Overdue for oil change....car acting strange

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by hybridmel, Nov 19, 2021.

  1. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    I know, I know, I KNOW...bad Mel.

    I am overdue for an oil change...by like 1,000 miles. :eek: I've just been SO busy, I haven't gotten a chance to call the dealership for an appointment. I don't drive a ton...5-10 miles a day, with the occasional longer drive. So, I didn't think it would be a huge deal, but the miles have continued to rack up week by week.

    Well, this week, my car started running kind of strangely. Almost like it's out of gas and not wanting to get up to speed. Everything else seems to be running fine, from what I can tell. I haven't been out on the highway all week, so it's been sub 40 mph pretty much all week. So, I don't even know how it would run at higher speeds, but it feels like it wouldn't quite get up there.

    So, I stopped at the auto parts store and purchased a quart of motor oil. I checked the dipstick, when i got home, and it's low, but it's not as low as I would imagine. I was expecting it to be bone dry, especially based on the mileage. I would say it was about 1/3 between the notches, although it did trickle up a bit higher on one side. Low, but not obscenely low. Colorwise, it looked clean.

    So, I added the quart of oil to my car....do you think that'll do me for, for at least a few days till I can get to the dealership? I have a meeting this evening, appx 60 miles away, so 120ish miles round-trip. And, it would require highway driving. Not sure if I should chance it?
     
  2. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    you need the full 3.5 quarts or so to not cause any further damage! you’re already having bad symptoms, i’d especially make sure to add the right amount of oil before driving any more miles, which will cost a lot less than a new engine or car
     
  3. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Well....I only bought a quart....so I would have to drive in order to get more oil??
     
  4. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    that I can’t help you with
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    How many total miles are on the car?

    What oil change interval do you normally use? Are you saying you typically follow a 5,000 mile OCI and right now the last change was more like 6,000 ago? Or do you follow a 10,000 mile OCI and the last change was 11,000 ago?

    How often do you routinely pull the dipstick and check the level between changes? (Do you routinely do that?)

    Changing the oil should not be something you think of as adding new oil after the old oil is gone. Unless there is an engine problem, the old oil should still pretty much all be there by the end of your OCI. It will just be dark and degraded. The change is to drain out the dark degraded stuff and refill with new.

    The point of checking the dipstick between changes, which you also need to do, is so you will know about any engine problem that is using the oil up, and you can top up if need be so you keep the level correct for the whole time between changes.

    1/3 below the top notch? Or 1/3 above the bottom notch?

    Where did it come to rest after the quart that you added?
     
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  6. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    It is typically 5,000, and I believe I am at 6,000 now.

    No, I don't routinely do that between oil changes. I just let them take care of the oil at the oil change appointments. So how often would be never, I suppose.

    It was 1/3 up from the bottom notch.

    Total miles is appx 97,500.

    The oil now seems to be up to the top notch.
     
  7. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    That's what I'm wondering. If it was between the dots, you overfilled it.

    This just in. Better check it again. I'm pretty sure it's over filled.

    Also pretty sure the performance degradation has nothing to do with the oil, but too much oil will cause additional issues.

    You're just about due for a tuneup. I'd go ahead and do that.
     
  8. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    you still have a lot of life left in the vehicle! my advice is to just keep your oil level full (not overfilled) and stay on top of the 5000 mile oil changes. some people check their oil level at every gas fill up or every other gas fill up. find out what your routine should be by keeping an eye on the dipstick and your engine will be happy!
     
  9. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Update: I can't get my car into the shop until 12/7! Ugh.

    I did, however, review my service history on Toyota Owners, and found out, it has actually only been about 5,200 miles since the last oil change. For some reason, the sticker was set for 4,000 miles.

    The time before that, it was 4,300 miles between oil changes; and before that (thanks Covid), it was 6,500. It was like 11 months between oil changes that time, and honestly, I can't even believe I drove that many miles, considering for weeks, I was driving almost no miles at all.

    So, anyway....now....knowing it's 5,200 miles, I am both relieved and worried. Relieved that I am not as way overdue as I thought I was....worried because...if that's not the problem....I'm wondering what is.
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If it was only a quart down, I doubt that any engine issue you might be having now is a consequence of low oil. You can probably salve your conscience on that point. If there is some other driveability issue going on, that will just be its own thing to diagnose.

    Meanwhile, you have learned your engine now uses about a quart in 5,200 miles or so. That's why leaving the dipstick-checking to the oil change appointments is a risky strategy. Now that it has begun to use some oil, it may continue for a long time to use at that relatively modest rate, or the rate may increase. A habit of dipstick-checking is how you can stay on top of that.

    "Check the dipstick at fillups while you're waiting for the pump anyway" was the good advice when I was in driver training. A lot of things about cars have changed since then, but dipsticks, not so much.
     
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  11. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    No I don't I run mine way down alot and I'm on 10K changes for near 100K miles now. 330K headed to 600K if idiots stay in they lanes . Yeesh

    SM-A715F ?
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Sounds like you're fine, at least in the oil department: you're slightly past the second gen (convservative) oil change interval, and never ran the oil level lower than spec.
     
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