January 30, 2020

The Prius Problems (part 1)

My customer's, who own Prius automobiles report an issue that seems to be something inherent with Prius vehicles.

Consumption of oil.

Now we would not expect this of a vehicle that is supposed to be environmentally friendly.  But it happens.  Why?

First:  Check with your mechanic to make sure the Positive Crankcase Ventilation system is working correctly.  If it is not, it can cause more oil consumption than normal.

Second:  This engine starts and stops more than other car engines for the benefit of saving fuel by using the batteries etc.  Every time an engine starts, the oil is not where it should be for lubrication and it has to pump up pressure and splash the oil around.  Therefore, on start-up, is where engine wear happens most.  And, an engine that starts and stops a lot, like a Prius engine, will occur more start-up wear than other engines.  This starting wear affects the piston rings first, and will cause the engine to pump oil into the combustion chamber and burn it.  Therefore the oil consumption problem. 

Third:  It is possible that since this engine does all this starting and stopping, it builds up more carbon on the rings than most engines do.  Engine additives help with this and reduce the amount of carbon around the rings so that they can seal the combustion chamber properly.  Ask your mechanic about engine oil additives that reduce carbon build-up.

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