Speed Oil Change - 2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test
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2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

2004 Toyota Prius: Speed Oil Change

September 26, 2010

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The weather in Yorba Linda was smoking hot this weekend. If I was going to change the oil and filter on our 2004 Toyota Prius, it was in my best interest to get it done quickly, before the sun got too high in the sky.

That was OK by me. I've never actually timed myself. I'm usually too busy taking pictures or video along the way to be truly fast. How long does it take me to do a basic oil and filter change when I'm not trying to film it?

Here are the rules: 1) I'd follow the same steps outlined in my last Prius oil change video, but I'd reset the "Maint Reqd" light after time stopped so I could go inside and wash my hands thoroughly before touching too much of the interior. 2) Before time started, I could lay out all the needed tools in one spot about 5 or 6 feet from the car, but I could not pre-stage them in the exact spot they'd be needed. 3) I couldn't open the hood or jack the car until after time started. 4) I couldn't stop the clock until after the hood was closed and the car was back on the ground. 5) Tool clean-up, also off the clock, would wait until I had a tall glass of water and changed the oil in my wife's minivan, as well.

These are the rules. Place your bets.

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I thought I was going to break 10 minutes, but the end-driven oil filter wrench got hung up and wouldn't come off, the oil went in slower than expected and I fumbled the iPhone timer and lost a couple of seconds trying to stop the clock.

Next time.

Total cost: $21.69 ($19.99 plus tax). They were having an oil and filter special at my local Autozone: 5 quarts of Valvoline and a Fram filter. The Prius only takes 4 quarts, so I've got one left for next time.

Dan Edmunds, DIrector of Vehicle Testing @ 84,560 miles


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