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I keep seeing references to Prius owners inflating their tires to 40+ pounds!
I find that even at 35/33 pounds the tires thump noticeably on sharp bumps! I like my car very much and am satisfied with the way it rides with the factory recommended tire pressure. Is there any reason to inflate my tires to 40+ pounds other then to get a mile or two better mpg and have to suffer the thumping that goes with tires inflated so high that I feel like I am riding on solid rubber tires?

Jerry Flowers
 

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Not to worry, Jerry. If you run the OEMs at 35/33 you won't be troubled with them for very long. Meanwhile, you can research the many alternatives in the 175/65R14 size that are superior to the Potenzas.

I ran my Potenzas at 42/40 for 16K miles and they were doing fine until I took a nail near the sidewall, then I replaced all four with Bridgestone B420s, which I run at 44 psi.

P.S. This is for the '02. You didn't say what model you have, so YRMV.
 

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If you go to the 2004 Yahoo site and search under htmlspinner you'll find a TON of information on tire inflation. Essentially the MPG increase is significant & tire wear is reduced due to less heating.

Not everyone increases their tire pressure above mfg recs, but most do. The jury may still be out on the '04, but after a lot of reading I have gone to 44f/42r. I think there's little difference in the feel of bumps (which I try hard to avoid anyway), but the handling and mpg are improved and I'm convinced that the tires will wear better. I"m also convinced that there's no danger/risk in doing this.
--evan
 

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After reading the posts on this subject (here and elsewhere ... and thanks, Evan!) I upped the pressure in my '04 this week to 42f/40r. Significant perceived improvement in handling, particularly at slow speeds, where the tires felt well ... "squishy".

I'm going to try it here for a fill up or two before deciding whether to up it further to 44/42.
 

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oldfox said:
Just want to make sure. The 42/40 psi is for the tires that come on the 2004 Prius?
Yep! I actually use 44/42, but the 42/40 is probably a good idea if you don't check often and want a margin of safety for not exceeding the 44psi max. cold pressure rating of the tire.
-evan
 
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This discussion of the correct tire to use is all fine so long as you do not mention to a toyota factory representative that you used a different tire pressure recommendation than that specified by the manufaturer.

The uneven tire wear problem that seem to afflict just about every 2001-2--3 Prius I have seen was attempted to be protrayed to an abritrator as being related to improper tire pressure usage, insufficient tire rotation, and/or failure to properly check tire pressure regularly. The "diss" went so far as to question the quality/accuracy of the relatively new analog tire pressure guage I produced by asking if it was a digital one.

A possibly workmanship or quality control problem with a vehicle should not leave you spending time, money , and energy addressing it, but rather enjoying your purchase. While things do happen, lamenting the unnecessary expenditure of time, money and energy attending to a problem that subsequently seems to have been known and concealed is truly an attack on your values and senses. It may be more poingently so when the manufacturer's claim to fame is quality, workmanship, and a written committment to the customer.

The vast majority of Prius vehicles I have encountered are owned by govermental municipalities. I take it that the drivers of those vehicles do not attend to the details and nuiances of the vehicle as the owners in these user groups may do. There may be a much larger picture to add to the rack, cocked steering wheel, poor auxiliary battery, and uneven tire wear issues that are clearly evident in these forums. When the overall picture is combined with the institution of the complimenatary service that was only available to toyota's 2001-2003 prius models it simply makes me more suspect as to a designed concealability.

You should be careful at how you bandaid the vehicle and prudent at having your issues(any car related issue) timely documented, timely attended to, and accorded crispness of a full non-speculative/putoff answer that should be consumerate with the "you look smart, you should drive a Prus" marketing pitch you have been charmed with.

I have always used the word "LOVE" when talking to about my vehicle. Such extremes can easily lead to infactuation and denial.
 

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Uhhh, by the way... Just what has digital vs analog got to do with accuracy of a tire gauge? Accuracy, precision, repeatability, and readability are all important attributes of tire gauges but the only one that usually gets the nod just because it is digital is readability. Many of us have no difficulty reading an analog gauge.

