Oil leak advice

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by CindyLouWho, Aug 7, 2019.

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  1. CindyLouWho

    CindyLouWho Junior Member

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    My 2005 Prius (with 225K miles on it) is leaking oil in two places- seeping from the valve gasket cover and the oil pan. As a matter of regular maintenance (on the advice of a Prius mechanic who replaced my dash display late last year), I check my oil every month and often have to put in 1/2 to one quart. The Prius mechanic told me that's to be expected on older Prius. So I haven't worried about needing to add oil.

    But last Saturday when I took my car in for a routine oil change (I do that every 10K miles or so) they offered to put dye in to see where the leak is. No charge for this service so I figured, why not? Today when I took it back in for them to see where the leak is, they said valve gasket cover and oil pan. The tech suggested I just wait to have it fixed with the next oil change. But here's my question, at this high mileage (I hope to get my Prius to 300K), why not just continue to add oil as needed as long as the leaking doesn't get a lot worse? The repair estimate for the oil leaks at that shop comes to $741. I'm not sure I want to put that much into repairing my Prius but maybe it's still worth it? When I replace this Prius, I'll be looking for another used one.

    Thanks for any advice you 2nd Gen folks can offer. I LOVE my Prius and want to get as much life out of it as I can. It's served me so well! Best car I've ever owned!!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is there any oil on the ground after sitting overnight?
     
  3. CindyLouWho

    CindyLouWho Junior Member

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    No, I haven't seen any oil. The mechanic described the valve gasket cover as "seeping" oil.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    then your burning whatever is missing. just keep a close eye on the level and adding oil as needed, and ignore them.
    i would start checking it weekly, as oil burning rate can increase rapidly in some cases, and if it goes below the low mark, the engine can suffer irreversible damage without warning.

    if you feel like it, research some of the advice in the oil burning threads.

    about how many miles in a half to a quart a month?
     
    #4 bisco, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  5. CindyLouWho

    CindyLouWho Junior Member

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    That's helpful, thanks. I am driving about 1800 miles/month. So I'm burning up 1/2 to one quart of oil in 1800 miles.
     
  6. ETC(SS)

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

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    'Seeping' is not leaking.

    TRUST me.
    I know 'leaks' when I see them. ;)

    My advice: (Street value < $0.02)

    Keep doing what you're doing.
    The REASON that your car is so reliable is that you KNOW how much oil your car is using, and by this I mean USING....not leaking, weeping, seeping, wicking, or oozing.
    None of these are worth yanking parts off of your car and potentially introducing the potential for new problems.

    Any oil leak that requires dye to locate...ISN'T much of a leak.

    Consider a 5,000 mile oil change interval (OCI)

    Good Luck!
     
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  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Ask them about "high mileage" oil before your next change.

    Also ask if they will check to see if any of the bolts holding those parts on have come a bit loose.
    While it doesn't do any good most of the time, making sure they are tight certainly wouldn't hurt.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    It might be worthwhile to replace valve cover gasket, not that hard. Especially if you could DIY.

    I can dig up the repair manual info on torques. It's hard to go wrong though: cross-cross tighten with a new gadket, firm but not super tight.
     
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  9. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    741 dollars sounds kind of high for a valve cover and oil pan gasket replacement. Like everyone else is saying if you don’t see oil on the driveway most of your loss is being burned in the engine. Quite common.

    Also should you really be driving if your “no more than two” Cindy Lou Who? :ROFLMAO:
     
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Better to save the $741 and use it to help fund a traction battery replacement when it fails prior to the odometer reaching 300K miles.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Replacement valve cover gasket is $15 plus shipping here:

    2000-2019 Toyota Valve Cover Gasket 11213-21011 | McGeorge Toyota Parts

    Info on Valve cover torque value in attached.

    Also attached, redo of Form-In-Place Oil Pan gasket. A tube of the spec'd FIP gasket material is maybe $20?

    Two hours labour for both, plus and oil and filter change? For a retail mechanic, you're getting closeish to that quote, assuming all-in.

    Still, bottom line: how serious are the leaks?
     

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  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    $741 to replace the 2 gaskets is very high.
    I wouldn’t bother.

    You drive the car a lot I would check the oil every Saturday not once a month. The running the car with low oil is why it’s eating oil to begin with.
    Keep the oil at the full mark always. To mitigate the existing oil loss move up to a 40 weight oil,

    Never heard of using dye to check oil leak. Dye is used for refrigerant leak as you can’t see gas. You sure can see weeping oil loss. I would check the valve cover bolts there probably loose mine were at 120000 miles.
    Just tighten them up a little same for the oil pan.

    Like Pat says your staring down the barrel at a new hybrid battery one way or the other so don’t put any money in this car. It’s old and has extremely high mileage.
     
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  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    It depends on what gaskets they ARE.....and how hard they are to get TO.
    I think it is probably reasonable at today's prices.

    Running an engine low on oil is almost NEVER the reason that it gets low in the first place.
    That's fractured logic.

    Sometimes the rate of loss will actually be less if left between ADD and half full.

    There apparently are a lot of things you have never heard. :eek:
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Such a nice guy.
     
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  16. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    You still haven’t tried the ignore user function if Prius Chat :whistle:?

    Give it a shot;).

    It works very well(y).
     
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  17. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    So what.......you think that everyone who disagrees with anything that you say is not a nice person ??

    Maybe you should be a bit more careful about what you say. Just maybe.
     
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