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Some of these posts are mine, some aren't. Thanks to all of the people who posted these bits of information. I hope it is of some value to you.

REPLACING THE CLOTH ON YOUR SEATS WITH LEATHER:

I had my Prius’ seats done in leather. All of the cloth surfaces were removed and replaced by leather. The center console cover and the front and rear center seating surfaces were done in red. The sides of the seats, the back of the front seat including the map pockets, the armrests and the headrests were done in gray. the rear armrest and armrests on the doors were and done in gray. My Prius is equipped with side air bags and the leather that covers the airbags is stitched with break-away stitching. You will not notice that the stitching is break-away.

The total cost for the job was $1050.00. I had it done at:

Kar Products
401 Bangs Avenue
Modesto California 95356
[209] 238-0894
The company is owned by Jim Karp

The leather is available in over seventy colors and the quality of the leather is excellent. Kar does not manufacture the covers. The buy them from the largest manufacturer of seat covers in the world. Katzkin Ineriors. 6868 Acco St. Montebello CA. 90640

You can access the Katzkin web site at

http://www.autoleathers.com/HTML2/AL.MAIN.FS.html

or phone them toll free at 1 [866] 757 3287.

You can buy the interior leather from Katzkin and do the installation yourself, [not recommended], ask Katzkin for the name of in installer and have the leather you bought installed professionally, or buy the Katzkin leather from an installer and have them do the job.


YOU’VE GOT A TAX CREDIT COMING YOUR WAY:

Buyers of hybrid electric vehicles in 2004 and 2005 will receive a bigger tax incentive than expected, thanks to the tax cut bill Congress recently passed. It restored the alternative-fuel and hybrid vehicle tax deduction to $2,000 for vehicles purchased in 2004 and 2005. The deduction was going to be reduced by 25% this year and by 25% in 2005.
H.R.1308

Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)

HOW TO USE A CAR WASH:

I tried to take mine to, a car but they refused to let it into the car wash, even with me in it, because the car won't go into neutral and shut off. I finally figured out how to do itl

Stop the car down, then, without pressing the brake pedal, press the power button twice. You will see all the usual dashboard indicators and be able to work the various accessories. Now, depress the brake pedal and shift into "N." The vehicle will now be in neutral, but will not be in the "Ready" state, so it can't magically shift itself into gear and tear off on a wicked spree of maniacal car wash mayhem.

USING A LARGER WHEEL ON THE PRIUS. HERE ARE THE SIZES.:

Tires are 205/45-17 Wheels are 17x7 +42 to +45 offset PCD is 100 5 lug. The wheels I got were from http://www.wheelmax.com the tires are Falken Ziex 512 (Consumer Report's top pick for all season tire) from http://www.highperformancetire.com

I also should add that the '04 Prius uses the same wheel and tire combination as an '04 or '03 Corolla.

I do not recommend making this change. It will reduce your MPG by 5 miles per gallon. Remember Toyota picked the wheels and tires that work best on the car and you should not fool with mother nature!!!!!

A GOOD PLACE FOR PRIUS ACCESSORIES:

Coastal Electronic Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 33518, Indialantic, FL 32903
Ph: (800)507-2234
[email protected]

FRONT WINDSHIELD HEAT-SHIELD:

You can get a custom roll-up front windshield heat shield for about US$25 delivered from Canvas Works: http://www.canvasworks.com/main.html

MAKING THE CENTER CONSOLE COVER INTO A USABLE ARMREST:

If you would like your armrest to be a little higher and more comfortable here is how to do it. If you are satisfied with the armrest the way it is read this post and do nothing.

When you open the Prius center console you will find a small black tray which IS used to hold change, a pen, keys, etc. This tray is removable and has an alternative use which I don't think is mentioned in the owners manual.

Remove the tray and you will notice that there is a slot on the front-inside of the console. Put the tray into the slot allowing it to stand up vertically. The top of the tray should face the rear of the console. Close the armrest and the armrest is now resting at a convenient upward angle and is more convenient as a place to rest your right arm.

CENTER CONSOLE POWER OUTLET:

If you look inside the center console on the front left side you will notice that there is a rubber cover. Pull it out and you will find a receptacle that you can plug a cell phone charger into.

