The Toyota Prius has been a very dependable car but there is a life span on the nickel metal hybrid battery packs. There are several replacement options available to Prius owners approaching replacement time. If you have seen reduced performance or a warning light coming on the dash it is probably time to look at replacing your batteries. This usually happens around 150,000 miles and should be taken care of. You could look at it this way, the Toyota Prius transmission has no wearable parts, so if you were to compare the cost of replacing the batteries to the cost of replacing a transmission in a less reliable car you are way ahead of the game.
The first option you have for replacing the batteries in your Toyota Prius is to have it done at the dealership an experience that many consumers have walk away with sticker shock. Many of the batteries sold by an aftermarket company or the dealership are remanufactured which is not a terrible thing if the manufacturer did the job correctly.
For a remanufactured battery pack for the Toyota Prius that goes into a 2000 to 2003, the cost runs $1400.00 and for 2004 to 2010 the batteries will cost around $1500.00. You can go online and it is possible to find individual replacement batteries at a low price to get you back on the road, but mixing and matching batteries for a hybrid is a bad idea. The cells in the batteries need to be balanced properly by using professional equipment. Ignoring this can lead to a hydrogen fire or overcharged cells.
If you are on a tight budget and do not mind doing a little leg work, finding replacement batteries in a junk yard can sometime cost as little as $600.00. The only disadvantage to this you have no idea how long the batteries will last you. Toyota has been selling the Prius since 1999 which tells you there a lot of them out there on the road today. Many have reached battery replacement and when you are ready, keep in mind it is not going to be cheap, but it does not have to leave you broke either. When it does come time to replace the battery is it recommended to have either a Toyota dealer or certified repair shop do it for you. You can find many online by searching for Prius Repair San Diego or similar keywords.
When your oil in your car becomes dirty it cannot do nearly the job of protecting your cars engine as fresh oil. Dirty oil over time will break down, hold abrasive particles, form sludge and other contaminants in the crankcase that will wear on your engine over time.
So, what is a reasonable amount of time to be changing your oil? When you go to check your oil at the dipstick the oil will appear black, even after a recent oil change. So do not think that just because it appears to black it is time to change your oil. The best way to know when your are ready for an oil change is to keep track of how many miles you have driven since your last oil change. Most manufactures recommend changing your oil every 3000 miles if you drive your car in extreme operating conditions. You are probably thinking there is no way I drive my car in extreme driving conditions, but you would be surprised what would qualify you as extreme driving condition. Driving in stop and go traffic on city streets and freeways, driving short distances usually under 10 miles, or short distances on the freeway that do not allow your car to get up to operating temperature, extremely hot or cold weather, dusty road conditions, or towing heavy loads behind your vehicle.
In any of these conditions it is recommended to change your oil every 3000 miles especially on older cars. New car manufactures will recommend an oil change every 7500 miles which is based on optimum operating conditions. If you are a new car owner it would best to play it safe and change your oil every 5000 miles. You never want to go past what the car manufacturer has recommended for oil changes under any circumstances. When you do, make sure to have it changed immediately. If you want an experienced mechanic do it for you, find one in your area by searching for oil change and your city, such as Oil Change Miramar.
The first thing they will do is connect a scanner to it and read the code. Next they will take the code and look it up in there service manual. Usually the first step in examining any code is to reset or clear the check engine light and see if it comes back on. If the automotive repair shop does clear the code and it does not come back on, then the problem could be intermittent. In most cases you will be charged for one hour of technician time. If you owned your own automotive scanning tool you would be able to read the codes and clear the computers onboard memory. You could then drive your car and see if the check engine light reappears.
If the light does not come back on you have just fixed your car in less than 15 minutes and avoided another trip to your automotive repair center. If the check engine light does come back on you can reconnect your scanner and check which code is activating the light to come on. Now that you know what is triggering the code you can take it to your mechanic and give them the information you scanning tool has provided for you. You can also try diagnosing the code yourself by using an online repair diagram called All Data DIY. By doing this it will reduce your initial diagnostic cost since you have cleared the codes and taken the first step in diagnosing the problem.
If you are considering adding a fleet of vehicles to your business be aware of how much it will cost and will it save you money. There are several different costs that come along with owning fleet vehicles, service and repairs, fuel, insurance and taxes are just a few of the expenses that you will incur. The first area where money can be saved when owning a fleet of vehicles is in maintaining the vehicle while it is in operation. Fleet vehicles receive a lot of wear and tear on them since they are driven on a daily basis. Keeping fluids changed, brakes checked, tires inspected and a good preventative maintenance schedule will keep your vehicles on the road and out of the repair shop. I am sure you have experienced repairs on your own vehicle and how expensive it can get, imagine having a fleet of them.
Whether ordering parts for your vehicles is done through the dealer or an outside manufacturer, they are going to be expensive. There is another way to purchase your parts and that is used or through a junk yard. This can add up to save you a lot of money in the long run. It may not be as convenient as going to your local parts store but it will save you money over all. Many of the junk yards today specialize in providing parts for commercial vehicles and trucks, so looking for the right replacement parts should not be that difficult.
Preventative maintenance on your fleet vehicles is crucial to keeping repair cost down. A good fleet maintenance program should have a fleet manager to monitor each vehicle by using fleet servicing software. Inputting data for maintenance and repairs will help in keeping track of how much each vehicle is costing the company and when service is due.
When looking into having your brakes repaired, the cost will depend on what type of brake repair service you are going to need. When driving and you apply your brakes and hear noises such as grinding, screeching or squeaking, you will want to have your brakes inspected immediately.
There are many problems that can be associated with your brakes going bad. You can have worn out calipers, brake drums, brake pads, a bad master brake cylinder, or just a being low on fluid can cause brake issues. Having low fluid in your braking system is an easy fix that most people can solve themselves. Make sure and check your owner’s manual to verify the type of brake fluid that is required. Top off the brake fluid to the suggested level and test the brakes to make sure they are not spongy. If they are spongy this means there is air in the lines and it will need to be bleed out. This should be done by a professional mechanic to assure the job is done correctly (Brake Repair San Diego). If the brakes do not feel spongy then you are good to go. Check the fluid level periodically to make sure the level stays the same. If it goes down again this will indicate there is a leak in the system.
The most common problem with brakes will be worn out pads or drums. Since your car brakes use friction to stop the car, the pads will wear down over time. If you start to hear squeaking coming from your brakes when you apply them, this is a sign it is time to have them checked. Ignoring squeaking brakes will eventually lead to a grinding noise which means the pads are worn down and the metal in the pads are rubbing on the drum or rotor. By reaching the grinding phase of your brakes has now resulted in a very costly repair. A repair that could have cost around $100.00 has turned into several hundred dollars.