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Q: Little broken part is making a big problem for me

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There is a small door that operates on a hinge that allows you to access the oil on my 2010 Toyota Prius. The actual cover is alright, but the hinge holding it to the car is just terrible and falls apart. Now I am replacing a simple part that doesn’t see too much stress on a car with 25,000 miles on it. Is there a way to just change the hinge to make it work? I don’t know how to deal with this problem.

A: Unfortunately Toyota has not recalled this ...

Unfortunately Toyota has not recalled this piece, but has a technical service bulletin (TSB) 0032-11 dated 4/11/2011 to replace complete cover and attachments to a new style. The new style may be better, but without seeing the new replacement unit, I can not say it will last any longer than the one you have now. The cover will last longer if it is removed and reinstalled. It can be removed by removing all attachments and the entire cover during service work, not just opening it at the hinged area. As far as replacing the hinges, I have seen some owners post pictures of themselves installing aftermarket hinges they purchased at a hardware store.

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