Gen3 head gasket tech recommendations

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by thechuckster, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I have a 2010 Toyota Prius with a blown head gasket. The original engine died at 225k and I put a second engine in, my mechanic now says that unfortunately the head gasket is leaking at 260k. To make matters worse the second engine warranty has expired.

    **Currently there is no coolant in oil and no smoke from the exhaust. There is a small amount of white smoke coming from the engine, plus that knocking sound when the car is first started.**

    My 2010 Prius 4 with solar package is in excellent condition inside and out (garage kept). Looking for mechanic recommendations in the northern Pennsylvania area, I want to get a second opinion on the engine. I'm really looking for a Prius specialist if possible. Any recommendations?

    If I have to let this car go I will, but I want to see if an economical repair is possible.

    Thanks in advance for any comments.
     
    #1 thechuckster, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    11,137
    15,245
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    Northern Pennsylvania is a pretty large area. Are you more near the Scranton side or the Bradford/ Erie side? Or somewhere in the middle around Mansfield?

    Sorry to hear about your Prius :(.

    How many miles were on the replacement engine that was put in? Where did that engine come from? Any other issues with your Prius?

    Keep us posted (y).
     
  3. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four

    Thanks for the reply... I'm near Stroudsburg / Saylorsburg area, about an hour south of Scranton PA.

    My mechanic got the engine from a salvage yard with 54,000 miles on it with a 90 day warranty. The cost for the engine was $2450 and the labor was $1317. I feel like I got ripped off since the head gasket blew 6 months later. I was expecting to get at least 50k on the replacement engine. I know the engine cost was a little high but I trusted my mechanic, he has saved me a lot of money (vs the dealer) on my other vehicles and he does pretty good work.

    My original Prius engine blew a head gasket at 256,147 miles, that is when I got the used engine installed. Other than typical maintenance, I have had no problems with my 2010 prius. I guess that is why I love the car so much, I am the second owner and put 230,147 miles on it.

    I stuck in a debate with myself to get the engine fixed or scrap the car. :( What makes it worse is that the body and the interior of the car are in excellent condition, the car was garage kept.

    Front Driver Side Corner.jpg Front Passenger Side Corner.jpg
     
    #3 thechuckster, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2018
    Aaron Vitolins and Raytheeagle like this.
  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    11,137
    15,245
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    She looks good:).

    My folks live in a little town about 40 minutes north and west of Wilkes-Barre, so I know the area a bit;).

    If you’re willing to talk to some folks in the hybrid repair business, here are 2 options:

    https://www.jimsautocaregroup.com/auto-service-and-repair/hybrid-auto-repair/

    Hybrid Repair Shop - Country Road Auto, Lincoln Park, NJ

    Now for some questions:
    • How did your mechanic diagnose a failed head gasket?
    • Are there any dash lights?
    • Have you noticed any difference in performance?
    • How is the gas mileage?
    • Does this new engine burn any oil?
    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
    thechuckster and SFO like this.
  5. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    114
    50
    1
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    As part of the engine replacement, what was done to the EGR cooler?
     
    thechuckster likes this.
  6. Bgustafson

    Bgustafson Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    259
    222
    4
    Location:
    Chicago
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Persona
    I don't have any answers for you, but man.... I so feel your pain. I recently had to let go of my 2006 Trim 5 which was in immaculate condition at only 180k. In hindsight, I really wish I could've found a competent mechanic like you're looking for to keep it going. I believe it ended up being a minor fix after thousands of dollars of diagnostic costs by Toyota and another mechanic. (I donated it) So I applaud your efforts to revive it! Just seems like such a waste to throw away such a perfectly good car, in many respects.
     
    #6 Bgustafson, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  7. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    1,611
    1,132
    0
    Location:
    Franklin TN
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    That seems very high for the used engine price. My sister bought a used 2012 Prius plug-in engine with 45k for only $1000. Her silver 2010 blew it's head gasket too.
     
  8. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    935
    854
    2
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Why are we replacing engines when a head gasket fails? A head gasket is a relatively minor repair.
     
  9. Erik Owens

    Erik Owens Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2018
    162
    59
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Take it to the dealer and normally it would be a decent repair for the head but if you start grinding down flush on some of our engines then you change engine measurement geometry that will due damage. Like I stated prior take it to the dealer or an experienced independent facility that knows what they are talking about.
     
    thechuckster likes this.
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    14,245
    10,067
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Doing it well is more of a challenge than you might think. Much of the gasketing on the engine is FIPG, which will challenge you to get a proper, uncontaminated bead of the right dimensions laid down all within the few minutes of working time allowed in the tight quarters with the engine in place, and valve adjustment on the 1NZ is done by select fitting from 35 different sizes of bucket lifter, rather impractical outside the factory. (2ZR improved on that part, anyway.)

