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Say you live in CA, knowing what you now know, would you go to Elmore Toyota for your auto needs?

  • Yes

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  • No

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  • Liars and cheats and immoral bastards, oh my!

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Discussion Starter #1
By now a lot of you may recognize when my name comes up on this board. I'm the guy that's asked about everything from "the little circle on the front of the bumper" to questions about installing alarm systems and racing seats and leather and chrome and yeah. (Going for the "MTV Pimp My Ride" look here folks :wink: and as always that would be WITHOUT doing anything to the outside aerodynamics that could hurt half of what makes the 2004 Prius what it is)

I want to kind of get a recap on some things and ask a few new ones, so I'll start with this:

Leather with a BC/#9
Possible? Obviously it would effect the way that the head airbags work and my question is this...
Say I find a dealer recommended place and get leather put in. Not a slipcover, but where my seats are reupholstered... Are the airbags effected? I know they require breakaway stitching for this option, but are my airbags effected in a negative way to where I'd need to have new ones installed by Toyota?
To stave the little quips I seem to notice on this board a lot so I can get the info I need, WE ARE ASSUMING THIS IS DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL INSTALLER WHO IS RECOMMENDED BY A TOYOTA DEALERSHIP I TRUST AND IS FULLY AWARE OF THE PROCEDURE HE IS ABOUT TO DO.

Racing Seats with a BC/#9?
Only way I would consider this after I learned about the head airbags being IN the seat and not the framework of the car, is if they make racing seats that can contain these airbags. So my question HERE is simply, Do they? Any helpful links that can be sent my way are very much appreciated.

Upgraded aftermarket alarms on a BC/#9
As another topic confirmed for me, alarms can be connected to the Prius battery since there is a 12v accessory battery besides the big high voltage battery. I am having a VERY nice system put into my car soon and I'll let you know how the experience goes once it is done. (This is being done through "The Good Guys" at Marina Pacifica in Long Beach, CA and should be helpful info for anyone living in a state where these stores are located (mostly West Coast I believe)

Cleaner for the dash
After my car was keyed and went in for body work (YES it was THAT DEEP) I received it back in questionable shape. 3 of my 4 air covers were missing from the tires, there was a pea sized spot of RED PAINT on my steering wheel, dirty water marks like something was splashed where my seatbelt is attached to the framework and a big white spot (faded and has a ring like a spill, not opaque like paint) on my dash on the driver side just to the left of what would be MY center (draw a straight line from my nose to the windshield... just left) I have used an armorall all purpose cleaner sponge that has helped in many other instances and it didn't even appear SLIGHTLY better afterward. My friend is suggesting an all purpose dash cleaner made by Meguiar's but after showing me his dash (VERY high gloss and after a week, still faintly greasy on a slick vinyl surface) I don't want to use it on my dash since it's more textured.
I've gone to the dealership that did the repair/spilled whatever and they take no responsibility etc. This is not my regular dealer and I won't go back to them for repairs (My dealer's recommendation) since they can't step up like men. (Body work was GREAT though)
Anybody know of a good cleaning product? Even if it is made by Toyota which would make it expensive? It's not MASSIVELY noticable (again, not opaque) but it detracts from my otherwise immaculate vehicle.

XM Radio on a BC/#9
Multiple questions about this. I've heard and seen stills that make it look like an absolutely seamless job and am interested in this. What I want to know is:
1) Is there ANYTHING visible, inside OR outside, that wasn't there before? (a new antenna, a unit in my dash like with a new stereo on a standard car, etc) I don't really want to change the appearance and make it OBVIOUS I added something later on...
2) Anybody with any XM Radio experience... Are you satisfied with it? What are the rates? Are there ever issues with reception? (weather, etc)

Fog lights on a BC/#9
When outside my vehicle at night time and looking at the front head on with the lights on, something bugs me... I have xenon headlamps and standard "yellow" foglamps. I know foglamps add the benefit of lighting down toward the road more in poor weather. BUT does it matter what color they are? I usually ride with them on as I like the look more, and am wondering if foglamps MUST be the "yellow" bulb in order to work OR if I can have a xenon bulb in there.
Continuing on that point,
is it just a matter of changing a bulb or are we talking a new unit? I've never dealt with xenon bulbs before and am not aware how/if they are different.

AND FINALLY...

