Don't Buy a 3rd Gen Prius! - Blown headgasket at 233k

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Absalom, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Like the original poster, I want to roll the entire odometer on this vehicle before the entire car rolls over.
     
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  2. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    And it will, with a new head gasket.
     
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  3. Absalom

    Absalom Junior Member

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    And a new HV battery, inverter, EGR cooler, etc.

    Not to sound like a broken record, but HGs aren't a consumable and shouldn't blow unless the motor is overheated. And a quick Google search will show that my experience is far from rare.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I also like how they hang around jawing, after applying the form-in-place gasket (are we talking about the same thing?): the clock is ticking, lol.

    Maybe Toyota exaggerates, but they recommend to have the cover back on by FIP application +3 minutes, and all bolts torqued by +15 minutes.

    Sniping aside, a lot of good tips in the video, by guys that have done a few.
     
  5. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Well if you do a search you will also see there are plenty of Gen 3’s that have gone 300k miles with no major problems. Toyota builds some of the best cars out there and getting to 230k plus miles, with very little cost for repairs is amazing.
     
  6. 4est

    4est Active Member

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    Egr cooler causes most hg problems I think

    You must clean it every 100k km
     
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  7. Maarten28

    Maarten28 Active Member

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    Have you had it since new? 233k is a respectable age. I would not complain if my car reaches that. Still 117k and some 10 years to go then.
     
  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    You say you’re all about maintenance, so when did you swap out:
    • engine water pump?
    • Inverter water pump?
    • Thermostat replacement?
    • Egr circuit cleanse?
    • Hv battery maintenance?
    • Trans axle fluid drain and fill?
    Some of the above apply to non hybrid cars and would have been required to be done well before 233 k miles. Every car has quirks and things that need to be done to it for it to last;).

    Before we got the wife’s 2017 RX450h, we had a 98 4runner with 263k miles when we sold it:).

    But it had valve cover leaks and I had to replace one of the rear axle seals. It didn’t burn oil, but there were things that I did off the maintenance schedule and still got good life out of the car;).

    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
  9. Borninblue

    Borninblue Active Member

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    We need to know if you cleaned the EGR cooler, intake manifold and valve. This seems to always be the culprit. Also, how much oil was she drinking at the time it blew?
     
  10. Dr.Nerd

    Dr.Nerd New Member

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    Yep I agree with bisco " ... times are changing"
     
  11. Absalom

    Absalom Junior Member

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    I never got the chance. I had the car all of 2-3 weeks, and spent the majority of that time trouble-shooting and diagnosing the failing HV battery. And trust me, I was extremely excited to tackle the above list. In fairness to Toyota, I can't speak to the maintenance schedule realized by the PO. But in the wake of the blown HG, it doesn't stop me from irrationally annoyed with anyone or anything that ever had anything to do with the vehicle.

    The posted video makes doing a HG look fun n' easy on these cars! So since I was planning on scrapping the motor anyways, I've decided to order OEM HG, straight edge, and feeler gauges. I'm fully expecting a squashed rod in cylinder 2, so I imagine I'll just end up yanking the motor anyways.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    There's a little more prep involved, but not bad. You'll want to pull off the wipers, their motors/linkage and the metal cowl below, the engine underpanel, and the plastic panelling in the front passenger wheel well. And of course drain coolant.
     
  13. Absalom

    Absalom Junior Member

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    Cool, so an extra 20 minutes. The thing that worries me most is my local Toyota dealer having connecting rods on hand.

    Also, is it an acceptable risk to reuse the TTY bolts just once? :)
     
  14. Borninblue

    Borninblue Active Member

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    Boom—you will likely find your cooler and valve blocked. There lies your head gasket likely failure.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    And Toyota's pretty quiet on the subject. :rolleyes:

    They have a too-little-too-late TSB on the subject, with the phrase "While the majority of vehicles will not experience this problem...".

    IMG_0037.JPG
     
    #35 Mendel Leisk, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    He didn’t respond to my reply regarding to maintenance. Just wondering if even with proper maintenance, will the head gasket go bad to the bone.
     
  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Long as car is out of warranty and no one will die or safety is not jeopardy, they ain’t budging.
     
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  18. Absalom

    Absalom Junior Member

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    Sorry, I should have been more specific, I cleaned out the EGR (the entire pathway) about 1,200 miles before the HG blew. BUUUT, the EGR was nearly completely occluded, and I know for a fact that there was some blockage remaining even upon reassembly. This time I'll try the #20 AWG copper wire in a drill trick before completing the HG replacement.
     
  19. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Other than coolant replacements, maintenance has zero impact on this issue. Oil changes will not affect the lifespan of the headgasket.

    The EGR issue is heavily debatable. I don’t want to sidetrack this discussion too much more than it already has...
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Try Oxi-Clean soaks, use the hottest tap water you can get, dissolve powdered Oxi as much as possible, cork one end of the cooler, fill it with the solution and let soak about an hour. It'll work on the carbon, bubble it off. Rinse and repeat about 1/2 dozen times.

    upload_2019-2-14_12-51-46.png
     
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