2012 Toyota Prius BLOWN ENGINE 201,000 miles

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Matt’s prius, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Matt’s prius

    Matt’s prius New Member

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    6 months after making my last 6 year (72 months) $400 monthly payment to Toyota financial services, I was met with excessive engine knocking! I had to drive right home because at every stop light the engine rattling noise was getting more extreme and excessive. Once I got home I checked the mail and saw a letter For a recall to update the computer software. I brought the car in, still drivable but with excessive engine knocking. The dealership updated the software free from the recall, then asked if I wanted to replace the spark plugs and ignition coil for $650. I said if that’s going to Fix the issue then do it. Next day I get the service call to pick up the car, the check engine light is on and engine is ratteling. Dealer tells me he recommends a whole egr replacement. I said only if u guarantee that solves the engine knocking. He says no, so I said no to replacing the egr system. I drive the car home, the coolant can’t hold it’s level in the reservoir tank. Next startup, very thick white smoke is billowing out the exhaust! I go down to the dealer, the service manager tells me there is an extended 10 year 150,000 mile egr warranty. He tells me that because the car has 201,000 miles that he cannot warranty the issue! He decides to give me the $650 back for the new spark plugs and ignition coil service. From all the researching on this forum, it sounds like I have a blown head gasket, and a full carbon buildup clog in the egr pipe and egr assembly! I was offered $3,000 for the vehicle where a guy will ship it to a third world country for a profit. I said I will get back to him. I love the car, I called up a salvage yard and was offered a 2014 1.8 prius engine with 70,000 miles for $1,900. I also went down to the dealership and they wanted to sell me a 2019 prius for $6,000 down and $400/month for another 6 years. I would get the Prius engine at the salvage yard, but I’m not sure who I can trust that would install it CORRECTLY! Does anyone have any ideas if this is the right way to go? And if anybody can recommend a competent person in Long Island New York that can put in an engine? Thank you
     

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  2. amos

    amos Active Member

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    You wrote here that the dealer told you about 10yrs 150k warranty on the egr cooler? Or valve?
    I never heard dealer is giving extended warranty on the egr cooler.
     
  3. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat. It's a shame we have to meet you while your car is broke.
    What was your long range plan for the car if it was still driveable?
     
  4. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    At least in my area, most salvage yards offer installation at an added cost. I’d at least ask your yard what they would charge to put the engine in for you. It’s a shame that you come to the chat in this manner.

    If you have ANY mechanical aptitude at all, this board has several discussions, some with video on changing the Gen 3 engine. So there are options, it just depends on your long term plans for the car.
     
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  5. Matt’s prius

    Matt’s prius New Member

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    10 years at the minimum. Regardless of mileage!

    They keep it a secret, it’s whatever comes first. But the knocking has to be reproduced before they will fix under warranty

    Is the salvage yard the way to go for $1900 for a 70k/miles engine or am I looking to dig myself a hole down the road and the salvage yard is a temporary band aide?
     
    #5 Matt’s prius, Mar 9, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2019
  6. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    I spent $1200 on a salvage yard Gen 4 engine, $225 on head bolts and a gasket set, and $75 on fluids and incidentals. But I was able to do the work myself.
     
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  7. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Junior Member

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    The Gen 4 engine is a direct fit in a Gen 3? -- Just out of curiosity.
     
  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Not a direct fit. There are subtle differences ;).

    Read up around here and you’ll see what’s involved(y).
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Not quite, but readily doable, with some mods, retention of original intake/exhaust manifolds, throttle body and EGR system. This swap involves a Prius v, but same principal, and @Ragingfit first went through this process with a regular 3rd gen:

    Swapping in a Gen 4 Prius' 2ZR Engine into the Prius v | PriusChat
     
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  10. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Gen 4 rotating assembly, Gen 3 head, intake, exhaust, EGR, and flywheel.
     
  11. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Sorry to hear about your situation. I went thru a similar issue two weeks ago on my 2011 with 184k. Instead of replacing the engine, I opted to replace the headgasket, have the cylinder head machined and also replaced the intake VVT gear for a total cost of $1100 in parts and machine shop costs. More details here:

    2011 Prius Headgasket Failure | PriusChat

    But I did the work myself. The local dealer and a well-known hybrid repair specialist was quoting me between $4500-$5K, more if the bottom-end had damage. At $5K (or more), I would've junked the car; mine is barely worth $6k as-is. The engine swap isn't terrible but keep in mind that the replacement engine is likely to develop the same issue. So, a used engine with 70K will probably get you another 80K or so of service.
     
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  12. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    Hello Matt's Prius,
    I will explain what happened to your Prius.
    Faulty oil rings allow oil into your combustion chambers or cylinders. Carbon builds up on your pistons and the cylinder head reducing the space between them. Torque to yield head bolts "yield" and open a gap between your head and engine block sending buckets of coolant through your exhaust. Oil laden exhaust travels through your EGR and EGR cooler clogging them with carbon / soot. Known bad EGR hangs open causing "driveability problems" - rattle, chug, stalling in low speed situations. This accounts for all of your symptoms.
    Now what to do about it.
    If your car was just running poorly you could unplug or replace your EGR and your driveability problem would go away.
    But you have a bad head gasket too.
    You can replace the head gasket but your bad oil rings will cause deja vu in about 80,000 miles.
    To fix your car you must replace the oil rings, the EGR and the head gasket. I did that once but I'm not a good engine re-builder. The result was not good for me but others have done it - danlatu and CNC97 - with good results.
    I replaced engines on two different 2012 Prius v's with 2016 Prius engines. Others have also done this too - Apatel1101 and Joele3 .
    Apatel1101 reports that the dealer won't work on his car now that he's swapped his engine (he's got some ABS problems, I think) and Joele3 has reported overheating issues, but I think that was because his water pump went bad. My 2012 Black v has a bad cat thanks to Barr's Leaks and my Gray v is overheating due to a clogged heater core, probably also Barr's Leaks, go figure.
    The 2016 engine swap involves modifications to hook up the coolant hoses and EGR cooler. The old flywheel and engine mount must go on the new engine. The temp sensor wire has to be lengthened and 2 ground wires relocated. I think that's it. Everything else is the same or better than the old.
    - Fix That Prius!
     
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  13. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I cannot agree with this. TTY bolts do not "yield" in the manner you described. The only time they lose tension is if there are issues with the threads in the block or maybe if the headgasket worn away and caused the clamping force to be reduced.

    I have worked on many cars that burned oil for 100K+ miles (Honda 2.4s, Toyota 1.5s and later Toyota 2.4s come to mind) and I have never seen coolant loss in the manner you have described.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Link appears to be missing, here it is:

    2011 Prius Headgasket Failure | PriusChat
     
  15. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    The cause of the issue not withstanding, like The Critic said, TTY bolts don’t “yield” unless they are removed, or their torque gets changed by reduced gasket thickness.


    Overheating, either indicated or not weakens the head gasket and allows the heat of combustion to erode it. One cause is reduced EGR flow. Other causes are failed water pump, or coolant leaks. Neglecting oil changes or oil levels can also cause overheating.

    There is one sure way to solve your issue, and that is to change the engine. You can search for a lower mileage Gen 3, but know that it’s clock is counting down to head gasket failure. The clock could be at zero on install, or it could be counting down at such a rate that you may not see the clock expire during your ownership of the car. For me, the extreme low mileage of Gen 4 engines compared to the available Gen 3 engines made me willing to toss my life preserver in the trash. I jumped into my swap with both feet. In my area even today, a Gen 3 engine with 243k miles is $1200. A Gen 4 can be had in reasonable commuting distance (150 miles) (St Louis, MO) for only $825.

    Simple economics made my decision for me.
     
  16. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    OK, so nothing caused the head gasket to fail.
     
  17. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    There isn’t always a smoking gun to headgasket failures. Some gaskets are either inadequately designed for the application or have poor QC. Early Toyota 4.0L engines on the Tacoma/4Runners had lots of failures (and even the later ones to an extent).
     
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  18. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    I've re-torqued torque to yield bolts and had them break a 1000 miles from home.
     
  19. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Not sure if I am following....?

    TTY bolts can only be re-torqued "accurately" if you fully loosen and re-tighten them. The head bolts in this application are TTY (as you are aware) and call for 36 ft-lbs + 90 deg + 45 deg. They can sometimes be reused if you measure the length of the bolt but I always recommend getting new ones. So I suppose that if you blindly "re-torqued" the bolts and they broke later on, I am not completely surprised?
     
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  20. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    My head gasket blew without any of those things happening. I've been trying to find a scenario that explains all the crap that has happened to our Priuses. I've seen the carbon on my piston tops and you have too, it was like a rock and a lot of it. I had to chip it off with a scraper. You get enough of that and you will pop the head. End of story.
    - Fix That Prius!
     
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