Botched engine flush

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by oh_no, Feb 5, 2022.

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  1. oh_no

    oh_no New Member

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    I went to have my scheduled maintenance at Toyota, and the service guy claimed that I needed an engine flush. He also claimed I needed a LOT more stuff that sounded bogus, but the engine flush he said had to be every 7 years. I now believe he was lying.

    When I went out to get my car, I noticed a stench of gasoline around my car. I assumed the car next to mine had a fuel leak. Driving down the road however, I still smelled it just as intensely and I realized it was *my* car that was apparently leaking fuel. I stopped and smelled around the car and realized the entire side of the car smelled intensely of gasoline as well as part of the interior, just as if someone had spilled gasoline on the car and some of it dripped inside.

    The service manager claimed that a step had been erroneously skipped during the engine flush involving cleaning the area with alcohol to eliminate the gasoline that normally covers the engine parts during a flush. He insisted there is no way that gasoline was spilled on the side of the car or the interior. So they washed the car. They claimed they spray washed the engine area. And yet after that, from a distance of 5 feet, I could still smell the stench of gasoline. Now they now claim the smell will go away after a week. I've never known gasoline smells to go away so quickly. It can take months in my experience.

    Are there any mechanics here who can venture a guess as to what went wrong that caused the entire side of the vehicle to smell intensely of gasoline after an engine flush?

    When I was in the waiting area, *twice* an intense stench of gasoline flowed past me coming from the service area. Maybe they had a fuel spill in there? Maybe some worker maliciously dumped gasoline on my car?
     
    #1 oh_no, Feb 5, 2022
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2022
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You should contact the State EPA (Texas does have one, right?) AND the local BBB if there is one.
    You should also talk to the Owner of the dealership. Not the moron service manager but the actual owner.
    Casually mentioning the word "lawyer" somewhere in the conversation might not hurt.

    Note that no engine maker in the world recommends a "routine" engine flush.
    Nada, zip, never.

    Maybe this really was supposed to be a coolant flush ?
    That is recommended periodically but just drain and refill.
    The "flushing" adds $50 or more and does basically nothing.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    can you describe, or find out what they meant by 'engine flush'? i thought you meant coolant, but now i'm completely confused.
    but you are correct, he was lying. a service schedule came with your vehicle to prove it. it is also available online.
    you may need an attorney or at least small claims court. they may have done serious damage to your vehicle.
     
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  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Just another ridiculous kookie dealer story.

    I assume he means an engine oil flush? I don’t doubt that if your getting the oil changed at the dealer. But has nothing to do with gasoline.

    Cleaning the area with alcohol omg…..

    Not sure if you are a man or lady but you need to find someone who works on cars and pay the guy and bring that person to that dealer for an explanation because they have seriously jacked up your car and sounds like a classic car fire in the making.
     
  5. oh_no

    oh_no New Member

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    Looking at the receipt they call the engine flush a "complete fuel system service", $165.

    The service manager pointed me to the area where they disconnected a hose for the "engine flush". It is in the center of the engine area.
    I attached a photo.

    I forgot to mention, during their attempt to "clean" the gasoline smell off the car and the interior part of the door, the dealership's fire alarm went off and a large fire truck appeared, indicating some disaster transpired in the service area.

    Another tidbit: When I first went out to drive the car away, and I smelled the gasoline which I assumed was a fuel leak from the car next to it, they had put an offer on the dashboard to buy the car for cash at the KBB rate. I checked on Craigslist and the average price there is twice their offer.

    While I was waiting I heard a salesman say the wait to buy any hybrid is 2-3 months. This car is my lifeline and they have ruined it and I can't even buy a new one.
     

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  6. oh_no

    oh_no New Member

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    I will contact the EPA on Monday, thanks. Their score on BBB is 1.5 stars, only 2 reviews. Their score on Yelp is like 4.5 stars, despite numerous 1 star reviews.

