History of overheating, do I have a bad head gasket now?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by suirPPrius123, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    217k miles, 2011 Prius with regular oil changes.

    About 6 months / 8,000 miles ago my car was overheating, it turns out it was a bad thermostat.

    I changed the thermostat and water pump, but not before the car had overheated about 6 times. Each time if the red thermometer overheat light came on, I pulled over immediately, but maybe I caused damage?

    For the past 2 weeks I have been getting the engine knocking at startup, and when accelerating from a stop sign or red light (it's worse while turning left and accelerating).

    I got check engine codes P0301, P0302, P0303.

    Is this all indicative of a blown head gasket? Is there something else it could be?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Your logic seems like its headed in the right direction... Probably time to do a compression test on the engine... Do you have any symptoms like loss of radiator fluid or smoke or radiator fluid smell at the exhaust?
     
  3. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    I don't have those other symptoms. I personally don't have the equipment to do a compression test, it might be time to take it to a mechanic who is gonna gouge me. I love my prius and don't want to send it to an early grave.
     
  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    If you let us know what part of USA you live in someone on here who lives near you might see this and be willing to help...
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Try switching cyl 1 and 4 coils. If cyl misfire codes don’t change, try leak-down test.
     
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  6. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    I am in the rio grande valley, in south texas.
     
  7. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    that's smart, thanks!
     
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  8. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    I took it to a mechanic, turns out it's a blown head gasket. My mechanic who I trust said he's replaced two head gaskets on Prii, and they both failed within a year, so my mechanic said it's better to just replace the whole engine. Which might be ball-park of $1200 for engine and $800 for install.

    Since it's a 2011 with 217k miles and some slight body damage, I will probably just sell it on craigslist for $2500 or something.
     
  9. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    I posted about this car last week History of overheating, do I have a bad head gasket now? | PriusChat

    Turns out I have a blown head gasket, and my mechanic said I should replace the engine, which would be ~$2k. He said he has repaired two blown head gaskets on prii and they both failed in less than a year.

    Even if I did head gasket repair, he said it would be about $1600, engine repair $2k.

    My plan is to just sell the car on craigslist for $2500 (it's still running for now), and buy another used Prius (I have bought over 50 prii for myself and friends so finding a good car for a good price isn't a concern, I just don't really wanna retire my lovely car too early, it has served me well, and I don't like to be wasteful to the environment, keeping a car on the road is better than retiring it and buying another if possible, also economically too!)

    Does my plan of selling my car now, and buying another one sound like the best option? I considered trying a head gasket sealant but that doesn't seem great, I figured someone might appreciate the car and try to fix it, especially if I haven't put the sealant in it yet to mess up the other components.

    Thoughts?
     
  10. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Don't put the sealant in it. It messes up the whole coolant system.
    When they replaced the head gasket, did they clean out the EGR system?
    Maybe that is why the new gaskets blew so soon... OR the head was warped.

    It's best to find out why the gasket blew, then resolve that problem...

    If you like the car, get it repaired, correctly. And drive it. (y)
     
    #10 ASRDogman, Jul 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  11. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    $2k is too cheap, it just means another worn engine installed untouched. But I would not pass it on to an unsuspecting buyer. That solves nothing but makes you the bad guy.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would. check the value of the cat before selling
     
    #12 bisco, Jul 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    with 217k, it's bound to be one thing after another
     
  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    It's awesome your mechanic is honest enough to admit his head gasket efforts didn't go very well... His $800 repair charge sounds reasonable, but used engines sell for much less. Suspect he's charging you retail price rather than price he paid, so maybe talk him down on that price if you can? Also consider upgrading... As you can put a Gen4 engine without the defects that the early Gen3 engines have.
     
  15. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    He said he fixed the warped heads before he changed the gasket, did not clean out the EGR system.

    Mine blew because it overheated several times due to a bad thermostat.

    I do like the car, but there's no reason to be emotionally attached to one car. I like the Toyota Prius because it's environmental and economical. But I'm not gonna throw money at a car that doesn't deserve it.
     
  16. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    That's correct, a used engine installed untouched.

    I wouldn't sell my car without letting the purchaser know the issues that it has. I think an industrial individual might try to repair it themselves, or at least part it out.
     
  17. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    For the cat, and battery, and rest of the parts on the car, I think I can just sell the whole thing for 2k or something.

    I used to have a used prius dealership, and flip prii in my own name. I can find a good deal on a well-maintained 1 owner prius.
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    There's been one report here: head gasket replaced but EGR circuit and intake not touched, and replacement gasket failed. There could be a correlation. More info on cleaning in EGR link in my signature
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I'm confused; has anything been done to your car so far, head gasket or engine swap?

    That's your mechanic's opinion? I'd blame it on clogged EGR, more info in my signature.

    BTW, would have been better to stick with the original thread, this's going to get confusing...
     
  20. suirPPrius123

    suirPPrius123 Junior Member

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    Nothing has been done to my prius yet... My mechanic has done two other head gaskets on Prii, and he said they failed within a year... so he recommended against just doing a head gasket replacement, and instead suggested an engine replacement. Oh, and my mistake about switching threads, I figured people would want a new one since it was a different question. In the future I will keep it in one place, apologies.
     
    #20 suirPPrius123, Jul 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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