Early Oil Change - 2012 Toyota Prius C Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C Long Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: Early Oil Change

June 19, 2012


Yesterday I took our 2012 Prius C to Michael Automotive Toyota (in Fresno, Calif.) for an early oil change/tire rotation (1,800 miles) before the first scheduled maintenance. This is something we're going to be trying out with more of our new long-term cars. The idea is that we'll be getting the oil as fresh as possible, as the first oil fill from the factory could collect metal shavings left over from either manufacturing or the break-in process.

We'll still be following the normal service schedule for the Prius, which incidentally doesn't have its first oil change until 10,000 miles. That change is also covered on the free Toyota Care maintenance program. However, we paid for this one. (It wasn't all that easy, either; the service department's computer wouldn't initially accept us paying for the first oil change.) Total for the oil change and tire rotation was $91.20.

So what do you think? Are we spending money on something that doesn't need to be done with this new procedure?

While my initial response would be "yes" to that second question, I also have to admit that I did an early oil change on my personal car at 1,000 miles, seeing it as a small price for extra piece-of-mind. Plus, we do a day of intrumented testing on all of our long-term vehicles early on in their service, and Mike Schmidt reminded me that all of our Blackstone first oil change samples came back saying we should have changed the oil sooner.

So from an actual ownership expense standpoint, it might not be all that far off the mark.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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