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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new 2005 - only on my 2nd and a 1/2 tank of gas (about 900 miles total) - I have read many posts about tire pressure and oil level making a big differnce, but wow. I was slightly disipointed with my first tank and 1/2 avg being about 40-45 with 80/20(hwy/cty) driving (68mph on hwy). So when I went to fill this tank up, i checked the oil level (factory fill still) before I went to fuel and found it was a decent amount over the max mark. So I took out a bit and got it just a bit below the max mark.

Then I added air pressure to my tiers which were in the mid 30's to 42/41

Since, I have seen about 52mpg with the same 80/20 driving! thats a big differnce for such small changes!
 

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Impressive, C.
 

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I've got a question. My oil level is pretty high also. How do you take oil out?
 

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What's pretty high? If it's a 16th of an inch it is probably the same as 80% of the Prius's who have had their oil changed by Toyota. They are all adding 4 qts at the change instead of 3.9. I'm surprised they just don't stick in a 4 qt. dip stick.
You can get the 3.9 if you check the car with the service manager after oil change when he informs you that the small amount doesn't matter and a "gosh" more is better than a "gosh" less. Whether you want to take his word for it or not is up to you.
 

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My service manager has so far failed to put in writing, as requested, that the extra 1/10 quart is harmless. I think that's worth mentioning.

A place around the corner will change the oil and rotate the tires for $20 if I bring my own oil, so I'm going to try that at least once...
 

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Brian said:
I've got a question. My oil level is pretty high also. How do you take oil out?
K-Mart sells a 1st Auto Siphon Pump 0-72000-74441-3 which includes directions on changing the oil by pumping it out through the dipstick.

So far, I haven't used the one I bought, but it's here when I get mad enough...
 

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hyperion said:
What's pretty high? If it's a 16th of an inch it is probably the same as 80% of the Prius's who have had their oil changed by Toyota. They are all adding 4 qts at the change instead of 3.9. I'm surprised they just don't stick in a 4 qt. dip stick.
You can get the 3.9 if you check the car with the service manager after oil change when he informs you that the small amount doesn't matter and a "gosh" more is better than a "gosh" less. Whether you want to take his word for it or not is up to you.
I'll note that Priustek on the yahoogroups has stated that the Toyota-recommended 3.9 will put you right at the full mark. The suggestion is to use 3.5, and then top up as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brian said:
I've got a question. My oil level is pretty high also. How do you take oil out?
Well, there has to be a better way than how I did it LOL - I figured, oh this is a peice of cake, I will pull it up on my ramps, put the pan under lossen the plug a lil and let at seep out a lil then check it.

Well I was wrong on ALL counts LOL - First, the car is to low for my ramps.. So I kinda climbed under it as best i could in my garage, loosened the oil plug, figured it would seep a bit out from around the threads when i got it loose.... Nope not a DROP. So i slowly take the plug out, ofcourse the oil comes nearly spraying out, literly went about a foot from the pan, im like **** try to stick the plug back in...... drop it in the catch pan... think quick... stick my finger in the hole......... Now what? laying on my back 1/2 under the car, cant reach the plug, if i take my finger out im gonna lose all my oil.. I ended up twisting around in a very painful way onto my sholder getting the plug and putting it back in... that was fun! Atleast when i checked my level it was just between 1/2 full and full!

Gotta be a better/CLEANER way!
 

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mrv said:
hyperion said:
What's pretty high? If it's a 16th of an inch it is probably the same as 80% of the Prius's who have had their oil changed by Toyota. They are all adding 4 qts at the change instead of 3.9. I'm surprised they just don't stick in a 4 qt. dip stick.
You can get the 3.9 if you check the car with the service manager after oil change when he informs you that the small amount doesn't matter and a "gosh" more is better than a "gosh" less. Whether you want to take his word for it or not is up to you.
I'll note that Priustek on the yahoogroups has stated that the Toyota-recommended 3.9 will put you right at the full mark. The suggestion is to use 3.5, and then top up as needed.
3 quarts is most convenient, and puts it halfway between the ADD and FULL marks. No topping off required.
 

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Does it run better with a little less or a little more. Oil in an engine does more than lubricate. It also "cools." Four quarts of oil in any car is darn little. Especially one that uses a filter. I still believe that Toyota service knows what they are doing. Question them about the "overfill" and they will continue to do it to be on the safe side. I still think they should offer us a dipstick that indicates full when four quarts are added.
 

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hyperion said:
Does it run better with a little less or a little more. Oil in an engine does more than lubricate. It also "cools." Four quarts of oil in any car is darn little. Especially one that uses a filter. I still believe that Toyota service knows what they are doing. Question them about the "overfill" and they will continue to do it to be on the safe side. I still think they should offer us a dipstick that indicates full when four quarts are added.
Overfull is not "on the safe side" according to Toyota. It can give warning lights and shutdowns...

http://www.alldata.com/tsb/Toyota/11035 ... ges/50.gif
or
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 050-04.gif
US TSB EG050-04
December 20, 2004. ENGINE OIL SPECIFICATIONS. 2001-2005 Prius. (Incorrect
engine oil viscosity or improper fill level may result in a M.I.L. "ON"
condition (most common Diagnostic Trouble Code P3191 "Engine does not
start"). Use SAE 5W-30 API grade SL "Energy Conserving" oil and use proper
fill quantity.)
 

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Someone could probably make a little money selling an aftermarket dipstick that has *one* mark on it: KEEP OIL LEVEL HERE EXACTLY. This will appeal to owners with visco-compulsive disorder :_> I'll stay with the anywhere-in-this-range-is-fine dipstick, which is what the design engineers put there.
 

