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Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4400
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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My 2008 Prius was running a little rough and losing

Customer Question

My 2008 Prius was running a little rough and losing oil--before 2500 miles it would need oil (1/2-3/4 qt) and sometimes when I went to check it or have the oil changed it would actually be too dry to register on the dip stick. I took it in the have a dust shield (?) replaced over the driver side front tire and when I mentioned the oil leak the mechanics looked at it and recommended resealing the timing chain cover. I took it into another, recommended, mechanic shop, (I had moved to a different town) and they looked, too and I paid the (high) price to get the cover resealed along with all the other seals, etc. needed in the processes.
JA: Have you ever replaced the gaskets? Maybe the hoses?
Customer: I was told all the seals and gaskets, etc. they touch in the process were replaced. Anyhow, I drove about 800 miles after getting the job done and the oil was, once again, nearly empty. I am really concerned 1-that my oil tank will run dry on the road and 2- that I just paid a bunch of money for something that may not have needed to get done. The car runs much more smoothly, though.
JA: Are you fixing your Prius yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No I am not a mechanic. I took it into the Toyota Dealership 1 1/2 years ago (and many times since) to get help locating the oil problem but they haven't had a clue as to what to do. These mechanics I went to said they believed an oil leak is common with the Prius due to the TC Cover or head gasket leakage.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so. Thank you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The mechanics shops I went to get the work done by were not Toyota Dealerships, but were shops, highly rated in reviews, that work exclusively with Japanese made cars.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 9 months ago.

Hello, thanks for posting

When you leave the car parked overnight do you se any oil on the ground? Do you see any oil dripping or is the undercarriage covered with oil? If there are no external leaks visible it's possible that the engine is burning th oil due to worn piston rings, how many miles are on it now?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No. And I haven't in the past, as far as oil on the ground is concerned.there are 159,000 miles.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 9 months ago.

I would recommend having the engine compression tested to check for leaking oil control rings, due to the mileage it's possible that this engine is just using the oil.