The latest round of mods comes from the Prius Club of Queensland from where you can buy some of those spiffy accessories you’ve only seen on the PriusChat Shop. Parcel arrived on Saturday (well, this is Canberra) so I was able to get started in the afternoon.
Front weather shields – ClimAir Profi
It’s been so hot the past few weeks that I’ve left a gap in the front windows whenever I parked the car. However, this can allow rain (what rain?) and dust to get in. The ClimAir Profi weather shields are very slender and are made in Germany where, as Vince reminds us, they always make good stuff. On days when it’s not too hot or there’s a nice breeze, opening the windows a crack can be more pleasant than A/C.
Fitting was straightforward and without clips. The weather shield bends just enough to allow fitting without fixtures. Getting the rubber on the right side of the shield is a bit tricky. Don’t be tempted to remove the clear sticker at the bottom; it protects the lower window rubber from direct contact.
The instructions advise closing the window 5 times to seat them. John advised me to manually lift the windows until they are fully raised (the AUTO function will bounce back) and leave them for a few days. Perhaps because of the hot weather, after just one day the AUTO function was mostly working without resistance.
Since I am aiming for an aerodynamic package, why would I fit something to spoil the clean lines. There are conditions where an open window is more efficient than using A/C, as long as the HV battery remains cool. (Yes, A/C in a Prius is for more than just personal comfort.) Any concern I had disappeared when I noticed that the AeroPrius YuraStyle NEO sports similar weather shields front and rear. Good enough for him to do 1000 miles with, good enough for me.
Rear bumper protector
My bumper is already scratched. Getting a protector is as much to hide the scratches as to protect from more. But there is something to be said about the way that the black sets off nicely with the black window and spoiler and the red. (Should I get smoked tail-light lens covers to complete the look?)
Alignment is easy since the centre ridge aligns to the door strike. There’s also a tiny mark that seems to be a moulding point for the bumper.
The mistake I made at first was to place it hard against the panel under the tailgate. Some persuasion later (that stuff is sticky!) I was able to reposition the protector back 10mm so that the curve in the protector matched the curve in the bumper.
Spider web on fuel tank cap
Prius joke. Some might say it looks funnier on a Landcruiser. You be the judge.
After washing the area with standard car shampoo, I prepared the surface with Repco Wax and Grease Remover, or “panel wipe” as television’s Edd China would say. This really cleans the surface and gets rid of anything that might affect the adhesion. Forget glass cleaner, this stuff gets it clean.
Pulling the decal off its backing was fun, as the thin sticker stretched and stuck to itself; a bit like the real thing. After I’d placed it on car I had to lift some ends to remove kinks (boy it stretches!). I used a sharp blade to cut the web and wrapped those bits into the gap. Zoom in on the photo above for detail.
Shark fin is a literally tasteless ingredient of expensive soup in Asia. You can get the same texture from gelatin or vermicelli at a fraction of the cost.
By contrast, a shark fin antenna is so cool. Again I washed and then cleaned with panel wipe to get a good surface. Fitting is a bit of a chore; it is easy to get it all out of whack. I used a long rule across the back to check the alignment against the tailgate window gap. The rear window washer jet was a reference point for the centre. Once the antenna is positioned, use masking tape at the front edge and then the sides; when the antenna is stuck down within these guides it should be in perfect alignment.
Attaching the cable to the antenna socket required a washer (not provided) to give a tight connection.
Sticking the antenna while checking the alignment was a little fiddly, but worth it; it is much smaller than the standard whip. There is some debate over whether the original antenna is within the surface layer of air and therefore changing to a flatter antenna has no effect. It sure looks cooler and reception is fine.
The only problem is that the new 3R3 Wildfire Red Mica paint on the antenna is much more vibrant than the rest of the paint. That will buff out.
Thanks to John from the Prius Club of Queensland for the goods and good advice.