TO KILL THE BEEPING SOUND:

Steps:
1. Power on the car to IG-ON or READY. IG-ON will do for this purpose.
2. Using the Trip/ODO button, set the Trip/ODO display to ODO (not Trip A or Trip B)
3. Power off the car.
4. Now power the car to READY (brake on). This is required so that step 6 works correctly.
5. Within 6 seconds of powering on, press and hold the Trip/ODO button for 10 seconds or more.
6. WHILE STILL HOLDING ODO *after* the 10 seconds, shift the "gear" selector from P to R, then back to P. Now release the Trip/ODO button.
7. If the last step was successful, "b on" or "b off" should be displayed in the location where the Trip Odometer or Odometer is normally displayed. "b on" is beep on, and "b off" is beep off.
8. Press Trip/ODO to toggle the mode.
9. Now power the car off to exit the toggle mode.
10. Power the car on to READY and confirm the reverse beep status by shifting to R. The beep should not be audible if "b off" was selected, and should be audible if "b on" was selected..

Note: The Repair manual page states that if the 12v battery is disconnected, the beep will reset to the default of on, and this procedure will need to be performed again. The repair manual also isn't clear that Trip/ODO should remain depressed while shifting.

Additional Note: The driver and passenger seatbelt reminder chime can be disabled or enabled (respectively, defaults appear to be driver on and passenger off) using similar steps. Instead of shifting from P to R to P in step 6, simply buckle then unbuckle the appropriate seatbelt while continuing to depress the Trip/ODO button.

DO YOU WANT A LARGER REAR WIPER BLADE?

To improve snow cleaning, I replaced the rear wiper arm with one from a Mitsubishi Outlander.

SO YOU CAN’T SEE THE WHERE THE FRONT OF THE CAR IS.

Arizona has designed and builds a device which attaches to your front license plate screw and will let you see where the front of your car begins. Makes it easier to park. It looks like a radio antenna mounted on a bracket. Cost $19.00 including shipping. If you want one, contact him at [email protected]

FLOOR MATS:

Costco sells rubber floor mats which fit the Prius like they were made for the car. Price is under $20.00 for both front and rear mats.

REAR CARGO MAT:

So you want to put some dirty junk in the rear of the car to take to the dumps. Costco sells rubber mats which fit the rear of the car when the seats are folded down. Cost $15.00. They come in either gray or green and can be cleaned with a garden hose.

DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE BUCKLING THE SEAT BELT?

Toyota makes seat belt extenders and gives them away free just for the asking. While they were designed to make it easier for a portly driver to connect his seat belt they are very useful even for you skinny folks. If you always seem to be sitting on your seat belt receptacle when you get in your car this part is for you. The extender comes in several sizes but the longest is 12 inches. You plug the extender into the seat belt receptacle and then plug the seat belt into the extender. Ask your parts guy at Toyota to order one for you.

SCARED TO DEATH THAT A SHOPPING CART OR SOMEONES CAR DOOR WILL GIVE YOU A DOOR DING?

You can purchase door side moldings for your car from Toyota only Toyota does not make these moldings for the Prius.

However, you buy four front door moldings which come as standard equipment on the 2004 or 2005 Toyota Highlander. You will use two of the moldings on the front door and two on the rear doors.

If you are lucky the Highlander moldings will be available in your car’s color. If not, buy them anyway and have your friendly body shop paint them to match your Prius’ paint color.

Installation is not a job for an amateur. Have them installed at a body shop. The procedure is to put masking tape on the Prius doors just below the area where the moldings are to be installed. Before installing them make sure that the both doors can be opened after the moldings have been installed. Then peel off the paper cover which covers the glue strip on the back of the molding and stick the molding on the door. Then remove the masking tape.

For SF Bay owners I had my moldings installed at Frank Chavez Auto Body in Redwood City CA. Phone # [650] 759-1116.

WHEEL COVERS:

Standard on the Prius are some very good looking Alloy Wheels. For reasons unknown, Toyota decided to cover each wheel with a plastic cover which actually looks like the Alloy. I removed all four of mine by prying them off with a thin bladed screwdriver and put them in storage. I could understand the use of alloy looking plastic covers if the car came with inexpensive ugly steel wheels but it doesn't ??? Very Strange.

