2012 Prius V Head Gasket issue!?

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Bicycles, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Bicycles

    Bicycles New Member

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    Howdy all, first post! I'm looking to get some stellar advice and I know this is the place for it!

    I just turned over 150k on my Prius V. I bought it used around 57k almost exactly four years ago. I'm in Los Angeles.

    No major issues... until now.

    I'm experiencing violent shaking when combustion engine starts. It gets less severe when I put it in neutral. It will shake for about 20 seconds normally, then everything runs fine. This happens about 50% of the time I start it up, for the past month. I remember it happening once or twice last year too but only isolated incidents.

    I got diagnostic codes for three cylinder misfires so I can't pass SMOG. Engine coolant level has lowered quickly.

    I was going to replace spark plugs myself when I realized I should just get the 150k tuneup. Took it into Electric Avenue in Silverlake and Mike told me it's most likely a blown head gasket (he did not do any inspection, just witnessed the shaking and got the error codes). He said it's smartest to replace the engine all together and he quoted me for $5500.

    I respectfully asked to take it for a second opinion elsewhere and he was nice enough to top off the coolant and check the oil. I took it to Prius Express on San Fernando and Rubek (Rubik?) said he'd install a 50k engine with pump for $2300 and throw in a 2-year warranty. It sounds too good to be true, so I'm skeptical.

    More strange is that driving from Silverlake to Glassell Park, the car ran smoother than I can remember in the past few months, no shaking no sputtering.

    Does anyone have a reputable mechanic in Los Angeles/SoCal? I am willing to travel for the best service.

    Also I'm willing to trade for work if anyone here is willing to help- I am a professional photographer and the price of a wedding shoot is right around the price/labor for this engine replacement... let me know!

    Thanks!
    Scott
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gasket masters

    check the threads here and youtube

    i think they replace it in your driveway for $1,500.
     
  3. Bicycles

    Bicycles New Member

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    Hi thanks but they are located up in NorCal.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Bicycles likes this.
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Spring for new head bolts?

    Also, when the dust settles on the head gasket repair: clean the EGR circuit and intake manifold. Consider oil catch can install too.
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Of course I'm in the wrong part of the country to know about that shop.

    I did once have an engine put in by a too-good-to-be-true shop. The price was good, but they didn't put any oil back in the (manual) tranny. I caught that on the day I picked it up and refilled the tranny; it survived, but wasn't ever quite the same.

    Several months later the car disappeared from in front of my apartment overnight and the police found the sheet metal and carpet a few days later, a dozen blocks away.

    I will never have solid proof, but I suspect that shop more than a little. Profit margin on engine installation goes up when you install the same engine for multiple customers. Keep their addresses from the job tickets and you know where to get it again for the next job.
     
  8. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Stuff that makes you say "Hmmmmm...."
     
  9. Fierofly

    Fierofly Member

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    I had same issue with mine. Took it apart and found bad head gasket, BUT. It had 230k miles and I read about installing a newer engine, SO I decided to replace with a 2017 23k engine (cost $600). ALSO, I tore down old engine and found a bent rod, IF I had only replaced head gasket, IT would have broke that rod for sure. What happens with a bad gasket, is the hot engine shuts down and coolant gets in cylinder, then when it restarts it'll run rough due to hydra lock, bending or breaking a rod.
     
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