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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/15/2010 in Posts

  1. 9 points
    I am now the proud owner of a 17-plate Prius PHV in Hypersonic Red. Generally speaking, I don’t like red cars, but for some reason I like this one. I'm sure I will be posting more about it in due course. Here's a nice picture of it: However, the process of getting to the stage where this particular car is sitting on my drive has been nothing less than tortuous. What I was expecting to be a joyful process full of anticipatory excitement turned out to be an arduous and depressing slog, as my wife and I travelled hundreds of miles around the country seeking the 'right' car, only to discover an almost-uniformly awful experience at each Toyota dealership we visited. I should perhaps point out that this is likely to be a long post, written more for my own cathartic benefit than for anyone else's interest, so here’s the tl;dr up front, to save you the effort of reading through the drivel beneath: Uninterested, uninformed dealers making half-hearted attempts to sell cars, often in worryingly-dubious condition, for staggeringly random prices. Anyway, if you do want to read on, here's the unexpurgated version. It's not pretty... To start with, what the juddering hell is the deal with pricing on these cars? It's insane. Brand spanking new Prius Excel PHVs are available through Carwow for £27.5k, so why would anyone pay more than that for a used one with a few thousand miles on it? Yet we found tens for sale, well above that price point. The bizarrely specific numbers like £28,471 suggested some kind of machine-learning algorithm at play. I can only assume this was locked in some kind of infinite rank-ordering comparison loop, as I actually saw individual vehicle prices going up as well as down in the time I was monitoring them. Unsurprisingly, these optimistically-priced specimens are all still for sale now, having spent months on forecourts already. I am utterly baffled at what is happening here. Even more mystifying was the price differential between apparently identical cars. We found cars with the same specs, age and mileage, for sale at up to £5k difference in sticker price. In one case, this difference was between two cars at the same dealership! Granted, the cheaper one was in Dishwasher White but even so, you've got to really hate kitchen appliances to pay five large more for Decuma Grey, right? Price had seemingly no bearing on condition, either. And, on the subject of condition, the state we found some of these cars in was shockingly poor, given that they were all Toyota Approved cars with minimal miles, less than 18 months old. The first one we saw had done fewer than 2,000 miles yet looked like it had done ten times that; it was covered in scratches inside and out, with big chips of paint missing from the front bumper. The driver's door looked like it had repeatedly been opened into a brick wall, and was down to the bare metal along its edge. Yet the conversation that followed went roughly like this: "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "Okay, but if we agree to buy it, will you get your bodyshop to sort the worst bits of the paintwork out before we collect?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "That’s a no, then?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "And you're not prepared to make any kind of reduction to account for the poor condition, to cover the cost of getting it sorted ourselves?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "Right. Bye, then." Then there was the one that turned out to have done over 3,000 miles more than advertised, with a replacement windscreen that had somehow been re-fitted with no seals around it, leaving huge gaps and the plastic scuttle flapping in the breeze, along with two strips of glue residue on the roof from where they'd used the wrong tape to hold it in. "Don't worry, we'll get the workshop to look at the windscreen and get it sorted for you before you pick up the car." "Right. Would that be the same workshop that made such a godforsaken mess of it the first time around?" "Er, yes..." "Er, bye then." And then there was the one that had a big dent in the lower side panel, and which had been run by the dealership boss for 18 months but somehow hadn't been serviced at all in that time. "Don't worry, we'll fix the dent with a bit of filler and we'll service it before you buy it. The manufacturer's warranty will be fine." "You mean the warranty that Toyota specifically state will not be fine, as any items which fail in future as a possible result of lack of servicing will not be covered?" "No, it will be fine. Let me get my service manager to explain why both you and the Toyota website are wrong about this." "No, let me get my coat, and remind me never to assume that Toyota dealers understand their own service intervals and warranty conditions." Still, if some of the cars were poor, the actual experiences and interactions in the showrooms were worse. Here's a flavour of what we endured: Being left waiting for ages whilst the salesman 'found the best price' for my car, only for him to finally come out and offer £1k less than we both knew it was worth. Pro-tip: We all know you can look up a valuation in 30 seconds. If you're going to bid me in the nuts for my car, at least have the common decency not to make me wait for half an hour before you do. Especially not when you're keeping me from my lunch. Being seated directly in front of glass pane windows, squinting into the baking sun, in a showroom that inexplicably didn't have air conditioning, waiting for the salesperson to arrive whilst being forcibly engaged in toe-curlingly banal conversation by a painfully enthusiastic teenager wearing a badge that actually – I kid you not – gave his job title as Host. Pro-tip. Try to ensure you offer a buying experience that doesn't run the risk of contravening the Geneva Convention as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. You may just sell more cars. Being told that the person I'd agreed to meet at the specified time wasn't available, being asked to wait until someone else could see us, then being dealt with by a surly, uncommunicative teenager who had no interest in selling the car and whose knowledge about the product he was supposed to be persuading us to buy was utterly non-existent. He even checked his phone a few times during our conversation. Pro-tip: If you really must employ useless millennials who can't grasp the concept of turning up at an agreed time and place, at least make sure the backup isn't a social media addict from Generation Zombie. Being told that the dealership couldn't provide a valuation for my car at all, unless I first agreed I would definitely buy their car from them and not go elsewhere. Pro-tip. That. Is. Not. How. It. Works. You've just let me walk away, and I will not be coming back. Ever. You can call me all you like the day after. But, just as you discovered, I won't be answering. Being told that my wife couldn't sit next to me in the front for the test drive as the salesman had to be there in case he needed to 'grab the wheel' when I was driving. Pro-tip: Try to avoid insulting your customer's driving ability before they've even got in the car. Oh, and never let my wife ride