Is oil consumption ok?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Ryan Bailor, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Ryan Bailor

    Ryan Bailor New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    2
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Hi priuschat friends. I've been surfing priuschat for over a year, but this is my first post. I bought a 2007 Prius with 199,000 miles a year and a half ago. I got it from the original owner with all the service records. The original hybrid battery had not been changed, and still hasn't, but I have money saved in the bank, ready for when it happens. It now has 274,000 miles, and I am very happy with the purchase. The only issue I'm experiencing is oil consumption. I've read the many oil consumption posts, but I am wondering if the oil consumption problem hurts anything other than the wallet from purchasing a couple of quarts of oil between oil changes. If I keep the oil topped off at a healthy level, will the car keep going forever? I'm not willing to spend $3k-$4k to replace the engine in a car that I paid $1900 for. I am concerned about the catalytic converter, but so far it is not showing any symptoms of being restricted. Is there anything else I should be concerned about other than the cat? Thank you.
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,889
    29,354
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    So what is your rate of consumption, 2 quarts per say 5000 miles? Or?

    That's getting up there: it's maybe messing up the catalytic converter? Other'n that not sure.

    For me anywhere between a cup and three per 8000 kms is the norm, over the years with various Hondas.
     
  3. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    2,036
    999
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    No not forever......but it might seem like it as other things start going wrong. ;)

    Try "high mileage" oil of a slightly higher weight than originally recommended.
    Don't top it off until it gets below the "half" mark on the stick.
    It might actually use less if you let it run in the lower half of OK.

    And no, burning a little oil won't hurt anything except the CAT and maybe not even that.
    Do look for tell-tale oil spots where you park though.
    All oil loss is not due to engine wear......sometimes.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    90,029
    40,385
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    welcome!

    toyota says up to 1 qt./600 miles is okay. but they don't mention the cat, which is only an issue in cali, or maybe carb states?
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,395
    7,166
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    I think when either the battery or catalytic converter fails, you should sell the car and get another lower mileage prius. Because you would be fully committed once you repair one item for $1000+. Then it'll just become a money pit that you won't be able to let go of
     
  6. Ryan Bailor

    Ryan Bailor New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    2
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Yeah, ours creeping up on two quarts every 5000 miles.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,395
    7,166
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    2 quarts every 5000 miles is still very minor.
     
    m.wynn likes this.
  8. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    1,073
    534
    0
    Location:
    MSP
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    That does not qualify as oil consumption, as ALL internal combustion engines allow some oil past the rings on every revolution. If they did not, the engines would not last as long as they do.

    The catalytic converter is typically the first part killed by EXCESSIVE oil consumption, but that rate would be like a 1qt/100 miles or so.
     
  9. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    2,036
    999
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    That's ridiculously BAD advice.

    When an engine spends most of it's life using maybe two OUNCES of oil in 10,000 miles, then a quart in 2500 miles certainly IS oil consumption.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,889
    29,354
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    You would think an engine that is consuming oil, has oil consumption. (n)
     
    Aaron Vitolins likes this.
  11. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    1,073
    534
    0
    Location:
    MSP
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Better re-read my post and stop taking them completely out-of-context. Allow me to make it easy for you........ i'll even highlight the important parts ;)

     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,889
    29,354
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Sorry, I am sniping.

    All our Hondas ate a little oil, from the get go. I figured that was normal. So far with our Prius, only 70K kms, the oil on the dipstick never budges from the full mark. OTOH, my oil change interval is 6 monthly (governs), and at most around 5000 kms these days.

    It almost seems weird.
     
  13. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    1,073
    534
    0
    Location:
    MSP
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Right Mendel, I have never owned or operated a vehicle where the engine did not use *some* oil, which is completely normal and in fact necessary for life.

    Oil level may not fall perceptively, due to the addition of other contaminates, but it is being burned in some small amount in every engine. The issue really becomes what is the definition of "consumption". Under the most strict definition, even a drop "lost" to the combustion process over some mileage interval (typically between oil changes) could be considered consumption. However, the industry defines it more generally, such that if oil does not need to be added more than about once every 1000 miles, the engine is not considered to be consuming oil; completely despite the fact that based on the Webster's definition, it would be ;)

    The reason for this difference is the implicit perception that an engine that is "consuming oil" is in need of repair and this is not factual. Admittedly, engineers have improved the internal combustion engine from losing quarts per 1000 to a fraction of a quart per 5000 miles over the past 100 odd years, which has influenced the owner's expectations, engines will never achieve "zero loss".
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,889
    29,354
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    @David Beale was alluding to this in another thread, that you can burning a bit of oil and accumulating some unburnt gas, it's balancing out. It's plausible, but I'm a little skeptical, just that it's such a perfect balancing act, if that's what's happening.

    And I can see that, that achieving zero oil loss may be too tight. Which keeps me wondering if our zero loss Prius is a time bomb, lol.
     
  15. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    1,073
    534
    0
    Location:
    MSP
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Lubes accumulate trace water, fuel, debris, coolant etc, which increases the sump level. In *most* vehicles, this is more than off-set by lube loss due to leaks and burning during the combustion process, but that is not universally true.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  16. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    2,036
    999
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    I honestly don't know what practical use that information IS to anybody.
    On many modern engines, the amount is SO TINY that it adds up to almost nothing over a really LOT of miles.
    If later on it starts to actually be noticeable, then that is consumption.

    You can argue with someone else about whether or not it is "significant" because I'm getting REALLY tired of pointless bickering like this.
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,149
    6,186
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    To answer your original question, oil consumption at the rate of one quart per 2,500 miles is OK in the sense that this is not going to unduly damage the catalytic converter. However having logged 274K miles, the catalytic converter might fail tomorrow, after been in service so long. For that matter, any number of other systems might fail tomorrow for the same reason. The inverter, transaxle, air conditioning compressor, and suspension components are a few examples - you've already mentioned the traction battery and engine.

    If you keep all engine compartment fluids full, and make sure the serpentine belt, engine coolant pump and inverter coolant pump are all in good condition, that will help to extend the life of the associated systems. The car has performed way beyond normal expectations for vehicle service life, and don't be surprised when a major component does fail.
     
    #17 Patrick Wong, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
Loading...