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Ready, Fire, Aim?

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  • #661076
    Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
    Participant

      I was at an auto parts store recently and noticed some stuff from Rislone called Rislone 4447 Compression Repair with Ring Seal. I know the engine in my car uses oil and I believe it is, unfortunately, more than just a clogged PCV valve and so I thought for a moment that the previously mentioned product might be helpful if the engine is having blow-by issues due to worn piston rings (the engine has 229K miles on it.) But… a flag went up (not necessarily a red one but vivid enough to give me pause :huh: ) so I didn’t purchase the product because it felt too impulsive and most likely would have turned into a ready, fire, aim purchase.

      However does anyone know whether products like this are actually useful? It seems to me that one would want to gather some data and do some tests first to determine what is causing the oil usage in this engine.

      I am the third owner of the vehicle so I don’t have the full history on the car (which is a 2005 Prius). All I know is that, at 5K, the oil change interval for this vehicle, I was down approximately 2 quarts. I have started taking data on readings of the oil on the dip stick to see if I can pin point when the burning/blow-by of the oil really starts in (after a given oil change). My first check yesterday (one week after I changed the oil) showed that the oil level was just fine so that is a least a little encouraging.

    Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    • #661163
      Nick WarnerNick Warner
      Participant

        Dumb question, but have you actually gotten under this thing with a good light and looked hard for leaks? What brand and viscocity oil do you use?

        The stuff out there claiming to be able to stop all oil consumption is usually to good to be true. I know some people who have seen consumption go down a little from adding Lucas to it at each change, but its just a bandaid for a worn out motor. as long as you go into it realizing you are not actually fixing anything, just bandaiding it you can experiment with it.

        Take a look at this vid

        This guy was trying something similar to what you are looking at and I was surprised with his results. Doesn’t seem like a lie to sell a product like a Kilmer vid.

        #661248
        Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
        Participant

          Hey Nick,

          Not a dumb question at all. I haven’t done a lot of looking under the vehicle because of the limits of the equipment I currently have. I have an Autocraft jack I bought from Advance Auto Parts that is better than the one that comes with the car; that, a pair of jack stands and wheel chocks have enabled me to do oil changes but is sort of limited for raising the vehicle enough to really get under there and still feel safe. (What I have seen however does not appear to be leaking nor is there that typical burnt oil smell and there is no spotting of the driveway.)

          I am, however, looking into getting a better/real floor jack but am not sure what to purchase because some get bad reviews and others weigh a lot. I am able to get around not having a lot of upper-body strength by using a pipe on the end of 1/2″ ratchets etc. but wouldn’t be able to heft a heavy jack were I to have to move it other than on its wheels. Since you sent that excellent video, for which I am grateful, could you recommend a floor jack? If I am able to afford it then I can follow your advice and really look under the car to see if I can spot anything.

          Also, since I am the third owner and got the car when it was six years old, I do not know what type of oil was used in those first six years or the frequency of oil changes. I, myself, have had both service garages and myself doing oil changes since I have had the car and, yes, the frequency of the changes could have been better (should be done every 5K miles per Toyota) but the oil was the correct type for the vehicle (5W-30) and the filter always changed.

          The folks at the service garage have mentioned to me that the oil has been low when they did the change. I think they said it was down a quart. They also knew the previous owner and said that she didn’t always keep up with the level either. At this point I don’t want this sneaking up on me and plan to check it more often.

          Thanks,

          Kathryn

          #661251
          Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
          Participant

            Oops, forgot to mention that the oil use is not synthetic and is usually Penzoil or Castrol but, I am not particular about the brand as long as it has the SAE seal etc.

            #661319
            JesseJesse
            Participant

              [quote=”Tinsandwich” post=134045]Hey Nick,

              Not a dumb question at all. I haven’t done a lot of looking under the vehicle because of the limits of the equipment I currently have. I have an Autocraft jack I bought from Advance Auto Parts that is better than the one that comes with the car; that, a pair of jack stands and wheel chocks have enabled me to do oil changes but is sort of limited for raising the vehicle enough to really get under there and still feel safe. (What I have seen however does not appear to be leaking nor is there that typical burnt oil smell and there is no spotting of the driveway.)