behind you when you've just ****** her off. We nearly did crash in the end, because I was too busy laughing at her in the rear view mirror as she made gestures behind your back suggesting your proclivity for indulging in onanistic pleasure. Frankly, you were lucky she didn't garotte you with your spivvy skinny tie. Being told that there was 'no room for negotiation' on the initial cost to change you offered. Pro-tip: There is always room for negotiation. Otherwise *cough* you might end up with your car still on your forecourt, at a *cough* considerably reduced price that is now hilariously less than what I was actually willing to pay you weeks ago. Ha ha ha and, indeed, ha. Being told on the phone that I had to pay a £100 'refundable deposit' in order to make sure the car would be available to view the next day. Pro-tip: Wait, what? I don't even… kthxbye. Even when we actually found a car in decent nick that wasn't horrifically overpriced, defective or abused, it was a struggle to complete the purchase. I think it was the young salesman's first ever experience of dealing with someone who didn't want finance. Or possibly just his first ever experience of selling a car. He was giddy with excitement, which was actually quite endearing at first. We finally agreed a price that I was happy to pay, shook hands on the deal, then he went round the back to get the paperwork. All seemed to be going well. Then he returned, looking very sheepish and informed us that we'd have to pay £1 more than we'd just agreed. He explained that he'd exceeded the amount by which he was 'allowed' to discount the car, so would we mind paying a pound more? After my wife and I realised that he wasn't actually joking, we obviously told him to do one. A gentleman does not renege on a handshake, FFS! However, I did generously agree to sign the paperwork for the higher amount if he gave me a quid from his own pocket there and then. Panicking now, and not having any cash himself, he was out of ideas so I suggested he went round the back for a whip-round. I fully expected him to return with a handful of loose change. However, he eventually came back having apparently got permission to put the lower amount through on the card machine whilst keeping the extra £1 on the paperwork. Seriously, that happened. In all honesty, if we hadn't have closed the deal on that one then we'd probably have just thrown in the towel and bought a brand new one on finance. I have a sneaky suspicion that this may actually have been Toyota's plan all along: overprice your used stock and make the buying-for-cash experience so awful that people give up and finance a new one instead. I’m glad we didn't, as I've ended up with what seems to be a decent example, obtained in the end for a fair price. But next time? I'm not sure I'll have the energy. I might just have to accept that long-term ownership is a dying scene, and give in and join the masses on their 3-year contracts and monthly payments...
  2. 5 points
    Lots of debate this time of year whether winter tyres or not. On 29th Jan 2019 it dumped with snow over the snake pass in the Peaks with very expensive 4x4's on their standard summer tyres failing to get over the top and even making the point of winding down their window to tell me that I had no chance on making it as they had tried twice & failed. I had lots of surprised faces when I passed them all and I was the only one over the top at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon - Winter tyres are the way forward if you live in an area that gets is bad!
  3. 5 points
    Toyota have far from lost sight of the future, they are at the forefront of technology, just not what everyone else is doing. The Toyota mantra for some 20 odd years has been to produce cars with zero emissions, but at that time, the only way forward was Hybrid for which they are now mainstream. I was lucky enough to talk to the UK chap in charge of the Mirai Hydrogen project, what an exciting future that is. Imagine being a fuel station owner now, having to buy your fuel from a refinery and paying the going rate. Roll on a few years (available now but not mainstream) and you will find your local petrol station making their own Hydrogen on site. Not tied to any fuel manufacturer, making your own fuel from electricity and water, now that truly is the future, and it's not far away either, all we need is the vehicles to be built at much lower costs, the fuel stations are coming, more and more added each year. When we have cars buses and lorries on Hydrogen it will take off massively, the only trouble then is taxation, there is currently no tax on zero emissions, imagine what will happen when zero emission vehicles become the mainstream?
  4. 5 points
    I cannot for the life of me understand why people are obsessed with range/segments/miles per tank etc etc, drives me nuts! Here is a tip for you all. Fill the tank, when it gets to a half or quarter tank, go to the fuel station and fill it up again, no stress, no strain, job done
  5. 5 points
    Another way to clean/ operate the rear brakes is to reverse quite fast in a safe area and brake. This way the weight of the car is transferred to the rear and the rear brakes will apply harder. Also Regen braking does not work in reverse as far as I know. HTH
  6. 4 points
    I got my Gen2 new in Jan 2007, and 12 years & 107K virtually trouble-free miles later have just handed it on to my newly-married daughter. I say virtually as a couple of years ago the ABS warning lights came on, but this turned out to be a problem with the sensor and not an ABS fault. I've replaced the 12v battery once and the exhaust system once. There's no way I would give my daughter a car that I didn't think was totally reliable. No technical info to share, but for what it's worth in my view if you've got £5K to spend on a 2nd hand car, you could do a hell of a lot worse than a Gen 2 Prius.
  7. 4 points
    Wheel alignment isn't checked on service. If you have an alignment problem then an indicator would be that your tyres may show signs of uneven wear either on the outer or inner edges. Have you hit a pothole or kerb recently? That would be a reason for it pulling and if it's only just started you wouldn't see any tyre wear initially. Take it to a decent garage to get the alignment checked. Anyone with a Hunter system would be my personal choice.
  8. 4 points
    I arranged with my local Toyota dealer, Chester/Deeside area, to have 2 new tyres fitted today. All 4 tyres were hanging around 3 mm but I decided to have 2 new on the front. I have a Gen 4 Prius Excel with 15" wheels. Originals were Toyo and the dealer quoted me about 2 months ago £50 per tyre, that included balancing, new valves, disposal etc and included VAT. That matched any price I could see on the internet so booked in for today. When done I started chatting to the service guy about satnav map updates, and he offered to update today if I had time to wait for about an hour - it takes that time for the software to do its job. Job done, just had to hand over the £100 for 2 tyres. If there is another map update before my car is 3 years old end of September then they will do that freebie as well. I know some on this forum are not too impressed with their local Toyota dealer, so I thought I would give a good comment about my local dealer.
