HELP!! Toyota dealer says I need to replace the engine in my 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Gayle Tuch, May 21, 2017.

  1. Gayle Tuch

    Gayle Tuch New Member

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    Hi everyone! I am new to this forum, but had my Prius since it was new (2010).
    I took my car to the dealer because the ! light came on when I would turn a corner and then go off. My car only got 34 mpg on the recent tank of gas. (YIKES!) I planned to get an oil change in 500 miles so I asked the service manager to have the service department check the issue and change the oil since I was there. (The last time I took my car in was when the ! light went on around corners and they said the oil was a little low. They changed the oil and I can't recall what else was done. Obviously not a big deal. Previously, I had mentioned to this service manager that I had put a reservation on the Tesla Model 3 and planned to keep my Prius at least until I got my Tesla.)

    After the service department checked out my car, the service manager called to tell me that there was only 1/4 quart of oil in the car so it was a good thing I brought it in. He said that it needs an engine replacement. I asked why since I do everything right. He said it was hard to diagnose but there had been some RAV4s and Camrys where there was an issue with the pistons remaining open, but nothing with the Prius. (He said Toyota replaced the engines in those cars.) Until they get into the engine, there was really no way to know for sure. (He said maybe I would be buying that Tesla sooner than planned. Of course, the Model 3 is not yet released and it will be quite a while until it is available in NC.)

    I told him I really need to think about my options and asked if I could keep an eye on the oil level until I make a decision and he said yes. Has anyone heard of an issue like this with a Prius? I had planned to keep the car for 10 years (like my 1979 Toyota Celica) and am having a hard time believing that a Toyota would have this issue - even with 154,000 miles.


    Does anyone have any knowledge of this happening and what recommendations can you make? I don't want to get a used replacement engine for $2,000 plus labor.

    Thanks
    Gayle
     
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  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Yes, it's not uncommon for older Prii to burn/consume oil between changes. Monitoring and adding oil when the level gets low prevents operating the engine under low oil conditions which can cause catastrophic engine failures or permanent damage to internal components.
     
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  3. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Sounds like the dealer is being a bit vague. If the car drove in and drove out it does not NEED a new engine. It might in the future, but not RIGHT NOW.

    And the statement that, "until they get into the engine they won't know," is just BS. There are lot of tests that can be done to diagnose oil burning issues. "Open pistons???" What can that possibly mean? Take your car to an independent mechanic that specializes in Prius for a second opinion. Check the oil at every fill up and add when necessary.

    If you keep oil in the car so it stay lubricated, burning oil isn't really a huge issue. Running it low or completely out of oil, that is an issue.

    Best of luck.
     
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  4. scona

    scona Active Member

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    If you do a search on Prius chat there are numerous examples of Pri burning oil. Once it starts it continues and will probably at best stabilise. If you are not familiar with checking oil in your vehicle get someone to show you how and do it every time the gas tank is filled. Refill the oil whenever it is 1 quart low. The advice given about mechanics in previous replies is sound for peace of mind. Keep driving it and report back here if you need more advice. There are a great number of very informed people on this forum that are happy to provide you with good info. Good Luck.
     
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  5. Gayle Tuch

    Gayle Tuch New Member

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    Thanks for the answer.
     
  6. Gayle Tuch

    Gayle Tuch New Member

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    Thanks!
     
  7. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    First of all, you don't need a new engine. Your engine is burning oil. Just monitor every fuel up and add as needed.

    Second, 154k miles is a lot of miles. To expect zero problems in a 7 year old vehicle with that many miles is unrealistic. I doubt your 1979 Celica had zero issues through out it's 10 years with you. It likely you had some issues that require repairs/maintenance.

    Consider this, you burn a quart of oil every 2000 miles. (You said there was a 1/4 quart remaining so that's about the rate of consumption). A quart of oil is $5. That means it will cost you an extra $125 to drive another 50,000 miles to make your 10 year ownership. $125 vs $2000. Your choice. I know what I would recommend if I was your dealer.
     
  8. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    Good answers so far.

    You might be able to reduce the rate of oil usage by putting a slightly heavier weight oil......especially if they have been using something starting with a 0 or 5....0W20 or 5W20 for instance. Something like 10W30 or 10W40 designated for High Mileage engines might be worth a try.

    But DO check that oil.....often. Start out at every couple of days.
     
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  9. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    Agreed.

    Also look at it this way -- even if you really do need a new engine, the current engine still has life in it because it still gets you from point A to point B. Until that changes, why replace the engine? At this point you are playing with house money!
     
  10. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Hang with it Gayle!

    Personally, I don't think you can get service at a dealer now days (or make a purchase of a new car) without being lied to. I don't know how these service writers, techs, sales people and dealers live with themselves. I can't stand liars! When I bought my Prius I called both the sales person and the F&I guy liars to their face. Neither seemed bothered by it.

    Go figure.
     
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  11. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Senior Member

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    Good advice above from several folks. Just learn how to check your oil and add as needed. I think 1/2 quart down is the point to bring back to full rather than letting it get a whole quart down. That's half a bottle - and most brands have volume marks on the side to make it easy.
     
  12. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Buy the 5 quart jug of 0w20 for < $23 at Walmart (compare prices on line and in the store). As Sam said, going up a bit in viscosity may keep more of the oil in the crankcase longer but I wouldn't (and don't) buy more expensive oil.

    Gayle, there's a dipstick in the engine for a reason:



    When was the last time the tp (tire pressure) was checked? What tires are you running and what's the pressure?
     
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  13. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Junior Member

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    Don't understand an engine failure even at 154K miles. The engine uses synthetic oil, the engine does not work hard because it has the EVC , controlling the engine and the electric motor supporting the engine at all times. This makes no sense, you bought the car new, so I suspect you took good care of the thing.
     
  14. southjerseycraig

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    Excellent advice. I was down several quarts (stupid me!) but the car engine sounds fine. My dealer didn't even suggest doing anything about the engine. Maybe I did damage that will show up in the long run, but not yet. Should add that I am at 90,000 miles.
     
  15. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    Exactly what about it don't you understand ?
    Things break. Sometimes that happens when they are almost new.
     
  16. Bay Stater

    Bay Stater Senior Member

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    Consider using high mileage synthetic oil like 5W30, can help slow oil consumption.
     
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