Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Reasonable cost for 30K mile maintenance on 2010 Toyota Prius

I recently brought my 2010 Toyota Prius in a scheduled 30,000 mile maintenance. I usually bring it to the dealer because its just so convenient and pleasant there, but this time I brought it to a local mechanic I’ve used before because I assumed it would be much less expensive.

I’m not so sure this turned out to be cheaper.

I’d love to get feedback on what you think of these prices. This is in central New Jersey, assuming mechanic prices are regional. Below is what was done and what it cost.

$0 Free 38 point inspection
$23.00 Full synthetic Lube, Oil, Filter Special
$211.34 15K Emission service
$73.97 Replace Cabin air filter and check A/C
$39.95 Rotate and Balance tires
$0 Replace windshield wiper blades
$2 Hazardous Materials

$7.15 Oil Filter
$49.75 0W20 Molil 1 Oil (5 quarts)
$48.43 Air filter
$47.99 Cabin air filter
$16.95 Additive throttle
$30.53 Fuel additive
$44.78 Wiper blades (2)
$38.73 Shop Supplies

Total $634.57
Tax $44.28

I think you might have been better off at the dealers. You can call you dealer and ask what the 30k mile maintenance costs, Toyota dealers are usually pretty good about having these prices posted on the wall.

I think the 15k emissions service is bogus.

You can replace the cabin air filter by opening the glove box door, then pull up on it to remove the glove box. Then, just behind the glove box is a slot the filter sets in, pull it out and slide the new one in and replace the glove box. The filter itself retails for about $20.

That’s actually about what I’ve seen from most Toyota dealers in terms of price.

However, I’m with @keith - that emissions service is bogus. So is the fuel additive (a bottle of Techron would have been just as good). And what the heck is “additive throttle”? Is he saying he cleaned the throttle body? Well, I’ve seen some Toyotas (my Camry, for example), where doing this is actually a good idea to prevent a sticky throttle… but you only do it as needed, and even then, you have to be careful as some cars have coated throttle bodies that don’t like certain cleaners.

I didn’t see a labor charge to change the engine air filter which is a little more complicated unless that is the emissions service, but that is still only about a 15 minute job tops, including a 10 minute coffee break. They also retail for about $25 or less.

Grand total? More like Grand theft.
But typical of a dealer shop.

They’re charging you a total of about $80 for the oil change? Plus another $2 to dispose of the oil? Good Lord!

$48 for an air filter? Another $48 (+$73.97 for installation) for a cabin filter?

$30 for needless fuel additive?

$45 for wiper blades? At least they installed them for “free”.

What the heck is “Emission service”? Never heard of that one.

$38 for “shop supplies”? They’ve already charged you for everything they’ve used. Notmally that would be grease, rags, etc…but there’s nothing in any of the services they’ve performed that requires any “shop supplies”.

Sorry. You’ve been robbed. Typical dealer “scheduled maintenance”.


I have never heard of a $211 “15k mile emissions service”, but this would make owning a car that requires this very expensive. I would guess it’s some kind of fuel system cleaning, in other words, bogus unless the car is running poorly. As for checking the air conditioning, you can do that yourself. Turn it on. Does it blow cold air? If so, it should be fine. If not, it needs work. Your tires probably didn’t need balanced as they tend to stay in balance unless something happens to them. Most people would notice a tire imbalance and take the car to a shop to have it resolved, so just rotating them should have been fine as long as it was needed. Personally, I rotate my tires when there is about 1/32" less tread on the front than on the rear to keep tire wear even. Wiper blades can be purchased for much less than you payed at Walmart and installed by you in about five minutes if you have never done them, less time if you have. If you don’t want to deal with that, you can buy them at Autozone or any other popular auto parts store for a couple dollars more than Walmart and have them install them for free. As for shop supplies fees, I am generally in agreement with these charges because they are legitimate, but I think they went overboard on this one. Nearly $40 in shop supplies for what amounts to an oil change, tire rotation, wiper blades, air filter replacement, and what is presumed to be a fuel system cleaning is kind of over the top.

Overall, I think you got taken for a ride on this one. No car, especially one that is supposed to be highly rated by various consumer publications, should (or even does) need $700 worth of scheduled maintenance at only 30k miles.

Was this mechanic wearing a mask?
Is his photo posted at the local Post Office, along with the other thieves?

As you can probably guess, I really think that the OP got “hosed” by this guy, and I am as puzzled by the $200.+ “Emissions Service” as everyone else is. And, as was said, replacing the cabin air filter on this car should take all of about…3 minutes. However, the extortionate charge for the cabin air filter labor was really no worse than the other ridiculous labor charges on that bill.

When I get the 30k service done (at a dealership), the total of the bill is slightly less than what the OP paid, but my service includes changing the brake fluid, the transmission fluid, and the coolant, over and above the legitimate procedures that the OP had performed. Even the 60k service, which includes spark plug replacement as well as all of the aforementioned procedures, is not much more than what the OP paid.

Click on the Mechanics Files tab on this site to find a recommended local mechanic who won’t rob you blind like this guy. Sounds like he saw you pull up in a nice new hybrid and said to himself, hey, here’s my next boat payment!

By the way, here’s a handy website that estimates how much common maintenance/repairs should cost for your vehicle in your area. Use it before taking your car in for repairs or service so you know beforehand what’s a reasonable price:

“Typical dealer “scheduled maintenance”.”

But it was not done by the Toyota dealer.

@mlsphd, you can find a decent privately owned garage that will be fair and priced well. As your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who they use for service. Eventually, you will get a short list of mechanics to try. Just consider the extra as tuition towards your education on finding a good mechanic.

Might be instructive comparing what’s on your bill with what your owner’s manual says is to be done at 15k. Bet there are a few differences. Next time you have one of these come up authorize them to do only the items in the manual. Anything else they want to do, they make their case and tell you much how much it will cost. At least they’ll know you’ve read your owner’s manual and might have some understanding of cars. Best try it on a new mechanic. This one has already cheated you once and isn’t likely to learn new tricks.

Hey. NOTICE how much of this bogus additional service has nothing to do with the car being a hybrid, it has to do with the internal combustion motor. Do we understand now why car makers are so reluctant to mass produce true electric vehicles that actually perform well and cost a reasonable price. They can’t afford to when even the sale of a regular car is not a big profit maker for a dealership. EVs would drive the auto industry out of business. So don’t whine about it ! Pay the big price for service think of it as welfare. Or, follow the great suggestions, do much of it yourself and play more golf on the savings.

I dont know about the Prius, but I know that Honda and I think Toyota gas cars have a major service done at 30k, basically a full fluid and filter exchange (trans fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, powersteering fluid, etc)…This does not seem to be the case for Prius if you go by the book. however

This is an intersting page I found after a quick google search: