2012 Toyota Prius BLOWN ENGINE 201,000 miles

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

  1. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Sorry, but your explanation does not make any sense at all. There are sealing rings on the headgasket so the pistons have zero contact with the headgasket. The sealing rings prevent the loss of compression. Hypothetically, the furthest "north" that the piston can physically go (even if it had too much carbon) would be to contact the valves, not the head gasket.
     
  2. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    Not so, the valves would be closed, and you probably haven't seen the inside of a prius engine. I was saying that CNC97 has seen the carbon build up.
     
  3. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    Also, nothing touches the head gasket because it's between the head and the block. I didn't say the piston touches the head gasket.
     
  4. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    What would happen if there were too much of something else in the cylinder? What?
     
  5. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I replaced the head gasket in my 2011 last week so the image of a Prius engine is still fresh in my mind. In fact, there is a long thread about the replacement on here if you wish to view it:

    2011 Prius Headgasket Failure | PriusChat

    Fundamentally I cannot agree with your explanation and I do not think you will find many people who will agree with your logic, either. It is physically impossible to accumulate enough carbon on the piston tops to cause the cylinder head to be “pushed off.” You would need to have inches of carbon on top of the piston and I doubt anyone would ever run an engine to that point (you would have major issues before that is even possible).
     
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  6. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    On the tops of the pistons on my failed engine, I only had .008 to at most .015 of an inch of build up. The squashed thickness of the gasket is .035. That leaves .020 of gasket plus the combustion chamber volume to fill with carbon.

    I’m not saying that it’s not possible to fill the entire combustion chamber with that carbon, but it’s just very unlikely.

    I knew in last year when I bought my car the head gasket was leaking. I put stop leak in it knowing it was a calculated risk. I got an extra 90 days.

    The HG, rings, and pistons have been redesigned multiple times since 2010 to 2015. That tells me that Toyota(or their end supplier) knew there was an issue in those parts. It’s not one failed part causing the issue, it’s multiple failed parts, but the issues have to come together under a “perfect storm” of circumstances to cause a failure.
     
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  7. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    Well, if you don't remember, the pistons come right up to the top of the cylinders. I have video to prove it.

     
    #27 Ragingfit, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  8. Matt’s prius

    Matt’s prius New Member

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    Looks like I will be getting rid of my beloved Prius after only getting 6 months of free use after my last $400 monthly payment was made last July. Because 1) it is $1900 for an engine with 75k miles on it, 2) oil rings will be a pain to figure out, 3) egr assembly costing extra, 4) cats could go bad, inverter could go bad, 5)battery will eventually fail, etc etc etc plus I am not mechanically inclined to do the work, so add in another $1500 for service installation and it’s not pricing sensible to fix. Looks like I will have to be a sucker and plop down another 6k down payment and $400/month for another 72 months. Hopefully the 2019 model year has the oil rings, egr, head gasket issues tweaked out so it’s not an ongoing issue with the model
     
  9. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    how common of an issue is this or the blown head gasket? We have a 2013 prius with 90,000 miles. Just curious if it is a ticking timebomb?
     
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  10. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Like I mentioned in a previous post, it seems that most Prii have this issue. The countdown clock is running, and it’s inevitable to happen, or the clock is running so slowly that it won’t expire before you get rid of the car. You have to check the coolant and oil regularly. When the level starts dropping, it’s time is getting close.
     
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  11. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    i regularly service the car at a toyota dealership. would they be looking out for these signs as well?
    They have not mentioned anything to me. How does the prius earn all of these awards for top reliability if this is such a sore spot?
    consumer reports, edmunds- they all pretty much state this is one of the most reliable cars you can buy.
     
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  12. amos

    amos Active Member

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    Absolutely wrong of toyota to thunk all this is unnoticeable. The least they can do
    Is to ask dealers to stop charging outrageous 4000 dollars for a head gasket replacement
     
  13. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    The tear down and repair of a head gasket CAN be done engine in the car. $160 for the gasket set, $70 for the bolts and 8-10 hours labor at $120 an hour. $1400-1500 tops is what it should cost. Not $4K
     
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  14. The Critic

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    You're forgetting fluids ($80-$100), machine shop costs ($200-$400) and spark plugs ($45-$70). The book time for this repair is 17-18 hours and the industry standard is to charge for the repair based on flat-rate labor guides. Parts on average, should see a 30-50% mark-up over cost. If a shop chooses to charge less than the book time for the job, then that is their decision, but I would not expect the practice to be the norm (or the expectation).

    I would say $2500 - $3K is a reasonable price for the job.

    Dealers are independent businesses. Why should they be prohibited from charging market pricing?
     
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  15. amos

    amos Active Member

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    You right. All legit.
    Just that you know this is the glorified most reliable hybridid ever most popular and most bla bla bla and yet it looks like 90% of them have blown head gasket at around 200k.
    Take a hyundai with 200k and guess what still running fine.
    So where is toyota here. They just talk too much on " we care " but dealers charge highest price.
    I know this can be done at local mechanic at around $1500.
     
  16. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    If I had a shop to do it in, I’d do them for 1500 with me buying parts, 1200 owner supplied parts.
     
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  17. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    that really makes me nervous. I am surprised how wide spread of an issue this is. We have owned the car since new, zero miles. We have not had a single issue outside of regular oil changes. it has just been a fantastic car for our family. It's a shame, but 200k miles of trouble free driving is still pretty good. We have 110k more to go till we get to that point. Hope that we continue to have reliable times ahead. If it starts to become an issue, my guess is we would move on to a second Honda. My 2016 crv has been a gem. (so far) albeit with 33000 miles.
     
  18. High Mileage

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    Hi Matt, as others have said its unfortunate that you find the group in this way. I will give you my take on the situation, but others may disagree and I am ok with that.
    The Gen3 prius has gotten a reputation for burning oil, and for failing head gaskets. The exact cause for both issues can be argued.
    In your case you have a ~8 year old car with a bad engine. The traction battery on this model prius seems to be lasting on average ~300K miles, less in areas with extreme temperatures. You also live in an area that uses salt on roads I think and would suspect the undercarriage is probably under attack. You do not say if you are mechanically minded or have a place to even support swapping out an engine, so you will most likely be paying a shop or individual to repair the car.
    Personally getting 200K out of a car is pretty good in my book. If it was me I would let this one go and buy a new one. I am currently at 265K miles on my 2010 and have not had any issues like others are having. But I am strongly looking at the new Primes since I really like a lot of the new features, and I even like the way they look.
     
  19. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    does the gen 4 have any of these gasket issues?
    how does consumer reports not know about these issues?
     
  20. amos

    amos Active Member

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    I will be your future customer. No problems i read all your posts how you did yours
     
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