Toyota Prius Oil Change

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The Toyota Prius is a popular hybrid car that can typically go 10,000 miles (or 6 months) between oil changes with synthetic oil. Always check your owner manual to make sure you have chosen the correct oil grade and are following Toyota’s recommendations for your year and model.
Think of motor oil as the lifeblood of your car. Without oil, the engine would seize and stop running. Over time, oil loses its viscosity, meaning it can’t lubricate engine parts effectively. To protect your Prius’s engine, regularly change both your car’s oil and oil filter. 
The following guide will take you through the basics of changing the oil and filter in a Toyota Prius. Car insurance app Jerry is always ready to help you with not only oil changes, but also shopping for the most affordable car insurance. 

How often does a Toyota Prius need an oil change?

The Toyota Prius is a popular hybrid car, and most models take synthetic oil. If you use synthetic oil, Toyota says you can go up to 10,000 miles or for 6 months between oil and filter changes.

What kind of oil does a Toyota Prius need?

Toyota recommends API GF-5 specification (or higher) motor oils in various grades depending upon your model. For newer models, SAE 0W-16, OW-20, 5W-50, and 0W-40 are common. 
Because it’s crucial to use the correct grade of oil for a specific Toyota Prius model, consult your owner’s manual to determine which grade is recommended for your engine’s needs.
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How much does an oil change cost for a Toyota Prius?

Costs vary depending upon whether professionals change your oil and what type of oil you are using.

Professional cost

The cost of a professional oil and filter change for your Toyota Prius may range from $61 to $75. Keep in mind, though, that most retail service outlets and car dealerships also throw in an inspection of key components like antifreeze/coolant levels, wiper blades, and serpentine belts. 
Your mechanic may also check and fill your tires, fill power steering fluids, and perform other small maintenance items, such as rotating tires. 

DIY cost

If you’re a Toyota Prius owner, you can save money by learning how to change your own oil and filter.  A quart of 0W-20 costs about $10, but you can find 5 quarts for about $33. You’ll also need to buy a filter, which costs $10-15.

How to change the oil in a Toyota Prius yourself

These instructions cover 2010 to 2017 Toyota Prius models. You can apply the basic principles to other models/years, but always consult your owner’s manual for specific information about your vehicle.

What you’ll need:

  • 4.5 quarts of oil (check your owner’s manual to find the grade)
  • Toyota Prius oil filter 
  • Toyota Prius oil filter wrench
  • ⅜ ratchet
  • 27 mm socket 
  • 14 mm wrench
  • Car jack
  • Jack stands 
  • Drain pan
  • Plastic container to dispose of old oil
  • Wheel chocks (recommended)
  • Disposable gloves and protective eye gear (recommended)

1. Warm up the engine

If the weather is cold, start your engine and let it run to thin out and help the oil flow better. Make sure to park your Toyota Prius in a level area. Then turn off the engine once the engine is warmed up. 

2. Secure the car

Jack up your car and use jack stands to secure it in place. Use wheel chocks for added stability.

3. Drain the old oil 

Open your car’s hood and unscrew the oil fill cap. Next, get underneath the car and remove the skid plate, which protects the oil pan.
Unscrew the drain bolt and washer. Let the oil drain into your drain pan or other suitable container for at least 15 minutes.
Install a new washer in your drain bolt to prevent leaks. Then, be sure to reinstall and tighten the oil drain bolt. 

4. Remove the old filter

In the Prius, the oil filter is under the car. Take out the filter and oil filter cap o-ring using the Toyota Prius oil filter wrench. Check that the filter gasket isn’t stuck to the engine’s surface.

5. Install the new oil filter 

Wipe away any dirt and residue from the engine block before installing the new filter. Replace the new O-ring and place a bead of oil around it. 
Next, insert the new oil filter and replace it in the oil filter housing. Be sure to tighten to 18 ft-lbs or as recommended by your owner’s manual.

6. Put new oil in the engine

Pour about 4 quarts (check your manual) of oil into the oil fill opening. Replace the oil fill cap, making sure that it’s screwed in tightly, and start the engine. Check for leaks from the drain bolt and oil filter while you run the engine for a few minutes.

7. Stop the engine and check the oil level

After running the engine for a few minutes, stop and wait for 3 minutes. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and add more if necessary.

8. Replace the skid plate

Go back underneath the car and replace the skid plate.

9. Reset the oil change reminder

Use your car’s multi-information display to reset the oil change reminder. 

10. Dispose of the oil according to regulations

Never dump old oil onto the ground or put it into a garbage can. Doing so risks harming the environment. In most states, retailers that sell motor oil are required to take your old oil—as are service stations and businesses (such as Jiffy Lube) that perform oil changes. 

What happens if you don’t change the oil in a Toyota Prius?

The oil in your Toyota Prius can be thought of as the lifeblood of your car. If it loses its ability to lubricate engine parts, serious problems—including total engine failure—can result. 
Changing your Prius’s oil is a bit like going to a doctor for a check up. It is part of preventative maintenance. Yes, oil changes cost money, but they can prevent expensive problems down the road. 

How to save money on car insurance 

While oil changes are a straightforward expense, shopping for car insurance can be confusing. Relax and let Jerry do the work for you! 
As a licensed broker, Jerry can find you quotes from 50+ top insurance companies and even do the paperwork to get you switched over. Once you’re set up with your new low premium, Jerry can shop for new rates regularly to make sure you’re not missing out on savings.
Add insurance shopping to your car’s maintenance schedule with Jerry, and you could save an average of $879 per year!
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