Low Engine Oil Pressure Light

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by BrianPB, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    Just because I don't check my dipstick doesn't mean car has been neglected, I have followed the maintenance schedule closely. It has been a great car so far, and I'm sure it could easily go past 200k! But I will be trading it soon because I want something a little more fun. I will be checking the oil level weekly until I do trade it. Thanks for the input.
     
    #61 BrianPB, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  2. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    I will definitely check it regularly now, The warning was only on for maybe 2 seconds when I was going around a curve so I don't think it was critically low for too long, I think it should be okay :)
     
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    One too many nots I suspect ;)
    I feel sorry for the person who buys your car.
     
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  4. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    It pays to proof read I suppose!
     
  5. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    I did a little research and according to page 428 of the manual, up to 1.1 quarts per 600 miles is considered acceptable. I'm burning about .15 quart per 600 miles, that doesn't seem too bad. I was looking through the Gen II forums and oil consumption seems to be an issue with high mileage Prii. I guess we will see how prevalent this issue is with Gen IIIs when more owners hit 100k.
     
  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Its a good habit to check the oil weekly first thing in the am as modern cars have Variable Valve Timing that uses oil pressure to actuate a oil pressure driven mechanical system and there's a fair amount of oil stored in this system. If you check it at the gas station it will read erroneously low as all the oil in the top end of the car has not drained back yet. Takes quite a while for this to drain back.

    Especially in a new car. Oil level moves around from use.

    And any service done at the dealer should be closely monitored. Make sure you check the oil soon after a dealer oil change because if you don't spec higher quality oil the oil they use will not come out of a bottle usually and they will use the vat oil which uses a pretty inaccurate oil pump system. Hundreds of posts of G2 dealer changes that were overfilled.

    Btw, the G2 1.5 motor uses a little oil filter that filters that VVT drive oil system. It is under the throttle body in the side of the block at the cyl one position. Its has a hex key cap bolt. I would bet the G3 motor has an oil filter for that system also.
     
  7. ETC(SS)

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

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    I'm sorry, but neglecting to check your oil volume is...................neglect.
    Own it. ;)
    I'm not picking on you personally, but some day another G3 owner is going to experience the same phenom and do a search in the forum on this topic.
    If you have a 10,000-mile oil change periodicity, then it's very important to monitor your volume.
    Double checking what the dealer did after the service visit is even more important!
    How would anybody know that a motor consumes 1.1q/600 miles if they never check the dipstick?
    That means that Toyota considers it to be "acceptable" to use 18.3 quarts of oil between regularly scheduled 10,000 mile oil changes. :eek:
    They put this in the manual for a reason.
    I'll let the studio audience decide what that reason might be - (hint: warranty....)
    So.....
    Your burn rate is somewhere around 2.5 quarts over 10,000 miles.
    Since Priuses only have about 4 quarts of oil volume to begin with I consider this burn rate to be somewhat non-trivial.
    It's not terminal (yet!)
    If somebody gave me your car, I could probably get another 150,000 miles out of it with proper care however (comma!!!) this proper care would involve checking the oil level semi-occasionally.
    Like every tank or so.
    It's not the 2-3 seconds that the oil was critically low that damages your motor, it's the 2,000-3,000 miles that your motor is running 1-2 quarts low that is bad for the motor. ;)

    Good Luck!
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Ain't that insane. The numbers in metric are even simpler: a maximum of 1 liter per 1000 km is acceptable.

    When we went to a New Owners Open Night at our dealership, the Service Manager told us something to the effect: you'll never need to open the hood...
     
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I agree with everything written here, but want to emphasize the point about another 150k miles out of the engine. In a Prius engine that has been well taken care of another 200 - 300k miles is expected; in this engine another 150k miles is now a maybe. So the poor care to date has cut a good 1/3rd off the engine longevity.
     
  10. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Sorry, but I just find it beyond comprehension that people can not, do not or will not open the hood and check their oil. Takes about 30 seconds.
     
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  11. cipsaz187

    cipsaz187 Member

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    Change your own oil. A fact is that nobody cares about your car. Not even a dealer, nor a service guy who is doing the work.

    I've purchased my Prius in Febr and checked the disptick on the lot. It was overfilled by about a quart! Drained it all once I got the car and put a quality synthetic oil in it. The drain plug was over tightened as well and took some time to get it off.

    The OP's car was highly unlikely to burn that much oil. A better case scenario is that the dealer put a very low amount of oil.
     
