HELP! No Acceleration, horrible shaking and sudden smell of rotten eggs... bad gas???

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by d4foster, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    Okay guys, I know there have been a lot of posts on this topic before but none of them have tackled this specific issue in the way that I am seeing it this morning. For starters, we have a 2010 Prius with about 135k miles. We just had the rear brakes serviced and an oil change completed last week. Here it goes...

    A few days ago, I ran my gas tank further than I ever had. I read a post once when we first got our Prius that said not to ever do that as the system is sensitive to any gunk in the tank and when we run it low like that, gunk can get into the engine and cause issues.
    - On Saturday I went to a cookout with a really low tank. My wife let me know just before I got into the car but I didn't have time to get gas so I figured I'd do it afterwards.
    - When I left the cookout I noticed some sputtering when I accelerated, which, at the time, I thought was me running out of gas because it really only occurred when the engine was engaged.
    - After getting gas the engine continued to sputter when engaged so I drove around for a bit, accelerated heavily in an attempt to force whatever was causing this to go through and out of the system. My thought at this point was that I ran my engine too low and gunk got into the engine...
    - When my wife got into the car this morning, she drove away with two of our kids and immediately came back. telling me that the engine was rattling ferociously at start and take off, especially at an incline but at no point could she really get going at all.
    - I got in the car and struggled to go around the block. When I stopped the car, there was a sudden smell of rotten eggs...
    -There are no warning lights or anything either... which I find a bit odd.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

    I've experienced the shaking on startup a few times. My solution was to simply restart my engine and it would go away. Never have I ever experienced anything like this before until I ran my gas tank too low on Saturday.

    I don't even think I could get the car to the mechanic without a tow at this point... I appreciate any information, tips or tricks.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Your catalytic converter has failed. This is now causing the production of hydrogen sulfide; rotten egg smell.

    Something caused the catalyst to fail- so there is another problem upstream. Left uncorrected it will repeat.
     
  3. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply! That makes sense, but wouldn't that cause a check engine light to engage?
     
  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Any dash lights?

    Cleaned the MAF sensor recently?

    I pulled the fuel pump out of our 2010 at 199k miles and here’s what it looked like:

    <a href="What did you do to ur Gen III Prius today???? | Page 862 | PriusChat">What did you do to ur Gen III Prius today????</a>

    So if you ran it low, I’d bet there’s more debris there to suck into the pumps intake.

    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
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  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Yes, I’d expect it to do that eventually, but the computer doesn’t always catch it before the driver notices.

    Are you certain the light works in your car? Have you checked for it during the lamp self-test when starting up?
     
  6. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    No dash lights at all. I appreciate the reply, that's sort of what I thought could be the issue but the catalytic converter comment from above through me for a bit of a loop because that should have caused a dash light to flash. Right?

    Could this debri cause all the shaking and lack of acceleration?

    When I took it for a spin around the block, literally every time the engine engaged it was barely drivable... in fact, to drive it at all I had to stop or disengage the engine so that I could use the battery power to just make it home.
     
  7. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    I just went outside and let it run for a bit and the check engine light came on. Now I need to get a code reader.
     
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  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    What’s the battery showing?

    I wouldn’t run the car anymore as the hv battery can only go so low before you’ll need to charge it outside of the car:cool:.

    The pump suction is probably plugged, but it could also plug the injectors :(.

    Worth looking into (y).
     
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It’s going to say P0420, catalyst below threshold efficiency. Completely generic error that is already known from first-hand evidence.

    Hopefully it will also say other things. Strongly recommend Toyota Techstream software on an old windows laptop to best read Prius-specific codes.

    Check the oil- you know it was full a few days ago. The car may be burning oil, which could have plugged up the catalyst. There may have also been a misfire problem. Unburnt fuel will easily plug a cat. Possibly a long-running occasional misfire? Bad spark plugs? Long history of bad fuel? Blown head gasket? These are just some possibilities that could have led to the current condition. It’ll need some detective work.
     
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Rotten Egg Smell...is classic symptom of failed catalytic converter.
    Once that happens, with a computer controlled vehicle like a Prius, you can expect any number of cascading codes and symptoms to manifest.

    But my guess is the core problem is the failed converter.

    Running low on gas, may of been the straw that broke the catalytic converters back.

    Caveat: This is an internet, sight unseen guess. But Catalytic Converter would be what I would expect.
     
  11. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Also check your gas cap to sure it’s on tight;).

    If the evap system can’t ensure it’s sealed, could also be an issue.

    Go for the low hanging fruit first(y).
     
  12. NewHybridOwner

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    A few months back we arrived home from a trip and found that the gas cap had not been replaced at all since filling up maybe 50 miles or more previously -- and the car had run just fine and with no warning indicators.
     
  13. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    Okay, so I got a code reader and checked the gas cap, my daughter "helped" me pump this tank so the gas cap issue was a definite possibility, but it was on nice and tight.

    The code reader found five codes

    P0304 - Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected (this code was found twice)
    P0300 - Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
    P0303 - Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected
    P07E8 - DTC Definitions not found! Please refer to vehicle service manual!

    I haven't looked up what the P07E8 code is yet.... I figured I'd be able to do an internet search and it came up empty? I'm going to grab the service manual now and see if I can find it. Any thoughts?
     
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  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Just know on the gas cap it says it’ll set a code if not installed properly ;).

    And we’ve seen it happen here :cool:.

    So YMMV(y).
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Okay, misfire codes. That’s a positive step; it’s supported by the drivability symptoms and they’ve probably been occurring for a long time without tripping the threshold for firing off the check engine lamp, as evidenced by the plugged cat.

    So there’s possibly a problem in the fuel system, fuel/air metering, ignition or head gasket, in addition to a plugged catalyst. Factory service manual should be able to carry you from there.
     
  16. d4foster

    d4foster Junior Member

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    Well this definitely supports my gunk theory... no? But the Factory Service Manual? Is this something i can get my hands on? I am a novice, obviously, but I appreciate your help. I wasn't able to find anywhere what that other code was either... which seems weird.

    Also, as an FYI, I just started it and took it around the block... but trip down the street and back was actually perfect. Acceleration was fine but then when I decided to test a longer route, it all went to crap again and I couldn't get the Prius past 25-30mph.
     
  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    $20 for 2 day subscription at:

    techinfo.toyota.com

    That’s the factory service manual:).

    Good luck and keep us posted(y).
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    You can rent the factory manual from Toyota, I think it’s still $20 for 2 days. You can download the PDFs and retain them for longer access, but it’s a huge chore to get all of them. Other carmakers do the same thing. I typically just rent it for when I need it, because it’s always being updated.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    If you were in London: make sure your insurance is up-to-date and full-coverage, and park in a shopping centre for a few hours, problem solved... :whistle:
     
    #19 Mendel Leisk, Sep 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  20. Slider2732

    Slider2732 Junior Member

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    ^ I'm sorry to all the affected Brits, but that was a coffee snorter all over the keyboard.
     
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