Oil Consumption

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Frank06, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Frank06

    Frank06 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the discussion everyone. First of all, re the triangle-of-doom, I saw this one other time last winter when I suspect the accessory battery was low (de-icing the car when stationary.) One other time the car wouldn't "boot" and I had to jump it so my suspicion when I saw the triangle was the accessory battery. Except the car was moving. Not very fast and the light only flashed briefly. I suspected something bad so stopped almost immediately to check. I did not drive the car with it lit and don't think the engine was damaged. (I hope!) It was very unexpected to see the low level as the car has had unmeasurable consumption between oil changes previous to that. Anyway, that's what it was.

    After day 1 of our college trip I had to add perhaps 1/4-qt. for 550 miles. After day 2 (same distance) I had to add... nothing. ??? Just arrived here in Savannah (another 400 miles) and... it's still full. So I don't understand what's going on but will continue to monitor. I'm glad though. It makes me wonder if perhaps the PCV might be acting up.

    The car has been performing admirably, averaging 52 mpUSg for the almost 1500 miles of 65-70 mph including interstate along the Appalachians and all that horrible rain and wind in Pennsylvania. This with Ecopia tires BTW. I'm very happy with them.

    I'll continue to monitor for the trip home and report back. I'm glad this forum is so active; I joined the "other one" when we got the car but lost interest as there's not much going on. I have plans to make this car a PHEV someday and have to check out the information here.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Frank
     
  2. Rook Bartley

    Rook Bartley New Member

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    I realize this is an old thread, but I hope it's ok to resurrect... I have a 2005 Prius with 130k miles on it that has been burning oil. I received the Red Triangle of Doom due to the oil being low. Unfortunately, it took me a while to figure out that's what the triangle was trying to tell me as it would only pop up briefly as I was flying around a curve. Because of the transitory nature of the warning, is it possible that my engine was *not* damaged too badly? The oil, when I did check it, was below the bottom dimple on the dipstick :eek:. Now since that Red Triangle incident, I've been having to put oil in rather frequently and I get a burning smell when going up big hills (plus someone following me confirmed that there was smoke coming out the exhaust up hills). Does this sound like I need an engine rebuild or will it be enough to be diligent about checking and adding oil?

    On another note, does anyone think that using the 'B' mode engine brake all the time (around curves, approaching slow vehicles, stop signs, etc, etc), could have caused wear&tear to the engine and caused an issue?
     
  3. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Honestly, anytime you run a engine low on oil there is a chance of damage. How much? Only that can be revealed by disassembly of the motor.

    Considering the fact that the lower dimple on the dipstick to the top dimple is a difference of 1.6 quarts you were down at least 1.6 quarts or more since the oil level was below the bottom dimple.

    Chances are there is damage to your engine. It is always a good idea to check your oil every time you refuel. That way you have a good idea of how much oil is in the engine and also have an idea if the engine is using oil.

    I do not believe using B mode had anything to do with it. Honestly, you neglected to check your oil and now you are suffering the consequences thereof. Hard lesson learned the hard way. Check your oil regularly and these things will not happen. It is all part of ownership of any motor vehicle and similar devices.
     
  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The initial problem is more likely due to the age of the engine than due to B use, although it is really unnecessary to use B mode for 99.99% of driving.

    It has probably damaged the main bearings. The extent of the damage can be determined by how often you have to add oil and if there is a lot of vibration on a cold start. Once it starts knocking, it is not drivable. If it is burning oil now, it will probably ruin the catalytic converter. What you do ultimately depends on whether or not you live in an inspection area. You could possibly drive it for a long time after you start getting the check engine light on for P0420 (cat converter), adding 1/2 quart with each fill up. If you are not in California, once the problems really pick up, the best solution is to get a salvage motor and just plan on getting an aftermarket cat from Eastern or Magnaflow. If you are in California, then this might be a good time to trade it in...

    At this point, there is not a whole lot that you can do other than keep enough oil in it to prevent further wear.
     
  5. theshark

    theshark Member

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    I checked my oil today .. I had no visible oil on the dipstick....none... I added a quart 6 days prior... I'm getting concerned... I may need to dump the car via trade in...... this is very disturbing........

    sorry for the double posting
     
  6. theshark

    theshark Member

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    I checked mt oil this morning. I had no visible oil on the dipstick... I added 1 quart 6 days ago. I check weekley do to the reason I use oil between changes. I may have to dump the Prius via trade in.....

    This is very disturbing to me....
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You would need to add at least 2 quarts if you don't see any oil on the dipstick. The marks in between the dipstick is approximately 1.6 quarts, if it's below that or can't be seen, it's more than 1.6 quarts low.

    Yes it's pretty disturbing to have oil burn that much in 1 week.
     
  8. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Yeah, that's waaaaaaay too much oil. Are you certain you don't have an oil leak somewhere? If your car has been burning that much oil you should be seeing blue smoke coming out the tail pipe occasionally.
     
  9. theshark

    theshark Member

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    No oil leaks... A friend mention the Catalytic converter is most likely catching it.
     
  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I'd be interested to know when this major oil consumption started, and did you get any warnings?
     
  11. theshark

    theshark Member

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    The consumption started over a year.. No warnings, Thankful i check my oil regularly...

    Current mileage is 184987
     
  12. AllenZ

    AllenZ Active Member

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    My 2004 consumed a lot of oil around 185K. I'm using MMO, seems like working. Oil burning reduced from 1qt/500mi to 1qt/900mi in 2500 miles.
     
  13. theshark

    theshark Member

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    How much MMO do you add to the oil?
     
  14. AllenZ

    AllenZ Active Member

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    20% MMO, 80 oil.
     
  15. theshark

    theshark Member

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    and that seriously helps? causes no additional long term problems?
     
  16. AllenZ

    AllenZ Active Member

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    It seems help some, the mpg goes up a little.
    No idea about long term effect. But I'm not too concerned about it. I planned to replace the engine already. If you worry, don't do it.
     
  17. theshark

    theshark Member

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    What is the price of a new ICE?
     
  18. AllenZ

    AllenZ Active Member

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    I don't know, but you don't need a new ICE on a 200K+ Prius.
    The used one I found around Chicago area is about $500-$700. The Prius-Specialty shop autobeyours in Indiana quoted me a 50K miles ICE installed for $1500
     
  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    ENGINE / ENGINE / ENGINE / ENGINE
    ENGINE Prius; To 1/05 1.5L
    Does Not Include: Manifolds, Fuel Components, And Engine Electrical. MSRP Core ? Online Price
    $9,329.46 $0.00 $6,997.09
    View Part Diagram -- Item #


    2004 Toyota Prius Parts - AutoNation Toyota Gulf Freeway Parts

    This should answer the question of how much is a "new" engine for the Prius. Of course you still need the manifolds, fuel components, and the electrical stuff for the engine. Looks like close to $7K online price or about $9.4K MSRP

    In other words, not cheap. But what is cheap when buying from Toyota...

    They also list the short block online for around 1.5K and a gasket set for $140. Not too shabby as most of the time a short block will fill a engine rebuild unless the head is warped.

    More info on the engine along with a exploded view of the parts along with the prices for most of the engine can be found here.

    2004 Toyota Prius Parts - AutoNation Toyota Gulf Freeway Parts
     
  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    And you can buy a cylinder head from that source for $521. It makes no sense for the full engine to be priced at $7K given the short block is at $1.5K and the cylinder head at $0.5K...

    Unless Toyota really does not want to be selling the complete engine.
     
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