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4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? #5345720 02/09/20 09:53 PM
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nthach Offline OP
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So my parents are now seriously considering buying a 4th gen Prius and given that I have a oil drinker now, as well as reports of the 3rd gen 2010-2015 cars drinking oil, I kinda want to stave off the issue before it rears its head around the 120-150K mark. I can't steer them towards a thrifty non-hybrid or Tesla, it's out of my control. The 4th gen 2016-current cars still use the same 2ZR-FXE engine as the previous generation.

While I do think D1G2 oils are a great improvement in many areas, the Prius doesn't get a proper break-in, it's the nature of the beast. From what I've read, it's the rings coking that cause the oil consumption issue, same issue that plagues many Camrys and Corollas, as well as the Scion xA/xB, Echo and Yaris as they age.

My thought was to instead of a SN Plus/D1G2 oil in 0W-20, is to run a VW 509/BMW LL-14FE/MB 229.5 oil like M1 ESP X2 or Castrol Edge Professional 0W-20 to stave off the oil coking issues. Or don't loose sleep when they get the car and stick with D1G2 oils that are easier and cheaper to get and occasionally run Kreen or BG EPR before an oil change to keep the ring packs clean?

Last edited by nthach; 02/09/20 09:54 PM.
Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5345736 02/09/20 10:17 PM
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Does the Prius give you an OLM or anything for the ICE-traveled mileage? I know the Redline 0/5W20 isn't "certified" but is likely among the best available. I haven't personally had a coking issue, but I'd expect you'd want something with a high flash point and high detergent content to help prevent this, along with something that is low in VIIs. Maybe also check out Ravenol, or even the Mobil 1 AP. I'm not familiar with the two oils you mentioned, other than they seem pretty expensive.

If you do Kreen, I'd probably do a pint in the crankcase every 20k miles or so just before the OC. Other than that, your only other option is to seriously shorten OCIs (which kills the "green" factor), or to not buy a Prius at all. Best of luck either way... my Impreza doesn't burn any oil, but it does weep some onto the exhaust... does that make it an oil burner? LOL


De omnibus dubitandum.
Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5345743 02/09/20 10:32 PM
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nthach Offline OP
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The Toyota OLM is a "dumb" OLM, it only goes off mileage, which is every 5K.

My parents are only looking at MPG - no other factors. I've got them to consider a RAV4 Prime or a Forester, but they also don't want a huge car note. They do miss their 2nd gen Prius.

I'll look into M1 AP or Valvoline Modern Engine which is supposedly the alter ego of PBR. Red Line I can probably get a better deal on than M1 ESP X2 or Castrol Edge Professional that are only available at the Mercedes or VW dealers... for now, despite X2 being dexosD certified for the new GM diesel competing against the FCA EcoDiesel and the 3.0L PSD in the F150.

Nah, your Impreza is giving back to the earth. I've using Idemitsu 0W-20 to great success in a friend's Forester with the FB25, but Japanese oils tend to be high VII. OTOH, that Subaru drinks Castrol Edge or Mobil Super Syn.

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5345787 02/10/20 12:20 AM
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How about running Valvoline Restore 10w30 say every 3-4th oil change ???

And run a typical Dexos Gen 2 approved oil 5w30 in between...

Last edited by bbhero; 02/10/20 12:20 AM.

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Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5345855 02/10/20 05:31 AM
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NH73 Offline
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Didn't I hear that the oil consumption problem was improved on?


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Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: bbhero] #5346200 02/10/20 01:12 PM
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nthach Offline OP
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Originally Posted by NH73
Didn't I hear that the oil consumption problem was improved on?

Not that I'm aware of - Toyota doesn't issue recalls but warranty "extensions". Toyota has issued a extended warranty campaign for the Camry and Corolla oil burning issues in the past, and things of that sort.

Originally Posted by bbhero
How about running Valvoline Restore 10w30 say every 3-4th oil change ???

And run a typical Dexos Gen 2 approved oil 5w30 in between...

Gotta see what the RoW recommends for oil in these cars. Sounds like a sound idea, though my idea of running VME with the occasional Kreen/EPR pre-spill and fill flush would be easier to do. I'm running VPBR to clean up my ring packs.

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5346220 02/10/20 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nthach
So my parents are now seriously considering buying a 4th gen Prius and given that I have a oil drinker now, as well as reports of the 3rd gen 2010-2015 cars drinking oil, I kinda want to stave off the issue before it rears its head around the 120-150K mark.
Okay - but I've got a 2010 Generation 3 with 178K that shows no significant oil loss between changes. It's dealer serviced on a 10K interval. Granted it's a sample of one.

Originally Posted by nthach
The Toyota OLM is a "dumb" OLM, it only goes off mileage, which is every 5K.
It's dumb, but you can set the interval yourself.