    The fact that the fire truck showed up tells me some disaster happened in the service area. The EPA should be told about that.
    I'm guessing whatever happened back there affected my car and yet they tried to get me to accept it back.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Look in the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet; you'll find no references to a "engine flush every 7 years". If the booklet is missing, pdf versions are available at Toyota Tech Info site, in the "manuals" tab.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    botched engine flush, but successful wallet flush
     
  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Fire truck holy shite lol......

    I don't know what the fuel injector cleaning nonsense is all about. I see it constantly on this site. I never had a fuel injector issue in my life. Whats to clean its squirting gasoline? Its a big dealer rip off.
    Did not have that issue with my G2 over 14 years of ownership. Never touched the injectors. On any car. Its a valve on and off with a 12 volt signal.

    I know you did not request a Fuel Injector Service lol. That's one of the many many ways to rip you off. You got the classic service advisor upsell.

    F THAT!

    I always thought Dealer fuel injector service is a can of Techron they throw in the tank. Looks like they put the rookie on your car.
    Good thing to use once in a while its $4. at Walmart.

    The bad part is it takes a long time to get rid of that gasoline smell since they hosed down the engine compartment with it.


    Do not wash the engine.It will go away in time. Don't make there F up worse.
     
  10. ColoradoBoo

    ColoradoBoo Active Member

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    Oh man, that stinks....figuratively and literally! I agree, don't attempt to wash anything in the engine and, if you can, park it outside for a few days...the gas and cleaner will dry out.
    I wouldn't say your car is ruined just yet. I'm glad they immediately washed off your car when you went back...hopefully the paint is okay.
    I remember many years ago a Toyota service manager upsold me to get something I'd never heard of called "Air Filter Induction Service" for $160 so I did it and, later, checked on what it was...wow, what a rip-off!
    Lesson learned...if anybody suggests something you don't know what it is decline and then research and ask folks. Sometimes it IS something you need but, chances are, it's just an upsell. (This place has some wicked smart and friendly helpers, ask here!)
    Keep us updated on the car. (Check your air filter in the engine...make sure nothing go in it.)
     
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  11. JahT

    JahT Member

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    A fuel system flush is fairly common at dealers and other places, my understanding is that it involves disconnecting the fuel rail line from about where your arrow is in your picture and connecting it to a flush tank they hang from the open hood. Then they run the car on the cleaner. It sounds like they didn't connect the fuel line up properly, or there is a failed o-ring and pin-hole leak. If the gas smell went away then it may have been just a lot of spilled gas, either way any time you smell gas it means it is explosive, vapors are what ignite. So if there is still a problem from their work and they won't resolve it I would mention how dangerous it was and that you're taking this to your State's Attorney General. I just changed fuel injectors myself and I spilled some gas doing it and it smelled like gas for a while, but was gone in a day or so. If you still gas it needs to be fixed ASAP.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Many people won't ever have to. Some people will. Old member astrolink's "I think I'm going to sell" thread turned out to be injectors. There was a flow rate difference of 31% among the four (1, 3, and 4 were all pretty good, 2 was lousy). So he didn't have to sell the car after all.

    You can see in the test results that cleaning restored the injectors to about perfect condition. But to be clear, that was bench cleaning on equipment made for the purpose, not running a can of something through the car.

    [​IMG]

    Lots of injectors go a long long time without any issues. I had my Gen 1's tested at 204,000 miles and they were about perfect. But some people will need theirs cleaned ... when it happens, it happens.

    It seems to be rare enough that I wouldn't just tackle it on a "because I can" basis. It's something I'd look into if the engine was running rough or the fuel trim values were weird.
     
  13. Species5618w

    Species5618w Member

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    Wow, I was literally offered the same thing today. It's not expensive, but I figured why risk it if it's not in the manual and said no (also because I am cheap). I did considered it a bit since my engine is making a tapping sound (faster if I step on the gas), but I just don't trust the dealership to fix it.
     
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