  9. 4 points
    If you want to save money, just keep the Auris. With such low mileages, I can't see how it could ever make financial sense to change the car.
  10. 4 points
    Like some others on this forum, I am not entirely convinced that Toyota is so far behind everyone with EV tech. Their hybrid program has included nearly all if not all technologies require to build a totally electrical car. They have one of the most slippery bodyshells on the current prius and this includes quite wide tyres and a radiator grille-( both items known to cause drag). They have electrical motors able to power the car along, they have kinetic battery recharging technology, electrical power control technology, charging technology and battery technology and mass production experience. Putting a Toyota next to any one of its EV competitors highlights their competitors weakness. Nissan , for example are only successful with small cars with big batteries. Tesla have cracked the range, power and battery issue but the cost of the tech is astronomical.Renault have fallen rather short of the mark made by Nissan but have also gone along the route of putting big batteries into a small car. Nearly everyone else is trying to use their petrol engined chassis as a lack lustre EV or hybrid. Only BMW have really had a good go at things but their very space efficient I3 is a bit of a draggy little lump at cd 0.29. My impression is that for the time being , Toyota are keeping their powder dry whilst battery and motor technology slowly improves to the point where producing a vehicle which will carry 4 persons and their baggage 300miles between fuel ups ( charges ) is commonplace and affordable.
  11. 4 points
    So, I’ve had my Prius PHV for two weeks, and thought I’d share a few of my first impressions, good and bad. I wanted one in Pearl White with the light grey interior, registered in March 2017 for the free tax. I ended up with one in Hypersonic Red with a black interior, registered in June 2017. I’m not very good at buying cars. However, despite having failed to meet all three criteria, I’m still happy with my purchase. And to save you wading through what follows, I can summarise my thoughts very nicely: I like this car a lot. 💕 That Tailgate! Can anyone truly say they’ve bought a car because of its boot lid? I think I can now. It’s nothing short of an engineering marvel with its double-bubble glass, uber-cool LED light strip and honest-to-god legit carbon fibre that’s subtly visible through the window. Okay, so that light strip is disappointingly fake (only the central brake light illuminates) and yes, there’s the small matter of not having a rear wiper (although interestingly the aero actually keeps the screen completely clear as long as you’re moving) but still… it is a masterpiece of geeky design. I absolutely love it. 💕 Squint, and it looks a bit like an Alfa SZ. Remaining on the subject of looks, I was trying to work out why I find the PHV more appealing to the eye than the standard Gen4, and realised that it might have something to do with looking a tiny bit like an Alfa SZ. Especially in red. I was an impressionable teenager when the SZ appeared – in fact, it arrived the same year I passed my driving test – and I’ve always harboured a liking for them. I reckon there’s more than a little of the SZ design language in the Prius PHV. They’re both unconventionally attractive. Or, perhaps, conventionally ugly. Definitely ungainly from some angles, and more than a little quirky in the detailing. And to my eyes, they share quite a few of those details: the square headlights; the steeply-raked waistline with an excess of body over the rear wheel; the black roofline and glasshouse; the full-width light strip at the rear… and the SZ had a pretty decent drag coefficient for its day as well. 💕 It’s a Smooth Operator We all know the hybrid drivetrain is supremely relaxing when driven as intended. The PHV adds another dimension – as I’m sure the standard Gen 4 also does on 15” wheels – which is a proper cosseting ride. There’s a level of bump absorption that people seem to have forgotten is actually possible in these days of huge wheels and tiny sidewalls. Yet it doesn’t flop around corners like a dying halibut either; it feels remarkably well-balanced and tied down. Incredibly, it actually delivers a more comfortable ride than my Lexus GS Premier, probably thanks to the latter’s wholly unnecessary 18” wheels. It’s a bit ridiculous that this eco-car should be so much smoother than a ‘luxury exec’ saloon, but it is. No more thumping horribly over horizontal seams on the A14; no more getting jiggled uncomfortably on badly-maintained B-roads and what were once haemorrhoid-troubling speed humps are now dispatched with nary a rectal twinge. 💕 Zero-Emission Commuting? Nearly! Having not owned a plug-in vehicle before, I was looking forward to the experience of electric-only running. My journey to work is 32 miles, give or take. It’s an easy route to drive economically and very well-suited to hybrids. I figured that whilst the official EV range of 39 miles would be hopelessly optimistic, I might manage 32 on days when it’s not cold or wet. And manage it, I have. The full-charge range has been a bit random so far, but I guess it’s getting used to my driving style. Day One, a full charge got me a disappointing 31 miles on the indicator. But, 32 miles later, I was arriving at work with 0.1 mile still showing. Day Two, I kicked off with 33 miles, but made it with nothing to spare. Day Three, I kicked off with 35 miles but the roads were properly wet and I fell short by a couple of miles. Day Four, I started with 35 miles again, but it was chillier and I fell short by a mile. Day Five, I started with 36 miles then turned the AC off completely and saw 39 miles estimated. I left the heating off and arrived at work with 3 miles still left, and rather cold feet. I won’t be doing that on a regular basis, but it was an interesting experiment. A week further on, and the indicated range is inching above 40 miles, but in reality I’m still getting similar actual range. Overall, I’m happy with that. I knew I’d be unlikely to get all the way to work outside of summer time, and it’s clear that wet roads and cold temperatures have the same big impact on economy as in any other car. In the depths of winter, I’ll probably be lucky to make it half way. However, that’s not the whole story. Because, of course, there’s the journey back each day, where - until I can manage to wangle a charging point at work - the car is lugging a very big, very flat EV battery all the way home. I was hoping to see an indicated 70-75mpg for these journeys, as that’s what I used to get in my Gen3. The new setup is obviously more efficient than the Gen3, but I figured the extra dead weight would pull