Timing cover leak

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by MaryannH, May 28, 2017.

  1. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Service Managers are concerned about customer satisfaction (aka lasting thru the warranty period) and production. Techs generally have autonomy on how the work is performed.
     
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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    We had one really hands-on service manager, at a Honda dealership. I suspect he was the exception though.
     
  3. Zoltar

    Zoltar Junior Member

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    Yup, had my '14 Prius V, 73k on it in the shop yesterday. Has the "seep" on the timing chain cover, no drips, just the seep.

    Discovered this has been a known issue for many years -- just Google this.

    2nd Toyota with an oil leak issue. Have bought Honda and Toyota last 20 years. No issues with Honda.

    Thus, no more Toyotas. It's Honda from now on. I don't have a lot of patience for this stuff.

    I told the dealer I'll trade it for a Honda (which they sell) before I have this fixed.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Still, part of the issue is your reaction to it. If it's like a teaspoon per oil change interval, just ignore it? Any car, Honda or Toyota, can get minor leakage past gaskets. And you can go through the seven stages of grief, reacting to it, lol.

    If it's bad yeah, it should be addressed. But if it's minor, and there's a decent chance the cure is going to mess things up more, you can just live with it. The timing chain cover is a case in point: access without engine removal is horrible, as are your hopes of applying the form-a-gasket per the specs laid out in the Repair Manual.
     
  5. Mola

    Mola Junior Member

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    Is it possible to take the cover within the engine bay?
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Yes, but applying the sealant correctly, and reinstalling, torquing all the bolts and in sequence, it's a bit much. I think that's what the dealerships do though.
     

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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    It is;).

    @leeb18c has done it:).

    I’m sure he’d share his method (y).
     
  8. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    yes
     
  9. PriusC2012

    PriusC2012 New Member

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    UPDATE:
    Sorry it took so long, but I wanted to update my issue.
    Have to give Toyota and my local dealership a BIG thumbs up. They really stepped up. My dealership submitted my case for a goodwill repair coverage. The service manager said it may take a few days to get a response, Toyota responded the very next day and covered the entire cost of my repair. It was a tremendous relief. The dealership got my car in right away and had a brand new rental for me to use while my car was being repaired.
    I did have some problems with my car after I got it back. It was hesitating during acceleration and there was some shaking from the engine. I actually had to take it back three times before they found the problem because it wasn’t giving a DTC and they couldn’t replicate the issue. They finally discovered the coil was causing one of the cylinders to misfire. They repaired it and I haven’t had any problems since. They were extremely apologetic, courteous and professional throughout and always provided me with a nice rental.
    So even though it was a stressful situation for nearly a month, I have to give credit where it is due. My car is running great again (knock on wood), and all of the repairs and rentals didn’t cost me a penny. Great customer service! Thank you Toyota and Milton Ruben dealership!
     
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  10. LatteDrinkingLiberal

    LatteDrinkingLiberal Junior Member

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    Just had my 2010 in for an oil/coolant change. I am at about 110,000. I have just moved, so this was my first visit to this dealership. They came back with the timing cover leak issue. $2,000 to repair. Or, "you can just watch it." It was kind of strange because I service sales guy started by saying "you probably know about this." But I had not been told about any leak at any prior services...and my car had been to a dealer and an independent shop fairly recently in my prior city. I was kind of shocked to be presented with a $2k repair! The sales guy was saying the oil can drip on "other parts" and damage them or eat away the "fibbage." Valid or BS? My inclination right now is do nothing and watch the oil level. Question, if I put a piece of cardboard on the garage floor under the car would leaks show up on the cardboard or does that plastic shield under the car catch leaks like that? Obviously, I am a car dunce. The most I know about that shield is that twice I have had shops not secure it correctly and found myself driving the car back in with that dang thing dragging on the ground. I have been happy with my Prius, but I am thinking I will replace it late next year, so I am reluctant to invest $2k into it if I don't have to. Would you trust an independent shop to dismantle the engine to the extent they would need to in order to make this repair? Would you just watch it?
     
