Burning oil problems solved - how to clean piston rings (oil & compression) and prevent catalytic converter problems
First: I had a 2007 Prius with 272 thousand miles. It was burning so much oil I always had several quarts of oil in the car. It was burning about 2 quarts of oil every time I got gas and the oil got dirty very quickly. Now it burns at most 1 quart of oil every oil change. A HUGE IMPROVMENT! It just got an overnight soak. And will get another one!
The picture above shows the top of a piston at the beginning of a Seafoam soak and at the end of the soak. The main purpose of the soak was to improve the performance of the piston rings, The picture to the left show the same piston after 600 miles with Techron being added to the gasoline. Notice that some of the carbon appears to be burned off. The piston is much closer to the top of the cylinder so the image is different.
The pictured piston is in a 2007 Prius engine that had 109 thousand miles on it. After cleaning the the rings the engine runs much quieter and there is no shudder when it starts. The purpose of this soak was to reduce oil burn so the catalytic converter did not go bad at 200 thousand miles and to promote the life of the engine. The plugs were not fouled.
A Prius start burning oil around 100 thousand miles by about 170 thousand miles the Catalytic converters start to go.
Oil burn is a bad thing because:
- It will coat up the catalytic converter till the point where it stops working and is often needlessly replaced. If you replace it without fixing the oil burn you will have to replace it again.
- You will loose compression and you oil gets dirtier faster shortening engine life.
- You have to add oil between oil changes.
When it gets really bad:
- You spark plus can foul up.
- You can run the engine oil dry and destroy the engine.
- Have to replace the catalytic converter. Maine, New York and California have restrictions on after market catalytic converters. As a result this can cost you thousands of dollars in those states. Plus if you
- Waste a lot of money on oil and cause unnecessary air pollution.
My 2007 Prius 272k miles on it was burning almost 2 quarts of oil with every tank of gas. I was very lucky I had not ruined the engine by running it dry. I always carried spare oil in the car. IN SHORT I HAD NOTHING TO LOOSE SO I TRIED A METHOD THAT DIRECTLY ATTACKS THE PROBLEM. It worked! I now am not burning oil and the oil is staying clean. Now that I am not burning oil I am going to try to to clean up my catalytic converter but that is a story in progress. So far improvement but not good enough to pass a smog test.
Basically I poured 4 oz of seafoam down each spark plug hole and let sit at least overnight. If you let it sit overnight disable the fuel flow, and spark voltage and crank the engine to get out the remnants of the Seafoam. If you let the Seafoam soak into the engine for two days the piston tops will by dry and no need to crank the engine.
I have details specific to the engine on a 2001 to 2009 Prius and Prius C. There are enough pictures that even if you have never change spark plugs before you will be able to do it.
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Intake about shoulder height near the right rear passenger door. So lot of hair, fibers and dust can get sucked in as passenger enter and leave. Most gets stuck in the fan which restricts cooling air plus some gets blown onto the top of the battery where it can sit on the battery cooling passages.
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The intake is about 6 inches from the seat bench so a lot of dirt can get sucked in in when the fan is running. Plus the fan blows straight in to the bottom of the pack. About 1/4 of the dirt sucked in ends up in the cooling passages between the modules. YOU CAN PREVENT THIS WITH A FILTER THAT JUST NEEDS TO BE VACUUMED OCCASIONALLY!