Rocks in blender sound hours after dealer service

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Greytea91, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. Greytea91

    Greytea91 New Member

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    Question: is the situation below likely due to dealership service errors, given service notes further below?

    Issue: a few hours after the dealer service I describe below on Friday, I drove my 2011 Prius (155K miles) 1.5 hours with AC constantly on, then parked and continued idling for ~5 mins, keeping AC on. All of a sudden it sounded like there were rocks in a blender under the hood.

    Details (skip if too much info): I turned off ignition. Waited a minute, and then restarted still with AC on: immediately the rocks in blender sound returned. I again turned off ignition. Waited a few minutes and restarted still with AC on: sound returned after few minutes. So I called dealership who said they would tow it (at dealership expense) if the sound returned after restarting a couple hours later (when the event I was attending ended) — else ok to drive, but leave it overnight at dealership so they could inspect it (no charge). Fast forward a couple hours: there was no sound after idling 5 mins, including a slow drive around parking lots and side roads for 15 mins, so I drove an uneventful/soundless 1.5h on highway and left car at dealership.

    Dealer Response So Far: After inspection the next day (Saturday), the Service Manager told me that technicians are still investigating and need car a couple more days, but looking like head gasket starting to give out. More TBD Monday.

    Service Notes (Important To Original Question):
    1. Hours before the issue above, the dealership—where I purchased car and have had every service— performed ATF service, oil&lub, and multipoint inspection.
    2. When that service above was completed, the Service Manager (SM) gave me records that showed the technician observed the coolant was in poor condition and brake fluid was dirty —so they fixed it free of charge, bc the SM said “I had already paid for it, so you can ignore that.” He was referring to how 7 months/7K miles ago I had same dealership perform recommended Prius 150K “preferred service” slightly early, including coolant drain/replace, brake fluid replace, etc. It seemed odd to me that there were coolant & brake fluid issues bc 7 months ago both were replaced. But the SM said it was addressed in this appointment so didn’t seem a big deal, and I was late for an appointment so I didn’t ask questions. Note: I have the service tech documentation on this.
    Specs & Servicing:
    1. Model: 2011 Prius
    2. Miles: 155K
    3. Ownership: I’m the original owner, and purchased new from same dealership where service has always been completed.
    4. Service Record: 100% of all manufacturer recommended service (incl. oil changes, xxxK service, etc.) completed on time at this same dealership where I made original purchase, with past 3+ years using same Service Manager.
    5. Chosen service packages: usually value, occasionally preferred, once in a while minimum — all based on discussions and recommendations by SM.
    6. Car has never had any previous issues with the engine or anything really.

    Thanks for suggestions/feedback if this is likely a dealer service issue (e.g., they likely missed coolant and brake replacement 7 months ago), or just as likely an act of nature and coincidence.
     
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  2. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    The dealership is probably correct The dirty coolant maybe a sign what have you My coolant was clean as all get out the car blew a head gasket and then threw a rod right after that and the coolant still was beautiful pink everything under the hood was clean whistle clean eat off of it etc but the engine was destroyed with a hole in it. It's very common in the gen 3 2 ZFE. I would start looking at JDM spec engine from Japan That's what I bought matter of fact I bought the engine and the transmission so I'd be putting two low mileage units in my 240,000 some odd miled car
     
  3. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    So now was it not rattling if you put on the air conditioning does it rattle that would sound like a failing air conditioning compressor which is also pretty common not necessarily at your mileage usually it almost double that but if you're in a high use area and you just run your air conditioner into oblivion because if it's electric inverter type of unit it will just run itself to death.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    it could very well be the head gasket, as it is a common failure on gen 3 engine due to bad pistons/rings/egr design.
    and your mileage is prime for failure.

    i don't really understand the part about the previously charged coolant and brake fluid, but not completed at the time.
    i can't think of anything they might have done to cause the problem, but wouldn't rule it out based on th sm's statement regarding the above fluids
     
  5. Greytea91

    Greytea91 New Member

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    Thank you both! That helps a lot. I have run the AC a lot recently while idling, bc of a heat wave so it sounds like that might be related.
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Well, kind of, but running the AC doesn't cause the coolant to get into the combustion chamber. It just uses up the charge in the hybrid battery faster, causing the engine to run more often, giving more opportunities for that rattle.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    I’d wager dealership never mentioned EGR cleaning? I wouldn’t bother asking them to take it on, unless you have very deep pockets. DIY is by far the best approach. Or a competent independent mechanic/shop.

    as @bisco said, you’re in the danger zone for EGR clogging and subsequent head gasket failure.

    see first link in my signature. If on phone turn it landscape to see signatures.

    That said, head gasket diagnosis is priority, then EGR. Leak down test and boroscope inspection (with coolant system pressurized) are the main tools.
     
  8. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    All I want to know is is from a running idling car or you driving down the road with the gas engine on there's no rattle. But when you flip the air conditioner on at the same speed the rattle starts?. Is this correct or not if so I would be maybe looking at my air conditioner first. Then pulling my driveway at home with the engine running but the car in park air conditioner off let the engine shut off might take a few seconds and just be sitting there with everything on and apply the air conditioning does the rattling start immediately then I'd be looking at my air conditioning compressor and system. You've kind of isolated the problem. Or not
     
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