  11. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I would watch it and see how much it leaks over time. While I was waiting I would also try to find out exactly where it is leaking and maybe dry the area off when I found the leak and keep an eye on it. That is a lot of money if it is a small leak. I have never had a Prius engine apart but have head they are not easy to work on when in the car so that may justify the cost. Another thing is once you start the repair you run into other things that while they are in there may be a good time to replace also so the price goes up.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    This is one of the current verbal "tics" a lot of people are using, especially when "on the record", radio folks. I've been hearing a lot of "as you've been hearing..." prefaces on CBC radio, maybe just a phase. Seems like people don't want to be seen to be stating something that's obvious, or old-news, whatever, so they sprinkle on expressions like that.

    I'd just watch it for now, monitor the dipstick. The timing chain cover has myriad bolts, various torques, and an extremely complex Form-In-Place gasket procedure. I think to put the FIP gasket properly would require engine removal, and even then, the time limit stipulations, to have the gasket placed and all the bolts re-torqued, is nearly impossible to achieve.

    You can see for yourself what it looks like,: take off the front passenger side wheel, remove 3 accessible plastic fasteners, then flex back the plastic panel at rear of wheel well.

    You need to pry up the center caps to release the jaws. They are quite stubborn, more heavy-duty than the engine underpanel fasteners. A paint can opener and a slim blade screwdriver in concert is good for prying them up. Take your time, pry one side, then the other; they are somewhat brittle. This is what I mean by paint can opener:

    upload_2018-11-26_10-25-9.png

    It has a 90 degree hooked blade, handy for this.

    And this is the view:

    IMG_9575.JPG
    (Ours, a few weeks back, when I was putting on the snow tires. Well at least the bottom of it, where oil leaks would likely end up.)

    Have a look at the attached Repair Manual excerpt, to get a feel for what's involved. The instruction is to apply the FIP gasket to the engine face, not the cover. Even with the engine out and on a stand, the time restrictions are extremely tight.
     

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    #72 Mendel Leisk, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  13. donzoh1

    donzoh1 Active Member

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    I know this is an old thread but thought I'd share my idea here. If the leak is in a limited area of the timimg cover/engine block seal, id thoroughly clean the area and ensure no more oil was leaking, perhaps during an oil change. The precise location of the leak would need to be determined (oil dye?) Assuming the leak is from the timing cover seam, cut a 1/2 inch wide strip from a soda can and form it along the length of the leak. Permatex Ultra Black or similar can be used to glue the strip in place. Tape in place and let cure 24 hours.
     
  14. Bruce85623

    Bruce85623 New Member

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    I took my 2011 Prius for a software update last week and got the same message. $2,400 was the quote I got, which is more than the car is worth (121K). The engine has to be dropped to get to the gasket. I forget the figures, but about half was for the parts and half for labor.

    My plan is to get another car fairly soon, so I'll keep an eye on the oil level as long as I have the car.

    If you know a good independent mechanic, I would check there first. A local shop does my maintenance and they would get a call if I wanted to get the job done.
     
  15. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Not all oil leaks are created equal. If it doesn't need oil between oil changes I wouldn't worry about it.
    Your friends may hate you coming to their house with an oil leaker leaving oil spots on their driveway. Blame it on a Harley.:)
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    First off, look for yourself. Take the front passenger wheel off, take a few off the plastic liner at the back of the wheel well, flex it out of the way, and look, with a good light.

    If you're not seeing anything at the bottom or up a bit, check from the top. If little or nothing there, they are fishing for business. If otoh, the whole area is an oily/sooty mess, yeah, probably worth doing.

    The "parts" involved can be as little as a tube of of the Toyota form-in-place gasket. There are more O-rings and gaskets, but it's debatable how many of them need replacement. Even if you do, all in would be $50~60?

    FWIW, these cowboys will do a complete head gasket job, which includes removal and reinstalll of the timing cover, without removal of the engine, for under $700. Their methods are sloppy, but watch the video, just to get a sense of what's involved. Definetely no "engine dropping" required:

     
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  17. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I've never had one of these engines apart but for that timing cover I would buy come long bolts and cut the heads off and screw them into the bolt holes and use them as dowels to align the timing cover.
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Around 33:30 of the above video they install the cover. The drive shaft aligns the bottom very positively, and you can hear a click, sounds like the whole thing snaps into alignment, so maybe something already there for that purpose.
     
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  19. Donna Leonhardt

    Donna Leonhardt New Member

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  20. Donna Leonhardt

    Donna Leonhardt New Member

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    I got the same quote! Took it to my mechanic and it was the o rings. Cost was 300.00 not 3995.00
     
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