Coolant level: engine and inverter

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by sillylilwabbit, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. sillylilwabbit

    sillylilwabbit Active Member

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    2014 Prius Plug In (Gen 3) with 160k miles.

    Had my engine and inverter coolant replaced at the dealer (mechanic side job).

    Checked my coolant levels after it sat over night:

    Engine coolant is at the “low” level mark.

    Inverter is above the “F” level mark. (Approx a third of an inch above the “F” mark)

    Is that normal?

    Also had my brake fluid done:

    Does this look normal to you?

    Climate is Southern California if that makes a difference. IMG_3765.jpg
    IMG_3766.jpg
    IMG_3768.jpg
    IMG_3767.jpg




    The mechanic also sort of cleaned the engine bay (I think with a hose). I have read on the internet that he shouldn’t have done that.

    I tried googling the answer. All I got was DYI coolant flush and the amount coming out should be the same amount going in.

    The other item was coolant went below low, and add more coolant.


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  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Right after a change, you should make sure your engine coolant is at the F line. The mechanic may have started it there but sent you home with the system incompletely burped, and a couple bubbles found their way out later. So just top it back up to F and watch it for a while. Once the system's done burping, it should hold steady there for a long time. Any loss from F to L should be a multiple-year process.

    To top it off, you can use some of the excess fluid from the inverter loop. That doesn't need to be higher than F.

    If you lower it to F and later you notice it dropped further, it might also have had some burping left to do. Like the engine loop, once that's done, the (cold) coolant level should be very, very stable.

    That excess coolant from the inverter jug might even be as much as you really need to top up the engine coolant, which doesn't look very low to me. If you look closely, the F line is really just above that seam. L is some distance below it.

    Don't be led astray by the B line, which is up above F, but only ever used during the filling and burping process.
     
    #2 ChapmanF, Jul 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  3. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The brake fluid needs to be topped off.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    If it has not had a start up shake since the overhaul just add coolant but watch it carefully. Any further drop is a concern that should be addressed while you have an engine guarantee. Its not unheard of to have a replacement engine fail. For one thing, the replacements are usually used engines that have had some reconditioning. All bolt on parts are typically from the original engine.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Brake fluid level looks ok to me. It should only be at MAX if (1) all the brake pads are new and (2) the accumulator has been zeroed down to return fluid to the reservoir.

    It takes a little bit of planning to check the brake fluid level, because usually one will open the driver's door in order to pop the hood, so even if the fluid level had reached a mostly zeroed down level overnight, opening the door will have triggered the brake pump and the accumulator won't be zeroed when you look, and the level will be below MAX.

    And at 160k miles, unless brake pads were recently replaced, it will be normal for even the zeroed fluid level to be somewhat below MAX.
     
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  6. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I prefer to keep mine at the max level, as there is still space above that. Unlike engine oil. it just fine.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    ^ Yeah, this.

    When doing non-Techstream brake fluid replacements, I make note of the level at the outset (after driver's door has been opened), then aim to return it to that level at the conclusion.

    If you pop the hood first thing in morning, going into the car through the passenger side, you'll likely see the level up high. Then open driver's door and scoot back to the front, you'll see it dropping a good 1/2", accompanied by a whirring sound.

    And the pad thickness: pads get thinner, fluid level drops. Replace pads with new, fluid level goes back up.
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    No objection to a personal preference that's different from what the manual specifies, as long as readers are informed which is which.

    Toyota does specify zeroing down before checking the brake fluid level. There is a fair amount of head space in the reservoir. It probably doesn't hurt anything to "top off" during the lifetime of the pads; it can just end up above MAX when the pads are next replaced. If somebody topped off with pads near end-of-life and the accumulator not zeroed, that could be getting close to the available head space.

    In any case, any personal preferences aside, there's nothing in the photo to suggest the brake fluid "needs" to be topped off.
     
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  9. sillylilwabbit

    sillylilwabbit Active Member

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    Thanks to everyone who responded/posted.

    After 4 days since the fluid changes, the coolant and brake fluid levels were unchanged.

    Brake fluid: I did what mendal said about going through the passenger door and piping the hood. The level did change.

    Original photo going through the driver door:
    IMG_3767.jpg


    New photo going through passenger door (notice the yellow pen mark at the exact level of the brake fluid level marked by the mechanic):

    IMG_3773.jpg


    Also, the mechanic said I had 70% life left on the pads, front and back. Note: these are the original pads at 160k miles.

    I also moved some of the inverter coolant to the engine coolant.
    IMG_3774.jpg


    By the way, a little clarification: this is the original engine to the vehicle. The mechanic is a Toyota certified mechanic/tech. He did all this at the dealer as a side job. This probably explains why there is yellow markers all over the areas he touched/worked on.

    Once again, thanks for everyone’s help.


    iPhone ?
     
    #9 sillylilwabbit, Jul 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    I see your coolant level and raise you my coolant & brake fluid level.

    71322DFE-7BB7-46D5-8DA5-A9B8E746D2F7.jpeg

    E74B3F61-64EF-45C7-BF72-C8690BB22B3F.jpeg
     
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