it back down. I figured wrong. Day 1, that 0.1 mile of charge disappeared pulling out of the work car park, meaning the whole journey was done in HV mode. I was gobsmacked to arrive home with 92mpg showing on the meter, although I’d been slowed down for a portion of the journey by a tractor so figured this wasn’t representative. Day 2, dragging the flat battery all the way and without the benefit of a slow tractor, netted me 85mpg. Day 3, with the roads having dried out since the morning, I was up to 87mpg Day 4, it was still a bit colder and I managed 83mpg Day 5, it was warmer and I had a bit of EV range to get me going, so I hit 94mpg. Since then, I’ve never been below 80mpg even when starting with absolutely zero EV range and I’ve been back over 90 a few times with a best run home of 97mpg. That is seriously impressive to me, and indicates just how brilliant the standard non-PHV Gen4 hybrid setup really must be. A quick flick through the info screens soon reveals the reason for such petrol parsimony. I’m hitting well over 50% - often over 60% - of engine-off running on the journey home. The slice of the battery that works like a standard hybrid is far stronger than any other hybrid I’ve driven, not least for its ability to let me cruise for extended periods at 50mph with the engine off. And when the engine does run, the fiendishly clever algorithm that determines power routing manages to harvest charge by using ‘excess’ petrol power even when not on re-gen. Sometimes it manages to grab enough to bring the EV range meter back into play, allowing me to switch to full EV mode for short distances despite starting with ‘nothing in the tank’. I’ve always guesstimated around 30% of engine-off running on that route in my other hybrids, so to be hitting double that is a pretty amazing achievement for this car. 🙉 Infernal Indicator Clicks Of course, no car is perfect and the PHV has its fair share of irritations. Not least, the appalling noise that issues forth every time the indicator stalk is used. Why, Toyota, why? If the C-HR – and, by all accounts, the standard Gen4 – can have an inoffensively-soft click then what on earth possessed you to equip the PHV with a squeaky, tinny clicker that actually manages to approximate a fingernail/blackboard interface? I’ve got a Carista dongle on the way, so I’ll see if lowering the volume makes it more tolerable, and failing that I’ll just silence it completely. For the time being, I’m tempted to go full-Audi and just not signal at all. It really is that bad. 🤬 Un-Turn-Offable Auto Headlights I realise I’m preaching to the converted here (well, @PeteB anyway) but seriously, how can it possibly be acceptable to have removed the ‘Off’ switch for the headlights when the Auto setting is so goddamn dangerous? The first thing I did was set the sensitivity to its lowest, yet they still go on at the slightest hint of shadow. I actually clocked up over twenty unnecessary activations the other day before I gave up and stopped counting. As twilight fell, I had to pull right back from the van in front, as I could see him looking in the mirror wondering what my game was. Last Friday, on a narrow lane, the car in front stopped in a shadowy dip to wait for some fighting pigeons to get out of the way. I wasn’t in a hurry, and completely understood why he had stopped. Nobody wants a fat wood pigeon in their grille and when the birds are scrapping they often just won’t move for you. However, the dim light triggered my stupid auto lights, so the chap got upset and gestured back angrily because he thought I was being impatient. Fortunately, he wasn’t a violent psycho, but I struggled to find the right sign language for ‘sorry, it’s not me, it’s the car’. And then, of course, there was my daily roundabout-with-a-flyover, where the inevitable happened: the lights came on under the flyover and the person waiting at the entrance thought I was flashing them to pull out. I was already braking at this point, because I knew full well what was going to happen, but it was still an unnecessary danger. Seriously, auto headlights are an absolute liability. To make them impossible to disable is madness. I don’t want to run sidelights all the time, because that dims the DRLs, which are a useful safety feature in the land of partially-sighted pensioners where I live. And I’d really rather not run on dipped headlights all the time either, as that’s just wasting energy when it’s not dark. I wonder if Carista can access an even-less-sensitive setting than the paltry -2 the car presently allows? 😢 Economy-Class Seating Okay, so I am coming from 18-way semi-aniline heated/ventilated luxury, and anything is going to be a bit of a comedown from that but still… it really hurts that the Prius Prime in the US gets proper electrical adjustability whilst here I am having to crank myself up and down and back and forth manually like a prole. A bit more padding wouldn’t go amiss, either. 💩 Archaic Infotainment This goes without saying, really. I’m not disappointed with it because I knew it was going to be bad, but it’s such a simple thing to get right that it’s depressing to see Toyota (along with so many other manufacturers to be fair) fail so hard. I mean, Mirrorlink? Really? That’s all you’re giving me in a car released in 2017? And just to rub it in that I can’t use my phone’s screen, you’re making me use an interface that looks like something from the days of Windows 7? You. Can. Do. Better. The sat nav actually gave me some hope, at first. Unlike my GS with its offensively-basic 1990s-style map display, the Toyota map at least looks vaguely modern. It can connect to the internet via my phone, to get those all-important live traffic updates. And it’s evidently been updated fairly recently, as all the shoddy new-build estates that are popping up like fungus on my route to work seem to be accounted for. Could this finally be an in-car nav system that’s worth using? Of course, not. Because then, you actually try to use the damn thing and it all falls apart. Primarily, because some cheapskate bean-counter in Aichi specced a wholly-inadequate CPU to power the whole thing. It’s impossibly slow to route, laggy to use and despite that internet connection it has so far managed to provide 100% inaccurate traffic info. All reported delays have failed to materialise, it insisted that a road was completely shut last week when it clearly wasn’t and it’s failed to give any warning of the delays which did actually occur. Still, in brighter news, the wireless charging mat nearly works, which means I don’t have to pull the surprisingly un-rattly trim apart to route a charging cable to a phone holder. That means I can run TomTom on my phone sitting on the mat, and occasionally glance down for proper accurate traffic info. I say nearly works, because it can’t supply enough charge to stop the battery from slowly draining when running TomTom, but to be fair that’s more to do with TomTom being a CPU hog than any real fault with Toyota. And, whilst the interface for music playing is predictably clunky, when it’s cranked up the JBL setup genuinely sounds terrific. I have tinnitus and hearing loss so I’m hardly operating at audiophile level, but I couldn’t honestly say the fancy Mark Levinson system in my GS sounds any better. 