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My 2005 Prius with 180K miles is using a quart of oil every 2K miles. Has anyone had experience with this?
 

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If it's not leaking on the ground, you may be approaching ICE repairs. Our 2002 Prius still goes 5k to 7.5k between oil changes with no noticeable loss of oil. However, we only have about 115k miles on it.

If the ICE is burning the oil, it means that either the valves/valve guides or piston rings are letting the oil get into the combustion chamber. A quick way to check is to run your finger inside the exhaust pipe (before it gets hot from the ICE running). When burning progresses, you'll see a significant increase in black oil soot coating the inside of the exhaust pipe. In severe cases, it'll be wet oil residue (actual oil, not liquid water).

Of course, the best way to check is to have the cylinder compression checked. This isn't difficult, although it may seem daunting if you have no engine repair experience. It shouldn't be too much at the dealer, although everything is relatively expensive there. However, it seems really low mileage for ICE problems, unless your vehicle has been abused or in an accident that my have caused related problems.

I don't think I remember anyone ever overhauling an ICE on this site. With the electric motor sharing the load, I would expect that the ICE would last significantly longer than in a regular automobile. And, Toyota engines usually run a long, long time before needing a valve job or engine overhaul, typically 250k+ (assuming normal driving conditions/habits and routine maintenance was done regularly). Therefore, I would expect the ICE to last quite a bit longer than the mileage you have on your car.

Let us know what you find after checking the compression and the exhaust pipe.
 

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My 2005 with 146K miles has a similar problem. It used 1 quart 1000 miles since the last oil change and on the last 3 oil changes the low oil light came on just before the 5000 mi oil change was done. The dealer and the oil change shop could not find any leaks. But I am wondering if the oil issue is due to the engine working harder lately as the battery seems out of juice going up hills and the electric motor cuts out, yet dealer can't find any fault with main battery pack - only changed the aux battery at cost of $300+ They also did a Throttle Body Cleaning for another $150. The car's performance did not improve... I am wondering if they are avoiding condemning the battery pack since it is still under warranty...
Anyone have any answers for the problems?
 

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Battery problems will not increase oil consumption. I am puzzled why your dealer hasn't pulled the spark plugs to look for oil fowling and also checked the engine compression. Excessive oil consumption (not from leaks) is usually through the piston rings, valve guides or other ICE-related problems (ERG system, etc.). This is NOT a hybrid (electrical/electronics) system problem.
 

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Have the same problem with 08 Prius Notice it is buring about 1.25 quarts per 5000 miles. It have a 139,000 miles and i am running synthetic. Should i change to conventional motor oil. Would the viscosity difference prevent some of the blowby?
 

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The parts guy at O'reilly's suggested I use the high mileage additive and run 10w40 ( heavier weight). I topped off with the additive and the 10w40. Not sure if it is doing trick but engine seems smoother after adding the quart. The dealer is supposed to look at the motor next week....and re-check out the main battery. They have had only one engine re-build at 150K on their shuttle. The independent Prius shop in our area has only rebuilt a couple of motors at 150K (both are taxis) most rebuilds are 250K motors in taxis (we have lots of Prius taxis in San Francisco) both the dealer and the independent shop says motor should go 250K...not sure why some go bad out at 150K... Any thoughts anyone?
 

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I have a 2008 Prius with only 113,000 miles on it and it started burning oil. I am very religious about changing my oil every 5000 miles. Took it to the shop to see what the problem was. shop guy said there was no oil leaks. I am not happy with this. The engine starting and stopping is taking a toll on the engine, no oil pressure during the few moments at start up causing excessive engine were. I will never buy a hibrid again.
 

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Hi, shastababb,

I remember reading here early on that one of the motor/generators is supposed to spin up the engine to about only 1,000 RPM's (without fuel or spark) to build up the oil pressure before starting the engine so dry parts wouldn't be rubbing against each other creating un-necessary wear.

I should really start regularly checking my 143,000 mile engine between oil changes to see how much oil is disappearing over 5,000 miles. Right now I'm down about half a quart for the last 3,000 miles.
 

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If oil level drops between oil changes, and you don't need to add a quart before the next change, that's about normal for an older engine. Personally, I would not worry about using less than a quart between oil changes. Also, Toyota used to recommend 7,500 mile oil change intervals, unless you drive in extreme conditions. Consumer Reports also recently recommended this interval, stating that for newer cars, the old 3-5,000 mile rule wasted oil.

Quick check: Before you start your car in the morning, stick your finger up the exhaust pipe and swipe it around. Gray to black soot is normal. However, if your finger is wet with oil, then too much is getting past the valves or rings; and you may need to troubleshoot further.
 

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Have a 2006 with 155,000 that suddenly started using oil at 1QT every 800 miles. Will run a compression check and look at plugs. I do not expect low compression or any internal engine damage. Synthetic 0-30 at dealer every 5,000 miles. Synthetic does not smoke on burning and there should not be carbon dust in exaust. This much regular oil burn would ruin the converter. I suspect the Crankcase Vent Valve system. On hard acceleration I occaisonally get a power loss that is like the carb flooding of a day gone by!

Jim O
 

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Jim, check the oil level to make sure it has not been overfilled. I always ran mine just a little under the full mark. Using one quart of oil every 800 miles is definitely not normal. Have you checked around for any signs of leaks?
 