Don't let some car agency dude or dudette get away with that ignorant approach.

:D Pat :D
 
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That "due" was is the toyota corporation (not dealership) customer assurance representative during their attempt this past September to throw everything including the kitchen sink into suspicion to the arbritrator as the possibly being the cause for my continued uneven tire wear and inability to straignten the steering wheel.

I am mentioning this here so as to clue in other who may be walking in my footsteps. The fanfarfe surrounding the NEXT generation prius may place discussion on the classic prius into the background and this fate is still a shadow hangiong over 2003 prius owners in particular.

While the tire alignment issue may subside(become stale) and may be consider a minor consequence to some, the accompanying rack and pinion replacement issue is no joke should it fail (or reoccur) just past the 36K mileage warranty limitation. This sting of that reality being felt when the customer realizes that the problem afflicted/s many of these cars.
 

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dissed, Ordinarily extended waranties are NOT a good bargain. They may simplify your life but they are usually, in general, not a good economic decision. This goes for most products not just cars. However, in the case of the Prius and all its high tech being cared for by folks, some of which think slip joint pliers are complicated mechanical contrivances that will never replace the hammer for disassembling delicate componetry, there is a good case for extended waranty. I am going for the max. Maybe not a smart decision from the economic stand point I F waranty service were always cheerfully and professionally performed but...

I'll feel better knowing I have plenty of years and miles to sustain me through any reasonable mechanical defect and the sometimes interminable iterative approach to fixing it.

:D Pat :D
 
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I could not agree with you more.

I am not a car mechanic nor do I consider myself a car buff. I can, however, hold my own somewhat when it comes to troubleshooting, diagnostic testing and repair of many aspect of the many used cars I have had (that acumen is needed/acquired when dealing with many used cars.)

While it should hopefully be clear to most that the economic aspect of the vehicle one of the weakest attributes in this purchasing decision, that decision is made weaker when purchasing an additional warranty seems to be a necessity. That is, to recognize some economic benefits, the vehicle has to be viable in the long run. For owners' sake, that long-run viability is established with a realization of a ultimate high resale value and at least average overall costs over an extened period of time.

I wonder what percentage of classic owners have or are contemplating replacing theirs with the new model. I had hoped to hold onto mine for some time - to possibly pass it on to my daughter (as I had included in my writings to toyota). Now, as I not so certain about its long range viability. There is a corporate component. To me, the jury has just started to delibrate.
 

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I've been lurking here reading the posts and the reasoning pro and con on the extended warranty matter, and have decided to purchase the 7yr/100K mile Platinum from Troy of Greenfield for my '02. In my case, the $980 outlay is somewhat defrayed by the Alternative Fuel Incentive grant I got from Pennsylvania ($1,500). Well let's see now, I did have to buy a new set of tires at c. $300, plus a wheel ($55---too much!) to make a full-size spare, plus extra insurance that the Commonwealth required for the grant ($150)---am I past $1,500 yet?

I've always bought new cars and carefully run the life out of them. The most expensive vehicle to own so far has been the '91 NAPA Exploder (few Ford parts left except the engine). I've probably sunk at least the purchase price ($21,500) again into repairs and upkeep; it now has 13 yrs/201K miles on it. I did buy an extended warranty (but only a 2 or 3 year one, as I recall---that was a long time ago!) and never used it once; all the problems arose later. In retrospect, not a good investment.

In the case of Prius, I think that $980 is a good investment in a $20,500 vehicle given the high cost of some of the out-of-warranty repairs I've seen on this board and others, and given the newness of the technology. Plus I don't really trust the service dept. at the dealership to play it straight with me in the event of a problem, and if they're gonna soak someone it might as well be themselves (in effect). I've even ordered Graham's new OBDII mini-scanner ($189) so I can read the codes if problems arise. With that outlay I've definitely passed $1,500!
 

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Henry, interesting post and well said.

