Bad Piston Rings?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Organfreak, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Organfreak

    Organfreak Junior Member

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    New here. Looking at a 2005 Prius with 150,000 miles on it, on a used-car lot. It drove great and I have here the dealer's report on pre-inspection and maintenance. I've had no luck talking directly to the service department, beyond the schedulers. Showed up for the test drive and car was already started/running. Small amount of exhaust was visible at the tailpipe.
    Looking at this inspection report there's an item that really concerns me: "RING, SEALING, $3.97"
    Does this mean what I think it means? A Toyota guy told me that one is NEVER supposed to use such products on a Prius. Can I infer from this item that this car has worn piston rings?
     
  2. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    See: How To Potentially Fix Oil Consumption On Your Toyota Prius | Torque News

    I have Gen2 with 208k which burns about 1/2 to 3/4 quart of oil every 2000 to 2500 miles. My oil change routine is every 3500 miles and I am using 10w30 conventional oil (rather than Toyota's recommended 10k interval for oil changes and instead of the recommended 5w30 oil).

    PS I was concerned about burned oil crapping out my catalyst so I added under $25 oil catch can from ebay (seems to be doing its job).
     
    #2 ydpplqbd, Jan 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    10-30 & 5-30 are the same weight oil at operating temp so your not accomplishing anything. Move up to 40 weight oil that will help.
     
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  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Yes it has bad rings usually the oil scavenge ring on the piston goes first they also seem to suffer from clogged rings too unless you use really high quality oil religiously.

    Its a little oil eating monster which is very bad because the original owner probably didn't know it so it probably saw a few I drove the car until the engine light came on because it ran out of oil. We see many of those. Nobody checks there oil anymore. And if its dealer oil changed you will never know it till you run the engine dry.
    Running the engine dry greatly exacerbates what was already worn rings.

    Dealer condemns it and its traded in on the spot and off it goes to auction to be found at a used car lot near you waiting for its next victim.

    I would pass on that car.
     
  5. Organfreak

    Organfreak Junior Member

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    Thanks gentlemen! Service Dept. finally got back to me and said that the item in question only referred to a new seal at the oil drain. I want to believe them.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    $3.97 is a little steep for the drain bolt washer. Is there a part number? Probably not.
     
  7. Organfreak

    Organfreak Junior Member

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  8. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    If there isn't an accompanying high labor charge, it can't be a piston ring. Just getting to the ring will be expensive in labor.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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  10. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    Oil drain pan gasket (Toyota P/N: 90430-12031). 10 pack of these drain plug gaskets costs $9.20 (including S&H) on ebay. Or, $7.92 from Amazon (including S&H). See link below.


    My choice is the local Toyota dealer where they charge me $1.13 each. I usually buy 4 or 5 at a time.



    01182020_oil_plug_gasket.JPG
     
    #10 ydpplqbd, Jan 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I would probably pass just because of the subtle red flags here.
    The use of a ring sealing treatment is probably something they were hoping you wouldn't notice. And at 15 years old and 150,000 miles, it's also probably a really good bet that means it's burning oil. If it was bad enough that an inspection resulted in them immediately pouring in a can of ring sealing treatment, I wouldn't feel good about the chances that it's not relatively bad.
    I wouldn't necessarily NOT own an older vehicle that burned some oil. I have. I think it's fair to say almost any and all engines that run and operate long enough WILL burn oil.
    But it's always a situation of trying to evaluate the extent of the piston ring deterioration, and how long it can remain a monitor and add oil as necessary situation.
    Since you haven't bought the vehicle at this point, This doesn't HAVE to be your problem.

    Also, I really don't like it when a vehicle I'm considering purchasing is presented to me already running. Again it can be nothing. BUT...I want to hear how it sounds as it starts up. I want to see if smoke comes out of it's tail pipe on start up. I want to see how it runs when the engine is cold and as it warms up.
    When a dealership presents a vehicle already running? The suspicious cynic in me raises another red flag.

    Both of these issues could be nothing. But as far as used cars go? There are always other choices and options. IMO, I'd try to find one that isn't starting out of the gate with these upfront concerns.

    PS.
    Also to mention, that if you want to think the worst of the selling dealership here? Both those actions could be called deceptive.
    A ring sealing treatment only masks a problem. It's $3.97 for them.
    If you buy it?
    Could be a whole lot more for you later.
     
