sudden coolant consumption, options to prevent HG failure?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by jack black, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    i did major EGR and heat exchanger cleaning at ~110,000 miles, actually replaced it with newer, low mile ones that i precleaned too. combined it with oil, coolant, and plugs change. it was quite a huge maintenance. coolant level slowly dropped since that and i didn't think much of it. fast forward 15,000 miles and almost 2 years. i came back from a 1 week long travel and started the prius. it wasn't even cold. it knocked for a few seconds. previously i only had that after shutting it before it warmed up properly. i said to myself Uh-oh. i checked the coolant reservoir and it's empty. took a liter of pink coolant to refill it full. no coolant in oil though and the car runs as well as ever, maybe noisier under low speed high load conditions. there are no leaks that i can see.

    so, i'm thinking:

    1. the whole EGR valve and heat exchanger cleaning doesn't prevent a thing.
    2. i need to something more radical.

    how about this?
    [​IMG]




    BTW, Thanks!
     
    #1 jack black, Nov 23, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Blown head gaskets
     
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  3. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    F..k! so much for over-maintaining the whole thing. frigging 125,000 miles! maybe it's time and not miles. i had it for 10 years. 2010 made in june 2010. battery still good though.
     
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    What was the condition of the EGR cooler when you cleaned it at 110k, can you hazard a clogging percentage? Also, did you clean the intake manifold, in particular the small EGR passages at each port?

    Test the head gasket integrity with a leak down test? Toyota makes a gasket kit, includes head gasket and pretty much everything. A lot replace the head bolts too, for just in case.

    I would pass on those AC Delco tabs.
     
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  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Lets see, maybe a spreadsheet is needed to count the number of gen3 head gaskets. About ten in the last month that I know of which is a very small sample set. Maybe there is a systemic fault....

    Jack, where are you located? One of our diy guys did a headgasket for $156 in parts, Gasketmasters in Cali, $1500-$2000 with a reworked head, some this month have replaced the engine from $1800 - $3500. Dealers will offer an engine for $5000 - $7000.
     
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  7. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    thanks for replying. it was partially clogged, like 50/50. i still have some pictures saved, need to find them. even the "new" used one with 43,000 miles had at least 10-20% obstruction. the intake was out so i cleaned it real well. i also cleaned the intake and the metal connecting pipe before at about 70,000 miles, so it wasn't too bad.

    Edit: my pictures were posted here. it was actually 113,000 miles and june 2019:
    would you clean this EGR cooler (with pictures)? | Page 2 | PriusChat
     
    #7 jack black, Nov 23, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  8. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    i'm a cheapskate, so i'll prob do it myself. want to wait a bit and see how bad is the consumption now.
     
  9. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The downside of waiting can be a bent rod or even a hole in the block, both caused by a hydrolock of coolant in the cylinder.

    watch this video
     
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  10. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Hi Jack, what part of the USA are you from?
     
  11. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    That is a GM solution I swear by on an HT4100 engine. (See Cadillac Forums in the '85 de Ville FWD section. Quite controversial, I swear by it that it stops water pump failures in that engine. GM put warning labels on cover on top of the radiator with the part number of those tabs). GM apparently sent out TSBs that it was no longer required, but I still have that whole package in our system.

    If you're burning coolant, (coolant into exhaust) there is a product specifically for that which is worth a shot called K-Seal. Have that in another car. Follow directions carefully.



    moto g(7) power ?
     
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  12. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    I'll try one of those liquid HG fixes before doing anything more invasive. now that i think about it more why would HG fail on such low miles, i'm thinking maybe it's related to thermal cycling. most of the miles on my car is city driving, like about 80,000 miles. that included 3-5 trips a day. each with near full cold-hot-cold cycle. furthermore, i drive mostly using pulse and glide meaning numerous start-stop cycles during each trip. that's even more cylinder temp fluctuation. i'm thinking the OEM HG is not good enough for all that thermal cycling. maybe if i drove mostly hwy, the defect would show up much later, closer to 200,000 like most reports i'm reading.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Welp I disagree with just about everything you said:

    1. The stop-leak quick fix
    2. "Thermal cycling"
    3. Toyota head gasket quality
    4. You're good for 200K if you drive highway

    Nope, not just about, it's everything, lol.
     
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  14. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    well, it's still a free country, so feel free to disagree.
    since you provided no better explanation, i'm free to ignore your useless and unfriendly post.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Fair enough:

    1. The stop-leak quick fix <buys you nothing but a month or two, makes a royal mess of the coolant system
    2. "Thermal cycling" <Gasket Master's theory, while the smoking gun is a carbon chocked EGR. Their expertise is replacing head gaskets fast/cheap. Even they say in one video "it's always cylinder one". Wonder why... Thermal expansion? Or that's the cylinder one EGR port is the one that clogs worst and first.
    3. Toyota head gasket quality <Likely the best head gasket going.
    4. You're good for 200K if you drive highway <Seriously doubt it. If anything, the protracted high speed will accelerated the EGR clogging.
     
  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    You're correct. There are plug in prius owners that posted on this gen 3 non-PIP forum intentionally seeking head gasket failure explanations and/or quick fixes when they are running on electric most of the time. Thermal cycling rarely happens on PIP gen 3 but they still suffer blown head gasket failure under 100,000 miles, one came here lurking with 50,000 miles w/gasket failure. I'll ignore myself also :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
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  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Very useful explanations, but still unfriendly :ROFLMAO:
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Terse, terse. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  19. wheezyglider

    wheezyglider Active Member

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    I think OP's data point isn't conclusive but can't be ignored -- an early head gasket failure that happened well after a full EGR cleaning really is notable. It runs counter to the most popular theory about what's causing the HG failures. Not sure if we've seen this happen before, discounting where people do an emergency EGR clean *after* things start running rough.

    We can still all agree that there's *something* wrong with Toyota's design on the Gen 3 Prius that is leading to low-mileage head gasket failures, and not much right with Toyota's public response to whatever that problem is. (Right?)

    That idea of a spreadsheet tracking early head gasket failures is a great one IMO. Especially if it includes the manufacture date and location. (Hey I'm not volunteering tho!) I seem to remember there was a recall for head gasket issues on a short run of serials from one factory, it would be interesting to see how many of the observed failures were close to those.

    From the horror stories I've seen in these forums, those stop-leak products don't seem to play well with this car. If it's really the HG (check cylinders in morning for fluid, or find a guy who's good at leak-down testing), it's a matter of time before you replace the HG or end up needing an engine rebuild. The stop-leak thing is a seductive temptation, but the fact that you already had a rough start is a huge red flag. And I'm not talking about a one with a friendly maple leaf.
     
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  20. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    :LOL:
     
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