Minus 3 quarts

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Jeffrey Sun, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Jeffrey Sun

    Jeffrey Sun New Member

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    For the past 3-4 weeks, I saw and heard my master warning light display for less than half a second. This continued and I had no idea what was causing this alert. It happened when I came to a hard stop and/or making a turn. As luck would have it, I just happened to look at my display panel when the alert sounded and I saw "engine oil level low." Checking my oil level, there was no oil on my dipstick. I added 3 quarts of synthetic. I eventually put in another 1 1/2 quarts.

    Question, how much harm can I expect on my engine? Currently have 146,000 miles. Engine sounds good with no unusual sounds.
     
  2. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    You might have gotten lucky and done no immediate damage. But 3+ out of the 4 quarts in the sump were missing, so there could have been some oil starvation to engine parts. It could not have done this engine any favors, let's put it that way. Bearings don't like running without oil, as one example of potential damage.
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Keep a close eye on it.
    You might have scored the rings/cylinders so that now you have even more excessive oil use than before.

    Time to shop for a new car, I think.
    In the mean time, try a "high mileage" oil at your next change.......which should be NOW.
    The quart that was left in there might have turned to SLUDGE.
     
  4. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    How many miles since your last oil change?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    have you cleaned your egr circuit?
     
  6. Buzzhead

    Buzzhead Non-Interference w/ devel of pre-Warp civs

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    I killed (severely wounded, at any rate) my 92 Geo Prizm (Chevy-built Toyota Corolla) by doing the same thing. Took a couple years, but oil leaking into coolant and drop in mileage from 40 to 25. I'd have it checked.
     
  7. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Don’t recall if this warning message exist in any gen 3s. Someone chime in and confirm.
     
  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Page 509 owner manual, under the section for the Master Warning Light:

    upload_2019-6-13_14-47-3.jpeg
     
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  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    A low oil pressure warning is a mechanical emergency.

    It's not a warning that you're a little low on volume- it's a desperate warning that you are so low that the pump can't slurp any more in to pressurize the system.

    An engine without oil pressure under load (acceleration) might only survive a few seconds.

    Given that it hasn't already blown up? You may have dodged a bullet... I'd probably give it a little time, listening for a tell-tale rod knock, but you might not want to own the car too much longer.
     
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  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    The attached photo doesn’t say anything about the level of low oil, just pressure :sick:
     
  11. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I think the OP made a mistake in the original description. The pressure is what matters, and to the best of my knowledge there are no engine oil level sensors installed.

    I suspect the stopping and turning sloshed the oil away from the pickup in the oil pan, resulting in low oil pressure.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Agreed, almost certainly the case.
     
  13. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    The way I read the 1st post...3 units plus 1.5 units were added...after 3-4 weeks of warnings. If true, your engine is toast.
     
  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    weight and type of synthetic oil is still undisclosed so not sure if correct oil was put in either
     
  15. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    At that point it wouldn't matter.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    That's 4.5 quarts in total, which happens to be the spec'd quantity , with an oil and filter change. Where was the oil level after all that, on the dipstick? Hopefully slightly overfilled? If not, you've been driving on next to zero oil.
     
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