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Q: Hybrid burnin oil, should not be a problem but it is

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My 2006 Toyota Prius is burning oil and I am concerned at the rate it is burning through oil (a quart every thousand miles!) and that I have not seen any oil that has been leaked out of any part. That means it’s all burning up. This is not a good problem to have in a hybrid, either. It is so embarrassing to see smoke coming out of the back on the highway! Is this normal for a hybrid with 98,000 miles on it? That means the gas engine has to have fewer miles on it.

A: The excessive oil usage on your vehicle is ...

The excessive oil usage on your vehicle is considered acceptable to Toyota and they are not issuing any kind of recall for the issue. The oil usage of one quart in 1,200 miles to me is excessive. I have a 2004 Toyota and do not burn any oil between oil changes. The reason for the excessive oil usage is the oil control rings and pistons used on 2006 to 2009 Toyota engines tend to allow excessive oil past them and burned up in the combustion chamber and sent out the exhaust. The fix is to replace the four pistons and piston rings with new updated style. The bad news is Toyota is only covering vehicles under the 6 year/60,000 mile power train warranty but only after an oil consumption test has failed. This does not cover your 2006 Prius, and you would have to cover the total repair cost to repair the engine.

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