Low engine oil

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Devdas, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Devdas

    Devdas Member

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    I have a gen2 prius the triangle of death came on intermittently. This was at hard breaking so I guess the oil swayed away. There was no low engine oil warning light that came on. It’s only when I did check the oil level to try and determine why the triangle of death had come I checked the engine for oil it was almost bone dry. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I normally don’t check but let the dealer top it and deal with the servicing oil etc.
     
  2. N3K X8

    N3K X8 New Member

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    Yes the red triangle of death can appear when the oil is really low. Even though the red triangle of death symbolizes the hybrid battery failure, low engine oil can trigger it as well. Just make sure to change your oil more regular especially if the engine has over 180,000 miles. Instead of every 5000 miles, change it every 2500-3000 miles.
    Also a reminder, dont use heavier oil in the engine, just use recommended at lower miles driven.

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  3. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    yes, this is very common. All internal combustion engines burn SOME amount of oil. As they get older, they tend to burn more. Toyota has a recommended oil change interval. It's a change interval, not a "check" interval. It's a good practice to check oil level much more frequently. If you never check oil level between changes, you're heading for a lot of problems.
     
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  4. DMC-5180

    DMC-5180 Active Member

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    +1 with post #2

    What is the frequency you take it in to have the oil changed? Is based on mileage or a time period?

    The factory oil change interval light is set to Flash during the startup sequence at 4000 miles as friendly reminder too think about changing the oil. It will stay ON at 5000 miles.

    Assuming you drive average miles per month, you should check it once a month. This will let you get a feel for a consumption trend.


    iPhone X ?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I check mine after an oil change to make sure they remembered to put it back in, and note the level
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    At a "Toyota new owner's night", the service manager cheerily told us "our goal is it make it so you never need to pop the hood". I was grinding my teeth...:cautious:
     
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  7. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Plus you can make sure they didn’t put too much oil in the car. That seems to happen also.
     
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  8. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    How many miles since your last oil change did this occur? If you look around here you will notice it’s a common occurrence for Gen 2 Prius to burn oil.
     
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  9. 09Prius2

    09Prius2 Member

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    They burn oil. If you put in 4 qts of high mileage oil when you change it and add 1 qt at 1500 miles you should be ok unless you have a real problem.
     
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  10. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    dealer maintained = death sentence.
     
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  11. Devdas

    Devdas Member

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    Oh sorry I meant did anyone see a engine oil light come on that is what I was after yes I understand it burns oil but what i was more surprised about was no light came on to warn low engine oil. This was fairly basic in the older cars.
     
  12. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    What your seeing is the master caution alarm which indicates something fatal is happening to the car. If you pull the codes it has logged it will tell you exactly why it launched that. In your case the master caution is warning that you are out of oil it’s so low the engine has no oil pressure the oil pump is sucking air.
    Engine damage quickly ensues.

    Based on the posts I have seen here in the last 12 years the engine will incur damage when that happens.
    Usually piston wrist pin damage or main bearing failure. Starts as engine noise quickly progressing to engine knock.
     
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  13. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    It was? The only car I ever owned that had a low oil light was my RX-7, and that was because it used the oil in the gas and apex seals. To my knowledge none of my Toyota’s had one.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Idk if there is an oil sensor made that can notify you before damage is done, but if there is, Toyota doesn’t use it
     
  15. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    My RX-7 had one, but that car actually injected oil into the fuel and rotor chamber so it needed oil to be added on a regular basis. I think my BMW has one but I’m not sure.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Just get into the habit: regular checks of the dipstick.
     
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  17. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Ok, so for a little clarification.....

    1. The Gen 2 DOES NOT have an 'oil level low' warning light
    2. The Gen 2 Prius DOES have an 'oil pressure low' warning light, it's called the Red Triangle of Death, which typically first gives intermittent flashes on high speed curves, as the reduced amount of oil allows the oil pump suction to suck a bit of air in with the oil. Of course, this condition typically goes un-recognized for hundreds of more miles and becomes more and more frequent.
    3. Some people believe an intermittent flash of the RTOD light means you are in immediate 'your engine is damaged' mode. I am not of that camp. I've had an oil pressure loss at 7k rpm in a bigblock Ford due to piss poor baffling in the oil pan. The bearings were fine. The pistons were fine. The rods and pins were fine. My heart, at that moment, was not...Your results may vary, but as long as you're not doing it every day and then just rolling with it, the engine will most likely have many happy miles still left in it. A typical "performance" ICE requires only 7psi of oil pressure per 1000rpm for satisfactory lubrication.
    4. Doubt can be eliminated by opening the hood now and then and checking it.
    5. It's a "low" oil pressure switch, not necessarily a "zero" oil pressure switch.
    6. MANY vehicles have had a "check oil" warning light that triggers when oil is one quart low. This isn't space shuttle technology.
    7. Every car should have it. If you'd like to install one in your oil pan, here's a link to the sensor used in Mustangs Mustang Low Oil Level Sensor (84-96) 5.0/4.6 - LMR
    8. -or--- ACDelco Engine Oil Level Sensors 12603781 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing
    9. It would be an interesting project for anyone who has an extra oil pan laying around to try it.

    And two questions for those who may be in the know.....
    1. At what pressure does the warning actuate?
    2. Does the Prius shut the engine off when it detects low oil pressure? I've heard this rumor, but haven't been able to verify to be true or false.
     
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  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Jeez....I wish Bob Wilson was still around he could dump all the oil out of his engine drive up and Down some hills till the RTOD flashes and then see if it damaged the engine. He was a gamer.

    I do know that no matter where he is he’s driving around on E with some gas cans in the back seat.

    Sigh.......I miss those days...
     
  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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  20. Devdas

    Devdas Member

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    Well the car has had no damage the oil was more or less non existent and after oil top up I have done about 12/15000 miles at least and no engine issues
     
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