              I am, however, looking into getting a better/real floor jack but am not sure what to purchase because some get bad reviews and others weigh a lot. I am able to get around not having a lot of upper-body strength by using a pipe on the end of 1/2″ ratchets etc. but wouldn’t be able to heft a heavy jack were I to have to move it other than on its wheels. Since you sent that excellent video, for which I am grateful, could you recommend a floor jack? If I am able to afford it then I can follow your advice and really look under the car to see if I can spot anything.

              Also, since I am the third owner and got the car when it was six years old, I do not know what type of oil was used in those first six years or the frequency of oil changes. I, myself, have had both service garages and myself doing oil changes since I have had the car and, yes, the frequency of the changes could have been better (should be done every 5K miles per Toyota) but the oil was the correct type for the vehicle (5W-30) and the filter always changed.

              The folks at the service garage have mentioned to me that the oil has been low when they did the change. I think they said it was down a quart. They also knew the previous owner and said that she didn’t always keep up with the level either. At this point I don’t want this sneaking up on me and plan to check it more often.

              Thanks,

              Kathryn[/quote]
              Sorry if my reading comprehension is off, I’m tired and am going off of very little sleep. Did you say that you have changed your own oil before? I don’t know if your vehicle still has it, but most Prius’s have a plastic splash guard covering the entire undercarriage of the car. Does your Prius still have that splash guard? If so, when you get the right equipment, remove the splash guard and take a close look at bottom of the engine with a flash light. Your Prius should have an area marked service, or something of that nature, and what that will lead you to is the oil pan and drain plug of your car when you take that part of the splash guard off. If you’ve already done this disregard what I just said.

              You should also check the top area of your engine for leaks, though I’m sure you’ve already been doing that. If you can remove the plastic cover on the engine and check if you can find any oil leaks there as well. The thing that sucks about the Prius’s, is that everything is in cased in plastic so you may have to remove some of that plastic to get a good look.

              After you have checked for leaks, top off your oil and monitor the oil levels once a week, maybe more if your problem is bad. In my experience there were some engines that have come into the Toyota dealership that I work at with worn piston rings that didn’t have oil that burnt or rancid smell to it. Funnily enough, I’ve actually seen quite a few newer Toyota’s with low mileage coming in with worn piston rings, and oil consumption problems.

              #661332
              Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
              Participant

                Hi Pithy Radish,

                Thank you for your response. I actually had to replace much of the plastic on the front and sides (wheel wells) of the car because the previous owner hit something nasty, that was unavoidable, while traveling down the MA turnpike so I am familiar with all of that rigging; especially the little plastic clips and hardware thingies that are easily broken but fortunately replaceable.

                I am fortunate that, though I lack a decent floor jack, I have been able to access both the oil pan drain plug and filter when changing the oil and filter myself, without removing the plastic, by using jacks stands. That said, I haven’t noticed anything on the oil pan itself nor have I seen any spotting on the driveway surface.

                Strangely, I haven’t done a lot of checking under the hood yet for oil leaks but have had occasion to remove the plastic radiator cover when I had to replace a headlight so I can easily remove it again in order to take a closer look for leaks in that area as well.

                I shall also follow your advice on checking the oil weekly and topping off the level should I find it to be low. That effort as well as looking and examining the engine (both under the hood and underneath the car [when safe]) will help to sort out this problem I believe. But, if some profound part of the engine is damaged beyond what’s financially logical to repair then I will have to look for another set of wheels. 🙁 (Or ride my motorcycle lots and lots! B) )

                #661689
                Nick WarnerNick Warner
                Participant

                  It would be hard for me to recommend a stout jack that is low cost and lightweight. Light jacks that are cheap aren’t very good. The one I use is quite robust, was rather pricey when I bought it and heavy. I’m 6’3″ and 200 pounds so lifting it isn’t a big deal for me but would be were I smaller.

                  You want a jack with a wide footprint for stability. You can get a lighter one looking for one made with an aluminum body. They do make some that are specifically targeted for getting under low cars like yours. But they don’t come cheap. Plan on spending a few hundred for a good one. A cheap jack becomes very expensive when it does damage dropping your car or worse managing to get you tangled up in it when it does.

                  You could look into some ramps, which are lightweight, cheap and will safely hold your car. Just throw a block of wood behind the rear tire so it can’t roll back before you climb under it. A lot of ramps aren’t low enough to get a car like yours onto without scraping up the plastic, but if you lay some 2x6s in front of it to drive up on it will get the nose of your car high enough to get on the ramps damage free. Once its up on the ramps you will have a lot of space to poke around with the light and do some maintenance.

