2008 prius head gasket/cracked block common at higher millage?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Adan x, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Adan x

    Adan x New Member

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    Location:
    San bernardino
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    289,000 miles.
    Overheats after 15 minutes of driving. Drove it like this for 15000 miles. Been this way for two years. Exhaust gases in cooling system is main cause. Is this common at higher miles? If so which number cylinder usually goes out? I am going to try blue devil again but this time but with a spark plug removed one by one to let the sealer work better.

    Problems so far fixed very cheaply

    - Dash cluster went out : cheap amazon OBD hook up speedometer with temp gauge $40

    - p0AA6 : toggle switch used every start to disconnect battery to reset codes so it can start again. $20

    -P0420 $8.49 Red Silicone and a few resets down stream sensor Done in area where smog not required (Don't ask)

    - burns 1qt every 600 miles 15w40-20w50 combined with used engine oil I have

    I am squeezing every penny out this car. When the engine goes out I plan on a junkyard one later in future. I never had cars growing up and love this car. But I don't want to over spend. When the engine goes I will paint it get used engine and take care of it better. But that may be a few years later.
     
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  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    A used replacement engine with low miles for a Prius is only $500... Blue devil damaged your radiator so probably have to replace that too. If you don't want to deal with fixing it, your Prius will be dead on the side of the road in a matter or days or weeks so prepare yourself. Fact you got this far with it already is a miracle.
     
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  3. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three

    Sorry, but not sorry for what I say next. This car is well past the point of sealer. Be that as it may, removing the plugs while the sealer is in there accomplishes nothing. You should count your lucky stars the car still starts every day. The HV leak, oil usage, fouled converter and dead cluster, this cars time is expired. Any one of the above conditions by itself, it might be worth saving, but all three? Nah, this one is just asking to be taken out in the middle of the desert or countryside and used for target practice.
     
  4. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Given your level of oil consumption, have you tried experimenting with a piston soak or three?
     
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  5. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    No, in the Gen 2 very uncommon.
     
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  6. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    Don’t take my advice for gospel, because I’m always doing crazy stuff. Sitting in the back seat of my 2008 Prius, charging a 2003 NWH11 battery 2 slices at a time with a lead acid battery charger.

    However, I have done a lot of keeping cars alive for a long time. Basically keep them alive but never sell them (I would feel guilty), and later give family special instructions if they drive them. My 2008 was my first nearly new car; it is still good.

    Now. Head gasket failure can worsen rapidly, and sudden failures can occur, for example the engine stops with vacuum in a cylinder, and coolant is drawn in. When the engine is ‘started’, the connecting rod bends and the engine is trash.

    The Prius also has a problem in that the engine is mostly running at 80% load - close to full throttle - and that is what you *dont* want to do with head gasket failure.

    If you really want to keep driving with a blown head gasket, make sure you don’t keep valuables in the car - so you can abandon it if needed. Get breakdown cover with transport home option :D

    If the failure in your car (be it gasket failure, cracked head, or even a cracked cylinder liner) is one that is ‘pressurising’ the cooling system, so that the coolant ends up being forced out of the ‘top up’ tank’, it is possible to make something using MacGuyver style parts. I’ve done this before. Another option : identify *which* cylinder is involved, and disconnect the fuel injector! (I don’t know how the Prius will handle that, probably not very well!). How serious are you at keeping the car running ‘no matter what’? Are you willing to have a pipe from the radiator cap, connected to a Coca Cola bottle full of water? If so, reply and I can make some schematics. One key question : is the car overheating because the coolant *vanishes* (using water), or is the car overheating because the car forces all of the coolant out through the ‘expansion tank’ where you normally add coolant? I need to know that to give proper advice :)
     

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  7. Adan x

    Adan x New Member

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    No not yet but I will probably try it. Thanks for recommendation
     
  8. Adan x

    Adan x New Member

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    Base
    Wow! A coke bottle to the radiator? I have not herd about that one yet. I will feel guilty getting rid of the car as all parts for this car are dead cheap at the Pick A Part. Also I remember these two guys wanted to buy my Prius really bad. I explained to them that the frame is bent. I knew their scam to buy the car cheap and do Micky mouse job and sell it to a unsuspecting family while its in my name. It has happen to my family and I a few times. We bought junkers and got ripped off big time. I Sold my 2003 kia rio to pick a part as i did not want anyone to get hurt form a bent frame on that car. (it spins out in the rain). Anyway, My radiator gets filled with exhaust gases. I did notice that a couple of times my upper hose was suck flat. After bleeding the system using the bleeding screw, I was able to add more water and it has not happen since. Radiator cap went bad? The car was using coolant but I added blue devil, bars leak, k-seal at different times and it did stop. I did flush the system after each use and only have the k-seal in now. The radiator has over pressure from the exhaust gases causing overheating. Unplugging the fuel injector did not help as it had very low power and could not move out of its own way. My streets are 55 plus MPH. FML. No coolant leaves the expansion tank but the upper hose has a boat load of pressure. It is in fact able to hold the pressure for a entire day to the next. I figure by now the head is warped. May I mention I been putting used oil when it gets low in for over 2 years from my other car?? It burns 1 qt of oil or more as close as 500 miles in very hot weather. I still use fresh 20w50 every 5,000 miles. I don't really care for this engine as much as my other cars because I plan on putting a used one in later. What are some ideas you have? I am unsure if I should try the loose rad cap trick as the pressure gets so high it can blow off. I was thinking of making he bleeder screw loose so it can vent? I don't want to blow the motor if all the water comes out but if it can last 10 miles, awesome sauce. I just don't like putting in water everyday as these systems are a pain to bleed. I also unplugged the hot coolant storage tank. I am not sure if this is a good idea. I am debating if I should vent the rad every day before my trip. I use the car 1-3 times a day. By the time I make it to my 10 mile trip the light comes on and my aftermarket temp gauge is around 248-260F then I turn it off. I usually don't pull over when it gets hot as I am usually less than 5 minutes away.
     
    #8 Adan x, Apr 18, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    You know the catalytic converter under that car is worth a bunch of money. The rest of the car isn't.

    Sell it for its remaining value before somebody cuts it out from under you. In California there is no cheap fix once that part is gone.
     
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