Water vapor and foul smelling exhaust

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by acp380, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    If you do end up going the head gasket route, might want to look at the water pump. @m.wynn has a theory about the Gen3 water pump causing failures and it has me curious as well.

    If nothing else, pictures as you go(y).
     
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  2. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    How tuff are the trannys on these cars? If I decide to replace the engine should I consider a tranny to go with it. They seem to be fairly cheap as well.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  3. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Have you changed the trans fluid before, or still have the original fluid in it? If original, it is overdue for a change and might lead to additional wear on components.
     
  4. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Didn't know I needed to. When we bought it the salesman told us it was a "sealed" unit and non serviceable.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    The salesman was not knowledgeable on the Prius:(.

    There is a drain and fill plug to facilitate fluid exchange and something that should have been done many miles ago.

    In this situation, it might be best to drive the car until it gives up the ghost, then look for a replacement.
     
  6. m.wynn

    m.wynn Active Member

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    With the low oil episode(s) the car has seen, I wouldn't think it would be worth doing the head gasket without pulling the top end and at least replacing the oil control rings and drilling out the return holes, if not just replacing the pistons, too. No special tools required, it's just an iteration of Toyota's 1.8, 2zr-fe. This all assuming there isn't lower end damage done from low oil pressure. Although it sounds like a fun project, the cost of labor and risk of continued issues with the current engine may outweigh that of sourcing a low mileage replacement.

    If you do decide to tear it apart, perhaps you'll address some questions for your new PriusChat friends?.. We're seeing head gasket failures with alarming regularity in high-ish to high mileage Gen 3's but thus far there isn't much, if any data as to why. Although someone will come and along and say it's because you didn't change your coolant, I don't believe this is a real factor with regard to every failure we're seeing. A few q's that would be great to get some answers:

    - Is your water pump functional? If you don't have Techstream software you can test by unbolting the pump from the engine and applying 12 volts. With Techstream, unbolt the pump, leave the wiring harness connected and command it on.

    - Is the head warped, block cracked or did the gasket simply give up?

    - Is the EGR circuit in your intake manifold and/or EGR cooler nearly or completely carbon blocked? There is a feel-good recommendation around here to clean the EGR pipe on these cars but I'm not convinced it accomplishes anything. I think regardless of blockage in the pipe, at higher (over 100k) mileage the intake manifold may be fully involved, anyway. If it turns out that bad water pumps aren't the root cause here, it's possible that excessive top end heat is being generated from the blocked EGR circuit in the manifold causing excessive detonation. Not sure if this theory is a real possibility or ignorance fueled B.S., but I'm putting it out there anyway.

    With regard to the Gen 3 transaxle, the anally obsessive types around here have determined that an early drain of the factory fill oil followed by a change interval of somewhere from 30k to unlimited mileage is a good thing. However, there is little-to-no transaxle failure of Gen 3 reported here, unlike Gens 1 and 2, where it's fairly common (Gen 1) to isolated (Gen 2). Although I'd change your transaxle fluid, I wouldn't let it stop me from addressing your issue at hand. But still, Raytheeagle's point about maybe just getting out from under the car at this stage should be taken under consideration, IMO.
     
    #26 m.wynn, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:24 AM
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Engine replacement might be a lo simpler than head gasket replacement. To get a better sense of the cost/complexity, ask a dealership what they'd charge, for both. All I hear of (through dealerships) is engine replacement.

    I've heard just to reseal the timing chain cover is around $1700, just because it's so finicky, and done in tight quarters without engine removal. And I'm thinking that needs doing in the course of cylinder head removal.

    I'll attach a few more excerpts, honestly don't know what is and isn't required, but some of it looks like opening up a watch, lol.
     
