Is my engine toast?

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Wrekless, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Wrekless

    Wrekless Member

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    We bought a 2012 v a little over a year ago with just over 150k miles. It had been a fleet car and had pages and pages of maintenance data. It has quickly become our favorite car and gets driven the most often. We just rolled 200k, so almost 50k in a year. I've changed the oil every 10k with 0w-20 mobil1 synthetic and filter. Its never lost any coolant.

    About 3 months ago it started burning oil. It would go weeks/months with no drop then lose a quart or two in a couple of days. Tailpipe didn't look bad, no puddles under the car. Just figured it was high mileage and drinking oil.

    A month ago my wife took it on a 14hr trip. On the way there it went from full when she left to the oil light coming on after about 8hrs. She refilled it and everything was fine, but I did pull a misfire cylinder 1 code when she got home. I changed the oil and the spark plugs. The old ones looked old but nothing abnormal. I can't remember if I did a compression check, I'm not sure my gauge fits the prius. But everything went fine from then until Saturday.

    Saturday oil was still 1/2 way up the dipstick, the engine knocked horribly and shook like crazy every time the ICE cut on. It also started blowing white smoke. However, once the engine got past that initial knocking it ran fine. Same code, misfire cylinder one.

    Took it to a shop that supposedly does a lot of prius work and they said the headgasket is bad and with the knocking there is probably lower end damage. He quoted $4300 for a 30-40k replacement engine swap. The dealer wants over $6k to put in an engine.

    As I don't have $4k, my question is if its worth trying to bring home and tackle the headgasket myself and see if it will run for a while. Also maybe check the EGR and PCV? I'm handy, but have never torn down an engine. With the wipers and stuff taken out can you do a head gasket while the engine is in the car? How hard would a diy engine swap be? I don't see any guides or videos on it. I know the engine price itself is $1500.

    Sorry I know I wrote a book here, just not sure the best way to proceed, or if I just need to throw in the towel and have them put a new engine in.

    Thank you,
    Hunter
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    Is the engine coolant level still stable? How do they know it is a head gasket failure? What does the oil look and smell like? Did they give you the codes the car displayed?

    While you have a burner on your hands, the head gasket might not be compromised. What I would do would be to:

    • Remove intake manifold and inspect and clean the egr inlet ports
    • Remove egr valve and cooler and clean as they have not likely been done up to this point
    • Clean throttle body and MAF sensor
    Here's a good thread for you about engine removal:

    Blown Head gasket [email protected]

    Hope that helps(y).
     
    #2 Raytheeagle, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Just curious, would that be a brand-new engine? I'm thinking no, brand-new the engine alone is $7~8 grand?? Not sure. (n)
     
  4. Wrekless

    Wrekless Member

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    The $6k is for a used LKQ engine as well. I've lurked here for a long time and bought a higher mileage car thinking engine replacement wouldn't be too pricey, but that seem to be for gen2s.

    I've tried staying out of that rebuild thread. It makes me want to start tearing down my engine. :) Unfortunately I really need the car up and running. I'll call the mechanic tomorrow to see exactly what testing they did to determine the head gasket is bad.
     
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Let us know how it comes out.
     
  6. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    shop around heres a low mile motor for 1200 + 150 shipping on e bay.. Engine / Motor Assembly 2012 Prius V Sku#1897374 | eBay
     
  7. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    I think it is time to throw in the towel and look for a different car.
    Next it will be the HV battery. Then the transmission. Then the wheel bearings and brakes.
    Get the picture ??

    AND.....for future reference, when something strange like that first shows up.....like a sudden loss of a LOT of oil......you should have it checked out and NOT embark on a 14 hour trip. You are lucky it made it back home.
     
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  8. Wrekless

    Wrekless Member

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    Yes, hindsight being what it is.......

    So they did a compression test and cylinder 1 was low. Then they did a leakdown on that one and the chemical showed up in the coolant, so the head gasket is definitely bad. I really like the car, but don't want to put $4300 into an engine. So I got a uhaul dolly and I'm going to pick it up tomorrow.

    I guess the worst thing I can do to the engine is break it and have to replace it, which is pretty much where I am now. So I'm planning on pulling off the head and seeing if everything looks ok on the pistons/cylinders. If they look ok, i'll put a new gasket on and see how long it lasts. If the bottom end looks toast, I'll buy a low mileage used engine and learn how to swap engines.

