Oil Consumption Problem -- Dealer thinks piston issue -- anyone else experience this?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by amethyst_sky, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. amethyst_sky

    amethyst_sky Junior Member

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    My 2010 started having issues just over 100K. Used to get changes every 10k until I noticed oil was low before the next oil change. Took it to the dealer and they did the 1K test, which was fine. Then just before 5K the warning light goes on Memorial Day. Service was closed so the salesperson told me to take it to a local garage they use for inspections. The garage said my car was completely out of oil. He had to put 4 quarts in and said he'd never seen this before on a car. I did a 1K check -- oil level fine. At 2K, was at the first dot on dipstick then at 2.6K only had a dot of oil on it. Took it to another dealer and they suspect oil is bypassing the pistons. They said they personally have never seen this. So scheduled to bring it in this Wed. They say it will take 12 hours to do and cost $1,600 to $1,800. Please share if you have had this done to your car or any similar experience. Also, would like to know if anyone has contact Toyota Corp. about this. One service dept. told me Toyota owners in general, not just Prius, are complaining about oil consumption. Thanks!
     
  2. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    What are they going to do...that takes 12 hours and costs $1,600-$1,800?
     
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  3. MattNiem

    MattNiem Junior Member

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  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    $1600-$1800 is almost the cost of putting in a new "Used" engine. I would just start checking my oil level every 1000 miles and add as needed. A quart of oil is $6.00 vs $1600-$1800 for ?????? something they can't really fix
     
  5. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    have you ever changed the PCV valve?
    is the car smoking badly?
    my 05 was using 1 1/2 qt between 5000 mile changes with no smoke..changed the valve and hardly uses any now...12 bucks and 45 mins labor
     
  6. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    2 hours real work at the most... ;)
     
  7. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    #7 Former Member 68813, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what is a 1K test?
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I'm guessing change the oil, ensure its on top dimple, check again in 1000 miles.
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The 1k test is useless. They determine after 1k if your engine is using oil beyond the acceptable 1quart/600 miles, as listed in the owners manual. Nearly every car will pass this test. If the engine uses less than 1quart/600 miles, then they'll say "all is normal"......which is not correct.
     
  11. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Speculations aside, I'm still waiting to here back from the OP.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    It'd be useful if they'd tell the customer the loss rate. But yeah, if it's within spec, "normal", useless. And something you can , and should, be doing yourself.

    I just think Toyota should put the oil loss spec in the glossy brochures.
     
  13. kcbyrne

    kcbyrne Junior Member

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    I am having the oil loss issue also with no signs of leakage. I noticed it at around 140K miles ( now at 150K ). Dealer states this is normal loss rate by their specifications. But I plan to start changing the oil at 5K to be safe because I have also noticed the oil starts looking pretty dark by 5K now. No other issues up to this point except 3-4 rough starts over the years.
     
  14. ETC(SS)

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

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    This didn’t ‘just start happening at 100K’ and it’s definitely a piston problem.
    Your problem is your dealership’s service manager has something with a motor in it, and wants you to make the payment for it.

    Here’s the thing.
    Back in the pre-Mesozoic era when cars used thicker lubricants and had larger oil capacities and used a 3,000 mile OCI they still had engines that “suddenly” used oil at around 100,000 miles, and they did it for the exact same reason that engines with thinner oil, smaller sumps, and bigger OCI’s do so today.
    People don’t check their oil regularly, and nobody ever checks their oil level each time BEFORE they take the car in for an oil change.

    I personally believe that the 10K OCI and the <4q sump exacerbates this problem with Priuses, but people get religious about their oil change intervals (OCI), and truth be told the synthetic oils that they use today might really be good for 10K. I wouldn't know personally.
    I do know that you NEED all 4q (I rounded up) in the sump for all 10K miles if you’re going to use the 10K strategery.
    So….
    If you’re reading this….and you have a Prius….and you’re wondering if it’s drinking and smoking, I’ll save you the effort of trying to figure out how to get your hood open.
    If it’s old enough, and you don’t know for sure if it is or it isn’t?
    It is. ;)
    As stated above, you really don’t need a $1200 test to see if your car needs a $800 used engine.
    You may not even need the $800 used engine, depending on your burn rate.
    It would be like having a heart transplant right after you experience severe chest pain.

    Is your car still getting more than 45MPG?
    What exactly is your oil use rate?
    How do you KNOW you don’t have a leak? (hint…..looking in your driveway isn’t a definitive test. Some leaks only happen when the engine is turning.)

    If my car burned a quart of oil every 2,000 miles, and the fuel efficiency was still high you know what I’d do????
    Keep it until the oil use reached a point where it was effecting efficiency or causing other problems (cat convertor)
    If my car burned 2q every 1,000 miles, then I would look into getting a heart transplant if the value of the car warranted the $800 investment----more if you want to pay an independent mechanic to put it in for you.
    Good Luck!
     
  15. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    the ICE does not really have the mileage shown on the odometer as it runs off the electric motor as well..
    Im not sure of the real percentage but its at least 25% so your 100,000 mile motor really has 75,000 and I never thought that was normal on a Toyota but no one has the real answer so we just have to deal with it
     
  16. ETC(SS)

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

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    I'm pretty sure that the electric motor isn't the prime mover of the car for 25% of the total vehicle miles.
    On my car, it's probably significantly less than 10-percent - since my car is on the highway for 90+-percent of it's use.

    Pips have a higher EV percentage - and it shows in their efficiency ratings.
     
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  17. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    If you search on the recent post re: Infineum they show some pics of Camry hybrid pistons with some ring damage.

    Our unofficial rule is no more than 40 replies if the OP does not come back to harvest replies, so I am good here at #16.

    Dang it #17
     
  18. ETC(SS)

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

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    Concur @ #17.

    I'll buy the piston theory - but I'm thinking that it would present much earlier in the vehicle's lifespan (I have a 2010 with 83K and no oil use.)

    I'm also thinking that an ICE with fried rings (piston - not onion) would not be getting 45-50MPG, which is why I always use MPG as the canary in the coal burner.

    YMMV.
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe it's all the starting and stopping.
     
  20. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Consumer reports just made a mention of piston issues in oil burning. Revving the engine at too high of RPM (driving too hard) when the oil is cold. This is what causes the wear and oil burning down the road.
     
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