  12. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    The #1 principle of car maintenance is to check fluids and air pressure regularly. Common sense. Apparently, common sense in short supply lately.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Not saying this is your case, but the dipstick can be very hard to read, prone to smear way up.

    Totally agree, if possible, do your own changes, quality time with your car. ;)
     
  14. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    I will check the oil level first thing tomorrow morning and on monday I'm going to take it in for an oil change and see if any damage has been done by running with low oil. I'll check the oil again after I get it changed. Thanks for the input.
     
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  15. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    Thats very possible, Im going to get the oil changed on monday and I will check it right after
    I have definitely learned form this, just taking the car in for maintenance is not enough. I will be checking my oil regularly!
     
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  16. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    Apparently, "friendly" Jace
     
  17. SorinMS

    SorinMS Junior Member

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    I was stoned in my stupidity when I notice that, after 9.000 mi since my last check (made by the dealer) the dipstick was dry, and remain the same even after adding 1,5 quarts of oil. My car has almost 85 k miles and I relied until now only on dash indicators. I know I was stupid and I promise myself to not repeat that stupidity again.
    Now I wonder how severe could be the damage produced already on my engine. Do you have any experience of that?
     
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  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    We know from the many posts of this same scenario on the G2's that this will damage the apparently fragile oil rings on the pistons
    usually from wear on the cylinder walls on the G2.

    Not sure how the newer G3 motor handles this issue but looks like we will start to gather some data here.

    Please check the oil using my method mentioned in my post #66 as that is the most accurate method. Since your tracking possible damage do it quite frequently.

    Btw, if the engine is severely damaged you will first notice a soft knocking sound usually under load. This reflects severe bearing wear and failure which creates a space between the jointed metals and the noise is the metals banging around. Usually the either the main bearings or piston rod bearing either wrist or main.. These are the main load carry bearings. The engine will not last long if knocking and if continued use will have a spectacular failure. But.....if your not knocking put in the best quality oil you can get your hands on use at least Mobil 1 synthetic.
    Given your issue I would run 5-30 weight. Mileage be damned. And never let the oil go low again and cross your fingers. And take it easy on the car.

    Good luck to you.
     
  19. keith voos

    keith voos New Member

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    I would like to give some information about my recent experience with my gen 3 2010 Prius III and the oil consumption issue. As somone in this forum had noticed, that after start up and taking a turn the master warning light would pop on or just beep for a split second. It was so fast at first that the message was never logged and would never show up. Brought it to two dealers and neither checked the oil level... unbelieveable... then finally after about three weeks it got more persistent and finally a message came on... low engine oil pressure ... went home and checked the dipstick... nothing but a fingernail width on it... 3.5 quarts later... i was finally close enough to the full line. Took it into to the dealer near me who supposedly did a tire rotation and fluids check along with oil level... had them change the oil... and start an oil consumption test. Found out that i had bought the car certified out of another dealer about 150 miles away, and found that they "neglected" to show me the time when the previous owner brought it in with the exact same description of the problem.

    Long story short... engine consumption came back using 1 qt. every 1000 miles. toyota would not pay for the engine to be torn down for inspection, customer has to pay for it, even though it was certified... their tolerance is down to 1 qt oil consumption for every 600 miles and then you can file for a warranty repair. I had done my research and found that the metal used for the piston rings was very susceptible to warping and allowing the thin synthetic oil to "blow" by and then mix with fuel.. unless you are running highway speeds at a constant rate to get the engine hot, the fuel just mixes with the oil and looks like you still have oil. Those that run highway speeds and get the engine hot, it mixes with the gas then burns off since the engine gets so hot. Finally the original dealer i bought it from agreed to tear down the engine and have an inspection done... sure enough... metal rings warped and even gauging in the piston walls due to movement... and carbon deposits were evident due to the burning of the oil...

    So what happened is the inspector approved a new short block and they replaced it with all new components... I have not heard of many of the new prius' doing this so i am hoping the new block and replacement parts are better than they were 4 years ago. So if you are losing oil... and you have an extended warranty i would push for an oil consumption test and if positive then get them to replace the block with the parts...
     
  20. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    Yes, we'll see more of those problems as gen 3 cars age and accumulate more miles. People have to open the hood and check the frigging dipstick. It's not that hard. If one doesn't want to do it, one can always pay someone else to do it.

    Because Prius engine has low tension rings, uses thin 0W20 oil, and longish 10,000 mile intervals, it's more susceptible to oil consumption with aging compared to an average car.
     
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