Toyota Prius Notes

Russell Bateman
December 2019
last update:

Body repair...

How to Repair a Scuffed Bumper

Notes for the repair video above:

  1. Always use a block when sanding, otherwise, the sandpaper will cut more material under your fingertips.
  2. Preparation solvant is essential before painting. It promotes adhesion by removing oil and grease.
  3. When using a tack rag, work in one direction. Work back and forth, the captured materials will come back off the rag and get left behind on the panel. Rotate and fold the tack cloth so that all its surfaces get used.
  4. When squeezing the trigger on the paint can, don't start in the middle of the panel you're spraying. Always start off one edge and finish off the other edge.
  5. Mask those areas you don’t wish to paint. Don't use newspaper which has small holes found in newspaper. Use brown butcher-block paper.
  6. If you paint one coat in a horizontal direction, paint the next coat using vertical strokes. On a metallic-paint job, the final coat is known as the fog coat and is not directional.
  7. Wear a painter's mask; cancer is not fun.
  8. Don't paint outside where what you're doing is ruined by wind and weather.
  9. Orange peel is caused by applying too much material too quickly.
  10. The first coat of rubbing compound is coarse. You can also use 1500 grit wet sand.
  11. The second and third application of rubbing compound uses a less abrasive grit.

Fixing a dent

This cute trick is supposed to work (I've seen it in a YouTube video) to remove a dent in an aluminum panel. They guy doing it didn't say much useful as he did it. I read a comment whose author asserted that dents made by hail come right out although he said that he used the hot sun and some dry ice.

  1. Buy tools:
    • Heat gun (cheap at Harbor-Freight)
    • a can or two of that compressed air you buy to dust out computer chasses.
  2. Procedure:
  3. Clean the panel.
  4. Apply heat using a heat gun. Don't get it hot enough to mar (burn, melt, etc.) the paint.
  5. While it's freshly hot, spray all over the heated panel with aerosol compressed air. As the gas in the can expands, it comes out ice cold. You may see the dent pop completely out back to the panel's original form.

Clay barring
  1. Use plumbers' putty (much cheaper than commercial clay bar, works as well or better) and lubricate using spray carnauba-based wash and wax or equivalent.
  2. Wash your car normally, then use microfiber cloth, lubricant and clay bar to go over all your paint. Fold clay over and over as you work. 2-4 ounces should do the whole car.
  3. Clay barring removes over-spray, brake dust, metal particles and industrial pollution. It doesn't remove scratches, acid rain, water spots or the clear coat, color base coat or primer coat paint.
  4. When finished, you must immediately use a wax or paint sealant since you're back down to raw paint (the clear coat).

Cleaning inside of windshield

The oily film is from out-gassing of plastics in the car, especially in hot summer, also from Armor All™—or smoking, leaky heater coil, etc.

To clean rear, tinted glass, you don't need to use anything other than the microfiber towel and a little cleaner like Windex™ because, while the problems of a windshield are completely noticeable, on tinted glass you see little or nothing.

Start by cleaning the outside glass very well so you can see, while working on the inside, nothing on the outside.


  1. Use clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe down the inside glass to remove as much oily film as will come off.
  2. Then, isopropyl alcohol or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (best) to degrease the inside glass.
  3. Use a clean microfiber towel and your favorite automotive glass cleaner from auto-parts store to finish cleaning the glass.


Step 1 tips:
  • Work (mostly) from passenger side to avoid steering wheel.
  • Rip tag off microfiber towel before using.
  • Microfiber towels can be laundered and reused.
  • To reach corner between dash and glass, face rear of car and back in, your arm behind you, with your palm pointing up, toward the glass, the towel around it.
  • Work in circular motion, then finish in up- and down motion.
  • Don't let the towel touch the dash, especially if the dash has been Armor-All'd. Discard towel for a clean one as soon as it's touched the dash.
Step 2 tips:
  • Activate Mr. Clean Magic Eraser by dunking its sponge in warm water and squeezing to ring.
  • Make sure the glass is getting wet.
  • Wipe drops that get on the dashboard immediately with a paper towel.
  • Dry glass with microfiber towel immediately with circular motions—do not allow alcohol or cleaner to dry on the glass.
  • Work in a cool place, out of the sun.
Step 3 tips:
  • Spray glass cleaner on your microfiber towel, not directly on the glass (because it will drip onto and discolor the dash).
  • Clean in circular motion.
  • Turn towel inside out for clean surface and work up- and down to finish.