2013 Prius - Need to add oil, but don't see blue smoke

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by RollingPrius, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. RollingPrius

    RollingPrius Junior Member

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    We've got a 2013 Prius. We are having to add oil frequently. I just made about 1700 mile trip, and needed to add several quarts along the way to keep it at the high end of the dip stick.

    I don't see ANY blue smoke, don't smell smoke, nothing from a smell/visual perspective that would suggest burning oil. But we've got 150,000+ miles on it. Are we definitely burning oil? I haven't seen evidence of a leak, but there could be one.
     
  2. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    At around 100k miles we developed a leak with the oil pan gasket.

    Once that gasket was replaced, we have not had any further issues through the next 100k miles.
     
  3. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The catalytic converter will burn up remaining hydrocarbons. That is its primary purpose, eg to reduce tailpipe emissions. The 2010-14 Prius engines had flawed pistons and rings which Toyota acknowledges.

    Some of the burned oil ends up in the egr system as the egr intake on gen3 engines has its intake before the catalytic converter. Combined with oil burning, the egr cooler, valve, tube and intake get caked with carbon. Things get worse from there. Blowby from the cylinder pushes more oil fumes through the intake. Frequently these symptoms are addressed with egr cleaning and oil catch cans rather than addressing the root cause.

    Finally Toyota would replace 2010-2014 pistons and rings through the powertrain warranty if a quart was used in 1200 miles. However the powertrain warranty expired at 60,000 miles or 5 years.
     
  4. ETC(SS)

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

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    If you’re adding “several quarts of oil” on a 1700 mile trip then you either have a profound LEAK or you’re burning oil.

    A LOT of it.

    This needs to be investigated promptly and aggressively because at the very least, your car is going to become about as economical to operate as a 1973 Chevy Suburban just from the cost of adding all of the oil…..and all those hydrocarbons are GOING somewhere which means that you’re not being particularly ‘clean’ either.

    You’re going to want to rule out a leak first, and NOT by taking it to a dealer.
    See if there are oil spots where you park.
    Look under the car and in the engine compartment for signs of a leak.

    If you cannot determine that there is a leak I would presume ‘worst case’ and read the 10 longest threads on this forum that have ‘head gasket’ in the title.
    If you experience the “Prius Death Rattle” (shaking and knocking) then shut the car down immediately and do not drive it any more until you’re ready to install the new (used) motor.

    I do not think that this is the case at the present time because you did not mention that you had funny looking stuff on your dip stick from your coolant and lubrication systems swapping fluids….BUT…I’d be a little careful about making any more 1700 mile trips in this car before I figured out where all that oil is going.

    If you find out that there’s a leak?
    Read the head gasket threads ANYWAY.

    Good Luck!
     
    #4 ETC(SS), Oct 14, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Excessive oil consumption is common on these models and is not a result of a head gasket leak but head gasket and engine failure could be the result. As stated previously, oil consumption is one of several design flaws Toyota quickly realized they had in these engines.

    The mechanism is said to be stuck piston rings leading to worn cylinder walls. Some have reported success with chemical soaks such as B12 Chemtool but I would try this as a last resort due to potential catalytic converter and sensor damage to say nothing of hydrolock. Some dealers offer it but it is not the typical injector flush. Some occasionally blame a stuck pcv valve, this is typically a waste of time. A rebuild or replacement engine is the fix on an already old powerplant.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Same response here. Monitor a while longer, to determine the consumption, say per 1000 miles. FWIW, the distance between the two dipstick marks is 1.5 liters or 1.6 US quarts.

    Have you had the car since new? What oil change interval are you doing?

    You might want to look into short block replacement; basically everything below the cylinder head swapped out. A new short block is about $2K USD, not trivial. Probably another $1500 to have an independent shop swap it, and about $500~1000, for gasket kit, new head bolts, and to have a machine shop go over the head.
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Some Gen3 owners add an oil catch can in the EGR circuit after they clean it and you'll find lots of you missing oil in that catch can.
     
  8. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    LOL. And people complain that you have to stop frequently to add electrons to an EV.
    :)

    Mike
     
  9. OptimusPriustus

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    the place i bought parking light from had reconditioned Prius gen3 short blocks for less that 800usd. Middland Auto in UAE. I have no idea about quality but they do sell oem parts and reconditioned blocks and heads for many brand cars. At least the parking light was true oem part:) Package had probably spent quite some years on shelf but the part itself was untouched, brand new.

    with those prices i might gamble. Even try block+head combo
     
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  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    A rebuilt block, assuming it IS rebuilt, sounds like a good option. It’s a big hunk of aluminum, with a few wear items and zones; if someone’s restoring them by the book that’s win-win.
     
  11. OptimusPriustus

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    At least their website is rather impressing
    SHORT ENGINE TOYOTA 2ZR-FXE 16V 1.8 LTR – Mag Engines
    • NEW STD SIZE PISTONS & RINGS.
    • NEW MAIN & BIG END BEARINGS.
    • NEW FULL HEAD GASKET KIT & SEALS.
    • FULLY INSPECTED CON RODS.
    • BLOCK ON STD SIZE & CRANKSHAFT ON STD SIZE.
    • LINER & RODS FULLY INSPECTED
     
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