2012 Prius V Five blown head gasket - Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Carlos M. Arceo, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Carlos M. Arceo

    Carlos M. Arceo New Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    Downey, CA
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Hi all,

    New member hear, learning so much from propr threads, but was looking for confirmation. Wanted to share our experiences for context.

    Purchased Toyota certified used 2012 Prius V Five at 39,000 miles in 2014.

    Conducted all suggested maintenance RELIGIOUSLY at Toyota dealers in case something ever went wrong.

    In November of 2017, oil light came on in our car. Wife took it to dealer, asked dealer to look at light, and asked for oil change because we were taking a long road trip from L.A. to Sacramento. Dealer called me that day, saying I needed a $1500.00 timing cover seal replacement. I asked and confirmed it could wait. On our way up to Sacramento (driving 80-85 mph the whole way) oil light would light up randomly for a second and go away. Weird, but we thought, nothing serious. In retrospect, what I should have done was check my oil, but didn't. Drove back, with similar results. Took it to the dealer.

    Turns out dealer NEVER did an oil change, and let us know the car was running on almost empty oil the whole time. They forgot to do the oil change, but didn't forget to quote me $1500.00 for a timing seal, right?

    After that, it was three months of back and forth with the dealer, doing oil consumption tests, telling us the car was "within acceptable range," fighting them to prove there was no serious engine damage ("we checked oil for metal shavings and nothing is there, which means your engine is fine"), an absolute nightmare. Inevitably, with work and life challenges, time took me from this, allowing them to get away with this.

    A couple of months later, we'd get random knocking, but never loud or sustained enough for anyone to assess accurately.

    Flash forward to a month ago, where a check engine light turned into a misfire, to a "replace your head gasket" recommendation like many folks here.

    Exasperated, but can't do much about it at this point.

    Based on reading here, I'm hearing that a low-mileage engine replacement may be our best bet.

    It still feels like a ridiculous cost.

    We're debating selling the car as-is, which is in great condition (we detail once a year), and getting as much for it as possible, doing the head gasket and selling, or doing engine replacement and selling.

    What would folks recommend and what do folks feel is a reasonable price for repairs or to sell it?

    We're totally green here, and would prefer to maximize return at this point and most likely turn it into a new car purchase at this point.

    Thanks for reading and for your valuable input!
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    May 11, 2005
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Plug-in Base

    sorry to hear about your troubles. unfortunately, that's par for the course for dealers.

    how many miles on her?

    if it were me, i would investigate engine replacement costs and look up the kbb value. you can always try the market as is, and compare offers to kbb with the replacement engine.

    all the best!(y)
  3. JayRock_PHX

    JayRock_PHX Member

    Oct 10, 2018
    phoenix az
    2010 Prius
    Since you bought it back in 2014 and I’m assuming you are in the 100K plus miles by now I’m pretty sure the head gasket time has came. Did you ever clean out the egr system/intake manifold ? Or any work/maint towards any of that? If not then the carbon build up is what caused this blown hg most likely. It’s such a pain in the nice person as I’m dealing with one now.