Anyone have a Prius mechanic in the bay area, reliable?
October 15, 2020 8:55 AM   Subscribe

It’s probably about a 2009 Prius, it’s a grinding noise when starting up. Or shortly after starting up. Looking for a reliable mechanic south of the Bay Area, closer to San Jose or Cupertino.

Car overall is in decent condition, kept up, but the rattling noise is new, rattling grinding not sure.

Shortly have to start up before you go anywhere.

Prius chat indicates something loose on the underside like maybe the front air deflector, or in the back the exhaust… So I’m looking for somebody I can rely on to check it out and repair it.
posted by tilde to Travel & Transportation around San Jose, CA (8 answers total)
Best answer: Are you sure it's not a stolen catalytic converter? Priuses of that age are getting hit in record numbers in the Bay Area right now. I don't think you'd hear the noise until you start driving down the street, though.
posted by pinochiette at 9:02 AM on October 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: P.S. I can recommend a good Prius mechanic in the East Bay if that's helpful, but don't know about the South Bay- maybe start with Yelp. I have gone to the dealership in Sunnyvale, which was fine, but an independent shop would probably be less expensive.
posted by pinochiette at 9:03 AM on October 15, 2020

Best answer: Does it make a grinding / groaning sound when you turn it off too? because there is a pump that puts the hot coolant into a thermos bottle and pulls it out when you restart, and it commonly sounds pretty awful... if there’s a matching sound when you turn it off, that’s probably the cause and it’s harmless.
posted by doomsey at 9:13 AM on October 15, 2020

Best answer: Hank auto repair in Sunnyvale. It’s in a little auto repair strip mall, in the back. Very reliable, honest, not expensive. If it’s catalytic converter, they can solder the new part so it’s hard to steal.
posted by hampanda at 2:05 PM on October 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Not sure about the part with the when the sound stops but I’ll see what I can find out. Thanks!
posted by tilde at 4:21 PM on October 15, 2020

Response by poster: the sound:

Guess we have a winner :/

Thanks all
posted by tilde at 5:30 PM on October 15, 2020

Best answer: Bummer, man. The catalytic converter was stolen off of my 2005 Prius a bit more than a year ago. It's become incredibly common. When you get a new catalytic converter installed, take the time and extra money (should run you about $300 or so) to have some kind of anti-theft device put on it. There are multiple different kinds out there; in my own case, I had rebar welded onto the cat to make it much harder to cut it off, and the bolts were made nearly impossible to get off with regular tools. I'm sure you can find somewhere in South Bay, but I took my car to Pele's Muffler, in Albany, and was very satisfied with the work. No matter where you get it done, I strongly recommend you have it done right away, don't wait. I've been hearing stories of people who had their catalytic converter stolen, got it replaced, only to have the new one stolen, all within two weeks.
posted by pleasant_confusion at 8:28 PM on October 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, I had my catalytic converted secured with a Catloc. Cost me about £200, which I consider a scumbag tax that I have to pay to try to stop someone from stealing it. It sucks, but cat converter theft is at epidemic proportions and hybrids are usually the target because the cat converters don't deteriorate as quickly as non-hybrid vehicles.

I also got one of these - a motion sensor alarm (intended for bikes, but stick with me). I attached it with the adhesive pads on the underside of the wing mirror where it's fairly unobtrusive, and I set it whenever I park the car. If someone tries to jack up the car, it'll go off and it is loud.
posted by essexjan at 2:15 PM on October 16, 2020

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