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  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Mystery solved upthread ... it didn't say a ring sealing treatment, it said $3.97 for a sealing ring.

    Which is more than my dealer usually charges me for a sealing ring, but if they have free cookies or donuts near the parts/service counter, it all works out.
     
  13. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    I think the best option is to get a mechanic to look at the car and give it a compression test and leak down test.
    In my area that may cost $300.
    FWIW Seems that this used car has "stories" so I would consider extending my search for another vehicle.
    Good luck to you.
     
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yeah, I noticed that as I woke up and read more.
    But I'm still suspicious.
    For a new GASKET or even a new ring....using the phrase Ring Sealing...is weird.
    Maybe the truth. BUT...
    Why would you choose that particular phrase?
    "Sealing" is an adverb not a noun.
    If they DID put in a ring sealing treatment, I wouldn't expect them to admit it.

    Yes, I'm being HIGHLY un-trusting and suspicious here.
    I still would vote walk away.

    Or as suggested, get a more thorough independent evaluation.
     
  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Try one more cup and see if the comma comes into view. RING, SEALING is catalog-order where SEALING tells you what kind of RING it is.

    When you see CYLINDER SUB-ASSEMBLY, BRAKE MASTER you're looking at, well, a brake master cylinder.
     
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  16. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Hey, I'll admit I'm being highly paranoid and suspicious.
    But when buying a used vehicle from a dealership? I say embrace it.

    It may be simply what the dealership says. would probably be better if they said "Replaced Sealing Ring". You know, to calm down those pre-disposed to conspiracy theory approaches to used car purchasing.
     
  17. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I'm amazed at how this thread went from a $4 gasket to "that car is a POS and I would avoid it". I might be wondering why, or for what circumstances they had it already running and warmed up. This is when it's nice to have techstream available. I love it when I go to look at a Prius and then ask if it's ok to connect my laptop to check a few things. You can always tell who the sellers are that are up to something fishy by how they react initially. Like ones who disconnect the 12v battery to reset the car 30 minutes before you arrive. And then, techstream doesn't lie. I've walked away from a few "good deals" when I found out seller was hiding stuff.

    Any used car needs to be checked over, but dang. It's a 2005 with 150k miles. The ones I've seen at that mileage have typically been in great shape. You have to remember, these cars were often purchased by owners who were doing big miles, which usually means highway.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    This struck a familiar chord with me: when we showed up for a test drive of our 2010, the car was sitting in ready mode. I noticed when the engine kicked in, and the salesman said something like "we've warmed it up for you". Which translated to "the 12 volt battery is stone-dead, and we thought it wouldn't look to good to start it with a jump pack".

    It could be they warmed it up for some similar reason, less than stellar behavior when cold-started?
     
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  19. Organfreak

    Organfreak Junior Member

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    My fear was based on interpreting this line-item as an attempt to seal the rings by pouring an additive into the crankcase.
     
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  20. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    There have been some success in cleaning the Toyota clogged rings using various types of cleaner poured into the engine like Marvel Mystery oil etc.
    But that's for clogged rings not the usual ran it low on oil now the scavenge ring is shot and its a oil burner.

    But so many G2 prius now eat oil at 150,000+ miles from lack of proper maintenance=dealer oil changes. I know its lack of proper maintenance because my car bought new now at 150,000 miles does not eat any oil. Life of very high quality oil changes but even then at around 90,000 miles i found it had a very minor oil loss. Like a 1/3 quart over 5000 miles. I stopped that by moving up to a 40 weight oil. Now I do not need to add any oil between 5,000 mile changes. My car is a good test bed for things like this I bought it new. Oil havas never gomne below the full line on the dipstick.


    Btw, if the car is running when you showed up thats usually a sign they had to jump the 12 volt battery to start it. Classic. very common for that to happen to a G2 after it has sat on the lot for a while without starting and now the 12 is stone dead or the private seller no longer drives it. But if you buy it you can add a new 12 volt to the list of stuff you will need to replace.

    The g2 engine is a very clean running engine no sludge at all. If you have sludge your using shitty oil. Here's mine at 150,000 miles and 12 years later:
     

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