From a practical standpoint, to me, an automobile is a trasportation canister. Of course emotional and aesthetic considerations are factors but not the primary ones. As far as keeping a vehicle is concerned, I consider things like safety (properly functioning safety equipment like turn sigs, brakes, lights, and the car tracks OK), reliabiliity (does it ALWAYS start, get me there and bring me back), and economical to operate and maintain. These items are listed in priority order but an irreperable failure in any one category is grounds for termination. There are other important factors but not AS important. Things like comfort (beyond any relationship to safety) and appearance (beyond cleaning as a maintenance function).

Now to be an appropriately sensitive citizen of our planet of limited resources we need to consider overall impact of our vehicle choice on the long term health of the ecosystem. Fuel economy is just a part of that. Those big batteries don't get made by fairies waving magic wands. Most of the Prius is made from the same materials in the same way as other cars. This means a lot of steel made in big factories belching smoke from their stacks and a lot of petrochemicals/plastics made from oil (not a renewable resource.)

So, before we form a circle, join hands, and sing Kumbaya to celebrate our wonderful sacrifice for our planet, we should consider just how marginal our contribution really is and the large impact of our economic activity which generated the capital to buy the Prius. All things considered, we are making a small (quite small) step, albeit in the right direction, to embrace and support a stopgap technology on the road to fuel cell powered transportation and or whatever else comes down the pike.

Me? I am also motivated by the perverse pleasure of consuming less petrochemicals over the life of the car and thereby making an itsy bitsy dent in the US $ going to OPEC. I realize I am paying a premium for this opportunity as we are paying a premium for the opportunity to drive a little greener. I truly hope the Prius meets my safety, reliability, and economy criteria for a very long time indeed, at least a couple hundred thousand miles or until a sober economic analysis shows me that it is time to switch to another technology or another Synergy type hybrid.

In the short run, as Henry said, the Prius is a lot of new technology (especially as applied to production cars) and an extended warranty is not so much the luxury it might otherwise have been. I realize the warranty is priced to produce a profit. The seller fully expects you are paying more than the costs will ever be, on average. There is the rub. ON AVERAGE Any particular individual might be glad to have the warranty if something big develops. Me, I want it also as a hedge against the tactics that dealers and reps of the manufacturer employ.

Note to buyers of extended warranty INCLUDING TOYOTA EXTENDED WARRANTY... The price is negotiable. It is not rigidly fixed by Toyota. You have 30 days to buy the warranty after buying the car and you need not buy it from the dealer who sold the car nor from the dealer where you intend to get service. Comparison shop and bargain for a better price. Once purchased at a discount, your warranty is just the same as if you paid the highly inflated asking (SUCKER!) price.

Uhh, Henry... Where do you carry the full sized spare and how well does it fit there? I have to confess I was at least some interested in the EURO suspension and larger wheels but a full size spare is something to consider as well.

:D Pat :D
 

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Toyota Extra Care (extended warranty)

patrickg said:
Note to buyers of extended warranty INCLUDING TOYOTA EXTENDED WARRANTY... The price is negotiable. It is not rigidly fixed by Toyota. You have 30 days to buy the warranty after buying the car and you need not buy it from the dealer who sold the car nor from the dealer where you intend to get service. Comparison shop and bargain for a better price. Once purchased at a discount, your warranty is just the same as if you paid the highly inflated asking (SUCKER!) price.
Please let me know of any updates or omissions to my stock extended warranty info file:

You can buy the Toyota Extra Care (Platinum Plan) from any dealer (not just where you bought the car from). If you are the original owner and purchased the car new, you can purchase the extended warranty any time before 3 years or 36,000miles (from the in-service date), so you have time to decide. This info is just for United States residents, Hawaii included.

These are the best prices I've seen discussed on other Prius Yahoo groups with dealer information, although some people have seen less elsewhere... Other plans are also available from these folks, so don't hesitate to ask for a price quote. Some dealers my also do Lexus plans, if you have another car...

