Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Prius service problems?

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Posted by Steve on May 23, 2011, 11:52 pm
 
Has anyone had problems getting their Prius serviced by non-Toyota =
service
shops?

I have an '04 Prius with 85K miles on it.  Except for an air conditioning
problem, it has been fairly reliable.  However, except for routine oil =
changes,
independent mechanics are very reluctant (read: won't touch it) to do =
anything
major to this car.  My own mechanic who works on our Murano will do =
brakes, and
things like that.  He even said that they can clean the throttle body, =
but
nothing else.

This is a concern, because here in S. Florida, I cannot seem to find an =
honest
and competent Toyota dealer.  I have been to all of them in Miami-Dade =
and
Southern Broward county, and do not care to go back to any of them.  One =
dealer
couldn't fix an A/C problem, another dealer wanted to sell me new front =
brakes
at 60K miles (found out later there was nothing wrong with them), at =
major
service intervals they want to load up on the work.  And to top it off =
(pun
intended), when one of these guys does an oil change, I have to check the
dipstick because 9 times out of 10 it will be way above or below the =
mark.

Has anyone else had this problem, if so, what do you do?  My Toyota =
extended
warranty expired this month and I am getting nervous if something major =
happens
to the car.

Steve

Posted by bwilson4web on May 24, 2011, 12:52 pm
 
Hi Steve,


This is a hard problem and in 2005, I bought the maintenance manuals
for our used, 2003 Prius even before I picked up the car. I had always
planned on self-maintenance once the 6/60 and 8/100 warranties
expired. You have really done a good job of showing the problem and I
don't have a golden bullet solution.

There is an independent, hybrid training group that lists independent
shops. I've used their video training and compared to ignorance, they
are OK:
http://www.auto-careers.org/upyourvoltage.html

There are also 'salvage' mechanics, somewhat of a gray market, who
rebuild broken Prius and return them to service:
http://www.autobeyours.com/

One East Coast shop I've been very happy to work with is Taylor
Automotive, Summit, NC:
http://www.re-involt.com/

All I can suggest is to drive around the various auto repair areas and
see if any of them have a Prius parked on the property. Then go in and
introduce yourself and ask if they do Prius work. That is no guarantee
of quality work but a survey to find someone. You might also contact
your insurance agent and ask them if they have any ideas.

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson

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