New 2013 Gen 3 Owner - where to begin

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Feebz13, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Feebz13

    Feebz13 Junior Member

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    Hi priuschat! Thanks for all the valuable information you've posted in here.
    Got a pretty good deal on a 2013 Prius with 76000 miles (116000km). Wasn't planning on a new car but the deal was too good to pass up.
    Replacing a 07 Camry Hybrid which is burning oil but has otherwise been rock solid. My wifes Gen 2 prius has been indestructable.
    I should've come here first before buying the gen 3. The EGR/Head Gasket/oil buring issues with these Gen 3s has me scared.
    I'm thinking of tackling the EGR cooling cleaning this upcoming weekend. More out of curiosity than anything else. Should I be doing anything else? I've tried to read as much as possible but finiding a lot of conflicting opinions
    -Any value in running higher octane gas?
    -5w20 vs 0w20 oil changes?
    -Is there any data/evidence that oil catch can prevents head gasket/EGR issues?

    Want to keep this car on the road as long as possible....and would like to avoid head gasket if possible.
    Just wondering what best practices/hacks are to keep these car running in top shape.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Make sure Toyota has your change of ownership as there may be special support programs for problem areas like the brake actuator and inverters. Definitely do 5k oil changes and clean the egr cooler.

    Watch these videos







    The hard to get egr nut is at 3:50 and 8:20 of the last video



     
    #2 rjparker, Dec 3, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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  3. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

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    He didn't do much of a job of cleaning the EGR cooler. Doesn't it need to be removed and soaked in Oxi-Clean or oven cleaner?
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Resonant Resident

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    Yeah with the cooler, I played around with brake cleaner, then (from suggestion here), did some protracted Oxi-Clean soaks, and got it like-new. Be careful with that stuff though: it's ok with the cooler, being 100% stainless steel, but with the rest I would stick with brake cleaner and brushes/rags, it gets the job done.
     
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    He did remove it but his was not bad at all. When he first sprayed brake cleaner in it, the cleaner came out the other end. Many of these egr coolers are completely clogged up such that chemicals really don't work. He mentions those clogged up units are best replaced. But the part is well over $300 and may not be stocked by your dealer.

    Remember this egr cooler is taking hot exhaust gasses before the cat cleans it up and is using coolant to rapidly reduce its temperature. This causes condensation of the hydrocarbons, which in an engine with poor rings, is often a lot of material. Gen4 fixed the rings and put the egr cooler downstream of the cat.

    I finally cleared a clogged egr cooler by chucking up some bare wire and literally drilling through each passage. Then the chemicals can work. It took repeated wire reaming sessions followed by soaks over many days to get it to where he ended up in a few minutes. Lesson learned: Do it before it clogs up.

    Pic of his tube after cleaning.
    C3933DF4-8A02-4D74-9885-BFA6C02E11FB.jpeg
     
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  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    no it just needs to be blasted with a pressure washers. All those chemicals aren’t needed with pressure washer method, defeating environmentally friendly car :whistle:
     
  7. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    As usual, if you think this will help avoid head gasket failure then all you are INSANE!!! I won’t say who says this but he will remain anonymous :ROFLMAO:
     
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I agree that a clogged egr cooler does not necessary cause a head gasket failure. More likely the damage is done before it gets clogged because of oil consumption and carbon buildup causing knocking and preignition before the knock sensor adjusts the timing. The egr is more likely collateral damage.
     
  9. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    76,000 miles is early to do this but if you can tackle it you will have experience for the next time and will be good for quite a while. Let us know how your cooler looks and your experience in cleaning it.
     
  10. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Not driving 75+ mph will help keep it clean, along with a OCC, will help keep the oil
    out of it and the intake manifold. And don't forget to clean that while you are at it.

    The pressure washer will clear it out.
    Oven cleaner will CLEAN it.
    Spray it in both ends, let it soak for 30 minutes or so.
    Then pressure wash it out. Repeat until clear.
    Seeing that there are only 76,000 miles on the engine, it should be fairly clean.

    Do not use the oven cleaner on the EGR Valve. Gunk, brake, or carb cleaner will work.

    The environment can take care of it self.
    ANYTHING you use to clean it, will still have what is inside the cooler.
    So, unless you keep in in a bucket, and take it somewhere to recycled, there is
    no advantage to using something that costs more, and takes several re-soaks and hours to clean.

    If you do a search for junk yards, you might get lucky and find the EGR Cooler for cheap.
    I found mine for $55, and free shipping.

     
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  11. Feebz13

    Feebz13 Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the responses gentleman. I've watched the videos. Now I'm debating whether to do this now or in the spring...really just curious what it will look like in there.

    Grit any recommendations on what to do to avoid head gasket issues? Perhaps engine coolant changes? Is it corrosion causing failures? Or rjparkers idea that oil burning/pre ignition is causing the failures the most accepted cause of failures? If so then OCC would seem to make the most sense.

    See so many of these cars on the road wonder how many of the drivers out there are nuts about toyotas like us and baby these cars like we do. Have some thinking to do.
     
  12. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    That's one thing to remember. The vast majority of owners never go to a forum like this and just drive the vehicle doing only maintenance in the official schedule, if that. So, while head gaskets do fail, the actual rate of failure is unknown and likely low.
     
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  13. abdullah arslan

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    I'd just drive as it is, just do interior cleaning, oils and fluids check. You can get used to it till spring and will be able to do better comparison after that time since you ll drive with the current condition for a while

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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