Has anyone else not....

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by bighouse, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    ..opened the hood on your car?

    My PIV is over a month old and, other than accidentally opening the hood latch when I picked it up at the dealership (parking brake release old habits)- which was promptly closed by a salesman who happened to be walking by- I've yet to ever open the engine hood.

    Guess I should go open it up and peek around, check the oil, etc...
     
  2. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    I would recommend everyone take a few minutes to familiarize yourselves with certain things under the hood -- mainly oil dipstick & fill, jumper cable connection points and washer fluid fill locations.

    And, for the love of all that's holy, please check your oil levels. That's an oil pressure light, not an oil level light -- you don't ever want to see that come on. ;)
     
  3. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Active Member

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    Yeah; the rule I learned is: as soon as you see the oil (pressure) light, you need to stop driving immediately. Pull the car over to the side of the road and wait for a tow truck. Do not drive to the next exit on the highway, do not drive to the service station down the block, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Any driving with the oil light on can seriously damage the engine.
     
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  4. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    I opened mine once I got home and the car was in the garage but that's because I had new parking light bulbs amongst other bulbs purchased that I needed to install. Otherwise, the Prius is thankfully one of those cars that you don't really need to pop the hood on too often.
     
  5. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    Fortunately, unless someone never changes the oil, they should not see this light come on in their Prius due to "oil consumption". Prii burn very little, if any, oil.

    Not like my 2001 Volkswagon Beetle, which burned 1 quart per 1000 miles when new.....thankfully, that car has gone on to the giant junkyard in the sky.

    For that and other reasons, I'll never, ever buy another Volkwagon.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    RTFM, page 420: "Oil consumption: Max 1.1 qt/600 miles, ..."

    If you didn't check, and your car consumes near the max, and you have damage, it isn't a warranty failure.
     
  7. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    Wow. If the car burns 5 quarts between 5000 mile oil changes, it is still necessary to change the oil. I would think you put in 1 quart per 1000 mils and the old oil will just burn away. :D Sort of the same reason you don't need to flush the gas tank because old gas gets used up.
     
  8. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    Ok, sun came out so I popped the hood, poked around with the Owner's Manual in hand and checked the oil. :)
     
  9. Defcon

    Defcon New Member

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    and????? the suspense is killing me. :)
     
  10. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    I have. Cover to cover. And all the other manuals that came with my Prius. And I always check my oil level religiously.

    My comment was not to imply that people should not check the oil level on their Prii between changes. I was just really making a side observation that in the experience of those on the forums, the Prius actually burns very little oil, not like my sad VW Beetle.

    Some who have Prii with over 100,000 miles have reported measureable oil consumption in a few cases. But I think that it was still very low, on the order of 1 quart per 5000 miles.
     
  11. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    That's a good observation, Rhino. One would almost think that I wouldn't have to change the oil on that VW Beetle with that kind of consumption.

    I did some research and found that the high oil consumption was "normal" for this VW engine! Even when it was brand new!

    However, not only did the car consume oil, but it also would trap a lot of moisture in the engine (a 2.0 L gasoline). This would produce a frothy, tan emulsion on the dip stick and around the inside of the oil cap. It wasn't a leak coming in from the antifreeze, but was caused by condensation. This in turn certainly didn't help the longevity of what oil didn't get burnt.

    It was really aggravating to drive around with a few quarts of oil always in the cargo area, so that I could keep the car topped off.

    Man, I really hated that car! Sooo glad it's gone.
     
  12. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    I had a 1999 new beetle that did the very same thing.
     
  13. octavia

    octavia Active Member

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    :eek:

    There's a way to pop the hood on a prius?

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    J/k of course... I'm sure there is a way. I just don't happen to know what it is.
     
  14. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    My last car was a 1990 Camry. I almost never topped up the oil between changes. I did oil changes at around 10,000km intervals. It used about 1 litre of oil in 10,000km. That car had 300,000km on it when I sold it. I was in the habit of lifting the hood after the first 500 to 600km of a long trip though as the oil level would drop on a long trip. The reason for this is that some fuel wash goes past the rings into the sump in stop and go, commute type driving. This is why some cars don't seem to use any oil at all when used around town. There is also some water condensation in the oil. High speed driving drives off the volatile fuel and water from the oil due to heat in the crank case. All piston engines use some oil by design, they would seize if they didn't. Even a very efficient car like the Prius has some fuel wash down the bores past the rings.
    This is also the reason you must, I mean MUST change the oil in your engine regularly even if you are putting a litre of oil in every 1000 miles. If you don't the contaminants in the oil, including the unburnt fuel would degrade the oil to a point where it would no longer be a lubricant, it in fact may become an abrasive and corrosive.

    My advice as an ignorant bird brained Aussie, when you get a car which is new to you, look around under the bonnet, check the oil, find the coolant reservoir and any drive belts so you know where they are. You might need to find these things on a dark night some time, it just might get you out of trouble.

    If the oil warning light comes on while driving, select neutral, switch off the engine and coast to the side of the road. Switch on hazard lights (4 way flashers). Carefully check the oil level, it may be very hot under the bonnet. If the oil is down check for signs of oil leaking. A good place to start is the back window, look for spots of oil on the window. Call road service and tell them if you are out of oil and wait. Ring ahead and tell them you will be late.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My comment was to spur the OP not to trust other's experience here, but to hustle and check his own. I often go fairly long intervals between oil level checks, but that is always based on experience with that specific vehicle. OP hasn't built up any experience with his yet.

    Long ago, a neighbor took delivery of a toy pickup, and didn't check any fluids right away. After noticing problems the next week, he finally checked, finding it very dangerously low. I believe he did have damage.

    My GenIII did burn a cup between 1st and 2nd changes.
     
  16. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    Point taken.
     
  17. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    That's good advice, Pat. But who's bonnet do I look under??

    I guess I'll have to go read the owner's manual. I wonder where that's kept...in the boot? :)

    All joking aside, that was a great explanation as to why you can't simply keep adding oil without changing it, in a car that has high consumption.

    Best wishes,
     
  18. radiocycle

    radiocycle Active Member

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    New parking light bulbs?? Had yours burned out already?
     
  19. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    In the 2007 owners manual, there is a statement that the oil level should be checked every time you add fuel; in reality I check every second or third fill up. I have had no measurable oil consumption in 32k miles.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    switched to brighter ones.
     
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