Prius service problems?

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Old 23 May 2011, 06:52 pm   #1 (permalink)
Steve
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Default Prius service problems?

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
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Old 24 May 2011, 07:52 am   #2 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Re: Prius service problems?

Hi Steve,

On May 23, 6:52*pm, Steve <nos...@nowhere.org> wrote:
> 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.


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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