    It's just a matter of adding up what you need to buy plus your price for labor and frustration, for both a cramped in-place head replacement and a straightforward engine swap, and the engines are available for cheap, so you see people choosing that route.

    As this is a Gen 3 thread, the engine is 2ZR, the valve adjustment is less of a hassle than in Gen 1 and 2, and the engines aren't as cheaply available either, so some people also choose to take on the repair. It's a matter of your comfort level.

    -Chap
     
    tvpierce and thechuckster like this.
  11. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    1,611
    1,132
    0
    Location:
    Franklin TN
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    In our case, it drank tons of oil, and we didn't know what kinda long term damage it did to all of thoes rough starts, and coolant in the oil. Our engine was just a dog, it got bad fuel economy before the headgasket ever failed too. I think it was just wore out.
     
    tvpierce and thechuckster like this.
  12. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Thanks so much for the recommendation and tips, I really appreciate it. I will give your 2 options a call and possibly setup an appointment to have them look at the vehicle.

    Answers to your questions:
    • I don't exactly know how my mechanic diagnosed the failed head gasket but I will find out tomorrow morning.
    • The CEL light came on when my son was driving the car and then it started to lose power upon high acceleration. No mayo or milk in the oil, but there is white smoke from the back of engine if you open up the hood. The smoke stops when the engine is not running, no smoke from the exhaust.
    • The CEL light does blink upon fast acceleration.
    • The new engine does not burn any oil.
    Thank again for your response and I will keep you posted.:)
     
    #12 thechuckster, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2018
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    11,137
    15,245
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    White smoke from the engine bay if you look under the hood:whistle:?

    Now more questions :):
    • How many miles since the new engine was put in?
    • Have you seen this before from the engine, or what prompted the look under the hood?
    • Do you smell gas under the hood or in the Prius when you are in it?
    It sounds to me like there might be something on the block that is burning off as the tailpipe doesn’t show the same behavior. Post the diagnosis once you have it on the head gasket “failure”.

    If there is a check engine light, all you need is a cheap code reader or head to the local autozone as they can read the code for free;).

    Post the codes here once you have it:).

    Keep us posted (y).
     
    #13 Raytheeagle, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    thechuckster and SFO like this.
  14. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    935
    854
    2
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I see what you're saying. I guess to me, the HG seems like a reasonable job -- I'm tooled up for it, and I have the experience. I've never done an engine swap, so in my mind that's a bigger job. But it's probably 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

    Thanks for taking the time to post that info.
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  15. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I put 15k on the replacement engine before the gasket started to leak.

    I opened the hood to check the engine for two reasons:

    -Violent shaking / "clanking" upon the engine starting, would only last for about 10 seconds then disappear

    -Strong smell of fumes from time-to-time in the cabin of the car

    Got the CEL codes

    P0300
    P0302
    P0304

    Cylinder misfires one random, cylinder 2 & 4

    Btw, the car drove home without any white smoke (from the back of the engine). Temporary (slight) loss of power under hard acceleration, but it does disappear when "easing off" the accelerator pedal. Oil is still clean.

    Slight smell of antifreeze was still apparent, going for a second opinion soon.

    I thank everyone for their comments to this thread
     
    #15 thechuckster, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2018
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,916
    7,631
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Either the mechanic bought a bad engine with tons of miles on it (maybe there's a vin on the engine you can look up?), or the mechanic tried fixing your old engine and said he replaced it.

    Either way, 6 months a way too little time to have a repeat occurrence
     
    thechuckster and Raytheeagle like this.
  17. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I agree 100%... I'm pretty sure he got a bad engine with tons of miles on it. I can clearly see the VIN on the engine, time to do some research.

    I may try a bottle of gasket stop leak after I get a second opinion. If that doesn't work, I will seek new engine prices from the shops recommend in this thread. Looking to hold on to this car for about another year or two maximum.


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    Raytheeagle and Aaron Vitolins like this.
  18. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,916
    7,631
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    You can run a carfax or log onto Toyota.com owner's portal and look up the maintenance history of that VIN. If you find the engine is not the mileage the mechanic quoted you, then you have a little leverage in having him warranty it.
     
    thechuckster likes this.
  19. Tanman

    Tanman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    2
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Please get the second opinion before you add the K seal. You don’t want to add this stuff to a good engine.
     
    #19 Tanman, May 1, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2018
    thechuckster likes this.
  20. thechuckster

    thechuckster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    17
    6
    0
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Thanks for the advice. I am going to (gently) drive to the car to another shop for a 2nd opinion. The car drive ok as long as you don't hammer the accelerator pedal.
     
Loading...