Newbie needing help for a used 2005 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Oneedsaclue, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. Oneedsaclue

    Oneedsaclue New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been slogging through as much files as I can so I can say that I've RTFFed as much as I could and I'm still clueless.

    Here's some background information:

    I bought a 2005 Prius 2 weeks ago from a used car lot, sold as is, no warranty, 115,223 miles. Car was running fine but I read the manual and couldn't figure out what "B" was (guessed I skipped it somehow), and mistakenly concluded that it was for the car to operate primarily on battery. So I would drive it on "B" whenever I was on regular streets and put it in "D" when I was on the freeway, although I did drive it for about 16 miles on the freeway in "B"

    OK, now that the snickering has died down a bit. Yesterday afternoon, I was pulling out from my parking as usual when the red triangle, check engine, vsc, and yellow-orange circle with an exclamation point showed up on my dash and a red prius with a black bar dividing it in half showed up on my center electronic console. That's when I started to do my exhaustive research. I drove it around town and noticed that the engine was shaky but after a while the VSC and yellow-orange circle with the exclamation point were gone. Just red triangle, check engine, and red prius on the center console.

    Here's what I know do far. Did the battery test and it was where it was supposed to be (12v-14v) and I checked the inverter and it was agitated as per normal. Checked the oil and it was almost bone dry. Refilled with about two quarts to fill it just below the full divot.

    Driving it around this morning, I noticed that the battery only got in the green zone once, never full, however, and the engine seems slightly shaky and has a somewhat hard time accelerating.

    Please help as you can tell I have no mechanical inclinations and I put in a hefty down payment (for my budget) and trying to avoid expensive repair shop prices right now as I'm effectively broke for another week or so.

    This newbie thanks all of you in advance for any and all help you may provide.
     
  2. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    This doesn't sound like good--both the low oil state and hybrid battery at full charge. The hybrid battery usually only reaches full (green) after a long descent. In normal driving, it should normally stay somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3 of the blue bars.

    Sorry to depress you, but I'm guessing substantial engine damage and possibly a problematic hybrid battery as well.

    It looks like Masaki's Auto Repair is well-versed in hybrids. I would probably bring it in for diagnostics and decide if it's better to abandon it (might be the case) or try to bring it back to good order.
     
    #2 tanglefoot, Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  3. Oneedsaclue

    Oneedsaclue New Member

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    Thanks Tanglefoot for your response!

    Sorry as I might not have been clear about the battery bars but it remains in the blue state but I only saw it go green once as opposed to past drives. But me driving in "B" for extended periods of time before I realized my folly, would that have caused the low oil situation? It's not knocking or pinging.

    One more thing. They're closed today but do you know if Masaki's does financing/payment plans or provides loaners?

     
    #3 Oneedsaclue, Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2016
  4. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Driving in B-mode shouldn't normally harm anything but it could speed up the damage if there isn't enough oil.

    The low oil level is likely due to oil consumption and neglect.

    Sorry, I don't know anything about that business--I just looked it up.

    You can try giving it an oil/filter change and having the trouble codes read, but it might need significantly more than that.
     
    #4 tanglefoot, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  5. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Did you check the condition and level of the oil when you first bought it. The oil is one of those things that's dead easy to check. I really would never buy a secondhand car without at least doing this simple check.

    Anyway, if you don't know what the condition/level of the oil was 2 weeks ago then you can't definitively judge the oil consumption at this stage, but I think it's a fairly safe bet that you've got an oil burner there.

    If I were you I'd change the oil out right now, so that you know for certain what type/grade it's running. Then watch it carefully over the next few weeks and try to gauge the consumption. Keep topping it off and don't let it get too close to the bottom dimple.
     
  6. ozmatt

    ozmatt Member

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    Would driving in B excessively perhaps cause it to foul a spark plug?
     
  7. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I wouldn't think so.
     
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  8. ozmatt

    ozmatt Member

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    Hmmm.. note to self, do not drive in B. (y)

    Good luck with it.. cheers
     
  9. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    It definitely wouldn't be any problem with an engine in good condition, but yeah it is possible that it could make oil burning a little worse in a badly worn engine. The basic idea is that it keeps the engine rotating most of the time, and this is without fuel injection while decelerating. So if oil is getting past the rings it could exacerbate it, and it might be more prone to getting enough of a build up to "oil dampen" a sparkplug under deceleration.
     
  10. ozmatt

    ozmatt Member

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    Yes its a bit strange I know but if the engine is a bit loose and the oil rings are letting a bit blow past! poor old engine cycling over with exhaust valves all but closed and injection shut off one minute then fighting against its self under acceleration the next minute, all messed up somethings gota give...
     
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