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I bought my car in another state. I've called the closest dealers re: 5,000 service. Cherry Hill Toyota want $125 for a slew of things, including checking the timing belt. So I'm not going there. Burlington wants $85 for a bunch of stuff (mostly just looking at things) but wants to put a fuel conditioner in as well as a graphite additive to the oil. Other than that, Burlington pretty much does what Toyota lists for the service plus looking at stuff like fluid levels.

Both places say they are independent service departments so they do want they want to do re: maintainance service. (Actually Cherry Hill would do only an oil change at 5,000 and at 7,500 would do another oil change, rotate the tires, check ball joints, do the timing belt thing - that's the $125. They do not rotate tires at 5,000 but the appointment clerk said they fill in the service book anyway.

Do I want fuel conditioner and graphite additive? Why would a Toyota service (both at Toyota car dealerships) not just follow what Toyota says to do?

I'm not happy about either place but the next closest (which I haven't called yet) is 45 minutes away.
 

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Con artists all.

The Prius has a timing chain, not a belt.

No additives are necessary or recommended by Toyota. They could conceivably void your warrantee.

Oil change and tire rotation at 5K is all that is required. You can have that done anywhere, just keep the receipts for your records should you ever need to prove to Toyota you did the required maintenance.
 

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In my Toyota dealer's information packet, they included their own detailed service schedule which listed many additional items such as checking the timing chain, additives, more frequent oil changes, etc. I am completely ignoring that and adhering to the Prius manufacturers maintenance schedule. At 5,000, my Toyota service performed these items without any problem (and stamped the manual). I'm sure that any reputable Toyota dealer will cooperate (even if the car were purchased elsewhere) with anyone who prefers to follow the official maintenance plan.
 

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Jean, see my PM to you. I have a local NJ service place that understands about what is (and isn't) required. NOT a dealership. I've not had to convince them to rotate tires when they change oil. About $45 for 5,000 and 10,000 and $75 for the 15,000 (same as 5 and 10, but with an additional $30 or so to look at all the things that Toyota says to look at). No additives, no "belts," no chains, no ball joints, transmission, and no extra. Just what is required. I strongly recommend.
 

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To look at the chain requires taking the front of the engine apart. Not something I would want a dealer to do without cause. I want the factory oil seals broken as least often as possible. I would run from that dealer, after I would have him show me in the repair manual where the timing BELT was.
 

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First off, dealerships cannot force your car to undergo "services" that they subscribe to. Ok, they can't force you in two ways. One you can walk away from the dealership after being given a speal about all these added items that you do not believe are necessary. Or you can specifiy the services you want completed, refering to the Toyota supplied book, and if they choose to ignore that, then you walk. Legally, a dealership cannot perform services to your vehicle that you have either not agreed to or that you are not aware of.

I hope we all realize that extra "services" are a way for the dealer to collect more money, boosting margins on the service department by doing a lot of looking around the engine compartment without actually doing anything productive and adding low cost fluids that are unnecessary in all circumstances.

One of the things that has always bothered me about Toyota's dealer network is how inconsistant they are are in all aspects. You can find a well run, respectable dealer in some places, and in other places you find schiester dealerships that are only in the business of maximizing profit by bilking the buyer on the sales floor and in the service department.

I encourage all readers who encounter less than stellar service at the dealers they encounter to call it into Toyota's customer service line. There is absolutly no reason that Toyota corporate shouldn't be stepping in ehre and making things consistant and fair for us the buyer. They can only do that if we tell them about the problem dealers.
 

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I would suggest that you make a printed copy of the maintanence schedule that MRV recently posted. A separate page for each check (5, 10, 15 ect;)
These pages have at the top all, a lube and filter change and a tire rotation.

Under this are suggestions for driving under unusual conditions. Dusty, rough roads and several trhings you might have to do with hard driving. (checking axle boots, brakes and a bolt tightening ect:)

There are boxes for each of these suggestions. I bring the copy with me and give it to the service dealer with a selected tire pressure circled in red.
I usually check the box for the desired. Lube and filter and tire rotation, and since the wheels are all coming off anyway I always put a check in the "brake check" box. It would be difficult to fowl this up. If you like to run short of oil you could also make an underlined note about this.
All works if you have an interested dealer.
 

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I get my car serviced at an independent auto technician. He has been working on my cars and others for many years. You do not need a dealer. Document Document Document.
 

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:) I'm with hdrygas on standard Prius maintenance...

I've been dealing with my Independent Garage Mechanic for nearly 20 years and he has earned my confidence and loyalty.

One exception, in the SSC 50P current recall, I will take my Prius to a local (Dallas TX area) dealer who has a good Prius reputation. Several memebers of our "Dallas Area Prius Meetup Group" have dealt with this dealer and recommend their Prius service. I *WILL* have the recall done at the 15,000 mile service, the brake light switch replaced, 3 qts. of Mobil-1 5W30 (brought in by me), and have the tires rotated.
 

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At 45,000 the dealer recommended maintenance on the free-tires-for-life plan at Toyota of Melbourne was $279

I insisted they only do what the maintenance guide says...and only paid $39... how many tires is that?
 

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Dealer Service

I have not had any regular maintenance person for some time. I think it is more difficult to find someone you trust and can build a relationship with in a larger city. My dealership, Toyota Carlsbad, just did my 5000 which included oil/lube, tire rotation and a car wash for $47 and change. I agree with the person that recommended you report these dealerships to Regional Toyota Service.
 

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Appreciate all the info

I am new to this forum, but in reading it, I have learned so much from all of you, especially this section about maintenance. Now I will have to look at my other car's maintenance schedules.
Sounds like the Pruis shouldn't cost too much to maintain. This should offset the eventual cost of replacing the battery in 8-10 years, right?

Am hopefully expecting to get a 2006 Pruis early next year, when they will be available. Can't wait.
Thanks.
 

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Hybrid traction battery is covered under the hybrid vehicle system warranty, which in the US is 8 years/100,000 miles. (no, it doesn't automatically need replacing at the time that the warranty expires!)

If you are in a CA emissions state, the hybrid battery is further covered by the CA emissions warranty (2004 and newer Prius) out to 10 years/150,000 miles.

Honestly, I've heard of more problems with the transmission than I have of the battery on the high-mileage Prius, and even that I can still count on one hand...
 
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