Prius C motor leak and suspected continuous overfill

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by z80, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. z80

    z80 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    13
    4
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    I
    Hello!

    The car is 2014 Prius C One. Today (October 21 2018) I DIY-ed transmission fluid change and had a chance to look at the transmission and the engine from all perspectives. What I noticed is that rear passenger engine corner is wet. It looks like it is a metal plate on a side of the engine (I guess it covers timing chain) that leaks a tiny bit at around 2/3 of it's height on the back slightly above a circular thing (what I think is a harmonic balancer). The car doesn't leave any drops (yet).

    I used to service it at a dealership while have been paying it off. And oil was changed there 3 times. And in all 3 papers they gave me it is written "4.25 Qts 0/20 Oil". What from my point of view means it was overfilled by at least 0.35 liters every time as in owner's manual it is stated 3.9 quarts / 3.6 liters with filter. (By the way, 1 quart = 0.946 liters what means 3.9 quarts is much closer to 3.7 liters rather than to 3.6???) The car has just lost it's motor warranty at the latest 60'000 miles oil change which I DIY-ed. According to remaining oil in the bottle I used around 3.5 liters. Now the car mileage is 63'000 miles.

    Can this leak cause any damage to the engine? Is there anything I can do about it without paying a lot of money?

    Thank you!
     
  2. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    3,319
    1,120
    40
    Location:
    Cumming, Georgia
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Continuous leak? Always there, or new?
    Did you just do an oil change? Did the person doing the change drip oil down the back?
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    2,587
    1,158
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    NO, not unless it gets worse. Check the oil level often.

    And......a little extra oil won't hurt anything, even if it is a tiny bit above the full mark.

    So, why do you say "suspect" continuous overfill ??
    Did you NOT ever check the oil level yourself ???
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    37,588
    26,356
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    It's pretty common for a slight leak to develop on that timing chain cover (assuming it's similar to 3rd gen Prius), and quite laborious and expensive to repair. Probably the overfill (if it wasn't just a service writer's typo) didn't contribute to the leak. I'd be inclined to just wipe it clean and monitor.
     
  5. z80

    z80 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    13
    4
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    I
    Hello!

    Thank you for the feedback!

    >Continuous leak? Always there, or new?
    >Did you just do an oil change? Did the person doing the change drip oil down the back?


    I'm sorry for lack of information! I changed transmission fluid and went under the car. When I changed oil at 60'000 miles some time ago I didn't go under the car and even if it was there that time I didn't see that. I didn't drip it yet. I decided to ask here first. I'm going to do that.

    >So, why do you say "suspect" continuous overfill ??
    >Did you NOT ever check the oil level yourself ???


    Because I am not that much aware of how much oil should be in the engine. User manual says one thing, dealer representative says another. Both (manual and representative) have Toyota origins. So I can only suspect based on my latter overall experience that it might be that manual it "more" correct than a person. But I can't be 100% sure.

    Answering the question I did check oil level and asked about the amount and grade for the first time. The answer I got was that the amount put in is correct. So I concluded that my user manual might not contain the most up to date information.

    I'll wipe it and watch what happens. If doesn't get worse I'll just live with that.

    Thank you very much for detailed answers! I appreciate your help!
     
  6. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    3,319
    1,120
    40
    Location:
    Cumming, Georgia
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    As an aside, the dealership is NOT Toyota. They just sell FOR Toyota. They might work with them a lot, but they're not necessarily the experts. Always refer to your owners manual.
     
  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    2,587
    1,158
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    The car comes equipped with a device to tell you if in has the right amount of oil in it or not.
    It is called a "dip stick".
    Used properly, that should tell you with near to 100% certainty.
     
  8. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    5,782
    4,530
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    OK.....

    So....here are my thoughts (for what they are worth.....opinions vary.)

    1. "Over filling" a Priussy engine by .3l three times probably wouldn't result in the classic rear main seal leak that mechanics always talk about when they're trying to drum up business to pay off their bass boats.
    Also....a dealership SAYING that they put 4.24q into your car is different than them actually PUTTING that amount into the crankcase.
    There's a 90-ish percent chance that the high-school dropout that they use as their 'oil changer' actually checked the oil level before they over-billed you for the oil change - so I would not worry about it.