For anyone living in Southern California, or wanting to buy from a dealer in Southern California, do everything in your power to AVOID ELMORE TOYOTA IN WESTMINSTER CALIFORNIA (Orange County, Near Huntington Beach) This post is getting long enough that I will give a serverely short version of this, but let's just say that although I received my car in one month, ordered and deposit on 11/20/03, receive on 12/16/03, I was charged $3000 over MSRP because Toyota was "doing it nationwide due to the extreme backorders" but "not to worry, the $2000 I get back from the Fed and the $1000 CA gives to hybrid owners will mean in the long run I only paid MSRP plus tax and title.
Needless to say, $2000 is the MOST I could have gotten back and that is dependent on my income, tax bracket, housing and medical expenses and charitable donations... MY benefit was about $400 and California has a program going for hybrid vehicles, but it's a partnership they have with HONDA and Toyota never signed on. (Never had a CHANCE at this $1000) Upon delivery my car looked great, although handicapped midgets that had never seen wax or a CAR could have done a better wax job... Some kind of plug (little black things in a plastic bag with nothing but japanese written on it) was in my glove box and remains there. What is the function of these? Should they have been installed somewhere? If so, you can tack that up there with being scheisters, liars and just straight up immoral.
I have boycotted this dealership for EVERY POSSIBLE REASON YOU COULD NEED TO GO TO A DEALERSHIP and hope that others that read this will too. Not sure if I've mentioned, but I'm 22, not naive and they put this to me in a way that was like "Toyota says we have to... Hope you're still interested..." I can only imagine his commission check that has a huge markup like that... Glad I bought his kids more presents under the tree... (Like I said, delivery was on 12/16/03

POSITIVE NOTE:
Toyota of Long Beach has handled all my needs since, was compassionate re: the experience at Elmore and the manager in parts gave me a discount on anything I could possibly ned from their department for the first 60 days after we first discussed the situation. I have never had a negative experience here.
In So Cal? http://www.toyotaoflongbeach.com


Well all, this post is now officially one for the records, but I have my thoughts together more clearly tonight than usual and wanted to get it all out there. Thanks for coping and I look forward to some great answers!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
No one has an opinion?

Wow, 102 views so far and no one has anything to say about all the questions I've asked? Doesn't seem likely that NOBODY has any input... Granted I also ranted about my HORRID dealer experience, but seriously...
 

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Power corrupts...absolutely

It seems that some dealers have seized on the fact that the normal powers of supply/demand have been reversed. Car buyers have tradionally enjoyed the power of just "walking away" from a deal, to later have the dealer call with a better price.

With the demand for the Prius so high that waiting lists have become necessary, some dealers are starting to exploit the same supply/demand powers that we used to enjoy. My number hasn't come up yet, but based on your story, and many others, even though I'm still anxiously looking forward to the car, I am certainly not looking forward to actually purchasing the car.

Hope your situation gets better,

DurhamNC
 

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Re: No one has an opinion?

bradca21 said:
Wow, 102 views so far and no one has anything to say about all the questions I've asked? Doesn't seem likely that NOBODY has any input... Granted I also ranted about my HORRID dealer experience, but seriously...
Short answer: I dunno.

Long answer:
(read only if bored)

It's certainly worth a shot asking questions here, but you shouldn't feel offended if people don't feel knowledgeable enough about your specific questions to answer, especially right away. None of your questions were specifically about hybrid parts of the Prius, the primary subject of this bulletin board. But all require fairly detailed knowledge (and confidence in that knowledge) about subjects that apply to all cars, not just hybrids.

You probably need to ask your questions at a more general car board with a larger audience. If you do get good answers somewhere and you're feeling generous with your time, post them here. There are plenty of car owners (by virtue of the fact that they're Prius owners) here that might be interested.
 

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I had the same dealer experience, I too was told the above MSRP markup was being done everywhere because "Toyota undervalued the car." I was even told next year's model will be $3K more STICKER and that my dealer, being oh so generous, had actually lowered the markup from $5K.

Over the life of the car, $3000 isn't really a major amount of money, but it was disheartening to find this site and see I got ripped off.

I did consider slamming the dealership in my Toyota survey, but the service manager implied if I come in and fill out the survey with him, I will get 12 free oil changes. With the way I drive, and the six free I've already gotten, I won't pay for an oil change for... nearly 5 years. That right there saves me over $500. So I probably will just suck it up.

