Houston we have a Burner : a little upset !

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by penny, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Incredibly easy to keep at full line. I own 3 cars. There all at the full line. Check once a week before starting car. If you have owned the car a while you know exactly how much oil it takes if it's a little low. Or at least u should.if you can't figure that out.
    Little trail and error. My 07 eats a little oil at 110k. Bought new and now no matter where the oil is I know how much it. Takes. Smaller the motor less oil it carries. Vital on small engine to be at full line. Piston wrist which is highest point of splash will not tolerate no lubrication.
     
  2. JStrenk

    JStrenk Member

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    My 2010 has been burning oil to but it's very erratic, I usually check it every weekend and I can go 2-3 weeks without burning a drop then, Boom, down a quart. Makes no sense yet, can't detect a pattern.
     
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  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Yep that's why you should check at least once a week. You never know when it decides to be stupid. If you always keep it at the full line you can instantly tell if it starts moving around. Do you always keep it at full or you run it between the marks and just looking for it to go below the line?

    If you hadn't caught it your next alert would have been a check engine light (zero oil pressure) and usually engine damage will ensue on this little motor.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you would think acceleration and speed, but what do i know?
     
  5. High Mileage

    High Mileage Member

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    I'm not sure if the original poster Penny is still here, but as mentioned some of the 2010's are burning oil. My 2010 is now at 201K miles and I just changed the oil today at 5K miles. It was probably 1/4inch below the full mark after sitting all night. I personally do not believe in 10K oil changes. People might argue that Toyota endorses it, and bad mouth them for engineering them that way. I can say that the group of engineers that designs and builds a car, each one does not get everything they want. Manufacturers are pushed to make safer, stronger, lighter, cars with better MPG, less maintenance etc. All of these demands come at a cost. If someone discovers that they are burning oil only by a warning light coming on, then it appears to me they don't open the hood between oil changes.
    A friend of mine did inform me that Toyota did make a change to the 1.8L engine that was placed in several vehicle. This change was installation of a one piece oil control ring on the piston rather than the usual 3 piece oil ring. This was done to reduce engine friction, to do what? Improve fuel mileage. The consequence of this was that with extended oil intervals coking of the oil control ring occurs and the engine starts to use oil. Couple that with use of 0-20W oils, why? Because 0-20w in the Toyota fleet increases the corporate average fuel economy. There are several TSB's out there if you search, but none directly applies to the 2010 Prius for whatever reason.
    Penny has the choice to keep the car and maintain it, or dump it like another user Superdrol did. I have 3 high mileage vehicles that I have no intention of getting rid of. First is the Prius which has been a very good vehicle for me, and I treat it as such. I have a 2000 Honda Accord with 260K miles. It uses 1 quart every 2500-3000 miles. I have no problem keeping the oil level in spec and I have no plans to get rid of it. Lastly I have a 1997 Ford Expedition with 170K miles on it that uses a quart every 2000-2500 miles. It too has been a reliable vehicle and I have no plans to get rid of it. As other users have suggested Penny might reduce consumption by going to a slightly heavier oil, and also to reduce driving speed. I drive my Prius 130 miles per day. It is mainly freeway and expressway driving, and I typically do not drive faster than 70mph because I am trying to keep a reasonable fuel mileage number, and I am not in an area where I am slowing traffic as most of my driving is back road areas.
    So Penny please let us know what you decide. My opinion Toyota builds a quality vehicle, but they aren't perfect and engineering is a series of wins and losses. In my case the only cost other than gas/oil/tires in 200K miles has been one rear wheel bearing.
     
  6. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    High Mileage, I have to agree that speed does affect oil consumption. My other car a Volvo 960 (118K) I use on the highway, I see minimal oil usage on long trips as long as I keep it at 65 mph or less. Go to 70 mph or higher and she'll go through 3/4 quart per 1200 miles as the norm, on the other hand, driving at a max of 65 mph, maybe a 1/2 quart down over 2,500 miles.
     
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  7. Wa2fast

    Wa2fast New Member

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    Yamaha makes a very good product for their motorcycle and marine engines that has been shown to un-coke piston rings. Called Ring Free...available from your local Yamaha dealer. Just follow the instructions on the bottles and add to your gasoline. I've been using it in my motorcycles for years, adding a bottle to the gas at the start of each season. I can't say for sure that it will rectify your problem, but for a few bucks it's surely worth the effort (as opposed to dismantling the engine and cleaning / replacing parts).
     
  8. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    hmm that's interesting. I've never heard of this product. It's got some really good reviews for it. I would be really interested to test this if my Prius drank oil. Maybe somebody on here will try it
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This is where consumer and manufacturer expectations are worlds apart.

    From a common consumer viewpoint, yes, this is bad.

    From a manufacturer warranty department viewpoint, this is perfectly fine, well within warranty promises even for a brand new car. That is why the Owner's Manuals of every car I've ever owned (5 different brands so far) demand very frequent oil level checks. Damage caused when owners let it get too low from not checking, is not the responsibility of the manufacturer.

    In itself, this amount of oil consumption is no indication impeding engine failure.
     
  10. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yes...the language in the Prius manual manual is legal code for "we want to cover our butts". Nothing more, nothing less.

    Frankly, I have never seen an "oil burn is OK" message in any other owners manual! Nor have I ever owned another vehicle that has noticeably burned oil like this. It can kind of turn a guy off to the brand if you are one of the unlucky ones ( like me ).