    2. I'm not going to dipstick-shame you here, but if you're checking your oil level regularly (like: every other fill up) then you will quickly determine whether or not you have an oil leak.
    You don't have to be anal about it.
    Even every third or fourth fill-up is a helluva lot more often that most people check their fluid levels, and will reveal if there's a lube problem in your car.
    My guess is that at 60,000 miles you're not using much or ANY oil.
    If you're going to trade this car out at 125,000 like most people do - then stop worrying about it.
    The car will hang together that long.

    3. If you're going to "keep it forever" (and you might as well!!) then consider changing your oil every 5,000 miles.
    If the filter is a PITA to get to, some people actually change the filter out every 10k and drop and change the oil every 5,000 miles.
    You'll have to adjust the amount that you pout back into the car slightly, but the main advantage is that you will be poking around inside your car every 5,000 miles instead of every 10,000 miles and you might find some interesting things when you so....................................................like...............a rear timing gear cover weep/leak.
    My company uses Priuses as fleet cars and they're incredibly cheap about maintaining cars.
    They change the oil every 5,000 miles.
    ;)

    4. Leak.
    Again....no shaming intended, but if you are checking your oil level regularly, then you already know whether or not this is a real leak, and requires real attention.
    IMHO.....it's not and does not, but that's only a SWAG since I'm not checking the fluid levels in your car either.
    Besides.....if you DID have a timing cover leak.....would you let a dealership that you can't even trust to do OIL CHANGES correctly try and fix it????
    ;)

    Many other things will cause leaks, creaks, cracks and squeaks besides inattention and/or over filling the oil.
    Manufacturing errors, wrecks, driving itty-bitty cars over ginormous pot-holes (Prop 6!!) and people with wrenches who get paid by the number of cars that they cram into their daily work schedule.

    Do nothing until you know more.....
    Then at least you WILL know more.....

    Best of Luck!
     
    #8 ETC(SS), Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    37,588
    26,356
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Yeah, when in doubt, just hold tight. (y)
     
  10. z80

    z80 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    13
    4
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    I
    Thank you all for all the advices you gave me! I really appreciate every bit of information!

    Thanks for this detail! I really didn't know that.

    Yes, that's why I called them the very first time. I checked oil level - it was higher than the "max" dot on a dip stick, looked into the paper and was a little bit scared. And I was told by them that 4.25 quarts is the right amount.

    Well, I normally check oil level may be once a week. My biggest concern is this leak might lubricate something supposed to be dry by design. That's what I mostly afraid of.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    37,588
    26,356
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    From the Owner's Manual:

    upload_2018-10-23_18-5-25.png

    My best guess: to avoid come-back from disgruntled owners, and/or insurance against owner neglect, they over fill slightly, say an edict from the Service Manager.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    2,587
    1,158
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    But how MUCH above the mark was it ?

    There is a space between the "full" and "add" marks, just for sake of discussion let's say that space is an inch and represents one quart.
    If the level is not higher than 1/4 of the distance between the marks, representing 1/4 quart then there is nothing to worry about.
    In most cases, there is little to worry about if it is a half quart over-filled.

    The car makers are not stupid enough to design an engine that will be damaged by a few extra ounces of oil.

    And about the only thing that can be "damaged" by a slight oil leak is the fan belt.....if it even has one.....and that should be pretty easy to SEE.

    Relax, you will live longer.
     
  13. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    5,782
    4,530
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    IIRC the only belts are on the seats.

    +1 on the 'not worry'.
    Believe me....
    If you're above ground or above water, and an immediate change to that status is not imminent.....there's VERY little to worry about!
     
    ztanos likes this.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    37,588
    26,356
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Last car I was getting "professional" oil changes, the spec'd oil quantity (with filter change) was 3.3 liters. They routinely poured in 4, and of course billed me for it. I was thinking near-new car, better stick with dealership service to avoid possible warranty issues. I finally wised up as to how much they were overfilling, and went back to doing it myself.
     
  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    2,587
    1,158
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Some shops will bill a partial quart/liter at the full price even if they don't put the whole thing IN.
    You won't know which it is without checking it yourself.
     
Loading...