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Does driving in PWR mode increase chances of blowing head gasket?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by elmofongo, Mar 29, 2022.

  1. elmofongo

    elmofongo Member

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    This might be a silly question but I always wondered if keeping it in PWR mode increases the likelihood of blowing the head gasket on my 2013 Prius.
     
  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The engine and its ECM don't even know whether you are in PWR mode or not. The ECM just gets requests (give me yea much power please) from the power management control ECU, and that ECU knows which mode you've selected and how far you're pressing the pedal, and sends a request to the engine based on both.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we don't know why some cars blow their tops, and some don't. there are theories though
     
  5. nicoj36

    nicoj36 Active Member

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    Look, if you already have high mileage and ya haven't cleaned your EGR, intake manifold, and throttle body. Just drive slowly and easy on that gas pedal. Don't put stress on your engine.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    Going 150k miles without Exhaust Gas Recirculation clean out will do it reliably.
     
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  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Except when it doesn't.
     
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  8. Kevdo1

    Kevdo1 New Member

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    Hey i need your professional opinion, so prius are known to have bad head gasket, but i read online that my year and up, they revised so made it better i guess, but sometimes especially cold starts the engine shakes and rattles like it’s knocking for a few secs and goes away, half of the people say it’s just the egr valve and the intake manifold it connects to just needs to be cleaned out of all the black carbon build up, the other half says it’s a bad head gasket leaking coolant into the combustion chamber and my engine is trying to get rid of it, but my coolant level is full and only goes down a lil when it’s warmed up after driving, and i also opened the cap and ran the car for a few mins and there’s no bubbling, it’s just calm, i check the dipstick and the oil is yellow but when i flip it to the other side, it has some dark red residue on it and sometimes it’s in pieces, it’s not sludgy or white or brown like i see in pics, I believe it’s the lucas oil additive the guy added into my oil, that’s why i see that stuff,But there is also condensation at the top of the coolant resevoir, like drops sticking to the top of the resevoir inside but i think that’s normal no?Also no codes or check engine or misfires, so what do you think?
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    exactly
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    insurance is often helpful, but not always necessary
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    My 2 cents: the head gasket failure causes the shakes at start-up, and the EGR clogging causes the head gasket failure.
     
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  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    There's probably a relationship between frequent power button use and an increased number of head gasket failures, but I'm thinking that it's not the power button itself. ;)
     
  13. nicoj36

    nicoj36 Active Member

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    Try Liquimoly oil saver additive. But clean your EGR, intake manifold, and throttle body.

     
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  14. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Using the power mode might affect the inverter, since there have been several recalls of software upgrades to the the ecu to detune the power feed to the inverter.

    Actually, I would be more concerned about the condition of the coolant for the engine. If it is degraded and acidic, it will actually "eat" away at the integrity of the head gasket. The 100k or 10 years change interval of the SLL coolant is actually too long in my opinion/ A 5 years interval might insure a longer head gasket life.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    At least after first change the interval is halved. Yeah maybe just go straight to the halved interval.
     
    #15 Mendel Leisk, Mar 31, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
  16. Kevdo1

    Kevdo1 New Member

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    I bought a head gasket kit and getting the egr system cleaned out also but how do I know for sure I don't have any bent rods? My car hasn't hydro locked and I don't see any symptoms of a bent rod, I probably won't know till I see the top of the cylinders
     
  17. Kevdo1

    Kevdo1 New Member

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    Will try that out! Thank you!
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    All I've heard is to check all the pistons at TDC, look for any that are slightly lower. You might be able to do this just dropping a dowel down each spark plug hole, cranking the engine by hand. Get the dowel as perpendicular as possible, bring the piston up, and mark the dowel with a very flat knife blade, while pressed against the valve cover. Hopefully you can eliminate vagaries enough to make it meaningful. Or: check with the cylinder head off, with the depth gauge on a caliper if need. Though I believe the top face of piston is virtually flush with the top of block, if ok.
     
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  19. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Weren't numerous cases of start-up "shakes" being reported here when the cars were nearly new, before head gasket failure was likely? There must be some additional, less ominous, cause.

    My recent anecdote for someone to explain:
    My Prius has only rarely exhibited the start-up "shakes," maybe 3 or 4 times in the ~87k miles I've owned it. Two days after a 415-mile trip, I was asked to move my car a very short distance in a driveway. Aware of the infamous tendency of Prius engines to misfire and shake on the following start after starting the engine without allowing it to warm up, I tried to make that move without starting the engine. However, the temperature was slightly too low for the EV mode button to work, and I wasn't quite quick enough, so the engine started and ran normally roughly two seconds before I could shut it off. I hoped such a very brief run time wouldn't provoke the issue. Wrong!! The next time I started it, the following day, it had the worst case of shakes ever. Since then (about 2 weeks, maybe ten cold starts) no more start-up shakes.
     
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  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    Yeah cold-start and quickly shut down was also implicated. I did get knock on start-up after doing that, one time. Maybe that scenario AND failing head gasket both tend to leave (uncompressible) liquid in the combustion chamber?

    I really wish Toyota had increased the roughly 15 second lag on engine start-up, to say 60 seconds, make driveway shuffles (without engine start-up) a lot less stressful.
     
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