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PHEV - engine oil concerns 🤔​


kucyk
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Hey. I checked the oil level recently and I noticed a couple of things. The oil level is around 1cm over the max on the dipstick, there is distinct smell of petrol in it and I'm not sure what to think about the oil film. It seems to be clear but very yellowish, when I rub it against the fingers, it fells thin and contaminated with petrol a lot. The car has only 2750 miles on the clock, of which 2150 was done on EV and 600 miles with the engine on. I'm aware about short trips not helping here but it's concerning to see this kind of increase at such a low milleage. I saw some hybrid owners suffering from the same issue, but I thought it won't apply to PHEV as the engine doesn't run very often, at least not in my scenario.

I was considering to do break-in oil change anyway, so I will do that now, but I was wondering what do you see in your PHEVs?

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2 minutes ago, Lawnmowerman said:

No change in my oil level in 10,000 miles.

Was it bang on max at delivery?

The problem is, I didn't check the level at delivery, but will do that now once the oil is changed.

What's your driving style, short, long trips?

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14 mile (each way) commute twice per day and with a little splash of electricity between both journeys I usually don't need the ICE.

Once a week a 35 mile journey out and the same back - so the ICE kicks in on the return.

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33 minutes ago, fourbanks said:

No matter what car you drive at your mileage, petrol should not be mixing with oil 

I think you are wrong here sir. Petrol and diesel are always mixing with engine oil to some extent. The combustion engine which doesn't burn some engine oil wasn't invented yet, so if your oil stays at the same level during 10k miles interval, it means some of it was replaced by petrol / diesel.

On other forums I saw Rav4 Hybrid owners doing lab oil analysis and the level of petrol was very alarming where the "oil" wasn't oil anymore. Toyota doesn't see this as a problem of course.

I think I will just follow this guy's advice and change the oil twice a year as long as I'm doing short trips only, or take a car for a spin once a month.

 

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2 hours ago, kucyk said:

I think you are wrong here sir. Petrol and diesel are always mixing with engine oil to some extent. The combustion engine which doesn't burn some engine oil wasn't invented yet, so if your oil stays at the same level during 10k miles interval, it means some of it was replaced by petrol / diesel.

On other forums I saw RAV4 Hybrid owners doing lab oil analysis and the level of petrol was very alarming where the "oil" wasn't oil anymore. Toyota doesn't see this as a problem of course.

I think I will just follow this guy's advice and change the oil twice a year as long as I'm doing short trips only, or take a car for a spin once a month.

 

You may well indeed be correct, but iv'e never experience it over my 50 years of driving Japanese cars. But from the sounds of it, it looks like i soon will with my new corolla 

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Utter tosh. If what they say is true, I would have been draining diesel and petrol out of sumps for the past 50 years without realising it.

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I doubt it too, never seen it on ANY Hybrid/Plug in. The oil is difficult to see on most RAV's, especially very clean new ish oil. You also cannot "feel" the viscosity of the oil, all modern oils in Hybrid are like water, I would not rely on the feel of it. Change the oil and replace it with the correct quantity, put in just below the amount needed, check the stick and top up to the line. Then keep your eye on it over time, I really cannot see there would be petrol in the oil 

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1 hour ago, Parts-King said:

I doubt it too, never seen it on ANY Hybrid/Plug in. The oil is difficult to see on most RAV's, especially very clean new ish oil. You also cannot "feel" the viscosity of the oil, all modern oils in Hybrid are like water, I would not rely on the feel of it. Change the oil and replace it with the correct quantity, put in just below the amount needed, check the stick and top up to the line. Then keep your eye on it over time, I really cannot see there would be petrol in the oil 

Weird, it's clearly in the oil, the question is how much is too much. Even Honda made a video about it.

 

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Perhaps it's a new phenomenon in petrol engines, since the introduction of petrol particulate filters?? I know about diesel leaking into oil sump if a DPF 'regeneration' (engine injects some fuel into filter for a controlled burn to increase temp and burn soot into ash to prevent from getting clogged) gets interrupted before burn finished.

 

Although I had thought petrol engines did not need this mechanism, on the grounds that exhaust temp is intrinsically much higher than diesel, so could more effectively guarantee his without extra fuel? 

 

As an aside - Why there is never any indication on the dash of when this happening has always seemed insane to me. yes, it might be inconvenient as a customer to have to sit on your drive for a few mins, or take it for an extra few miles before stopping, but at least an indication would allow the driver to make an active decision, rather than being completely unaware, risking potentially raising the fuel content of the oil to the point where it could ignite (unlikely, but possible). 

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I don’t think there is anything unusual and agree with Kingo. These oils are very thin and the smell of petrol is normal. I think if anything can add and make things worse is the use of E10 fuel and or perhaps the fact that the car is plug In and unless used in hybrid mode regularly the ice will mostly be worked at colder temperatures which also adds to the issue. I tend to keep my hybrid in ready mode for hours every night during cold winters and that  time of the year my car consume more oil than usual., but it’s an old car with many miles on so not really a comparison. I think Toyota has thought about all that and the oil they use will provide protection and there is no need of any earlier servicing or worrying about. 👍

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