Can I prevent worse trouble w/misfire,oil, head gasket?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by kentuckienne, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    My 2010 Prius with about 160,000 is starting to burn a little oil. I hope to keep it running at least until the other car is paid off. (Plus new cars have those tasty wiring harnesses that mice/squirrels like to chew...plus I like to use something up instead of replacing it if I can) Just got the check engine light. Autozone read the codes for me: P0302, P0300, P0303, P0304 and repeat which are misfire codes. I do sometimes get a rattle on shutoff and weird noise on startup but only rarely. They suggested replacing the ignition coil on cylinder 2 but after reading about it here I have questions.

    I’m about in the range for excess oil consumption and blown head gasket problems and I hope it’s not too late to prevent them. I live way out in the country and I don’t want to break my car trying to fix something myself because how would I get to the store to buy parts? But if there is something I can do on my own I want to try. I came up with four things to try - do you think I’m on the right track or should I be looking at something else? Really appreciate any advice about this.

    1: To begin with - how do you change the oil in this car without access to a lift? I can’t fit underneath, so I take it somewhere. The local dealership is cheaper when they have coupons. The BG products look great. I’d like to try the EGR treatment. But if I’m not changing the oil myself I will ask the mechanic if they can do it, or find someone else who can.

    2: BG MOA for hybrids, this I can buy and add on my own, same as the 44K.

    3: The oil catch can looks like a great idea. Is it too late to install one? It looks like it would at least keep the problem from getting worse. And is this something I can do at home? I’m not comfortable taking my engine apart....

    4: How difficult is it to clean the EGR? I read to do it through the intake manifold...is there a simple way to clean it without taking a lot of things apart? Would doing the EGR treatment be enough for a first step?

    Well, that’s a lot of questions ... trying to figure this out as soon as I can before real trouble happens.
     
  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Egr cleaning is a must but only with some mechanical skills as for oil changes you can use the car jack to jack up drivers side and use regular 5w30 oil
     
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  3. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    Looks like it’s over my head. I looked for certified mechanics on the BG website and found one with a stellar reputation. Gonna take the car over next week and have them look at the misfire, and then do a cleaning / oil change.

    Doesn’t the car need to be level to drain the old oil? I don’t trust working under a jack, I know someone who had a corvette dropped on him when the concrete blocks collapsed as he was working under it. I have a couple metal ramps but if i drive the car up on them it will be quite far from level.
     
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    This does not compute.
     
  5. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    The car does not have to be level to drain the oil. In fact, since the drain hole is at the rear of the oil pan, I'd argue it drains better with the front end raised -- either with jack stands or on ramps.
     
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  6. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    $40 for a set of ramps
    $70-100 for a floor jack and jack stands
    $20-100 for all the tools you will need to do general work on a prius
    Get some wheel chocks while you are at it for safety

    Change engine oil
    Change transaxle oil
    Brakes will prob need a good looksee lube and possible pads/rotors if original

    Boom, paid for many times over
    And then you can save on this car and cars in the future

    Hope the codes are fixable!
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    The simplest way to see where you're at, is to check the degree of carbon build up in the EGR pipe, a stainless steel connecting pipe between the EGR valve and intake manifold. Watch @NutzAboutBolts video #16 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Two or three other videos linked there too, for the full cleaning of the intake manifold, full EGR clean, and Oil Catch Can install.

    Good thread:

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Another:

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat

    Some tools worth having:

    E8 Torx socket (mandatory)
    E6 Torx socket (optional, but good to have, to remove the throttle body studs from intake manifold)
    3/8" ratchet wrench, regular and long handle, flex head, you can never have enough (or 1/2 plus reducer)
    1/4" ratchet wrench, or 3/8" to 1/4" reducer
    Ratchet extensions: you can never have enough
    Long needle nose piers, straight and bent tip
    Ratcheting 12mm box wrench (optional, but makes disconnection of the EGR cooler from exhaust easier)
    Torque wrench (3/8" and 1/4" both good to have)
    Floor jack and safety stands (or ramps): basically some method to raise front, if you need to take underpanel off, which you may need to, both for access and to recover dropped items.
     
  8. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    Just that I learned that cars can fall on you...having a car up on the jack seems too untrustworthy. But come to think of it I do have a couple jack stands somewhere...but i also have a couple decent ramps and I do trust them with good chocks. And access to many tools.
     
