Gen2-3 prius with over 100k: Check your Oil in between changes!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by 3prongpaul, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. 3prongpaul

    3prongpaul Hybrid Shop Owner, worked on 100's of Prius's

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    If your Gen2 (or Gen3) has over 100k miles check your oil every 2000 to 3000 miles and top up if necessary.

    Many of these cars become "oil burners" and people don't realize until they run out of oil and destroy their engine. (you won't see blue smoke out of the tailpipe because the Catalytic Converter "scrubs" the exhaust) However, over time you will plug up and/or destroy the Cat.

    About 70% of Gen2s that come into my shop are down at least 1 quart. Some have as little as 1 quart in them, and there's no magical fix to reduce oil consumption. (at least yet, we're trying different treatments but have not found something that truly works all the time)

    Interestingly the Gen1 engine (which is the same block of the Gen2) does not have this problem.
     
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  2. Texas Hybrid Batteries

    Texas Hybrid Batteries Senior Member

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    Paul,
    I've noticed the same thing here in Texas. I've gotten in the habit of checking the oil level in every car that I work as well as warning the customers to watch out for it. Does anybody know yet why this has been happening? I could be wrong but I feel like there is a connection between MPG and the oil usage. The owners that are still getting upwards of 50 mpg don't report any oil usage and the ones that do use a lot of oil normally are getting 40-43 mpg. All 05-07 models between 140 and 200 K miles. My personal car has 260,000 miles and uses about 1 qt every 3000 miles. I'm considering pulling the engine and replacing the rings, maybe even over sizing them a little if it needs it. Have you guys considered that? I'm really interested to see if it would fix the problem before I end up needing a new cat, maybe it would improve the gas mileage as well. Anybodies thoughts on this matter would be welcome.

    Matt
     
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  3. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    1 qt every 3000 miles? That's acceptable for a high mileage vehicle. Why bother pulling the engine with oil consumption that low. If engine oil was $50 a quart, I could see it.

    My 05 burns oil at that rate and has been for a long time. I will keep topping up until the OC is 1 qt every 1000 miles. Then I might consider putting in a newer engine.
     
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  4. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Member

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    On the other side, my 2006 has 197,+++ miles and I do not have to add a half quart per 10,000 miles. Currently using Mobil 1 5W30. So there are some of these engines that are not consuming much oil in their older age.
    TomK
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    With 3 decades of Hondas it was very normal to have to top up the oil between changes, maybe 1/2 liter at the most, with oil change intervals shorter in the early years, up 9000~ kms with our last Civic Hybrid, with it's Maintenance Minder dictating the oil change time.

    Our 2010 with around 56,000 kms has been eerily reluctant to use ANY oil. I've been changing it every 6 months, around 5000~6000 km's (Canadian Schedule), and have yet to do any top up between changes.

    I do check it, once a month at the most, and yes, very good idea. At the oil change I'll set it at the top mark on dipstick (4.2 liters with filter canister drained), and when checked close to the next change time, it's starting to drop slightly, say 1/8", maybe a 1/4". Can't complain.
     
  6. CBarr31

    CBarr31 Active Member

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    Paul,

    I am sure everyone on PriusChat appreciates this being brought to attention again. It is easy for new owners to think that Prii are indestructible because of their excellent history but burning oil and headlights for the GenII are a weak link. Below are the two "Oil Burning" threads I follow and have posted in. Both go into a lot of detail on attempted fixes. Some have good results with one product some with others but there doesn't seem to be a magic bullet at all. Personally for me and Ema the best solution has been a switch to non-ethanol gas.

    Good luck and please keep us informed on what you find.

    2008 Prius - burning oil at 135,000 miles | PriusChat

    Burning oil at same rate regardless of oil thickness --- What does it tell us? | PriusChat

    Happy driving,
    Chris
     
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  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well I'm not going to go 10k miles between oil changes, that's just asking for trouble
     
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  8. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Member

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    With long OCI spend some time on bobistheoilguy.com as many of those members have done testing with oils and many having great results. I know, this is my first experience with this length of miles but so far so good as I check weekly for color. It comes out brown and not black. May get an analysis as this will for sure tell me the health of the engine. I think it is brownstone labs or something and they do it for about $25. Usually do the OCI at between 5 and 7,000.
     
  9. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    LOL right idea, wrong color: Blackstone Labs
     
  10. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Member

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    Swing and a miss, must have been listening to some old Guns and Roses. At least I was close! :)
    TomK
     
  11. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    my 2005 is the same, 267,000 miles. 1 qt every 3000 miles. Can't really complain! although i did wish we knew why prii start using oil at 150k
     
  12. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    I burn about 1qt every 2,000 - 3,000 miles. I use synthetic 0W-20, get about 40-45 mpg on average but I also mainly drive in highway rush-hour traffic (about 70+ miles one way / 140+ miles per day), it's either completely stop and go (stop, go, stop, go, STOP!!!!! Screech! - Whew! Just missed having an accident; Now, GO GO GO!!!), or constantly moving at 80 mph and you don't dare slow down or you'll get run over...
     
    #12 Daves09prius, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  13. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Member

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    Wait, a Prius can go 80 mph?
    TomK
     
  14. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    when I said 80 mpg, It's really 85 and yes the Prius can actually go 105, without any problems getting it up to speed... You should try it sometime. :)
     
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