 pressures, they said "NO,the car & the tires can't take that pressure", then I pointed out the 51 lb max rating on the sidewalls & they filled them to 42/40 but said the car wouldn't handle right at anything above the data plate's 35/33 lbs. I've had no problems at all with mine set to 42/40 up to this day. I hope this all has helped you.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment

I haven't tried it myself yet, but Bob Wilson says it's very easy and inexpensive to clean your own throttle plate:
http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/f10/ ... art-15029/

I concur with Ct Ken V: engine and cabin air filters are very easy to replace yourself, so there's no reason to pay a mechanic for that service.

I don't know about Goodyear Integrities, because my older model of Prius came with Bridgestone Potenza LRR tires, which have an expected lifespan of only 30,000 miles, and many owners found that they got a lot less when they followed Toyota's recommended inflation (34 psi front, 32 psi rear). However, my tires lasted to 45,000 miles with a nice, even wear pattern when I used a higher pressure (42 psi front, 40 psi rear). Plus, I get better gas mileage with higher tire pressure.

Remember, all these tire pressure measurements (including the max inflation embossed on your tire's sidewall) are intended to be taken when the tire is cold (i.e. it hasn't been rolling for the past few hours). So, check your pressure at home in your garage, not at the gas station or mechanic's shop.

Douglas (2002 Silver, 120k mi)
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment

You can replace both filters yourself. This interval is not unusual.

Throttle body cleaning is generally a ripoff, and I would ask Toyota to reimburse it under the vehicle or emissions warranty. If it did not fail emissions, then why did they do it? Either way, you should not have to pay. Bogus!

The original tires do not last unless you raise the pressure. Go up to about 38 front, 35 rear (check the sidewall for the max cold pressure and stay at or under it in any case). Mine wore out the edges in 20K, while the rest of the tread was okay. I replaced them with the pricier Comfortreds and got over 50K and a smoother ride, even with the higher pressures.

2005 Seaside Pearl, BC#6
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Injection throttle body/pre-paid service comment

Maxcurie,

Sounds like you need to look for a new dealer for service. Filters, etc., are the owner's responsibility, but the throttle body problem should be covered by the new car warranty. Also, 15k seems very early for the engine air filter, although that depends on your personal driving conditions. And, the interior filter seems very early, too. The engine filter is available through your local auto parts store for much less, and it's easy to change (at least in the classic Prius).

The OEM tires on about all autos don't last long. Personally, I am on my second set of Michelin HydroEdges; and I am very satisfied. If you drive in snow, these might not work as well for you year around; although they are very long wearing tires in Arizona. The first set got 65,000 (would have lasted about 80k, but I changed them out early). And, I have about 40k on the second set; and they look like they will run 80k, too. These are rated at 44 psi max, and I run 44/42 to keep them wearing evenly and maximize the mpg's.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 01:47 PM
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The check engine light came on in my 2005 Prius. The dealer originally said that it was b/c my gas was low. I told them it was a ridiculous diagnosis. Sure enough, it came back on the next day. They cleaned the throttle body and the light hasn't returned. But... the car has over 130k mile on it.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 04:59 AM
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Suggest you check the oil level on the dip stick. If it is over the full mark, it is overfilled.

When overfilled, engine oil gets sucked into the intake manifold, which causes the ICE to stumble and throw a FAIL TO START code. I think the delay before sending this code is only a fraction of a second, so it doesn't take much hesitation for the error to display.

The fix for this is to drain the excess oil and clean out the oil residue and soot in the throttle body and intake manifold.

I always checked the oil level after the dealer did the oil changes (when our Prius was new). The capacity on a 2002 Prius is 3.5 quarts, and they almost always auto-filled it to 4 quarts. After we had a similar failure, I started checking the oil level before leaving the dealership; and there were 3-4 occasions when I drove it back into the shop area to have a half-quart drained.
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