Am I being ripped off by my dealer?

toyota
prius

#1

I love the fuel efficiency of my 2010 Prius, but the required maintenance seems excessive compared to non-hybrid cars. I can’t compare to other dealers, because I live in the rural hinterlands and the next closest dealer is 100 miles away. Here are some of my costs: 60,000 miles–$400.77; 50,000miles–165.16; 40,000 miles–$133.17; 30,000 miles–$215.15. The in-between +5,000 mile check-ups range between $18.69 to $55.20.
I also lost a key and asked how much it would cost for a replacement…the dealer said $500. I found one on Ebay for $125 and paid the dealer $30 to program the key. Just made me think how much are they taking me for on my maintenance?


#2

Is that required maintenance by the dealer or required by your car’s maintenance manual?

People here would need to know what “maintenance” was performed in order to know if the price is good.

Unless those in-between +5,000 mile check-ups are oil changes I’d be surprised if they are required by the owners manual.

Those prices are not extremely high if they are performing required maintenance. They are typical prices from dealers who call them ‘major maintenance’ ‘minor maintenance’ etc. where I live, but I’m in California where everything costs an arm, a leg and a cousin.

If there are independent mechanics that work on Prius’s in your area they will very likely charge less than any dealer.


#3

None of the amounts that you listed seem out of line at all, especially coming out of a dealer shop. But you didn’t list the specific services so that might deserve some comment.

But it is a machine, and it has to be maintained. It costs money.


#4

Those prices sound quite reasonable, and not at all higher than a conventional Toyota of the same year. I’m a small neighborhood independent shop and my prices would be right in line with what you show, the dealers around here would be more for the same services.

You can usually save money by using an independent shop, but beware of the final results. I often have people ask if they can skip the brake fluid flush or transmission fluid service at 30,000 miles because the fluids are still clean and it will save money. Some shops may agree, trying to be a hero and saving the car owner some money. My answer is no. The goal is to prolong the life of the car, not stretch the life of the fluids.

BTW, I believe your owner’s manual states that there is no need for periodic transmission fluid service for the life of the car. Your dealer probably overrides that and replaces your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. I agree, and I think everyone on this forum would too. It seems foolhardy to save $100 every 30,000 miles and then need to replace a $4000 transmission at 150,000.

You can’t compare prices for your key fob from the dealer to what you find on ebay. Those are apples and oranges.

Priuses are popular cars and there are usually a few small shops around that are familiar with them and can meet your needs. Ask other Prius drivers around you what they do.


#5

The Inbetween checkups at 5,000 miles are for a tire rotation and inspection, at least if you use the recommended oil you can go 10K between oil changes but the manual still calls for those 5k tire rotations. My mom uses the same independent Japanese specialist that she’s used since 1993 for a previous car, the prices are usually better than what the dealer wants for a major service although oil changes end up being around the same, but I’m pretty sure she’s not paying anywhere near what you are for most of those ($75 or so for every 10K service). From what i remember from the service schedule it didn’t look any different than most any conventional engined Toyota. If you can find a Japanese car specialist closer to home they just might already service a few Prius’s and would be worth getting a quote from.


#6

The prices do not seem out of line to me.