I am cancelling the extended warrenty tomorrow though. I paid $1600 and it seems I can get it for $1000 elsewhere, if I really even need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fog lights on a BC/#9
When outside my vehicle at night time and looking at the front head on with the lights on, something bugs me... I have xenon headlamps and standard "yellow" foglamps. I know foglamps add the benefit of lighting down toward the road more in poor weather. BUT does it matter what color they are? I usually ride with them on as I like the look more, and am wondering if foglamps MUST be the "yellow" bulb in order to work OR if I can have a xenon bulb in there.
Continuing on that point,
is it just a matter of changing a bulb or are we talking a new unit? I've never dealt with xenon bulbs before and am not aware how/if they are different.

UPDATE:

Did some homework, same place I posted the reply about the dvd player options, and they told me that the mount for the current bulbs can just as easily hold, while he isn't sure a xenon bulb, they do make bulbs meant to match the xenon color within 2 shades and since it's the same type of bulb, of course it will fit. He quoted me $30/ea after labor approx $35/ea for the fog lights and said it would take about half an hour as there was MINOR disassembly to get to 'em. Probably going to have this done on Monday. I'll take some night pics eventually and let you all know how it turns out.

Again, if in SoCal/Long Beach area, email me and I'll give you the info for this place. See my other post for dvd options if you've been considering, and they do AWESOME tint jobs too!
 

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Re: Q's, crappy dealer exp. and some other stuff... *LONG PO

Don't go north from Huntington Beach to North Hollywood, they suck too.
 

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Re: Q's, crappy dealer exp. and some other stuff... *LONG PO

bradca21 said:
Some kind of plug (little black things in a plastic bag with nothing but japanese written on it) was in my glove box and remains there. What is the function of these? Should they have been installed somewhere?
I didn't notice where anyone answered this.

The plug you are talking about, there actually should have been 2 of them....about 1 1/2 long and about 3/4 inch wide, oval in shape in the bag. Correct?

They are body plugs, that should have been installed when the car was prepped. They go in matching shaped holes in the undercarriage just in front of the rear wheels, about 6 inches in from the side. Should be easy to see where they go and pop them in yourself, saving you a trip to the dealer. When you look, you may find that there are plugs already installed, sometimes techs get the car up in the air on the lift, and forget to take the plugs out of the glovebox first, if they have spares on their workbench they may use those rather than lowering the car to get the ones from the glovebox.
 

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bradca21 said:
yeah, that's them.... what is their purpose? what are they plugging?
They're plugging big holes in the unibody, to keep water, dirt, etc... from getting inside and causing it to rust. I am not sure why they aren't installed at the factory and are left for the dealers to install. Maybe they leave them out during shipping so air can get in and help in the curing process of the paint and/or rustproofing, since the vehicles are shipped so soon after that's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Q's, crappy dealer exp. and some other stuff... *LONG PO

bradca21 said:
Fog lights on a BC/#9
When outside my vehicle at night time and looking at the front head on with the lights on, something bugs me... I have xenon headlamps and standard "yellow" foglamps. I know foglamps add the benefit of lighting down toward the road more in poor weather. BUT does it matter what color they are? I usually ride with them on as I like the look more, and am wondering if foglamps MUST be the "yellow" bulb in order to work OR if I can have a xenon bulb in there.
Continuing on that point,
is it just a matter of changing a bulb or are we talking a new unit? I've never dealt with xenon bulbs before and am not aware how/if they are different.
UPDATE

I just had these bulbs changed the other day and they look GREAT. It cost $35 and took about 30 minutes. The guy that runs the place in Signal Hill, CA had told me all they had were bulbs meant to simulate the color of xenon bulbs. They were not ACTUALLY xenon bulbs... Not sure if that means you CAN'T put actual xenons in. Just that I don't have them. Regardless, it looks wonderful, and anyone else that's bugged by the twotone lamp display out front, contact me and I'll run out to the car and grab the box so I can share the kind I have. (Oh, and don't forget to get the old ones back if they still work... hehe. I almost walked out without them... Thinking about ebaying them or something... Anyone in the SoCal area want a backup set of the regular fog lamp bulbs? :wink: :wink:
 
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