Perk Up Your Toyota Prius Engine and Help Slow Oil Consumption For Less Than $20
The Toyota Prius is one of the best hybrids on the market. Being the best does not always mean perfection, though. Because Prius is so robust, sometimes owners forget they need maintenance. Oil changes that go too far past their date spell more than short-term trouble.
As oil breaks down, it turns into hardened carbon deposits. Those deposits sit in the piston ring lands, intake, and exhaust valves. Carbon absorbs fuel and leads to erratic idling patterns. The worst part is when the engine starts consuming oil.
My first Prius would consume 3 quarts of oil every 5,000 miles. I quickly learned that with all the starting and stopping of the engine, it was easy for oil to clog up the piston ring lands and have oil slide right into the combustion chamber.
My first attempt at fixing the issue was to replace the PCV valve. A stuck PCV can allow too much oil to be recirculated back through the intake manifold and burned in the combustion chamber.
After the PCV replacement did not solve my problem (though it helped slightly), I took a different approach. I was connected with BG Products and their hybrid repair kit.
The 3 part system worked wonders on my beat-up fuel sipper and reduced the consumption by 1.5 quarts per 5,000 miles. A fair number, but I feel it could be better. So, what else was there to do? I would, later on, find an excellent solution to repair two issues for the price of one, and that is what I will share with you.
How To Reduce Or Halt Toyota Prius Oil Consumption
Both of the methods I explained do work. I have seen the results for myself, but I want to give you one more silver bullet that will also work for less than $20.
CRC Turbo and Intake Valve Cleaner is your mechanic in a can. The formula (which I am sure has prop 65 all over it) is sprayed into the throttle body, coating the intake valves and combustion chamber.
Once the entire bottle is emptied, you let the "magic" solution sit and penetrate deep into the carbon inside your engine. One hour later, take your Prius out on an excellent highway burn and blow the carbon out the tailpipe.
The can costs at most auto parts stores less than $20 and is very effective at softening hardened carbon. Once the carbon is out of the piston ring lands, the rings can make a tighter seal in the combustion chamber and keep oil from entering.
This is not a 100% guarantee to completely halt oil consumption, it is very effective. The best guidance I can give to anyone who wants to stop oil consumption as much as possible without rebuilding the engine is to do all three things I have touched on.
Replace the PCV, do the CRC intake cleaning and then finish up with a fresh oil change and the BG treatment. While these solutions cannot repair the damage, they will help clean the internals, and sometimes that is all it takes.
I hope you found this article helpful. You can also find the CRC intake cleaner at NAPA, Autozone, Orielly, Advance Autoparts, and other major parts retailers.
Have a great week, and remember, Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story. Take a look at what is going with Prius and Reddit.
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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 reporter.