Toyota Prius. More than a car, it is a lifestyle and a movement that has been changing people since 1997. The Eco-conscious vehicle was a massive shock to the automotive industry. Many hated the car for what it stood for. Still, as time has gone one, many "haters" have now embraced the technology and found that the future is exciting.
Toyota built the Prius as a car that would last. They created it to be eco-friendly and in more ways than just a fuel miser. Prius takes less engine and transmission oil. The coolant is changed far less often, and the brakes last what seems to be like forever.
Please watch this video about the longevity of Toyota Prius engine and share your comments on how you maintain your Prius. Also, please click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news reports.
Still, Prius is not without problems. Hybrid battery failure plague many owners, along with EGR problems, head gasket issues, and other things. Between Gen 2 and Gen 3 Prius, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.
While these issues exist in a mass-produced vehicle, there are many things that Toyota did get right. I want to cover why the engine in Gen 1, 2, and 3 Prius is better than most may think and why they should last longer than most give them credit for. I also want to share with you how you can get yours to last longer as well.
The Toyota Prius Engine 1.5 and 1.8L - Built To Last With Proper Care
I know some people will read this and say to themselves. Well, my Prius consumes oil, or my Prius had a head gasket failure, so this does not apply to me. Actually, it does. The reason for this is called consumer education.
I am an automotive technician, as well as an automotive instructor at my local college. Education helps dispel the ignorance we all live in one way or another. The "why" this applies to you is this. You have not been taught to care for your Prius properly.
Most people will buy a car off of a recommendation they get from someone who may "know cars" better than themselves. People may rely on a salesperson to tell them everything they need to know about the car before they buy it. But what most people fail to get from their buy experience is how to care for the darn thing.
Many consumers know that you need to change the oil, fill it with fuel if necessary and fix it if it breaks. But what about taking care of it before it breaks? Preventative maintenance is something I know many do not see the value in because they are unaware of the benefits of such services.
For instance, oil consumption is a significant problem with Gen 1, 2, and 3 Prius. Many consumers are going to places like Wal-Mart or Jiffy Lube for "cheaper" than the dealer oil changes. What they are doing is causing more harm than good. These places do not use the same quality oil and filter that the dealer does.
The second part of this is what lands on you as the consumer. You are not changing your oil when it is needed. Here is why. Prius goes through a lot of starts and stops scenarios. This action is one way Prius achieves high fuel econ ratings. What you are not told, is that this action wears your oil down, heavily. Couple that with short trips where the oil does not get to operating temperature, and you have a recipe for sludge, varnish and oil consumption,
When oil breaks down, it turns into hardened carbon and chokes piston rings keeping them from pulling oil away off the cylinder walls. The oil gets burned in the combustion chamber and thus consumed over time.
Toyota makes an impressive engine, even if there are some flaws. These flaws mainly come out when the engines are neglected by the owner/operator of the Prius. There are plenty of Prius on the road today with hundreds of thousands of miles on them doing just fine. The engines are ticking away perfectly, and why? Maintenance. Do it, learn it, become one with it.
Toyota often does not make junk. There is a reason behind the following they have and the loyalty of the customers that keep buying their products. Think about it. When the MK5 Supra was being designed, even though it was using a BMW engine, Toyota engineers still went through it with a fine-tooth comb. Why? Because they believe in giving their best work into all they do. Prius is no exception to that.
If you want your Prius engine to last, take better care of it. In an upcoming video, I will be explaining oil and filters along with what you need to know when changing your oil.
Toyota makes a great engine. Prius is meant to last, but you need to do your part and take care of it. Do the right thing and put only quality filters and oil in that are meant for your driving habits.
Prius has given many owners hundreds of thousands of miles. I see many post all the time of 300, 400 and over 500 thousand miles on their cars. So to answer the question, can the engine last forever? I think that Prius is well on the way to proving that statement true.
Thank you for reading, and I will see you in the next story. What are the differences between the 2nd and 3rd Generation Toyota Prius?
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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 is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. 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.