Red triangle and company

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tavarezt, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. tavarezt

    tavarezt New Member

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    Hi Priuschat,

    The situation:

    1. Roommate changed the oil on the Prius. Drained old stuff and replaced it with 3 qts. He did not check the dipstick after changing oil. Unless there was still somehow still oil in it, it was likely not an overfill at this point.

    2. Roommate takes the Prius for a drive to circulate the oil. The roommate got 2.7 miles and then the red triangle of death, check engine light came on. The car lost drive power and eventually stopped.

    3. AAA driver comes. Stan, our AAA tow, checks the oil and finds that the dipstick has no oil it. Stan checks twice.

    4. Roommate and Stan tow the car back to our house. They add 2 qts and the oil overfills. They drain enough to where dipstick indicates right at capacity. They do not turn on the car during the overfill.

    5. Prius is (occasionally) able to reverse at full power, but sluggishly drives a tiny distance before losing power. Otherwise, the Prius is not able to be put into drive OR reverse.

    Check engine light is on, VSC light on, main battery light on, red triangle light is on.

    Anyone have any recommended steps? We're on a pretty tight budget.
     
    #1 tavarezt, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The car was fine with 3qts, it was really clean so it didn't show on the dipstick.

    You should've used some common sense before adding 2 additional quarts, now the overfill just added to your problem.

    You need to check the codes on the car to do more in depth diagnosis

    SM-N900P ?
     
  3. tavarezt

    tavarezt New Member

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    Yep. Wasn't there.

    Will try to find a way to get the codes read. Thanks JC.
     
    #3 tavarezt, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  4. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    Same as above. Cause and effect. 2 didn't happen because of 1. 3 quarts would've been low but fine. Get the codes.
     
  5. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Are you sure the person drained engine oil?

    Did the car have issues before the oil change?

    SM-N900P ?
     
  7. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Yep, at this point you'd better check the transaxle fluid, and coolant too.
     
  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    3 qts is about all it takes to get my 2006 to bottom of dipstick.
     
  9. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Was the oil filter changed as well? Could you be getting warning light for low oil pressure caused by a loose or mis-alighed oil filter?
     
  10. tavarezt

    tavarezt New Member

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    Pretty sure. Nothing really obvious.

    Never checked them before; will do.

    The oil filter was changed. A loose or mis-aligned oil filter is definitely possible, but would that cause the other craziness with error messages and non-ability to drive?
     
  11. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Lack of oil pressure could be a fatal error.
     
  12. Frontporch

    Frontporch Member

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    I have never had an oil filter lose enough to cause a drop in oil pressure. I would expect if I did, I would notice oil all over the bottom of the engine/ground. A slow leak over time could probably go unnoticed, but that doesn't sound like the situation here.

    I haven't had an easy time reading my dipstick. I also didn't realize at first that most people shoot for the low mark on the dipstick as full. Not the way I think about cars where I shoot for the upper mark for a full reading. Overfilling can have side effects, but other than a loss of engine efficiency since it is doing more work as moving parts encounter oil, I don't see the big deal for a short trip or why it would cause an engine problem. I remember years ago reading about bad things that can happen as engine parts, normally above the running oil level in the engine could stir up an overfilled engine and create foam. Eventually you might hit the situation where your oil pump is picking up and lubricating critical engine components with foamy oil. Not the best lubricant.

    Based on what I have read, reverse is pure electric powered, so a running engine's power has no effect.

    Hopefully the engine codes can shed some light. There is always a chance that the oil and this problem are not related.
     
  13. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    I used to think overfill, a little, no problem. READ and become enlightened.
    Another Walmart oil overfill, Toyota is hinting at new ICE | PriusChat
     
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