Troy Dietrich at Toyota of Greenfield, MA, $980 (no tax) for 7/100/0, $685? personal email said <$740 (no tax) for 7/75/0:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/51614
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/67323
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/51758

Lisa Sue Goon at Graham Automall, OH, $740? $835? + tax for 7/75/0:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/200 ... sage/11238
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/mid ... message/18

Ron Gannaway at Crown Toyota, KS, $980 (tax info not listed) for 7/100/0:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/200 ... sage/21955

Steve at Dan Porter Motors, ND, $980 (tax info not listed) for 7/100/0:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/200 ... sage/22747

Steve Huberty at Schaumburg Toyota, IL, $1,035 (tax info not listed) for 7/100/0, $785 for 7/75/0:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/200 ... ssage/2120

You might be able to roll the extended warranty into your new car financing. In some regions, Toyota Financial Services was offering 0% financing for one year on extended warranties.
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/200 ... sage/20675

A copy of my extended warranty:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/61384

More info here:
http://www.toyotafinancial.com/pyv/exte ... index.html
http://www.toyotafinancial.com/pyv/exte ... prius.html


The Toyota Extra Care Platinum Plan (extended warranty) runs from the in-service date of the vehicle (usually around the time that the vehicle arrives at the dealership or you take delivery).

For example, if your in-service date (when you bought it probably, or a few days before) is on Dec. 1, 2003:

New Car bumper-to-bumper warranty is 3 years, 36,000 miles, which covers you until Dec. 1, 2006 or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

The 7 year/100,000 mile Toyota Extra Care Platinum Plan, would cover you until Dec. 1, 2010 or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

So, if you buy the 7/100,000 extended warranty, it really only covers you for an additional 4 years/64,000miles.

The only differences that I've seen between the bumper-to-bumper new car warranty, and the Toyota Extra Care Platinum plan, for the initial 3 years/36,000 miles that they run concurrently, are:
Transportation assistance: if your vehicle has warranteeable repairs that'll take more than a day to complete or get parts in, the new car warranty just says that the dealership has to provide transportation assistance (doesn't say what kind, so it could just be a courtesy van, or a loaner, or they could pay for a rental...). The Toyota Extra Care provides a set dollar amount ($50/day) with a limit on how many days (5 per repair visit).
Dislocation benefit: should your car need repairs for more than one day, while you're more than some x distance from your home, the Toyota Extra Care provides $100/day for food/lodging, up to 5 days over the lifetime of the Toyota Extra Care agreement. I haven't seen this offered in the basic bumper to bumper new car warranty.
 

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Mrv, thanks for those links! They will go in my Prius file ASAP. I am now at c. 18mo/23K+ miles, so I have some time before I must act.

Thanks, Patrick. When I replaced my OEM Potenzas, which by the way were doing well at 16K miles because I had been running them 42/40 for quite a while, I kept one of the good carcasses and used that for the full-sized spare. No $ outlay beyond the rim, and the tire store where I bought the replacement Bridgestone B420s even mounted and balanced the new spare gratis! The spare fits in the trunk where the donut was, which required a couple of minor modifications to the cover panel (removal of foam blocks and a couple of spring clips holding the tire iron---it's now velcroed to the jack). You do lose about an inch of "headroom" because the full-size is thicker than the donut. To hold down the spare I discarded the original hold-down bolt (it's not long enough now) and re-tapped the hole, which may be metric (although it measures out to 5/16" x 20, which you will not find anywhere), to 5/16" x 18, and used a 5-inch-long eyebolt from the hardware store with the original flanged cup washer. The original cover panel goes back in right over the new spare. Works great! (By the way, using the Dremel tool I fashioned the tap from a #8-hardness hex-head bolt 5/16" x 18 x 2" from the hardware parts drawer.)
 

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I guess I just don't get it. Why purchase a 4 year extended warrantee for $980?
I would think any problems would tend to develop during the first 3 years of the car. Also the Hybrid stuff is covered for 8 years/1000k isn't it Seems to me that the non Hybrid stuff is pretty much what you find in other cars so if you would not purchase an ext. warr. for these why do so for the Prius?

I also thought you had 3 years and 36k miles to decide wheather or not to buy the plan - Not 30 days as indicated by Patrickg. Is there a definitive answer on this?
 

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Thanks for your posted links. That is a real service. I think I was misinformed about the 30 day time after purchase to buy a warranty. Salesmen!

:D Pat :D
 
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