😁 Conclusion All in all, I am seriously impressed with this car. However, I can see why Toyota haven’t sold many. It’s a very niche market: an odd-looking four-seater with no spare wheel, a tiny boot and an unattractive price. Add in the general public’s completely irrational but depressingly common fear of any car that plugs in to a power socket, and you can see why used PHVs lose value far more rapidly than the standard hybrid. I am under no illusions: the PHV makes no financial sense. The money I’ll save in fuel will be far less than the extra I’ll lose in depreciation compared to the standard Gen4. I didn’t even manage to bag a free-tax one either. However, I’m finding it hard to care about that. For me there is a perverse joy to be gained in perambulating around the countryside whilst using no fuel, that outweighs such pecuniary concerns. I’ve also already enjoyed getting into a pre-heated car in the morning, and that joy will only grow in the winter months. The adaptive headlights – once it’s dark and they’ve stopped flapping around switching on and off – are actually incredibly effective, and even better than the steerable HIDs of the Lexus. Besides, to be honest, even if it didn’t have any of those extras, I’d still have got one over the standard Gen4. Because I’m vainly juvenile at heart, and I’m easily seduced by surface beauty. And any which way you play it, a carbon fibre bootlid is properly f-----g cool.
  12. 4 points
    Car air conditioning never ceases to amuse. Refrigeration technicians are highly,trained, skilled, knowledgeable and qualified. Qualifications are gained over a period of approximately 3 years minimum. Knowledge takes a while longer to accumulate. Garages in the most part, cant afford to employ air conditioning technicians. So to put it simply, why don't you ask the bloke next door if he wouldnt mind asking his youngest to wipe a cloth over the vents and give the ac a once over? Change the pollen filter, clean out the vents, run the unit on recirc only for the shortest possible periods and once or twice a year scald the entire system with air which is hotter than 60 degrees for about 15 minutes. EASY to do on a hot summers day with the ac turned onto maximum heat medium fan speed on a long run during which the engine is at its full working temperature. (Motorways are good for this.)Dont forget to wind the windows down so that the heat escapes and the system carries on trying to throw heat through the ductwork and coils. You then ensure that you kill the bacteria which makes everything stink. Keep the drain clean and clear, blow out the coil and kill bacteria by temperature and not disinfectant. Adding, topping up or routinely replacing refrigerant isnt necessary. Changing refrigerant is only necessary when there has been a leak. All refrigerant leaks have to be degassed, repaired and proven prior to reintroducing refrigerant. Most refrigerant leaks are very hard to detect. They do sell dyes which glow under an ultraviolet lamp however, what they don't tell you is that these dyes will only work if the leak is big enough to let the ultraviolet sensitive element of the dye to escape ; in many cases the molecular size of the escaping gas component is smaller than the dye molecule size and so the gas escapes whilst the dye doesn't. It makes everyone think that the problem went away until the ac stops cooling again. And guess what! you didn't just pay a semiskilled, barely trained, charlatan £165 to be fed a line or two. Recent developments show the motor industry trying to protect its own by introducing "special" refrigerants so that you have to entrust your vehicle to someone who just got back from a fortnights course. Sorry to say, this doesn't make them right ; a properly trained refrigeration technician knows how to handle and is qualified to manage any type of refrigerant from propane to carbon dioxide to ammonia ( I kid you not) and many , many more. A lot of people refer to air conditioning as "air con" some of them think they are being a bit savvy, Nicholas Cage fans and err ...cool. However I think that they are unwittingly being extremely accurate; a lot of the air conditioning trade is "air CON"
  13. 4 points
    I just carried out the annual oil and filter service, for the third year. The car has just done over 76,000 miles. I took the following photo a few hours later to record the odometer. I covered my previous oil service experience here:- I am currently using Petronis 0W-20 oil I got at discount from Euro Car Parts. The only issue I had this time, was the filter being hard to undo. Blame the last person who changed the oil filter - me. A longer socket handle and brute force sorted that out. Toyota seem to be using the same style filter across the range of most the petrol and hybrid engines, including the tool. I checked the coolant which was near the minimum mark. I topped up a little for the first time in well over a year, which is not bad, since only a small amount was needed. Drive belt was checked and looks fine - I have spare in the boot. The cabin and air filters have been change earlier this year. The car is fine for a good while.
  14. 4 points
    I know there must be a more eloquent of doing this, but I've listed screenshots from my Carista App showing the options available on my 2016 Gen 4 Prius. You probably already know that you get a month's free trial when you buy the Carista unit so you do have some time to tweak for free. However, as I've just discovered, it appears that the trial starts from when you first connect the app to the unit and not (as I thought) from when you make your first tweak. Hope this is useful.
  15. 4 points
    So when I was reversing the Aygo the other day (the girlfriend is a learner and couldnt get it out the space in front of my car without worrying) she says to me " the right side reverse light isn't working" Ok, says I.. I will sort it. SO today I buy a couple of bulbs, look up on You tube how to get the rear lens out, take the lens out, change the bulb, test it before refitting and still it does not light up when in reverse. With fading daylight I thought "sod it" and put it back together. When I had screwed the lens back in I looked at it and thought... hmmm why is the lens red... Then I flicked the fog light switch on the light stalk.. Doh!