  9. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Combining the ramps with a moderate hill will safely get it close enough to level.
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Best bet is a good jack and two solid jack stands. Ramps are difficult with Prius because it’s so low, and you can’t use them for brake work or tire rotation. They take up a lot of space in the garage.

    It is dangerous to get under a jacked car, because the rubber seal in a hydraulic jack can fail at any time. So you always use proper jack stands and you test the car once it’s on the stands to make sure it’s solid. Cinder blocks can fail. Make sure you’re in a solid, level cement surface, not on a slanted driveway or dirt which can sink. Those are the basics.
     
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  11. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    Thanks Mendel, good advice.

    I decided to drive over to the parts store to see if they would reset the codes for me, and then see how long it took the check light to come back on. The car still runs very smoothly. But it was very dirty from driving on gravel roads so I stopped by a wash-it-yourself place and hosed off most of the dirt. When I started the car again the light was off. So, washing the car clears the misfire series.

    Seriously...I guess this is one of the cases like loose gas cap where the code clears after three or four 20 minute trips. Going to get the oil changed at the dealer because they had a good coupon...$145 for three oil changes and tire rotations. Then think about what to do. I did get the EGR letter from Toyota way back but at the time the bad dealer I used to go to said they couldn’t reproduce the problem, and at 160k I’m way out of warranty.

    I did read threads about taking off the EGR to check the pipe and it looked like something I could screw up....some bolts hard to reach and I could damage it if I don’t do it just right. I read somewhere about just assuming it’s dirty, getting a replacement part all cleaned and ready to go, and having the mechanic just swap it out.

    I do use only top tier gas, drive like an old lady, and the vast majority of drives are 25 to 50 miles at a time, mostly on the freeway, so maybe there’s a chance it’s not too gunked up and could be cleaned with a BG treatment. Does that work on a really sludged up EGR system or is that more of a preventative thing?
     
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  12. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    Got no cement. Gravel driveway but it’s compacted pretty hard at this point. Could put down piece of 3/4 plywood maybe?
     
  13. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Being a Prius owner and an employee of aforementioned parts store, the “fix finder” tool we use is not hybrid aware. That having been said, it is effective at reading the “basic” error codes. At 160k, I would clean the EGR/intake, change the plugs and coils, due to the labor involved to get there. Then I would change the oil, sticking with the 0-20. I would check the oil every 500 miles until I have a measurable loss of oil. That gives a baseline.
     
  14. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    The spark plugs were changed a couple years ago at 120k miles...and after reading and watching videos there’s no way I will attempt to remove the EGR and clean it myself. As a substitute, there’s a local-ish shop on BK’s authorized list that can do the Fuel Injector Cleaning for $153. Is that the typical price? And is it better than just adding BK 44 to the gas now and then? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?
     
  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Never done the fuel injection service from BG, but the 44k I use annually;).

    That’s all I’ve needed(y).
     
  16. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    Where do you get BK products? I see them for sale on Amazon but BKs website is pretty insistent that they don’t sell to consumers. Are there counterfeit versions being sold?
     
  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Nope;).

    I buy from Amazon:).

    It ain’t fake(y).
     
  18. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    No amount of BG snake oil is going to fix an active misfire. These are maintenance products at best.

    You need to have your car diagnosed to determine the reason for the misfire. Either the intake manifold is clogged, the EGR cooler and valve are clogged or the head gasket has failed. A single cyl misfire is unlikely to be an EGR issue, but a random one could be.


    iPhone ? Pro
     
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  19. kentuckienne

    kentuckienne Junior Member

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    It’s such an infrequent problem that it will be difficult to diagnose cheaply. The EGR is a good bet since I did get a letter from Toyota about it, meaning my car is one of the ones with poor IM design. If it were an active consistent problem maybe a mechanic could guess right the first time. Otherwise it’s “let’s start with the injector since that’s cheapest “ then “oh that wasn’t it let’s replace the EGR” to “well maybe it’s the head gasket, let’s take the engine apart to see”. I hate intermittent problems. Thus should have been fixed the first time I complained about it two years ago but at the time that dealer “couldn’t verify the issue”. Maybe I’ll write to Toyota. I did that years ago when a part of my Sienna failed because of poor design. Went up the food chain with no luck until finally I wrote directly to the company president who told someone “take care of this”.
     
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