Replace Engine or Repair Heads 2012 Prius V

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by GiantPriusV, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Hello all!

    I have been a Gen 2 owner for 4-5 years and just recently purchased a 2012 Prius V with 160k miles. I absolutely love the fit and the car especially for a person as tall and large as myself. I purchased the 2012 Prius V from a dealer who had just purchased it from an auction. I knew I would have to put money in it, but it ran fine on test drive with a clean carfax. Soon after purchasing CEL comes on, and I can feel the car misfiring at start (0-10 mph) but after that runs smooth. I take it to my local mechanic, tell him what I have been feeling and get the codes read. P0303 misfire. We replace coil and all spark plugs (they were pretty bad). I did a lot of reading online about similar issues for gen 3 and everything is pointing to a bad head gasket. What really put the nail in the coffin is that this morning I noticed a lot of my coolant being used after recently refilling it and white smoke blowing from exhaust for 1-2 seconds on start. I am done driving it for now. The question is now should I try to repair the bad head gasket or just do a gen 3 engine swap with one of lower miles? Thoughts? And potential recommendations if you are in the Houston/Austin area?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    i have seen it go both ways, mostly do to cost. price out both options.
     
  3. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Any idea what could have caused the gasket to fail?
     
  4. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Any recourse with the seller?
     
  5. hchu1

    hchu1 Active Member

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    Here is video of a diy head gasket change.



    Not hard, just tedious and I would clean out the sludge before putting it back together.
     
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  6. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Hell of a job for someone (me) not mechanically inclined. What would be the max I should be looking to pay for the gasket repair? What about an engine replacement? Never even looked into these with any other toyota I have owned so I have no idea. Located in Houston.
     
  7. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Seller told me to call him tomorrow, the thing is I knew something was wrong with the car as did he, just didn't think it was this big. I definitely want to keep the car, just need it repaired.
     
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  8. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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  9. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    I called them. Their only recommendation, I called who said they do not repair gasket/replace engine.
     
  10. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Any engine with 160k on it will most likely need a new head gasket. I head gasket keeps two major components of the motor together, while keeping them separate. I know that doesn't make sense, but the head controls intake and exhaust, the core creates heat, mass and combustion. All this constant movement puts a strain on the gasket and what happens is tiny hair line leaks (usually in the areas where coolant flows from the core into the head) cause pressure to escape and eventually grow to a major leak.
    As for your answer for swapping a motor vs. getting work done, I always go the route that will cost me the least amount of labor and time without my car. Engine swap is less labor and time and is usually much less time than replacing gasket.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if it is anything like the lift back engine, the egr circuit clogs and puts pressure on the gasket, which seems to have some thin areas that blow out.
    there are tons of threads, posts and videos on the subject.
     
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  12. rosencrantz

    rosencrantz Junior Member

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    If it were me, I’d replace the engine with a low mileage 2015 engine. If a HG replacement was less expensive than an engine swap, I’d STILL choose the 2015 engine because with that, you’d be getting the redesigned pistons, rings, and, I think, head gasket. I’d think you’d be looking at a few thousand $$ (minimum) to swap in an engine though. Not sure about the cost of head gasket replacement.
     
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  13. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Really appreciate all the thoughtful input. I think I am going to go the the engine swap rout for a 2013-2015 with <75K as most shops are quoting me a lot more for just the gasket job. I checked egr, intake manifold and they are all clean, at least since I got the vehicle. Is there anything I should do at the time of the engine swap to ensure I don't run into this problem again?
     
  14. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    After the 75k swap, just keep up with the routine maintenance and you should be ok.
     
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  15. clownmidget

    clownmidget New Member

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    I have a 2012 Prius V that started having the rough start, rough idle back in the fall at roughly 140k miles. Took it into dealership once it threw the P0302, P0303 codes for mis-fire. I was told the EGR system was covered as an extended warranty but I'd need to purchase a newly re-designed intake manifold. Had the coolant flushed and replaced and new spark plugs at that time as well. This past Sunday, with 154k miles on it, it threw the mis-fire codes again and had the big puff of white smoke out the tail pipe. Dealership confirmed head gasket failed and scoring in the #2 cylinder was bad enough, along with the relatively high mileage, that an engine replacement was the best option.
    Personally, after reading through all of the negative findings about the Gen 3 1.8-liter - the oil rings, the EGR, the predictable HG issues - I'd never put a Gen 3 back in no matter what the mileage. The 2016-17 Gen 4's with under 30k miles are pretty common for ~$1500.
    Just for reference, the Toyota dealership near me quoted me $3k for a head gasket job, $5500 for a Gen 3 motor with 100k miles and $6500 for a Gen 3 with 30k miles. They told me Toyota shop labor showed approximately 18 hours for the work for a motor swap.
     
  16. GiantPriusV

    GiantPriusV New Member

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    Gen 4 wont fit in the Prius V though, correct?
     
  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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  18. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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    Yes it fits because it's the same engine. I think Toyota made some changes to the cams but not much else as far as function is concerned.
    There were changes to things that are not the engine but the old stuff fits on the new engine, ie. flywheel and damper, motor mount, intake, EGR and EGR cooler, exhaust manifold and the exhaust system, coolant hose routing and locations, sensor locations, and ground wire landings.
    So, technically it won't fit but if you give the new engine what it wants it'll be happy in a Gen 3 Prius or Prius "v".

    - Fix That Prius!
     
  19. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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  20. Ragingfit

    Ragingfit Member

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