Thought My Prius Was Going To Blow Up

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Island Girl, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Island Girl

    Island Girl New Member

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    I have a 2018 Prius C hybrid with 10,000 km and have had one service at 9,000 km. I started it yesterday and a few seconds later the car started shaking, increasing in severity. I immediately shut it down, waited, and tried again. Same response. I asked my friend to help, he opened the hood and asked me to try again, and saw the engine vibrating excessively.

    Tow truck driver was called and we went through the same process with him and he remarked he had never seen anything like that before.

    Just received a call from Toyota that my car was ready and when I asked what the problems was, they said “nothing, there were no error codes and they could not replicate the problem.”

    The only thing that I had done differently, prior to this problem, is that I parked in a different location at my house (first time) which was at a slight incline rather than flat surface and it stayed there for about 24 hours.

    Obviously there is an issue but I’m no mechanic. Anyone have any insight?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Rough starts are usually misfires, and these cars are usually very good at catching and recording misfires (as error codes).

    And there aren't many reasons why one of these with so little usage would be misfiring. New fuel source lately?
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    any chance when you parked in the new place, you shut down the engine while it was still warming up?
     
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  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    During this, did the engine start and run just for a few seconds before turning off?
     
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  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    @bisco & @fotomoto beat me to it. This typically happens after shutting down the engine before it's warmed up. Happened once to my wife with her Gen 2. She never did that again!
     
  6. Island Girl

    Island Girl New Member

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    No new fuel source. I always use Costco.

    Yes, this would be true.

    The engine did not turn off on its own. I turned it off because the shaking was so violent. I would say I only had it running for about 10 seconds.

    Oh okay, I will keep this in mind! Normally I start my car to drive somewhere but in this instance I started it to move it out of the way for a truck. For some reason I felt like it had something to do with the being parked on an incline but maybe not.
     
    #6 Island Girl, Jul 9, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2020
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    this has been an ongoing problem for all prius up to gen 4. not sure if they fixed it in that gen.

    what happens is that because of the design of the intake manifold and other considerations, when you shut the engine down in certain circumstances, unburned hydrocarbons remain in the manifold.
    upon the next start up, they get drawn into the combustion chamber and cause detonation. (blow up)
    when you have to move the car, etc., try to let it warm up a few minutes before shutting down.
     
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  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I was remembering that moisture condensation was also involved.

    I don't remember full warmups being needed, it was more associated with a stone cold engine running only a few seconds before shutdown. E.g. after cold reparking where most of the move is done on pure electric, then the driver doesn't quite get finished before the automatic engine startup. The next startup was when it infrequently might occur.

    My 2010 vintage had many reports of this violent shaking, and I suffered it several times. Now if I don't quite finish a quick move before the ICE starts, then I let it run at least 20 seconds before shutting down. There was some factory change before my 2012 was built (and a TSB for older units), reducing the problem. Between that, and changing my habits to avoid it, I've never experienced it on my 2012. But a 'c' isn't quite the same.
     
    #8 fuzzy1, Jul 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I haven't managed to encounter this problem myself, but I have read about it for a while on Priuschat. Apparently falls under "harmless" and "scary" at the same time.
     
  10. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot Active Member

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    Me as well and I have also done cold start and shut down a few seconds after the ICE started just to move the car. I wounder what other criteria there is that causes the event?
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't recall the c having this issue, i had thought it was immune.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Don't confuse this problem with the rough start from antifreeze intrusion that you get on the big 2ZR engine. The 1NZ in the c does not get that problem, fortunately- but if I have it right it seems to have the same "rich start runaway" that the same 1NZ engine also displayed in the older 2nd generation Prius.
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    It was quite infrequent, so I never fully understood the whole situation on the 2010 liftback either. The great majority of the cold brief start-stop cycles did not produce this problem.
     
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  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Right. It doesn't always do it. My working theory is that it does it when there's enough liquid left in the intake manifold to get sucked in on startup which leads to it very nearly hydrolocking.
     
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