Prius Prime oil change frequency?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by scm2000, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    In your case, you still have fewer cold starts than with a non plug-in Prius. But not drastically fewer, like some people who average only one or two cold starts per week. What would be your impromptu estimate of cold starts per year?

    For simplicity's sake, I am making the same assumption that most manufacturers make when prescribing X months or X miles: That the "cold" cold starts in winter roughly balance out the "warm" cold starts in summer, plus a margin of safety.

    Admittedly, counting cold starts is a crude and imprecise rule of thumb, but I think it is more accurate and sensible than just counting months for plug-in hybrids which can have tremendously different duty cycles within the same time period.
     
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  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Right now with the Covid-19 situation, I have no daily commute. But in the past, I did one cold start a day during warmer months when I drove mostly on EV but the engine aways came on after I depleted EV range on my way home from work. During colder months, the engine was forced to come on both ways due to the inability of the heat pump to generate heat or use of the defroster. I would say on the average 5 months of warm and 7 months of cold, and 5 days/week x 52weeks plus 1 cold start on weekend x 52 weeks. That makes 362 cold starts/yr compared to your 600 cold starts/yr, making it possible to stretch the oil change interval to ~16kmiles or every 19monts.

    But lately, I have been doing most of my drives EV mixed with HV intentionally to make the EV range longer. This makes the cold start number very close to regular hybrid. Thus I will stick with the Toyota recommended 10K or 1-year interval for my oil change.
     
    #62 Salamander_King, Jun 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  3. JoePriusPrime

    JoePriusPrime Member

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    Hi All,
    I agree with Salamander that we should stick with Toyota recommended 10k or 1 year because when it's time to sell, having a consistent maintenance Carfax record will only help your resell value. Now we can argue for days about at what mileage does the oil break down.

    Motor oil does not actually break down, its main function is to pick up dirty particles and carries it to the oil filter where it becomes trapped. Once the oil filter is full of particles, the oil looses its ability to clean the engine. You splurge for that full synthetic Mobil 1 Annual Protection 0w20 guaranteed up to 20k miles but dealer probably put the cheapest oil filter along with it.

    What I want to know is how dirty the oil filter is at 20k miles. A really good resource is a youtube channel called "project farm" this guy did independent analysis and held an oil championship on 16 different types of full synthetic motor oil. Fun video to watch and Mobile 1 was not the winner, not even close.
     
    #63 JoePriusPrime, Jun 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  4. JoePriusPrime

    JoePriusPrime Member

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  5. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    For many people, that's a perfectly good reason to to follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. For a few people like me, who keep their cars much longer, it doesn't make much difference.

    Yes, a good base oil itself hardly breaks down, but the vital anti-wear and anti-corrosion additives become depleted as a direct result of how they function. Generally, the anti-corrosion additives tend to be used up more as a result of cold starts, and the anti-wear additives tend to be used up more from running under load.
     
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