                  My local Toyota dealer uses the Mobil 5000 motor oil for services. They said it meets all the Toyota requirements. I use it in my Camry. Once you have a good way to get this up in the air for inspection, drop in at the parts store and get a bottle of UV dye for the oil. Pour it in and drive it around for a bit then get it on the ramps. You will need to get a black light bulb for your trouble light, and then shut off the lights in the garage. If you are working on this out in the driveway go out at night. You want outside light taken out of the equation. The dye will glow brightly under a black light. You can smear a little on something to see what it will look like. Even a small leak will show up nicely for you using that, and the dye is pretty cheap. Most hardware stores will have a black light bulb, otherwise just hit up anyplace that sells bongs. They are a sure thing to have that laying around.

                  Nothing wrong with riding the motorcycle either, even if nothing is wrong with the car. I’m on mine every chance I get.

                  #661963
                  Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
                  Participant

                    Hi Nick,

                    Sorry for the delay in responding to you. I’ve been cleaning and prepping for house guests and wore myself out. (My allergies kicked up too.)

                    After considering your comments, I think, once the jack is here at my home, the weight shouldn’t be much of a problem compared to the risk of injury were I to settle for a lighter yet poorly constructed jack. I will plan to spend 2 or 3 hundred dollars on one and shall read the reviews. If I settle on one that I think would be a good choice, would it be okay to run it by you first? I don’t want to impose on your time but I’m guessing you have a lot of automotive repair experience and could give a helpful opinion as you so graciously already have.

                    I have thought of ramps too but then realized if I needed to remove wheels, that would be a problem. (I’m on a somewhat limited budget and have to get the most usage options from whatever purchase I make so I settled on the idea of a good floor jack.) I have a set of jack stands and may try to squeeze in the purchase of another set of those at some point however.

                    I shall look into the use of the Mobile oil you suggest. I’m sure the local auto parts store and/or Malwort (Walmart) carries it. I think the idea of the black light is brilliant. I’ll look into that as well. No trip to the head shop required however. I have a black light already. Just need that bottle of UV dye.

                    I should be out on my bike more but am restricted by the lack of a good rain suit and helmet. The helmet I have is quite old and the face shield fogged up so dangerously, last time I rode in the rain, that I couldn’t see (and it was night time) so I need to be cautious for now until April showers are done in NE.

                    So thank you for all of your suggestions. I’ll let you know what I find.

                    Kathryn

                    #661969
                    Nick WarnerNick Warner
                    Participant

                      You can feel free to run a prospective purchase past me. Here to help. Remember, you don’t always have to get new stuff. Good equipment lasts a long time. I’ve scored some good stuff at auctions, garage sales and on Craigslist before for cheap. Ramps are nice for basic service work when you don’t need to pull tires. Coming by a set at a garage sale for ten bucks would be a steal, and looking for some sturdy jackstands at the same places might pay off bigtime. Look for stands that use a pin going through a hole as opposed to those stamped steel ratchet types. I do use those ones for small cars, but trucks and SUV’s I like to build my own. Also lets me design whatever heights into them I want instead of being limited by what a store sells.

                      Any parts store or Walmart will have the Mobil oil. You can get the UV dye at any parts store for less than ten bucks.

                      I hate getting stuck in the rain. Try to watch the weather as when its going to rain I never seem to have a rainsuit with me. Just have to suffer. Couldn’t tell you what would be good for a helmet, I never wear them unless its real cold out and my head is freezing. Have heard of people putting RainX on both sides of the visor to help keep it from fogging, no idea if that works or not.

                      #662433
                      Kathryn tinsandwichKathryn Kaufman
                      Participant

                        Hey Nick,

                        Thanks. I’ll check out some used stuff too. (Didn’t think of that before.) Here in Massachusetts we have to wear helmets when riding; lucky you in a state where don’t have to wear one. :cheer: Unfortunately I do have those stamped jack stands but I think my car is light enough to where they aren’t a problem but… somehow I know I could do better. For my next set I think I’ll do as you suggest and get the ones with pins. I’ll check out some ramps too as it sounds like they have their use too.

                        Thanks!

                        Kathryn

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