  16. 4 points
    just an update from my previous posts just back from the dealer and they replaced the timing chain and other components and now the car sounds perfect, i am so happy the problem has been solved thanks to all who helped
  17. 4 points
    Hi, It was this:- I bought it from my local dealer. It was less than £10 and included the four clips that secure it. I think the last two part number digits, C1, refer to the trim colour. C1 was good for me, but you may need C0 (a different shade?), as this is listed in some parts breakdowns for the spare wheel kit for an Auris mk2 Once the two chrome 'D' securing rings are removed the trim just pulls straight up (against the four securing clips). HTH
  18. 4 points
    A year ago I put the space saver in our 2013 Auris Hybrid. Further to the chart above, I thought some pictures might be of use. A shallower trim piece is required for the boot slam panel, this is very reasonably priced in the UK (less than £10). I have shown it next to the original piece in the picture. The lower boot floor is not well supported and it is tilted (picture) when the wheel is fitted. The wheel carrier is the one recommended by my dealer and was about £10, which seemed a bit steep, other very similar ones (for a Yaris?) are half that price. The spare wheel is not big enough to accommodate the jack and handle, so these have to go somewhere else. (The photo shows the tyre size I have). There are 4 rubber blocks that are needed to hold the metal wheel rim off the metal boot floor, but I used a heavy duty carpet tile instead. Your spare wheel could go either way up, I can't see much benefit to either. I have not used the wheel in anger, but your existing wheel nuts should fit, but will use the taper at their end to secure the wheel, instead of the flat/washer face they use on the alloy. I have tried a full size alloy (195/65 x 15) in the boot, just because I have one. The slam panel would need serious cutting to fit this in, it is very tight. The lower boot floor is then so high that it barely exists. On the new Auris, the spare wheel is standard in the UK, and is fitted the other way up, meaning a different (longer) carrier/clamp is required. Also, these cars have completely different boot plastics which finish the boot off properly, but that are (dealer) reported to cost hundreds when ordered as a spare part. (Last 2 pictures). HTH
  19. 4 points
    Hi all, wife has let me get a car I’ve wanted for a long time...celica 190 t sport. You would not believe the history that comes with this car...see pictures! So the wife has a 207...which she wants to keep so not sure to do with old faithful (aka my Avensis), sorned her for now so thinking of selling her. Anyway here’s a family photo lol And some of the Celica... Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  20. 4 points
    Hi Richard, You've just spent 20 odd thousand pounds on a great car so I can't see why you quibble about £160 to have a decent proper service using the Toyota garage. I would certainly take on board Frosty's comments regarding the warranty. I wouldn't dream of taking my Prius to anywhere other than a Toyota garage for a service. Besides that just remember Toyota agents have the specialised diagnostic equipment needed to maintain the running of their hybrid cars in tip top condition!
  21. 4 points
    I purchased a new 17 plate Aygo a few months ago. It's the x-clusiv model which like most of the range; has the hands free/Bluetooth feature. However, despite all checks which I assumed had been done prior to my delivery, the factory had actually forgotten to install the microphone in the roof, so always check that your new car has all the bits & bobs it should have. That said, the dealership were excellent, and the mic was added under warranty of course. Slightly off-topic. One thing I don't like about the Aygo is the biting point is quite high up. That said, I was looking at the VW Up! as my new car, but glad I chose the Aygo. It a great little car.
  22. 4 points
    Yesterday I noticed a feature whilst checking the fluids. I looked at the underside of the bonnet or hood, and noticed a plastic switch looking object. Being curious I discovered it can be removed, exposing another slot for the stay to be located. The bonnet is then held at a wider angle. This is probably in other cars and gives better access without removing the bonnet completely. The oil level is good by the way, just above the max mark. Engine had not been start nearly two days. Had to only top up the window washer fluid. Not much else going on with the car, so this is news.
  23. 3 points
    No I am NOT going to break out in song........ Its what a difference this nice summer type weather in February is making to my mpg Here is my very latest Prius Gen4 mpg. Sunday 24th Feb was a return journey of 8.5 miles each way. Tuesday 25th Feb, we travelled about 18 mile to Warrington, then moved around that town, Wed 26th Feb Was a return trip to Sheffield area. Today 27th Feb Was 2 return journeys in the local area, largest of which was 5 mile each way, so mostly on cold engine starts. I very impressed with these figures, cant wait for the real summer to come. I just love my Prius.
  24. 3 points
    Hi, Your garage should not have made you a quotation or told you 'to keep an eye on it'. On my mk1 Aygo, the water pump started to leak very early. One day, I brought my car for regular servicing and I was asked to schedule a day rapidly to have the water pump changed. It was replaced under warranty. Your situation is usual with car dealerships. As long as the car is under warranty, there is nothing to worry about, it can wait. And as soon as the warranty has expired, everything needs replacing urgently 😄
  25. 3 points
  26. 3 points
    The displayed range after a full charge is not directly proportional to your battery capacity, it is based on previous journeys and other data. Your efficiency will be down during winter due to lower ambient temperatures. The battery will generate heat while charging, but that's not enough. Li-ion batteries like operating temperatures closer to 20 degrees.
  27. 3 points
    Got my 2016 Yaris Icon Hybrid last July and since then my MPG has varied between 62 summer and 52 winter. I do a lot of short trips around town and the occasional long trip involving motorway driving. I find the type of journey has little impact on consumption, temperature has the largest effect. MPG started to drop below 60 in November and is now steady at 52. I always calculate MPG from full tank to full tank though I find the trip computer in the car to be fairly accurate to within 1-2 MPG. My previous Hyundai i20 Auto only managed 30-40 mpg and was useless on short trips. The Yaris is a much nicer to drive as well.