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oil usage

my 06 prius started eating oil at 125k 1st time i ran some of the 0-50 drove the car for about 3k when i would go around a long corner a waning would pop up on the screen i called the dealer and they said chef the oil and sure enough she was down 2 quarts since this happened i have been checking it and adding oil every 1500 miles my neighbor has 45k on 07 and it was 2 quarts down recently. we both have no leaks under the cars. sounds to me that there is a real problem with this motor!:twisted:
 

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I have a 2005 Prius with 130k miles on it that is burning oil. I'm wondering if using the 'B' mode (engine brake) excessively (around curves, at stop signs and traffic lights, when approaching a slow car ahead, etc, etc) could have caused some abnormal wear&tear to the engine, since 130K seems too young for this kind of problem. Anyone have any ideas?
 

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You should never use "B" mode unless you're descending a long hill. You're wasting energy by using "B" and thus lowering your MPG. And yes, your use of "B" has caused additional engine wear because the engine spins up in the "B" mode, where under normal driving, the ICE would not be rotating and you would be capturing energy by using regenerative braking.
 

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Prius using excessive oil

I've got a 2007 Prius (148,000 miles) and have maintained its oil maintenance religiously every 5000 miles! Three oil changes ago there was no oil on the dip stick at oil change time. I started to monitor it closely and found that I am needing to add about 1 quart every 2000 miles. This is VASTLY different than my prior experience as I am the original owner and have always maintained the vehicle according to the manufacturers specs / recommendation and previously I never needed any oil at oil change time.

So I had my last oil change done at the dealer, told them about the issue and asked for a compression check ($109). They found that cylinders 1 through 3 were within normal compression ranges (128-99), but cylinder 4 only had a compression rating of 90. This is VERY disappointing considering the way that I have maintained the vehicle and the large number of vehicles that I have owned and maintained well above the 200,000 mile mark and had no problems with.

Now I guess I need to figure out if the issue is the cylinder / rings, or valve related. I am hoping for valve related because the mechanic informed me that the engine design uses a ceramic cylinder wall and as such can't be machined. I did get the impression that the dealer tried to pass off the notion that oil use on an engine with 148,00 miles is normal. I suspect that Toyota is trying to protect their quality rating with customers.

Does anyone know if Toyota has changed the engine design of the Prius away from ceramic lined cylinder walls?

Thanks,
Pete.
 

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What did the spark plug look like that came out of the cylinder with the low compression? Was it oil fouled?

Also, where do you live and drive? Is your Prius driven in snow and ice, or hot desert heat (or both)?

What engine oil are you using?

The dealer should have checked the inside of the cylinder bore with a bore-scope; and they should know if the cylinder walls are scored. Was this done, or was it an extra expense and not performed? In any case, what did they recommend regarding repairs?

148,000 sounds really low for engine problems, especially on a Prius, when the ICE runs less than on a regular car.

I'd be tempted to find a long downhill grade and run the engine in "B" for several miles (downhill) to try and loosen a sticking ring. (Engine braking raises the engine vacuum and sucks more oil through the rings, which might break it loose, if that's the problem. However, this won't help; if you have worn valve guides.)

You didn't mention what part of the USA you live in; are there mountains nearby where this can be done? The long downgrade out of Yosemite, or a few roads in the Colorado Rockies might provide long and steep enough downhill runs to see if this might help.

Personally, I'd steer away from using STP, Marvel Mystery Oil and similar oil products. They usually cause more problems than they fix; especially in modern engines, where extra oil through the air intake can actually clog and/or ruin the mass airflow sensor and/or catalytic converter.

You may wish to consider having the dealer pull the cylinder to see what's going on. This can be expensive; and it puts you at the dealer's mercy if they decide you need to rebuild the engine. This should probably be a last resort, when you have already decided you want to keep this car even if it requires investing several thousand dollars for repairs.
 

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'06 Prius Burinig Oil

Well.. after reading these posts, I should consider myself lucky. I, too, have a Prius that is burning oil. My car has close to 240K on it now. We discovered a few months back it was burning oil at a ridiculous rate between oil changes. The number of miles on my car before this started makes me feel fortunate. I am a commuter in So. Cal and also take great care of my cars.

Barring the usual compression tests and whatnot recommended here, it sounds like the ol' girl is ready for rebuilding. The dealer has already checked for oil leaks and service codes to indicate what the problem is. Nothing came up.

We cannot check the exhaust as we switched to synthetic (I'm assuming it is true we won't be able to detect anything in the exhaust because of it?).

I gave my '06 to my college son to drive since I bought my '12 Prius Plug-in. My '06 has been a great car and the batteries and a few other things have already been replaced. It's just this burning oil problem now.

So, my question is this: Is it worth rebuilding an '06 Prius engine?

Thanks for any feedback.
 

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The question is, how much does it cost for an engine rebuild? Your '06 probably only has a resale value of $6000, and that would be for a car with a good engine. If you put $2K into a rebuild, your car is still only going to be worth around $6K. You won't get your money back, unless you plan to keep the car for several more years.
 

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We have a 2002 and went through a similar buying decision over the summer. In two unrelated failures in about six weeks, we replaced the hybrid coolant pump and then the traction battery -- total, about $3,300.

While this is a lot of money on a car that is worth only a few thousand dollars, the rest of our Prius is in good shape. I figured that I couldn't buy a used car in as good condition for $3,300, so we had the repairs done.

Now, we have a good used car, for the cost of about 7-8 car payments; and it should last another 6-8 years (hopefully).

Of course the decision is yours. However, you may wish to weigh your alternatives and see whether repairs are cost efficient, or whether it's time for a new (or newer) Prius.
 
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