2012 Prius catastrophic engine failure.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by freakaftr8, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    OK guys, I bought this car with a 198000 miles. It ran well for about 2000 miles. Is soon as it hit 200000 it started the violent shaking upon start up normally associated with these 1.8 litres with failing head gaskets. I drove it around for about a month and then decided to have a friend's friend replace the head gasket. This may have been a bad idea. As soon as I got the car back I could hear a subtle ticking noise in the top end of the engine. At least it sounded like the top end it would come and go. Long story short I got about 800 miles on this engine and as I was getting on the freeway the other morning I heard a violent Bang smoke everywhere engine knocking bad and shut off. It lost all its oil on the freeway in blew a hole in the side of the block. I found parts of connecting rods and piston on the ground. Would I be susceptible of saying that this guy may have either shaved the head to the point where the valves were touching the piston or do you think that this might have just been a failure of replacing the head gasket and having the head shaved. I have heard mixed stories between not doing the head gasket replacement in just replacing the engine altogether.

    I'm at odds about how to talk to this guy about this failure. I am kind of a Motorhead and I have rebuilt engines from scratch myself in the past so I'm pretty certain that this was a failure on the part of him.

    This cost me $1500. For that kind of money I should have this got a low mileage replacement engine installed..

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  2. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    Usually a head gasket failure will show as a vehicle overheating and sometimes with smoke from the exhaust (coolant or oil being burned). If it was violently shaking at startup I would think it was more likely a bad coil pack or spark plug that was fouled.

    That being said if the ticking noise was immediate after the change why would you keep driving the car without investigating further. It sounds to me that the top half of the engine was starved for oil or coolant after the head gasket was replaced by either the head gasket wasn’t lined up appropriately blocking the little arteries for oil and coolant to get up there. Other possibilities after the “repair” the oil wasn’t replaced or the air in the coolant lines wasn’t bled.
     
  3. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    This is why we have courts and juries. You are going to correctly say he did the repair wrong. He's going to correctly say that once you discovered the obvious problem "as soon as you got the car back," you shouldn't have driven 800 miles on it. You are both right.
     
  4. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    True. Good call. Never had an overheat issue but owned a few 3rd gens. All have had the violent shaking at startup and if sitting in traffic after ICE starts back up. Also loss of coolant. Usually I replace the engine if this occurs. Just took a gamble this time and tried the head gasket and reshape the head. Just going to chalk this one up as a learning experience.

    As for the ticking, it was predominant while first startup and sometimes at idle. Bear the end it sounded like it was rattling at higher RPMs. Not much I can do at this point. No receipt or paper trails. Just $1500 cash and a week downtime. Would have been $1000 but ICE coolant pump was noisy and recommended to replace. That was $400. Tow to his shop was $100.

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  5. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    Btw, codes that came up showed a random cylinder misfire but usually the no. 2 was first. Spark plug looked frosty. These 2ZR-FXE seem to burn coolant pocket to exhaust. If left unchecked, coolant will start to leak into the oil.

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  6. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Probably caused by the 800*F rise in temperature when the EGR system is plugged.

    Pixel XL ?
     
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  7. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    Damn! 800 degree change is brutal!! That would explain alot.

    No. Samsung S8.

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  8. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    1. Small Claims Court.
    2. Used engine.
    3. Read up on EGR cleaning threads and monitor for oil usage on the new engine.

    Good Luck.
     
  9. ATlam

    ATlam Member

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    130669_DSC_1834.jpg 132388_DSC_1999.jpg Sounds like EGR is plugged to me. My engine vibrates like mad for years until I cleaned the EGR and the dealer reset the EGR code, they told me that I had a misfire in one of the cyclinders and that the EGR probably caused it.

    I cleaned the whole EGR system and I don't have a problem with my engine vibrating or misfiring anymore, the engine had 240k miles on it, here's a pic of part of the EGR system I cleaned

    You have similar mileage so I imagined it must be like this too.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Good visual;).

    I just did the second replacement of egr cooler and valve and she’s running strong :).

    Good to see you posting again(y).
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    When @danlatu did his head gasket replacment he noticed one piston was slightly lower when at Top Dead Centre. Turned out to be "hydro-lock", basically the cylinder was filling with (uncompressable) coolant, the piston arm bent.
     
  12. BuickGN

    BuickGN Junior Member

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    I know this is older but this is a VERY common failure mode. Headgasket causes mild hydrolock from water intrusion into the cylinder, probably upon startup. The rod is always the weak link so it bends the rod slightly. Usually you can't see it by eye. The way to check is a compression test. Compression will be significantly lower on the bad cylinder. A leakdown test will not pick up an issue with a bent rod. Once bent it is going to fail, there's no way around it period. Sometimes they last months before failure but they always fail. The only thing the mechanic did wrong was not stopping right there with the head off once he saw one piston was below deck at TDC and suggesting a rebuild while all but the piston and rod were salvageable. Otherwise not his fault. The catch is, a compression test in this case won't tell you much because the gasket it already blown. Now, if it sucked water from driving through a very deep puddle, a compression test would be a sure fire way of knowing there's a bent rod.

    As for the EGR, it will cause the engine to run rough and even die if it's at idle and too much exhaust is introduced into the intake charge. You're diluting the intake charge with an inert gas which makes it run rough, all cylinders struggle for complete combustion. Not the same thing, not even close to a bent rod and single cylinder misfire from the lack of compression. Typically a lack of compression shows up the most at idle and depending on how low it is, can completely go away as the dynamic compression comes up with rpm and load. The other thing is the rotating assembly is slightly out of balance with the bent rod which can be a minor contributor to the vibration and can show up at any rpm.
     
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  13. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    Good to know! Thanks for the info. I ended up selling the car blown up. 3k. Not too shabby. Still have my other 12 Prius thou. That engines been replaced already. Starting to see some signs of coolant loss and mild stumble on startup. Yay me..

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  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Not trying to ask this question in any smirky way, would you buy another gen 3?
     
  15. freakaftr8

    freakaftr8 Junior Member

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    Not sure. Not too hip on 2 different 12 Prisus's blowing head gaskets, simultaneously, coupled with inverter failures.. had way better luck with two older 2nd gens.. Hell I had better luck with my old Ford Tempo. 200k and just a clutch replacement. Think if my last 3rd gen goes belly up I'm going to get another 2nd gen.

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