  28. 3 points
    .... Just in case you didn't know, If you do choose to swap the front tyres around, there is a jacking point (for a trolley jack) under the middle of the engine bay, it has a slight bulge to locate into the jack's cup. So no need to jack up each side seperately with this. Axle stands best used as well. Something else to look out for, some garages have been known to mistakenly jack the car up from just in front of the sill, on the seam that is the joining point of the front wing. This then bends as it's not designed to take the car's weight, the wing then sits proud at its base. The owner assumed the garage knew what they were doing and only (angrily) notices days later when it is too late to complain.
  29. 3 points
    As above, this could be unequal tyre wear. I have found on several of our cars, including the Auris, that the left hand front tyre (UK, RHD) wears quicker than than the right hand, almost certainly due to roundabouts being clockwise, and to an extent the road camber. But wear through cornering would seem to wear the tyre more on the outer edge than the inner edge of the l/h tyre, so the tyre becomes slightly cone-shaped, which may move the contact patch a little, I am reckoning. When I swapped the front tyres across the axle the steering bias and steering wheel offset reversed. On other cars the problem has also gone when new front tyres were fitted.
  30. 3 points
    Toyota's electronics manage the battery charging to maximise life. When we see it as 'full' it really isn't. Similarly, it is never allowed to get near being properly 'empty' even when the battery graphic says it is. There is therefore no need to do any battery 'management' yourself, nor any need to worry about charging it fully and driving til it is empty. I'm surprised to hear Tesla doesn't have a similar system in place. That said, even with automatic management, the PHV battery will degrade slowly over time. I think there's something in the manual which suggests this is likely to manifest as reduced range, but not reduced performance. However, at what point any such range reduction will become noticeable above the daily impact on range of temperature and road conditions, is uncertain. The cars are all too new to have any meaningful data on this.
  31. 3 points
    update its now January 2019 and the battery light still remains on for a while and the car haven't failed me once what a fantastic little car I would recommend it to anyone .
  32. 3 points
    I stopped taking mine to the dealer once the warranty was up, FSH be damned! I still bring it in for the Hybrid Health Check, but I do the oil and filters myself. I try and keep the receipts for the service items, hopefully that'll be worth something to the next owner.
  33. 3 points
    7mm is nowhere near the low mark, it's not even halfway between 2&3, I still work in imperial 😀 and it came to me direct from the factory 1/4" below the top mark so maybe 6mm is closer Filling to the top mark is clearly wrong! If you look in the cars handbook page 127 it shows a diagram of the dipstick numbered 1,2 & 3 (1) is marked as low, (3) which is the top spot on the dipstick is marked as excessive. From that you can presume that the correct level is somewhere between 2 & 3, certainly not on the excessive mark and definitely not 5mm above it as was done to my car and many others from what i have read here, so how can a precise amount result in that? clearly something is wrong at the dealers and the engine is not warmed up so they drain cold oil and don't wait for it to finish trickling out ,
  34. 3 points
    Auto wipers that need constant adjustment . Ah yes, yet another Toyotism, the rear screen. It's fine at speed, just dont stop! Mind, on the Gen4 I found the wiper was great for a left hand drive, hardly cleared much at all for a right hand drive. Unusual for a Japanese car, that is normally a European modified for right hand drive quirk. As for RainX I found that builds up and yellows, then starts to peel. It looks as though the rear glass is treated like the side front windows to repel water, just need stronger gravity for it to work! Dictionary explanation of Toyotaism. It's reliable for a long time, just does not work as you want it too.
  35. 3 points
  36. 3 points
    If you took it to the dealer they would have changed the suspension and the tyres.
  37. 3 points
    I've recorded every single fillup in all 7 Prius I've owned since 2002 for over 300,000 miles and logged them in a database where is also record the B trip MPG, resetting B at the time of each fill. The database shows me the actual mpg, difference in mpg and %. On all versions the % varies between about 2% and 8% but roughly on average about 5% seems right, so that's what I deduct from any displayed figure.
  38. 3 points
    The 700W number is interesting. My commute home is 15 miles and takes about 30 minutes. I typically get 65mpg to 72mpg in moderate weather. There is 9.6 kWh per litre of petrol. 65 mpg is 1/65 = 0.0154 gallon per mile 1/65 / 0.22 = 0.0699 litres per mile 1/65 / 0.22 * 9.6 = 0.6713 kWh per mile 15 mile trip uses 15 * 0.6713 = 10.0695 kWh 30 minutes of AC at 700W = 0.35 kWh Petrol to electric efficiency is probably about 1/3 so approximately 1kWh for AC. This is approximately a 10% decrease in efficiency and 65 mpg goes down to 58.5 mpg if the AC is on fully. This is consistent with what I see in really hot weather.
  39. 3 points
    Well, today I took the plunge, not a new one, but a Gen4 Excel, just under 2 year old. Bought from Toyota dealer in Solihull, under 21,000 miles, Pearlescent Red, and with 15” wheels plus a spare. Collection to be confirmed but possibly next Friday 20th July. Looking forward to getting it.
  40. 3 points
    I'd say wheels need to be balanced. That's why they put those tiny wheel weights on them, maybe some fell off.
  41. 3 points
    Problem with people saying they'll pay for damage, is that they often don't realise the actual cost. Aside from that they often want the repairs done as cheaply as possible. Is she paying for a courtesy car whilst yours is being repaired - probably not. Whether or not she pays, your insurance company should be informed. I would be inclined to just let your insurance deal with it. At least that way you know that a reputable company is dealing with the repairs, and one usually gets a guarantee on the repairs.
