Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Repair Costs

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Posted by Sam Inman on May 15, 2006, 1:19 am

I'm considering purchasing a Prius. Are the repair costs any higher than
for a regular vehicle?

Posted by B. Peg on May 15, 2006, 6:08 am

My only beef is the oil change.  At least it is every 5000 miles.  The first
5K was $0, the second one at 10K was $00!  Maybe Jiffy Lube next time?  I
hesitate on that one since my last experience with them was a really cheap
oil filter with virtually no backflow valve and the car started with all
kinds of valve train clatter until the oil lines filled up.  The dealer's
filter quieted it all down so I made them use the dealer's filter instead of
their cheapie one.  I could do it myself and save a bunch as I have all the
tools, but I'm lazy.

However, as pissed as I was about the $00 oil change, I did see the tire
rotation and wheel balancing along with weights on the invoice (yeah, I
checked and there are some weights on it).  As I drove down the freeway away
from the dealer, the steering wheel was rock steady as was the car.  Maybe
the wheels were out of balance from the factory?  Runs smoother.  I did have
to pay extra for the synthetic oil at the 10K (they put in Mobil 1, 5-30w as
I recall).  Took maybe 2 1/2 hours of waiting at the dealer too (no

Other than that, no problems - other than my affinity to constantly forget
the damn key fob in my pocket which has been through several washer and
drier cycles without incidence.  Not much to do to the thing other than gas
and oil changes (okay, the tire rotation thing).

Be forewarned that some items on the car are terribly expensive should they
fail outside of warranty, namely the MFD (around $000?).  You may want to
add the premium insurance that can take you out to 7 years.  Cost varies
from dealer to dealer: $00 to $700.  The big-ass battery is warranted for
about as long as you'll own the thing: 10 years, 120,000 miles in CA as I
recall, so don't worry about it.

Also, if you get 44 mpg you are doing about average (ignore the claims of
60mpg on the sticker).  That watered-down gas with ethanol takes its toll on
a high mpg vehicle as the Prius.


Posted by Mike Rosenberg on May 15, 2006, 11:52 am

That's very steep!  At my dealership I pay only $4 (including taxes)
for the oil changes and tire rotations.

Mike Rosenberg
<http://www.macconsult.com>  Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
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Posted by B. Peg on May 15, 2006, 4:20 pm

That's what I thought.  This time it was a different service writer and I'm
beginning to think they got into the commission game as well.  Funny how it
went up by $0 in only 4 months.

But she sure does ride smoother now so I ain't complaining too loudly.
Somebody back there done sumptin' (new wheel weights) and just didn't do the
"oil and filter switch" and grab 100 bucks for doing so.  They did do some
draw test of the 12 volt battery since I've had one bad experience with that
(dome light maybe?).  When that 12 volter goes, the car just sits in the
dark.  No boot up, just silence.

I've been spoiled by the $5 Jiffy Lube experience for too long.  Least it
isn't anything like a $50 oil, filter, and service on a BMW motorcycle!
With those, you just ride it until it needs a oil change and throw it away
and buy another.  >:-(


Posted by Jean B. on May 15, 2006, 4:25 pm

B. Peg wrote:

I pay $9 here in Massachusetts.  Was informed that my next
(15K) maintenance will be ca $39 (give or take $0 or so).

That has started me thinking....  Do I recall correctly that
one can get prepaid maintenance?  If so, is this a set fee
around the country/one of the things one can purchase online
for the lowest price and have honored at all Toyota dealers?
If so, it may make more sense for those of us who have higher
maintenance fees to get them.  I will ponder this until the
2008 model comes out (if it keeps looking like that one will
get radically higher MPGs).

Jean B.

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