    The odd thing is that the 2010 model seem to have an abnormally high incidence of oil burn. It really smells of something that Toyota refuses to take responsibility for. I wonder if there are any photos of piston_rings on the 2010 vs. later models so see if any differences exist.
     
    #50 farmecologist, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe you should rename her 'quart-er'
     
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  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Frankly, I can't remember any owners manuals that didn't have similar disclaimers: since the late 1970s, 2 Fords, a Honda, an Acura, 2 Subarus, and 2 Toyotas.

    Well, I also own a 2014 Subaru Forester. Guess what, this engine series has oil consumption issues too. Mine is currently using a quart in 3k to 4k miles.

    Some Subaru owners with greater consumption have filed a class action lawsuit over it.
     
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  13. Chodronish

    Chodronish Member

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    This oil useage is a bit concerning about the 2010 Prius. I have read on other threads that this is a somewhat common complaint for the 2010. My step-daughter just wrecked and totaled my 2007 Touring Prius, so I am currently in the market for another and trying to decide between Gen II and III. Does anyone think I should avoid a 2010 because of this issue? I have a friend with a 2010, and she loves it with no problems, though I could also see her not even being aware it is using oil. I had no issues with my 2007; sad to lose it and not sure which year to replace it with without spending too much. Good luck with Penny!
     
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  14. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    I think you may have been talking to my daughter!
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think most are okay, but the problem is figuring out if the one you're looking at is a burner.
     
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  16. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Out 2010 Prius II has a small drinking problem. A quart every 7500 miles or so now. I have coworkers with Hondas and other makes with real drinking problems (a quart every 1000 miles or less).

    IMO, knowledge is power. If you can get maintenance records, that helps. Knowing to check the dipstick is even better knowledge of your particular situation ;).

    No 2 scenarios are the same, but if a good deal could be had on a 2010, i would buy it and monitor fluids frequently until I had a good feel for the operation of the car.

    Keep us posted(y).
     
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  17. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    I used to own a 1995 Saturn SL2. It was an infamous oil burner and leaker. The drain holes in the piston's oil control rings were known for plugging up from carbon and causing oil consumption. Most of the gaskets in the engine were formed using liquid RTV which is used to reduce cost and isn't as durable. The engine that came with the car spun a bearing a month after I bought it because topping it off with a quart of oil wasn't enough for a 100 mile trip. After my brother in law put in a used engine I bought an oil bypass filter and installed it. The theory was clean oil will help keep the rings and gaskets sealed. It did a great job for 100,000 miles and the most that was lost was a half quart over 3k miles. I even did a couple of 10k oil changes without a problem. I also put a bypass filter on the transmission. This cured the reverse-slam and hard shifting. It became the smooothest shifting Saturn I've experienced in my life. Except for the RPM changes you wouldn't know when it shifted.

    Other things I've done to the car to help clean the carbon inside the combustion chamber : piston soaks and water injection. I'd hook a long hose with one end connected with the PCV valve and the other in a gallon jug with distilled water. The hose would have a ball valve. I'd route the hose around the wipers and into the cabin. Took it for a highway drive on a sunny hot day. I'd then open the valve slightly until it'd start to bog the engine.
    The piston soak was done by removing all the spark plugs, and adding several tablespoons of ATF into each piston. Then let it soak overnight, turn the engine with the ignition fuse disconnected. The rags I layed over the spark plug holes flew off the engine. Then I'd install the spark plugs.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  18. penny

    penny Junior Member

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    Thanks SO much everyone for all their replies and concern over Penny. Penny is serious but stable, I guess.

    I am currently assessing the volume of "burn". It does not look great, I have about 1400 miles since last 0w20 dealer oil change and I have gone from full to half way down the dip stick.

    Points:

    1. I am slowing my highway speed to 70 max. I have just started doing the past week or 2 so still to see full impact I think.
    2. Going to add a heavier oild - something like 5W30 (say 1 Quart) soon. Would that be a good one to add?
    3. Halfway down so looks like I burned 0.8 Quart in 1400 miles - not good. I'm on course for 1750 miles per 1 Quart.

    FWIW:
    1. MPG is actually great getting 50 pretty easy (as long as not a direct headwind in Houston). Lower MPH helping I am sure.
    2. Penny sounds as good as ever. No engines noises. 1400 miles since "flash" light taking corner hard and pretty much immediate (same day) oil change.
    3. Doing 75 miles a day right now, 90% highway. Highway driving mighte make her thirstier?
    4. Apart from this been a great car, bought in 2009 no issues at all really
    5. Fingers crossed. Slowing down and changing up oil is about my limit, not hands on enough to do any other aggressive treatments suggested. Plus like most people $$ is an issue
    6. Anyone know a Prius friendly mechanic in Houston? Don't trust the dealer.

    Thanks again for all your replies and advice. I will post more when I have more info on Penny!
     
  19. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    What you add when it get low probably won't make much if any difference.
    At the next change, 5W30 would be a good place to start but a HIGH MILEAGE formula is MUCH preferred.

    And what makes you think that half way to the add mark indicates .8 quarts ? I thought it was .5.
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    No, Penny's got it right. From the 2010 Owner's Manual, starting at page 426:

    upload_2017-2-23_9-4-58.png
    upload_2017-2-23_9-5-34.png

    Ouch, that's still pretty fast. What's the posted speed limit? Any alternate routes? There does seem to be a correlation between protracted high-speed driving and oil consumption. Also kills your mpg.
     
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