  42. 3 points
    Not sure you will get many answers. In the UK the National speed limit is 70mph - motorways and some dual carriageways. If caught driving at 100mph one faces being fined between 125% and 175% of one's weekly wage subject to a maximum of £1,000 for non-motorways and £2,500 for motorways. Plus a possibility of a driving ban - an instant ban if travelling at 45% more than the speed limit in force where caught.
  43. 3 points
    Once upon a time, when it was a DIY job, I used to change engine oil/filter every 6 months, as It just seemed a sympatico thing to do....I even used engine flush, which was probably daft, as some must have been retained. Nowadays, like Kithmo, with only 3k Gen 4 miles pa, changing oil, other than for the problem of water condensing in the crank case, seems a bit daft. Especially as the Gen 4 ICE does not even do all the suggested mileage. Apropos of bore glazing, It was always the received wisdom, that if you wanted a fast car, drive it extra fast straight out of the show room But conforming to the the service intervals is very important as with my wife’s IQ has revealed. The car is an 09 and 10 years old, but just 20k miles, and now the paint on the roof has started peeling. I thought of having the roof vinyl covered for about £200, but using Frosty’s advice I wrote to Toyota Customer Services Flying a kite, you could say. Expected the reply to be my sandwiches wrapped in a road map, I was surprised (to say the least), to get reply suggesting I take the car to Jemca body shop for inspection. Just 3 years warranty in 09, and 2 years for paint, this was unexpected, but the car had a full Mr Toy service history, as had my 2 Prius, both bought new. The body shop car measured paint depth on all panels, mentioned that this car was a Japanese import, said it was one of the better paint jobs, but that the roof undercoating had become contaminated, and said he would submit a report to Toyota head office. Ah well, I thought, thats the end of it, move on, nothing to see here. But......last week I had a phone call from the Body Shop saying that a COMPLETE RESPRAY of the whole had been approved, at a Toy cost of (wait for it) .....£3000! And not only that, but I would get a loan Yaris auto for the 2/3 weeks of stripping the car down completely! All I can say is that current a Toyota is the ONLY car to buy, and that letting the main agent service the car is the most intelligent thing a person can do It seems that I just had to tell this story, as it gob smacks most folk, but is probably the very best word of mouth advertising Mr Toy could ever spend money on
  44. 3 points
    hi stuart and here are some images of my car again after a wash,clay & a wax. i absolutely love keeping our cars clean if i spent all day cleaning i would still be happy at the end of the day.
  45. 3 points
  46. 3 points
    Also running winter tyres (Conti TS860 on steel wheels) here. I didn't get stuck once and we got it pretty bad here in Norfolk, especially out in the sticks, when the wind picked up. Passed many a stuck 4x4 and battled on through a good 2' of drifts at times. I have no pictures from the UK event but I was in the Swiss Alps last week, a place that gets far worse snow than we do and only needed to stick some chains on for the steepest part of the Bernina pass.
  47. 3 points
    As someone who regularly bemoans the lack of common courtesy on our roads, I find it reassuring to see folks on here who are placing the needs of others over their own convenience when stopped in traffic. However, at the risk of causing offence, I would like to suggest that those of you who believe that using Park in traffic is the polite and courteous thing to do are perhaps misguided. In fact, you could be doing more harm than good. Here's why: Moving from P to D takes time. If you're in front of me, and you're fannying around pumping the brake and getting back into gear when you should be acquiring some forward motion, that is going to inconvenience me far more than a bit of brake light glare could. Maybe one person doing this isn't an issue. But if there's a whole queue of well-meaning 'considerate' people ahead, it means I'm probably not going to get through the lights before they change, which is a pretty damned inconsiderate outcome that has the added affect of negatively impacting congestion and pollution! More importantly, I would suggest that you could actually be making the 'dazzle' problem worse for the driver behind by going into P. This is because you are going to need to hit the brake again to get back into Drive. In other words, you are going to 'dazzle' the person behind - whose eyesight has adjusted to your lights being off - with a brief burst of illumination right at the very point when they are looking to pull away. Surely, this is worse, and potentially even more hazardous? I will be honest and admit that I'm not entirely convinced that the dazzle thing is a genuine concern. I was taught years ago to 'avert my eyes' from brake lights if waiting in traffic, rather than staring at them transfixed until my pupils reduced to pinpricks. It's not hard to do, and I am therefore in the 'leave my foot on the brake' camp myself. However, I respect the view that brake lights could still be seen as 'impolite'. If that is indeed your view, then I would suggest the better option is the one suggested by Joseph D and others: just knock your car into neutral and put the handbrake on. The HSD charging thing is a red herring edge-case. And at least then you can switch back to D without touching the dazzle pedal, and pull away nearly as swiftly as you could if you left your foot on the brake! To add some further information which may be of interest to Toyota HSD owners, my Lexus hybrid has a 'brake hold' function which I originally thought might offer a 'best of both worlds' solution. It lets you take your foot off the brake after a couple of seconds in stationary traffic, and automatically releases when you get back on the throttle. Unfortunately it is more like the worst of both worlds. The brake lights actually stay on even after you take your foot off the pedal, AND it adds an annoying delay when you try to get going again. Technology hasn't answered this one, yet!
  48. 3 points
    Save yourself £90 and make one from 9mm m.d.f.. Just waiting for 1sq.m of black car carpet to finish it off. Hole is for removal. Made a cardboard template as a guide for cutting the m.d.f.. Parcel tape in the centre is to facilitate removal while trimming to fit.
  49. 3 points
    Ok after spending a few hours on this today and gave up trying to trace the cables from the door actuator, I had one last go and got it working by using the wiring legend supplied on the previous page. heres some info for 2014/15 RAV4’s any question please gimme a shout. In the end it was really easy and a 15 min job had I had the information so hopefully this will help others.
  50. 3 points
    I'd hope it might only happen the once! 😂



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