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Does Prius Burn Oil?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Technical Discussion' started by PriusSport, Jun 12, 2008.

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  1. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    Are there any experiences out there about how long many miles it takes for a Prius to be down a quart of oil? Do you have to check the dipstick frequently? Is there a readout on the dash that tells you your oil level?

    My dealer offers free oil changes twice a year, and since I don't drive that many miles (<7500), I expect I wouldn't have to check the oil between changes. Thanks.
  2. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Member

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    I would say about 10,000 miles for the Prius to show a quart down. Now, that is my experience with about 80%-85% high speed highway driving. If your driving is all in town probably not an issue ever.
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Generally speaking, the Prius engine does not consume any noticeable quantity of oil. There is no instrumentation that allows you visibility to oil level.

    It is not considered a good ownership habit to ignore the engine oil level for six months. It is a good idea to check your oil level every other time you refuel in case something unusual happens: your oil filler plug or oil filter is loose, etc.
  4. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    I've never noticed mine to dip at all (5000 miles between changes). I check mine every weekend when I clean up the car and check the tires.
  5. Prius driver

    Prius driver New Member

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    According to page 369 of the '08 manual the maximum oil consumption is 1.1 qt/600 miles. That seems insanely high. Again this is the maximum that Toyota recommends. The manual also states you should contact your toyota dealer if the vehicle consumes more than this amount.
    JMD likes this.
  6. satwood

    satwood Junior Member

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    20K miles on my 2007 and never any noticeable oil consumption yet.
  7. hiremichaelreid

    hiremichaelreid New Member

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    No.

    Prius engine, and all decent, modern engines, do not consume (burn or leak) noticeable amounts of oil, unless they are broken or very worn out.

    I am expecting to check my oil level about once per month, unless and until I see some oil consumption, perhaps after 100-200k miles.

    I think conventional wisdom is to check at every gas fill, although that wisdom was developed in the days of late 20th century American cars/engines with their more sloppy tolerances than Japanese engines.
  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Agreed. My Intrigue burns 1 quart/3000 miles. GM believes 1 qt/1000 miles is OK. If I had known that GM engineering was that crappy back in 2000 I wouldn't have bought the car. My Prius doesn't burn any.
  9. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    that engine is going to lose oil to leaks (a common engine aging thing, as we all know) before it loses oil to actually burning it.
  10. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    PriusSport, you should follow Toyota's recommended oil change interval of 5000 miles or six months. Since you don't drive a lot, you may not get your engine hot enough to evaporate any water the oil may absorb. Water in an engine is not a good thing, so to maintain your engine, and your warranty, follow Toyota's recommendation and get your oil changed at least twice a year.
  11. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I'm with Bill.
  12. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    Agreed !

    BTW ALL cars burn oil, it's just a matter of how much....;)

    Bob
  13. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Over 16,000 km, my Prius oil level will drop about halfway on the stick. This is very good oil control. I had a 2000 GMC Sierra that was an oil burner from new, never got more than 1,500 km out of a litre of oil

    I like the check the oil level once a week, it's a good habit to get into
  14. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Member

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    I think oil use will vary drastically by driving style and conditions. The more the ice runs the more oil will be consumed. I do alot of highway driving and see a 1 qrt loss about every 10k to 12K miles. If you drove this same distance in the city you probably wouldn't see any drop in oil.
  15. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Jayman and D's A, I was doing oil change intervals similar length to yours and observed no reduction in the engine oil level. I do not think that yours is 'bad', but perhaps it represents an upper limit for Prius?

    The 1 qt/1000 miles (something like that) on the 1st page of this thread sounds like owner's manual boilerplate from long ago. No Prius really does that (right?) and if so, it might be a considerable HC load to burn up in the little catalytic converter.

    Engine oil is one of the several fluids that you don't want to run short of. Get your eyeballs and a flashlight under the car and look around. Twice a month is not obsessive (IMHO).
  16. Rest

    Rest Active Member

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    You check your oil as frequently as you would with any other car. No vehicle on the market has a readout on the dash that tells you the oil level, so I am not sure where you came up with that one.

    In any case, if your dealership is giving you free oil changes twice a year and don't want to change the oil yourself, then do it. Don't be concerned about the mileage. Per the warranty, oil should be changed by mileage and time, whichever comes first.

    I have been given free oil changes from dealerships before and passed. I prefer to do them myself, that way I know they are done correctly. Once a dealership did the first oil change on a new vehicle of mine and didn't tighten the oil filter. Luckily I checked his work before my engine blew up and left me stranded.
  17. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Agreed. Even my oil use represents excellent oil control
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I was under the impression a lot of GM vehicles offered that. I used to have a 2000 GMC Sierra with a Vortec 5.3 V8, it had an oil level sensor in the pan. It needed it too, that thing was lucky to get over 1,500 miles to the quart
  19. statultra

    statultra uber-Senior Member

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    i know ill get blasted here on the forums, but i didnt change my oil on the 05 prius since 15,600 miles ago. It just looks so clean

    just burned a little, i put a little extra when i filled it to compensate
  20. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    How often is the ICE in use vs electrical power? Maybe half the time--based on gas mileage (50 mpg vs 25 mpg for a conventional 4 cylinder car). That means about half the oil consumption, on the average. Of course, oil consumption can vary--depending on the car and the type of driving. But it should be lower for the Prius, since the ICE isn't used all the time.