Oh my. It’s been a couple weeks since my last post. And its been a rough two weeks.
Nothing really new has happened to the RX-7, besides a 140+ mile drive that she handled flawlessly (and got an impressive 23mpg on). I got my new brake hardline and I think we can retrofit a new set of self-adjuster screws to the drums, which is good. Oh, I did have a run in with the mystery “oil flooding” issue, but it seems to have disappeared after I tightened the spark plugs down (they were literally only hand tight, yikes on that one past self).
and she passed 72k miles on the way into work this morning!
I really want to get the clutch master and slave changed out, but unfortunately I’m going to have to wait. The Prius has developed an unidentifiable problem (at least I have not been able to figure it out).
Last weekend the Maintenance light came on in the Prius, signifying that I needed an oil change (which I was overdue anyways). So I did an oil change. After the change, the engine was misfiring a bit at idle and low throttle. I also happened to notice that the oil got overfilled a bit somehow (I measured it out to be below the capacity listed online, but whatever).
Due to the misfire, I decided to check my spark plugs. The first plug came out alright, and I noticed that the ceramic was cracked, probably part of my misfire. The second plug’s ceramic broke and exploded while I was loosening it; I used a combination of a vacuum and air compressor to retrieve as many of the ceramic pieces from the spark plug well as I could before extracting the spark plug. I changed the other two plugs without a hitch, and they came out undamaged. However, when I started the car back up, the engine was shaking and rattling, as if something was pinging around inside a cylinder; it seems like I missed a ceramic piece. The piece did leave the engine and out the exhaust, and based on my research, the engine should not have suffered much, if any, internal damage. After the ceramic piece left the engine, it sounded great and perfectly normal. But then on my shakedown drive, I began to notice a strange noise. I changed oil filters, thinking maybe the Fram filter I put on was junk; and also dropped the oil level back down to just under full in the process. However, even with the oil level corrected and an OEM Toyota/Denso oil filter, the noise persists. To me it sounds like piston slap, but I can’t really tell if it is or not; for all I know it could be a timing issue. Perhaps the timing chain jumped a tooth, or the tensioner broke loose, when the engine rattled and shook with the ceramic piece…
Regardless of what the issue is, I don’t have the knowledge or experience to diagnose or fix it myself. As much as I want to avoid a big repair bill or diagnostic bill, I am going to take the Prius to either the Toyota dealership or a local shop. I may be chasing ghosts, but I’d rather chase a ghost and pay a bit now than wonder why my engine died and have to fork up a lot of cash later.
I’ll include some pictures and videos in a section below if you want to see the old plugs and the well with the broken plug. Videos you can take a listen to the noise yourself. I’ve been avoiding driving it in case this is a big problem, so don’t worry. The RX-7 has been behaving like a good girl since last weekend, so I’m in good hands until the Prius can get diagnosed and/or fixed. Of course, it is January, so I would like to get the Prius roadworthy ASAP in case it decides to snow out of nowhere again.
Thanks, as always, for reading my text walls.
PS: I would say that at this stage, it’s a little too early for 'F’s in the chat, but feel free to do so if you want.
This video was taken the day of the ceramic incident and prior to the new oil filter.
This video was taken after the new oil filter.
And just so I can end on a positive note, here’s a video of a nice, successful cold start of the RX-7.
I probably won’t post back until one of two things happen:
-I get an update on the Prius
-The rear brakes on the RX-7 get fully serviced and repaired.
Until next time.