Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Maintenance on 2001 Toyota Prius

When I took my 2001 Toyota Prius for it’s 90,000 mile checkup, the dealer want to do a throttle body decarbonization and to change the interior carbon air filter. Both were expensive. Are they necessary?

Are you having any drivability problems?

Throttle body cleaning? No. This is BOGUS.

Interior filter? Maybe. What does the maintenance schedule that came with the car say about this?

Read and learn.

Ask the dealer how carbon builds up on the throttle body. Please post their explanation. We all enjoy a good laugh.

No drivability problems.
Cant’ find any mention of the interior filter.
I thought it sounded fishy.

Replacing the cabin air filter is only necessary if you want to breathe clean, filtered air. It is also necessary only if you want the air flow to the windshield defroster to be unrestricted. If you can tolerate unfiltered air and/or a fogged windshield, then you can skip this maintenance step.

(On a more serious note, you will find this item listed in the Toyota Maintenance Schedule that is sitting in your glove compartment. You might want to check the odometer mileage recommended for changing this filter. Most need changing well before 90k.)

As to the cleaning of the throttle body, you will find that this is NOT listed in the Toyota Maintenance Schedule. If you are experiencing performance problems, this procedure might be a good idea, but if the car accelerates just as smoothly as it always did, then this is just a revenue-booster for the dealership.

I’d go by the factory maintenance schedule. Dealers have been known to sell people filters that don’t exist.

If your car has a cabin air filter you can buy one at any auto parts store and replace it yourself at a significant savings.

Save your money.

I agree with VDCdriver comments. I changed the interior at 30K and it was filthy. This is easy to do and cheaper to buy the filter and do it yourself. As far as the throttle bottle cleaning. There is a possibility that there maybe some carbon buid-up, but as vdcdriver said, unless you have performance problems such as acceleration sluggish I would not have that done at a dealer. I buy throttle body cleaner from the parts store and clean all of my vehicles myself at 30K. It restores the performance and I always recognize a difference.

Where do you put the Throttle body cleaner?

My Camry experiences what I will call a sticking gas pedal. I thought that my cables needed lubricating, so I did so…pedal still stuck. (Once the pedal broke away from idle, it moved freely.) I called the dealership and was told that the throttle body needed cleaning…of course, I smelled a rat. After living with the sticking pedal a bit longer, I got some throttle body cleaner and opened up the induction and went to work right where the butterfly is. I was amazed at the gunk that came off. End result- no more sticking pedal.

Filter is not carbon, and is a 2 minute do it yourself job. Under $30, about $15 if you get it on line.

I fell for this one. Now I DO have throttle problems and they can’t find anything wrong.