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They should just stop beating around the bush and make an oil and an engine that does not require any flush/fill of any sort, other than at the factory.

That would leave the term "Dipstick" available for the incompetent driver of said auto, instead of the measuring device.
 

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I've been reading threads about overfill for a while now, and here is a summary of what I have read.

1. Overfill is bad
2. Dealers don't know what they are doing
3. TSBs have been issued to educate dealers and anyone who reads them.
4. Everyone obsesses over this issue.

Here is my evaluation of these issues based upon hands on experience.

1. Sure, overfill is bad, but if you get more than about a half quart above spec. .10 of a quart is miniscule. It takes 5 of those to get a half quart. The postings I have read where there have been actual problems with overfill occur when a dealer or grease monkey shop puts in 5 quarts "like every other car out there". That will cause lots of problems. As a group, we are also seeing that factory fill is above the full dot. That seems to be standard operating procedure for Toyota in their manufacturing plants and as such, I'm inclined to believe that if they are confident on that procedure sending the vehicles out like that, it is not a risk issue for us in the real world either.

2. I have worked with two different dealers. As such both have said they put in a full 4 quarts. One was aware of the oil "overfill" from the factory and realized that the amount over the full dot on the dipstick from the factory was identical to the amount over the full mark after they did a 4 quart change. They sure seemed to be on the ball about noticing that rather miniscule detail. I bet they are doing the pre-delivery prep on these cars properly also, that is how they came to notice it. But that is beside the point, the dealers I'm familiar with are also familiar with the TSB and seem to be able to just about quote it from memory, but continue to put in 4 full quarts because the factory fill seems to be 4 full quarts. No .10 quart remainders running around their garage. That would be a horrible mess to try to keep track of and maintain.

3. The TSB covers many oiling issues. I'm inclined to believe that the more serious of the issues is severe overfill (more than 4 quarts) and incorrect oil weight. Both of those mistakes can be made by sheer idiots who do not take the time to read the spec about the vehicle.

4. Visco-compulsive is the correct way to describe this issue. There are owners out there that are pulling the oil plug on brand new vehicles to drain out "overfills" from the factory, and ending up with messes on their hands and under filled crank cases; along with a smattering of oil of which I wonder what they are going to do with it?

There are folks who swear they have gained 5 or even 10 mpg because they got rid of that "extra" oil, or put in the exact correct amount at the next oil change. Of course, what we forget is that the car continues to break in at very low mileage and as a result will continually post higher and higher mileage amounts, to a point, with continued use. The oil they removed had no effect, or at least none that I can directly trace back to .10 of a quart of oil.

For whatever the reason, I think that some in the Prius community have over thought the oiling issue. The Prius isn't a china doll. If it is Toyota has a huge problem on their hands. If the Prius and its technology are going to go mainstream it is going to have to be engineered to be tolerant of minor deviations from the norm. None of us lives in a laboratory and neither do our Prii. Therefore real world operating conditions need to be engineered into the vehicle, and from what I can tell, Toyota has done a very good job of that.

All of us here care about our vehicles and intend on maintaining them, however there is a point where valid concern turns into compulsiveness. I'm not going down that road.
 

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jeromep, you couldn't have stated it better. You feel just as my dealer does and also the factory who shipped my car with four qts of oil. Some of the worriers should check out just how much a tenth of a qt. is. I am surprised the oil-pan wasn't designed a mm deeper or the oil filter isn't a quarter inch longer. I don't think Toyota realized how seriously some buyers take of this car. I still think they should come from the factory with the full line on the dipstick registering 4 qts.
And Hep, that could be called philosophy!
Another thing I find strange is that not one buyer seems to be concerned that the Prius comes from the factory without an "oil pressure guage" Maybe they should just skip the dipstick entirely and add a one quart idiot light.
 

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hyperion, I read your comment about oil and cooling qualities. I couldn't agree more with that. If you can put more oil into a pan, it will be cooler when it is cycled through the engine again. Ford started doing this with their larger V-8s a number of years ago. For years Ford used 5 quarts of oil in everything; 4 cylinder, V-8, it didn't matter. But they have seen the light. Their V-8s tend to run 6 or more quarts of oil, not because the engines need that many quarts to be well lubricated, but because having more oil leads to cooler oil being pulled up from the pan. The oil pans are also designed to dissipate heat.

For whatever reason, the metric construction of the Prius was taken to an extreme and as such even the oil pan on it is in metric. Of course, the .10 of a quart everyone is worried about is not important considering how miniscule that amount of fluid is.

Too bad we can't put this issue to bed across the whole Prius community.
 

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I just noticed when I gave Joe in Australia the JC Whitney url for "neon lights" that They offer three items made especially for the Prius and I might even check out their leather seat covers but one of the other three was a K&N Performance Gold Oil Filter that offers more "cooling" I'll attempt to find out if there is any capacity difference between it and Toyotas. If it is a little larger that should take care of the 16th of an inch on the dipstick.
 

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hyperion said:
I am surprised the oil-pan wasn't designed a mm deeper or the oil filter isn't a quarter inch longer.
Hey, now there's an idea. Aftermarket oil pan that is calibrated to add 1/10 quart capacity so 1 full gallon is perfect.

<rustle> Where's my Autocad?...
 

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Tire pressure caused a big change for me

I changed my tire pressure from 30/30 to 42/40 after my second tank and immediately noticed my mileage going from 49.6 to holding at 54.8.

That is a noticable change for such a small thing. I also like the ride being a little firmer. Since it is a small car I prefer that go-kart feel. If I wanted a big ride feel I would still be driving my Avalanche.
 
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