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Bought a Prius a year ago, and so far I've gone to Toyota for all my oil changes, because they claim they use an oil specially formulated for the Prius engines, and no other oil will work quite as well. They tell me this is why they say the oil only needs to be changed every 10,000 miles.


Problem is, I am not terribly impressed with this dealership, and they seem to charge way too much for an oil change.


So I thought I'd try and check in with some experienced owners, and try to find out just how 'special' Toyota's service department is.


(It didn't help that one of the service advisors dropped my key fob, and it flew apart in a dozen pieces, then after the advisor tried to put it together for about two minutes, he handed me all the bits and said he didn't know how to put it back together again! Idiot!)


Should I stick with Toyota, or try to find someone else I'd be happier with?
 

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Find someone else to service it. I've had a 2nd gen (2004) Prius for 14 years and haven't taken it to the dealership unless there was a warranty or battery issue. For every other maintenance job (tires, brakes, oil, transmission, etc), I've taken it to an independent service station.
 

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Personally, I take mine to the Dealership where I bought it. They are knowledgeable and fair priced. I've read some horror story's about some dealerships though so I guess it's the luck of the draw.
As to oil changes, I used Mobile synthetic on my Gen 2 but so far I have stuck with the Toyota brand on my Gen 3 and that's not to say that you HAVE to and changing the oil yourself isn't rocket science.
The key fob incident would make me change dealership's for service though. Putting a key fob back together is a pretty simple task!!!
 

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For standard oil changes, I almost always go to Jiffy Lube. The only time I get oil changes at the dealer is when the car needs other service. I've only ever used synthetic oil. After hitting 100,000 miles, the fuel efficiency started to drop a little, so I switched to High Mileage Synthetic. The cost of the oil changes are about the same at Jiffy Lube as it is with Toyota. And, sometimes I have to go to the store and purchase the oil myself if Jiffy Lube is out of stock on the High Mileage Synthetic. It sounds like too much of a hassle and maybe I should just go to the dealer, but I always get in and out of JL in 30 minutes or less, whereas I've spent 2+ hours at Toyota waiting for a simple oil change.

My Prius is nearly 10 years old and has nearly 185,000 miles on it. It hasn't had any "major" issues, and I expect to continue driving it for at least another 10 years. The biggest issue it's had was the water pump that I didn't know was recalled. Besides that, there are three door lock actuators that keep failing. They were $600 ea. to replace, but they're now covered under Toyota's lifetime to ownership warranty.
 

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It depends on the dealership. I've been to dealerships that provided excellent service and others that are not as good. Jiffy lube is hit or miss as well.
 
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