Curses! they overfilled my Gen III too!

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Gadgetdad, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    Precisely so! Ironically, I had told the service rep to use only 4 quarts and, "I guess they don't have to worry about overfilling the new Prius as the old model needed 3.5 quarts and the new only takes 4!" So I was surprised when the bill stated 5 quarts. The owners manual said 4.4. with oil filter change so I figured they kept the remaining .6 of the 5 they used and next time I would ask for the remainder for topping off if needed. Now I doubt I will have a "next time" at that servicing dealer.

    I do have one of those suction pump devices for oil removal via the dipstick, but I would rather have the dealer service department do that and note in the vehicle history log the error made on their part.

    I do hope Toyota gets the message that PriusChat users adore the Prius but I have rarely seen positive posts about the service departments and their understanding of Toyota's fine car!

    Lee
     
  2. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    Guys, by reading some of the posts here, it seems in the US changing the oil on the Prius, or any other car for that matter, is a mess - I have never heard anybody here in EU that had their oil change being screwed up by authorised dealers (may it be manufacturer's dealers or approved private mechanics). Not only, I think that you void your warranty if you change oil by yourself and the biggest problem in any case is the recycling of the oil. You simply cannot dump it and you need to take it to special collection places for recycling and proper disposal - so changing the oil privately is something practlcally nobody ever does here and no dealer has really ever screwed up.
    The only thing people do themselves, is adding oil every now and then, but all latest cars (say, in the past 5 years) don't really need any topping off before getting serviced.
    And yes, the first oil change in EU for the Prius is 15000km (9300mi), not 5000mi....
     
  3. Boji

    Boji Junior Member

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    That's a great trick--thanks for that! I saw some of these pumps at the dollar store actually.
     
  4. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    In the U.S. they are not allowed to deny you warranty coverage for work that you've done yourself (oil changes and the like if you used comparable parts) unless they can prove that what you used was the cause of the failure.

    In the U.S. all of the shops are required to accept oil for recycling and there is no charge. You have to sign a sheet then pour your fluids into the waste container.

    Dumping your oil in the U.S. is illegal. So is dumping tires, lead acid batteries, and the like. Tires and batteries tend to have some sort of disposal fee (although some places have taken lead acid gel cells for free.)
     
  5. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    So you underfill the oil...which is somehow better than overfilling it? :confused:
     
  6. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    The Rest of the Story:

    I took my overfilled Prius to the Dealer and asked to see the service manager. The original service rep. saw me and asked what was wrong and I told him. He couldn't understand how it could have been overfilled as he said he spoke personally to the technician who knew about the overfilling problem and was one of the best service men they had. He said they put the required amount in and it shouldn't be overfilled. No one had a good explanation for how it was overfilled. I suggested that not all the oil had drained out in the time frame alloted to the service.

    I just asked that they draw off a half quart but the service manager said that there was no suction pump tool in their shop and they would complementarily drain the oil and replace with new synthetic and with a new drain plug gasket. I explained to the Service Manager that some Prius owners are finicky about such details as overfilling and there had been problems associated with it. We agreed that on this change, and subsequent changes, they would only put in 4 quarts and let me top off as needed. I had them put in only 3 quarts and give me the 4th to note where the levels would be. The filter was not to be changed and the fill should only take 4 or less quarts.

    Sure enough, 3 quarts (without the filter change) showed on the low dot on the dipstick. Adding the 4th quart gradually and checking every so often filled to the top dot and left about 3 oz left in the quart.

    So here is my recommendation to those of us who wish someone else to do the oil changes: Have the tech add only 4 quarts with an oil and filter change. If they insist on the 5th quart because it calls for 4.4 quarts in the service manual, ask to have them leave the 5th quart in the car, and you will top off as necessary. Always check oil before leaving the premises so any overfill will be caught early.
    ..... or do the change yourself!!:rockon:

    Lee
     
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  7. devious1

    devious1 Tigers love pepper...

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    --

    Lee,

    Did this happen at Modesto Toyota? If so, who was your service advisor. Please PM me if you'd prefer.

    BTW, I have horror stories about both Modesto Toyota and Toyota Town (Stockton).

    Thanks,.

    Ed

    Thanks.

    Ed
     
  8. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    WRONG

    It is NOT underfilled. It is in fact in the middle of the required fill range. Underfilled would be if it was allowed to fall below the bottom mark on the dipstick. An underfill would come at somewhere around 2 quarts.

    Repeat after me: THERE IS NO SPECIFIC FILL QUANTITY. Instead the fill quantity should be in a range that puts the level between the over/under fill marks on the dipstick. There is some logic to keeping it in the middle/upper half of that range.

    I target about half way and an integer increment on the oil quantity. That makes it easy for all involved.

    Seems a waste of money to throw away an extra quart of synthetic every oil change, risk loss of warranty coverage, get lower gas mileage, and risk maintenance issues from an overfill. But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

    Gotta source for that? I've heard a lot of dealers/service depts./helplines tell me that they've "never heard of X" being a problem when in fact it was a known issue. Sometimes it was the 2nd or 3rd time I had seen the exact same failure or reported the problem...

    We know that there have been oil ingestion problems from overfills. They have been reported here before. If the engine was damaged from a dealer overfill I doubt the dealer would rush to tell you. They would be more likely to call it a failure by Toyota.

    Even more interesting is the fact that if your oil if overfilled they can deny you warranty coverage if some internal engine problems develop. And if you overfill it yourself using Toyota's recommended quantity and get some oil ingestion, then you get to pay for the consequences.

    If you are getting more oil aspirated due to overfill, your catalytic converter and emissions sensors will likely fail sooner--and on your dime.

    I can tell you that my mileage improved when I went to center of the target range.
     
  9. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    The Prius is a wet sump, there is no oil pan that oil flows into and out of as the engine is stopped and started. The bottom of the crankshaft is very close to the top of the oil when it is cold and the oil expands as it heats. Too much oil and the crankshaft starts to drag in the oil.

    Hobbit's helpful picture:

    [​IMG]

    Brown area: normal. Red area: overfilled.

    No, you don't underfill the oil. You make sure it is between the low and MAX marks on the dipstick when measuring with the proper procedure - run it fully up to temperature, switch off, allow five minutes for oil to return to the sump, check the level. To check the level, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel (lint-free if possible), return it fully home and pull it back out. If you do this properly there shouldn't be much difference in the level around the stick and no confusion about what the level is.

    It's not hard to work out that if the level is above maximum, there's too much oil in it. Likewise if it's below
    minimum, there isn't enough.

    Maybe in the past, the seals were very leaky and a big range between maximum and minimum was necessary. Now, the seals are very good and there's nearly no oil consumption. Overfilling is more likely to damage the seals with excess oil pressure.
     
  10. paulemus

    paulemus New Member

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    Once we got a $500 bill for replacing oil seals on a Tercel. I think it was from overfilling by Jiffylube where my wife took it.
    For my Gen2 Prius, I had a free oil change at the dealer, and kept an eye on the technician who was, sure enought, going to overfill it. Since then I always did it myself with synthetic oil. It was a little bit of a tight reach because of ground clearance. Don't know about my Gen3 yet.
     
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