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Yes, we all bought a Prius.
(insert rim shot)

Okay, yes, some of us do our own oil. Recommend car ramps (instead of a jack), a filter wrench, drain pan, big cardboard box flattened to catch drips and spills under the car (and to keep your tuxedo from getting dusty), long-neck funnel for refill, and don't forget gaskets for the drain plug from the dealer.
 

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You find a dealer with a couple available on the lot and you can get lifetime oil changes free (every 5,000 miles) Mine was offered without even asking along with free lifetime car washes (limit 2/per/mo)
Most Toyota dealers send out continuous coupons for oil and filter changes at $19.95. Sure beats crawling underneath and dropping the "belly pan" to expose the oil drain. Keep clear of all "orange" cables!
 

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Am i missing something here? I've only changed my (2005) oil once, but it was not necessary to lift up the car in any way, nor to remove anything to access the drain plug (or the filter).

rpm
 

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I do my own oil changes. I look at it this way: If I do it myself, I not only save money, but it's much quicker. I don't have to spend any time sitting around in the dealership and I can do it on my own time (Saturday morning is good for me - maybe not for them).

I also avoid the chance of them overfilling the car and I make sure the filter is on just tight enough. While the oil's draining, I jack up the car and rotate the tires.


DGStan
 

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I also do it to save time. I was actually told by the dealer after a two-hour delay for an alignment that the "appointment" isn't an actual time it will get taken, but rather the earliest it can be done. What bullshit! AN appointment is an appointment, period. By the way, my apopintment was 8AM when they opened, so there was no cause for "unexpected delay" like a later appointment might experience.

Takes me 30 minutes now. The drive to the dealer and back is longer than that!
 

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An often overlooked benefit of crawling under the car yourself for changing oil is that provides the perfect opportunity to inspect the condition of the car.

Discovering a torn/damage boot will save you a lot. The same goes for a fluid leak or a component that is missing or working its way loose. Checking the condition of the brake-rotor and ABS-sensor is an obvious plus too. (And yes, someday I would like to photographically document this as well.)
 

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Yes, that's why I use ramps. I could probably drain the oil without them, but this way I can slide under and check things out. It also ends up leveling the car when backed into the driveway, so I can check the level, and then check for leaks while running, before letting it down on the ground.
 

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John, those are all items that the checklist Toyota gives me after an oil change indicates is done. And Phil, find another dealer. The one thing that really impressed me with the purchase of the Prius was the service from my local dealer. At the appointment time for bringing my car in for the three recalls they were waiting for me at the door and all the paper work had come out of the computer. That with the ability to follow the car on a pipe banistered walkway and speak to the attendent during the oil change sold me on Toyota. Maybe it's because I inudate them with questions but I've never been at the dealer more than an hour.
 

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The local dealers are so busy that they process cars like cattle, and take no ownership of the total job, handing it off from person to person and making excuses. They are swamped with business and just aren't motivated. I hope I never have to go there! Oil changes in the driveway are one way to avoid them, and it gives me a chance to check that nothing is amiss "down under."
 

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Do y'all rotate your own tires? I'll probably let my SO do the next oil change (the first was a freebie) but rotating tires without a lift is rather a pain.
 

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Mine is due. I have a large floor jack, but I am wary of using it anywhere but the center (front and rear) jack mounts. Where along the side rails can it be lifted and put on jackstands?
 

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Changing the oil is a piece of cake, takes maybe 10 minutes when you have your tools and a nice work space. I also rotate my own tires, have 2 jacks so it is quite easy.

Also it is a great time to just take a good look at the underside of your car to and see if you have any thing starting to break, come loose, etc.

My garbage service picks up oil and recycles it - so it is really a no brainer for me.
 

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Oil Filter?

Any opinions on the oil filter? I assumed the Toyota filter was probably of adequate quality, but I recently read on another site that Toyota is using a Fram style filter element (read cardboard end-caps instead of metal) that worries me.

Curious if anyone has a favorite.
 

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Re: Oil Filter?

stevewa said:
Any opinions on the oil filter? I assumed the Toyota filter was probably of adequate quality, but I recently read on another site that Toyota is using a Fram style filter element (read cardboard end-caps instead of metal) that worries me.

Curious if anyone has a favorite.

I just use Fram because it is very readily available and I've driven about 500,000 miles in total on them now and never had a problem. I do know there are better filters out there. Outside of the Toyota Supra I had that I sold to buy the Prius, I've never used them.
 
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