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Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5346362 02/10/20 03:45 PM
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Maybe the Priuses your family has owned, like you say, haven't gotten proper break in and this is why there's an oil consumption problem. As far as the ring packs on the 1nz -fe engines go, Echo, Yaris etc, I've never heard anything whatsoever concerning oil usage even at 200k. In fact they will run trouble free on just about any oil of your choice, as long as it's changed at sensible intervals.

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5346671 02/10/20 08:19 PM
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My wife’s 2012 Camry has 167k miles and we have had no oil issues. I use Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0w-20 and it works perfectly! Engine is smooth and uses no oil.


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Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: madeej11] #5347083 02/11/20 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by madeej11
Maybe the Priuses your family has owned, like you say, haven't gotten proper break in and this is why there's an oil consumption problem. As far as the ring packs on the 1nz -fe engines go, Echo, Yaris etc, I've never heard anything whatsoever concerning oil usage even at 200k. In fact they will run trouble free on just about any oil of your choice, as long as it's changed at sensible intervals.

Prii also operate quite differently - I think the course of normal driving for most new cars will take care of ring seating. A Toyota-based hybrid stops the engine during coasting, the power-split planetary gear is the only thing linking the 2 motor-generators and ICE. MG1 doesn't spin the gas engine during coast, it will spin it up in B mode to simulate engine braking. In a normal car, even with the fuel cut during coast the engine is still turning over with a closed throttle.

eljefino, the resident Prius expert has noticed that you can't get to true WOT and the amount of engine vacuum is lower than a normal non-hybrid car - don't quote on this.

The 1NZ-FE is a tough, if not buzzy engine.

Last edited by nthach; 02/11/20 11:28 AM.
Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5347126 02/11/20 12:18 PM
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You will be even more "worried" after you wade through all the many varying opinions about oil choice.

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #5347176 02/11/20 01:02 PM
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nthach Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Yah-Tah-Hey
You will be even more "worried" after you wade through all the many varying opinions about oil choice.

True. Anything D1G2 would be better than that Toyota calls for(ILSAC GF-5, API SN).

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5347518 02/11/20 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by nthach
Originally Posted by madeej11
Maybe the Priuses your family has owned, like you say, haven't gotten proper break in and this is why there's an oil consumption problem. As far as the ring packs on the 1nz -fe engines go, Echo, Yaris etc, I've never heard anything whatsoever concerning oil usage even at 200k. In fact they will run trouble free on just about any oil of your choice, as long as it's changed at sensible intervals.

Prii also operate quite differently - I think the course of normal driving for most new cars will take care of ring seating. A Toyota-based hybrid stops the engine during coasting, the power-split planetary gear is the only thing linking the 2 motor-generators and ICE. MG1 doesn't spin the gas engine during coast, it will spin it up in B mode to simulate engine braking. In a normal car, even with the fuel cut during coast the engine is still turning over with a closed throttle.

eljefino, the resident Prius expert has noticed that you can't get to true WOT and the amount of engine vacuum is lower than a normal non-hybrid car - don't quote on this.

The 1NZ-FE is a tough, if not buzzy engine.

Yes I agree but you're the one who brought it up in your OP. You mentioned the two Scions, the Yaris and Echo and the oil usage problem. As far as I know this is not a problem with that engine.

Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5347728 02/11/20 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nthach
Originally Posted by NH73
Didn't I hear that the oil consumption problem was improved on?

Not that I'm aware of - Toyota doesn't issue recalls but warranty "extensions". Toyota has issued a extended warranty campaign for the Camry and Corolla oil burning issues in the past, and things of that sort. ...
They changed the pistons and rings for 2014 and 2015, supposedly to alleviate this problem.
There was a little-publicized TSB to replace pistons in early oil-burning 3rd-generation Prii. I'm not sure whether anyone got that done at Toyota's expense.


2011 Toyota Prius now at 109K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: 4th Gen Prius - overly worried about oil choice? [Re: nthach] #5347735 02/11/20 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nthach
... A Toyota-based hybrid stops the engine during coasting, the power-split planetary gear is the only thing linking the 2 motor-generators and ICE. MG1 doesn't spin the gas engine during coast, it will spin it up in B mode to simulate engine braking. In a normal car, even with the fuel cut during coast the engine is still turning over with a closed throttle.

eljefino, the resident Prius expert has noticed that you can't get to true WOT and the amount of engine vacuum is lower than a normal non-hybrid car -...
That's partially correct. The engine stops during coasting only at low speeds. The planetary gear-set and motors team up to spin the engine slowly (~1000 RPM) during coasting at road speeds above about 45 mph (for 3rd generation; I'm not sure of the corresponding speed for 4th generation), using power from the wheels. Fuel is cut off in that situation, much as on a non-hybrid in fuel-cut coasting.

"B mode" increases "engine braking" by spinning the engine faster, and at lower road speeds.

Yes, manifold vacuum is lower than normal, because the throttle is closer to WOT more of the time (and engine speed correspondingly lower in light-load conditions), in order to minimize pumping loss.


2011 Toyota Prius now at 109K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
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