    #27 Mendel Leisk, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017 at 11:53 AM
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  8. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    M.wynn I cleaned the egr passages in the intake about 8000 miles ago. I briefly touched on this in post #3. It was definitely a real issue. Car ran horrible before and ran great after I cleaned the passages.
    Mendel I'm starting to lean towards swapping the motor. I'm still paying on the car so getting rid of it is not an option. Around here labor is free as I am a stay at home dad and have access to anything I need to get the job done..I always fix my own cars. I refuse to get raped by a mechanic. I just never thought I would ever work on this car as I was a little intimidated at fist but now I see it's not that bad.


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  9. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Any advice on buying an eBay motor? I noticed some auctions say buyer must set up shipping. How hard is that to do? Assuming the seller will crate the engine and load it on the truck I wouldn't think it would be too difficult.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Well it's official. Wife got home and i checked the coolant level and it was low again..So i checked the oil and low and behold there is water droplets on the dipstick. I'm officially on the hunt for an engine.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  11. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    The problem will be receiving it. Unless you have access to a fork lift, the acquiring process can be the challenge.

    Do you have any salvage yards near you?

    When you do begin undertaking this, please take pictures (y).
     
  12. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    I'm going to get see my dad in Louisiana next weekend. I'm going to try and pick one up in Houston on my way home. There are several on ebay located in houston. If that doesn't work I have a tractor with a front end loader I can unload with..if that doesn't work my neighbor runs a welding business off of his little farm and he has a forklift.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Sounds like a plan;).

    Keep us posted (y)!
     
  14. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Well the engines I have been looking at on ebay were the 1.5's.they are cheap..around 500. What I didn't realize is how much more the 1.8's were. 1800 for one with under 30000 miles. 1500 for one with 103000 miles. Now I'm back to reconsidering pulling the head and replacing the head gasket. Even considered a rebuild or at least re-ring. But I can't seem to find parts for the 1.8..parts are readily available for the 1.5. Also concerning the possibility of a warped head. I know when I was a teenager I had a Ford festiva with a warped head and it cost 15 bucks to take the head to the local machine shop for the guy to slap it on a belt sander and viola problemed solved. I assume the prius head would need to be done on a surface mill and cost more. I would think there would be more serious problems going on if the head is warped beyond repair. Such as leaking oil between head and block,loss of power,compression into the cooling system etc.
    Swapping for a used engine isn't off the table. I just need to cover all of my options as I have much more time than I do money.
     
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  15. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Thinking more about this I think my best option right is a motor on ebay out of Houston for 1300 wit 110000 miles. I could potentially spend 500 plus on changing head gasket/fixing head and any other surprises and still be left with a 240000 engine.
    Seems I only found 1 rebuild kit for the 1.8 and it was 1000 bucks. So a rebuild can cost me up to 2k depending on machine work needed and thats if I do it myself.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    How much credence can you give to the engine mileage of these eBay offerings? Not overly sceptical, but wondering are you completely reliant on seller's honesty and reputation?

    Assuming the mileage is honest, the 30,000 mile engine for $1800 would be my pick.
     
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  17. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    All of the engines I have looked at so far come from lkq. Even the eBay ones. If I go through the office in corpus Christi I have to pay taxes and 100$ core charge but I don't have to pay the shipping. If I go through lkq ebay listing then there is no sales tax because the office is out of Colorado and there is no core charge. I may have to pay sales tax if pick it up in Houston but I don't think the core applies. Could be wrong.
    Anyone ever deal with lkq?
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Do they come with transaxle btw?
     
  19. m.wynn

    m.wynn Active Member

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    Big +1. Knowing what we're continually learning about these engines, there's no way I'd buy one with much over 50k miles or so. At 100k you're exposing yourself to any or all of the big 3 issues - oil consumption, coolant consumption!, and a design failure EGR circuit. At lower mileage, you're at least giving yourself a chance to beat these problems back before they take hold.

    Negative.
     
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  20. acp380

    acp380 Junior Member

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    Well its official. She's toast. She started knocking pretty good today. Found one in Houston for 1500 with 60000 miles. I can pick it up on my way back from louisiana.
     
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