STORAGE DRAWER. DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD ONE?

Your Prius has a totally handy storage drawer which is located on the lower front of the center console. The drawer handle is located five inches below the top front edge of front cup holder. Pull it out and you have a great place to store all kinds of goodies.

FANTASTIC CAR POLISH:

First, the disclaimer. I have absolutely no financial or economic interest in the following two products. I have used them and they are the best I have found.

I was at a flea market and witnessed a demonstration of Maxa Gloss. According to the label on the bottle it is a “Premium wax and cleaner which is non-abrasive and clear coat safe. It is a long lasting carnauba wax formula which repels dust, leaves no powder residue and helps remove swirl marks on the cars finish. It provides long lasting protection from UV sun rays, helps fill in swirls and hairline scratches while creating a smooth-as- glass finish without excessive buffing or rubbing. It safely removes oxidation, bugs, water spots, tree sap, road tar, and bird droppings.”

I bought two bottles and I am amazed that this product is so easy to apply, no heavy rubbing and leaves no powdery residue. It is a terrific product, easier and faster to apply than any wax or cleaner I have ever used. I paid $20.00 for two sixteen ounce bottles. You can contact the man I bought it from at [805] 801-3526 or send a check for $27.00 for two bottles (which includes $7,00 for shipping) to Mitoma Company, PO Box 2087, Nipomo CA 93444. The product is sold as satisfaction guaranteed or money back.

GREAT CLEANER FOR ALL OF THE PRIUS’ PLASTIC SURFACES:

The product is called ‘Bumper Black’. I used it on the inside panels and the dashboard of my Prius to clean up finger marks and minor scratches. It also works well on all plastic trim such as bumpers, rubber trim, etc. Unlike Armor-all it does not leave an ugly shiny finish. This is an A+ product.

To find where it is sold in your area contact the company toll free at 1[800] 323-9192 or 1[805] 397-5274. You can also write to The Wax Shop, PO Box 10226, Bakersfield CA 93389-0226. I don’t remember how much I paid for the product since I have had it for a long time. It probably was around $5.00 but don’t quote me.


WILL RUNNING THE AC WHILE PARKED DISCHARGE THE BATTERY?

No it will not.

It was 93 degrees outside. I drove my wife to the Mall. She went in; I sat in the car and read Road and Track. The car power was on and the AC was on high. Battery went to two bars and the gas motor went on--battery went to three bars, gas motor went off. I sat in the car for over forty five minutes with the battery going up and down between two and three bars.

The battery did not discharge even though the AC was on high or Max cold all the time.

FRONT BUMPER GUARDS AND CORNER MOLDINGS:

I received a catalog from Autosport. They have two items which I ordered to install on my Prius.

First item: Four Designer style strips which mount on the bumpers at each of the four corners of the vehicle. They come in Black or White. dimensions are 21" Long x 1 1/2" wide by 1/2" thick. Item # 3596. Price for a set of four is $24.95.

Second item: Protector pads. These pads are 5" long x 3 1/2" wide by 5/8" thick. They come in black or silver. They feature heavy duty construction and a versatile shape also suitable for boat or garage and household use. A set of two is $14.95. A set of four which suitable for mounting on the front bumper and rear bumper sell for $29.90. Item # 3597

Quoting the catalog: "Both of these items can preserve our cars' most easily damaged and expensive to repair areas. Heavy-duty impact resistant PVC protectors adhere permanently in minutes, no drilling necessary. for chrome and painted surfaces. Apply them anywhere. can be trimmed for a custom fit.

Copy the following address into your browser and go the address. Pictures of both items are there.

Autosport’s phone # is 1 [800] 726-1199. You can order a catalog from them.

You can also reach the company at their web site.

http://www.autosportcatalog.com/index.cfm?fa=p&pid=1901


MUD AND RAIN GUARDS:

If you live in a wet climate or go to the snow I recommend that you purchase and have installed mud guards which attach to the car in the wheel wells behind the front and rear wheels. They are standard equipment on Canadian cars. They were at one time only available from the parts department of Toyota Dealers in Canada. They are now available from any US Toyota dealer. Ask your parts guy to order a set for you. About $40.00.


Arizona Charlie
 
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