    For the $2.5k in labor I can buy a beater of craisglist to drive while I do the repairs. With the power of the internet and repair manuals I can usually figure out how to do most things. However, other than the post mentioned above I haven't seen much on gen3 Prius much less our v's. So if anyone knows of any other engine swap, teardown, or head gaskets resources, I would love to know. Also what can go wrong usually does for me, so I'll try to keep the thread updated with how bad a disaster it becomes. Should be good for a few laughs.
     
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  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's the same engine as the Gen 3 liftback, right, so @danlatu's thread should be on point.

    What we don't know for sure is whether the engine can come out upward by itself in a v, as danlatu found it can in the liftback. The official method is downward and together with the transaxle, which might be faster in a shop, but sounds like more of a pain to DIY.

    I don't know if I would want to tackle the head gasket with the engine in the car. Pretty sure you need the timing cover off to free the head. That will be tight work. And when you put it back on, that gasket is form-in-place, so you need to get both surfaces super clean, and you have a strict time limit between applying the FIPG and getting it all back together (in tight space, without contaminating it), or you have to clean it all off and start over. Or finish the whole job only to leave a little trail of oil from the timing cover wherever you go.

    That's the kind of work that can be a lot less frustrating out of the car, on a stand, in good light.

    -Chap
     
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  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The 2nd gen Prius is pretty reliable, not so sure about the turd gen
     
  11. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Gen 3 dream recall. New head gasket, updated control rings and re-designed EGR for all!
     
  12. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    im very happy with my gen 2 my 08, still getting 48 mpg and little oil consumption.at 160 k miles. the 1.8 motor seems to be crap a lot fail around 150k
     
  13. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    Timing cover, engine mount, pulley, water pump, compressor, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, egr cooler has to come off for a new head gasket. Easier to pull motor and work on an engine stand. Head and block will have to be checked to see if straight, make sure all piston are level. New head gasket will also require new head bolts. Copper spray is not required but extra insurance. I would personally just get a used motor with 75k for 1200$, rent an engine hoist, buy one used on Craigslist for 100$. Do 5k oci and check oil every week of driving and put an oil catch can in. Driving the any motor on low oil will make an engine run hot and cause heads to warp. Repairing a head gasket can turn into a nightmare when a head bolt breaks/strips on the head. Anything that is missed or overlooked can cause major problems. Good luck.
     
    #13 danlatu, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  14. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    +1
    I personally would just snag a used G3 motor from eBay and just swap them out.
    Probably about as much effort as the head gasket replacement.....AND the failed compression test already means that the bottom end is toast......or at least toasted enough.

    NO WAY I would put a head gasket on this motor.
    True....it's a low $$$ fix, but time and effort are worth something too.....

    I'd spend about $800 for a <100,000 mile motor and read up on the swap.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Where do you find turd gen motors for $800?

    This head gasket problem is going to get worse, so it could repeat even with another used motor. Time will tell as more turd gen cars go over 150k miles
     
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  16. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    800$ usually gets a motor with 150k on it. Parts grade (A,B,C)in a junkyard is how the motors are classified for pricing. You might be able to haggle for a price if you offer to pick up. Most engines will not deliver to a residence because they need a loading dock to remove the skid and require a business address.
    Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.21.58 AM.png
     
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  17. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    Here are your choices of engines in your area. Enter the year, make, model, select engine. For some reason the link is not showing the pic I just posted, stupid refresh rates. Use the link for junkyard in Greensboro, NC
    I do not know exactly where you live, So i just chose this as an example.
    Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.33.58 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.38.44 AM.png
     
    #17 danlatu, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  18. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    I suggest that you watch this video to get a full understanding why these cars tend to burn oil faster than other cars. Do your homework when it comes to buying new or used because whether it is a prius, audi, subaru, bmw or anything that is boasting better mpg than the previous model. You can't have something for nothing. Weight, vvti(timing)/turbo and less engine friction are the 3 things that gain better mpg. Thanks Obama for these new cafe requirements. Newer owners manual's with show increased oil usage/burning than the previous models. That is why oil catch cans are becoming ever so popular. The looser the engine tolerance, the more efficient the motor will turn resulting in blow by/oil drinking/burning.
     
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  19. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    If sourcing a used engine, I think strong consideration needs to be given to mileage of said used engine. At what mileage the design-fail EGR starts setting up head gasket failure has no exact data point. It's become clear 150-175k and up miles is a likely time to expect failure, but there has been a disconcerting number of failures reported at less. Personally, I'd keep a sourced donor engine at under 75k and, even then, be hoping for the best. Then while the engine is out of the car, make sure the entire EGR circuit is cleaned to as close to as new as possible. Big dice roll on whether or not you end up with an oil swiller, too...
     
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  20. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Turd gen:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:!....
     
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