3 Ways To Reduce Oil Consumption On Your Toyota Prius
It is no secret that higher mileage Toyota Prius cars consume engine oil, and some do it at an alarming rate. I know because I was one of those people. The issue drove me crazy until I learned what was causing it and what to do about it.
I now know that sticking piston rings, engine wear, and clogged ports are all causes of engine oil consumption. One of the best ways to prevent your engine from consuming is to be religious with oil changes and other engine maintenance.
Not every Prius owner is a Toyota technician like me, though, so that does not always happen. But if your Prius is consuming oil, the good news is you can most likely slow it down or get it to stop. Here are 3 things that every Prius owner needs to have done.
Your PCV Valve
The positive crankcase ventilation valve is something many never pay attention to but should. The valve is responsible for allowing blowby gasses to get used back through the intake manifold. The valve over time can get plugged up with carbon and other junk that is carried in the mist.
When this happens, the pressure in the crankcase builds up, and instead of the oil getting scraped off and collected into the oil pan, it clings to the cylinder walls. When combustion happens, the remaining oil gets cooked off. Over time, this will lead to increased oil consumption.
Long story short, if you are over 100k, get that PCV valve replaced as part of your routine high mileage maintenance.
Your Rings Are Choked Up
Over time engine oil breaks down with hybrids starting and stopping all the time the engine oil is put to extreme use. When oil is sheared, heated, and cooled more often, it breaks down faster. When it breaks down, it forms hardened carbon deposits that live in your piston rings.
When piston rings get plugged up with carbon, they cannot scrape the engine oil off the cylinder walls. This, in turn, causes more oil to be left in the combustion chamber and burned off during regular use.
There are a few remedies for this. I have found that the Hybrid Repair Kit from BG Products is the most effective at solving this issue. The kit, which contains 3 parts, targets oil consumption in multiple ways to help your engine loosen up those rings and get them sealing again.
Top Engine Cleaning
Sometimes our engines are so dirty they need extra help. The good thing is, companies are willing to make products for us to do just that. CRC is a company that makes incredible products to help with carbon build-up, and here is how.
I wrote an article a while ago explaining how you can clear your P0420 light from your Prius for less than $20. The more research I did about this product, the more I realized it can help oil consumption.
The CRC Turbo and Intake Valve cleaner is highly effective. The chemical is sprayed directly into a running engine and softens the carbon. After some time, as stated on the can, take your Prius on the highway to blow the carbon out.
Not only did this chemical shut off my P0420 catalyst code, but my engine was noticeably smoother and felt more powerful.
Whenever I get a used Prius now, I do all three of these things to ensure engine health. I do not know anyone who loves a car that consumes engine oil. However, if yours does, try these mentioned solutions first. I am sure they will all help.
Thank you, everyone, for reading; I look forward to seeing you in the following story.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.