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Have you ever had your oil filter disappear? Where did it go?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Wonder, Jul 17, 2023.

  1. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    Help!
    I went to have my oil changed (I couldn't do it myself this time) and the service guys told me there was no oil filter in my car. I changed my oil last and do remember recognizing the filter I bought was a lil different and had no structure to it, only the paper filter.
    There was some oil loss and my level got quite low. 1qt to 1.5 low. I'm assuming the engine got hot since I figured this all out when my headlight was flickering real bad. When I added oil the headlight worked fine again.

    So my best guess is the filter melted? Which is scary to think its still within my system. The only other option is that the service place sucked it out with their pump they used to remove the oil. (There's a valve on my drain that they won't touch, installed by previous owner)
    It seems to have a small loss of power and running a little more rough. I haven't checked for codes yet... ill do that next and update.
     
  2. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    A cautionary tale for those who think they are saving money on non-OEM replacement parts!
    Oil Filter Cartridge.jpg
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    According to your avatar you have a 3rd gen Prius, with the plug-in option? (Note: your post is in 4th gen Prius with plug-in, aka “Prius Prime”)


    assuming you do have 3rd gen Prius with plug-in: the (stock) filter system has a paper-element-only filter housed in a permanent metal housing. Am I right so far? If so, my guess would be you neglected to install it. Or the oil change place is lying, but I can’t see a motivation for the latter.

    Maybe remove that, revert to stock drain bolt?


    So you added oil, got it back to or near top mark on dipstick? Around one and a half quarts?

    The headlight behaviour sounds like the engine struggling to run, and 12 volt supply struggling to supply sufficient power, but not sure.

    What’s the miles on it, and do you plug-in, run electric-only propulsion a lot, or mostly just run it like a regular (hybrid) Prius? How’s the engine coolant level in the reservoir, stable? Are there any warning lights lit on the dash?

    do post any codes you find. (y)
     
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  4. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I remember horror stories from BMW owners when the recommended oil change interval was 15,000 miles.

    Oil filters would disintegrate and the detritus would be sucked into the engine with disastrous results.
     
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  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And yet you went ahead and installed it anyway !!!!! :eek:

    I suggest that you STOP doing things that you don't fully understand.
    :(

    That "filter" probably was sucked up into your engine and oil pump
    and might cause a MAJOR problem.

    You may end up being very sorry that you did this just to save a couple of bucks.
     
  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with non-OEM replacement parts in most cases.......
    IF you have enough savvy to know not to go TOO cheap and can recognize
    something that is not right.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    this is going to be an interesting thread. what brand filter did you install?
     
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  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    It might be an absolutely terrible FRAM product or a cheap Chinese counterfeit knockoff of a brand name sold on eBay or Amazon.

    There is no need to buy anything but genuine Toyota filters from a dealer as they are most often discounted to the price of an aftermarket one.
     
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  9. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    They have the toy brand filter at Walmart.
     
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  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    More than once I just about reinstalled the oil filter housing without the filter. Between that and hassle of dealing with the system, I eventually converted it to spin-on.

    This is my day for Occam's Razor, don't think think there's any way the filter would "vapourize" and suck up into the engine. User error happened here.

    There was a guy here a few years back, with a new (gen 3 I think) Prius, and after the gratis oil changes at dealership, did his first DIY oil change, and yup: no oil filter in there. He raised a stink at dealership. They acknowledged the ramifications, that there could be signifiicant engine damage, running at least one full oil cycle without a filter. Food for thought?
     
    #10 Mendel Leisk, Jul 18, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2023
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  11. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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  12. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    I'm not sure. It was the only one Advanced Auto had at the time. It wasn't necessarily cheap.
     
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  13. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    I do have the 3rd generation plug in and have had to run it like a regular hybrid. I did install the oil filter correctly and when noticed the oil level being so low I added oil then the oil level didn't drop as quick after that. I don't drive my car daily and it was a couple weeks after oil level low that I got it changed. I would have done it myself had I not been having health issues.
     
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  14. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    Sorry about posting in the wrong place. I was looking for a general help area since I felt this to be a maintenance issue and not a model issue.
     
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  15. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    Yes. Am worried
    There were no codes from this incident. (Odly) and it has 250k+ miles.
     
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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    A quarter million miles on a third generation engine means you have gotten well more than your moneys worth.
    My 2012 engine has 30,000 miles and I’m already having trouble
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Have you owned it since new?

    With what frequency do you have the oil changed?
    Do you normally have to add oil between changes?
     
  18. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    Resulting from the oil change - they didn't put oil filter clip back in place and oil filter case has oil drop under it. I discovered this due to protective cover dragging on ground in which when I put up on ramps I reapplied 5 plastic clips to empty spots. I have a clip kit and had replaced any old or missing clips (forgot what their called) to underneath my vehicle when I did my oil change last. I checked my oil and it was over full. I specifically asked them to please don't over fill that it could blow gaskets and changes viscosity of the oil. Then last night I check the oil again after driving 20 min to a mechanic friend and allowed to settle and it's at halfway point between dots. In addition to that there is an obvious leak of oil coating my engine now. It was a little dirty before and now it's noticeably worse. I am not sure how to handle all this. It's obvious the oil service people did a horrible job. So do I need to confront the service center first or bring store management into it first. What demands do I make to fix the issue? It's a Walmart auto care center. (I know it was dumb to take my car and trust it with anybody really and especially walmart. But these bad employees are everywhere, not just walmart) this is a different issue then my original post but it all applies to my engine oil. My mother and I need my cat to drive to San Diego on the 27th and I can't loose my car. Do I need to flush the engine? How do I handle walmart? I have a trusted mechanic friend that is very busy that works in a shop that I can take the work to. I'm sure it'll be costly and will have to put on credit. Still better then car breaking.
    Would my engine throw a code if the filter was to desolve and plug a small passage? Will flushing the engine help clear out any dissolved filter? I wish I could do test to see if filters would dissolve at a certain temperature. Any suggestions will be considered. I appreciate all of you and suggestions.
     
  19. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    No, I have changed oil at intervals suggested by car light. Previous owner was very good and prompt on all services car needed. And did some things that are weak on this generation before they were an issue since it was his wife's car.
     
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  20. Wonder

    Wonder Junior Member

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    The problem with the thought of me not actually putting the oil filter back in there is where did it go then? I am capable of admitting when I'm wrong and believe not having put it back in would have the better outcome of the 2 options. I wish this thing had a temp gauge on it. I had made a long trip (300+ miles) after my oil change that I did myself and I had this change done only since the oil had gotten hot when low, smelled burnt and viscosity seemed different. So I knew it needed changed again before our 500+ mile trip.