Feb. 28, 2015 3:43 p.m.

Hey All,

Tomorrow is oil change day for all the step-rugrats and various boyfriend-types. One of them owns a 2007 Prius. I've changed oil thousands of times but never on a hybrid.

The big question is how can I get the motor to run without the car being in motion once the new oil and filter are in/on? I don't want to starve the bearings by putting the car under load with very little oil in the crank and an oil pump that lost prime. How can you get the car to start and idle out of gear?

Also, any clearance issues I should know about?

Thank you in advance,


novaderrik UltimaDork
Feb. 28, 2015 3:44 p.m.

just screw the oil filer on: filled with oil if they were nice enough to mount it vertically... dump in the new oil, and drive it... if there's a problem, you'll get to learn how to put a new motor in a hybrid...

google found me this site, but they say to use a torque wrench on the drain plug and oil filter so i don't really know how trustworthy it is..

Wally MegaDork
Feb. 28, 2015 4:25 p.m.

Turn the heat or AC on. Most of ours start up then.

old_ Reader
Feb. 28, 2015 4:28 p.m.
Wally wrote: Turn the heat or AC on. Most of ours start up then.

this. when the car is cold turning the heat on will start the engine

Streetwiseguy PowerDork
Feb. 28, 2015 4:52 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: but they say to use a torque wrench on the drain plug and oil filter so i don't really know how trustworthy it is..

I'd call that more trustworthy than the guys that always overtighten them...

Knurled UltimaDork
Feb. 28, 2015 5:10 p.m.

On Ford hybrids, you can force the engine to start by matting the accelerator when you push the start button.

It takes every ounce of mental strength to fight one's sense of mechanical preservation in order to do this.

Feb. 28, 2015 5:22 p.m.

I could always go to the googles myself but this is a lot funnier.

Vigo PowerDork
Feb. 28, 2015 6:17 p.m.

I have your answers.

To start the engine, keep pumping the brake engine until the stored vacuum is exhausted from the brake booster.

More importantly, to KEEP the engine from starting whenever it feels like but still run the gauges for odometer reading reasons, hit the power button with your foot OFF the brake pedal. If you hit the power button with your foot ON the brake pedal, the car may start right away or at any point after.

novaderrik UltimaDork
Feb. 28, 2015 7:08 p.m.

another option: let the Prius owner (and every other one) do the actual work of changing their own oil while you sit back and enjoy the show..

dropstep Reader
Feb. 28, 2015 7:54 p.m.

on a prius just gently apply throttle with it in park/neutral. the gas engine will engage. worst part of that oil change is the craptastic plastic skidplate/belly pan. ohh and remember to take the metal safety clip out if it has the cartridge style filter.

Feb. 28, 2015 9:38 p.m.

It's the standard filter found on any -sfe variant. same one for our Camry with a 5-sfe. The same filter for my stepdaughter's '03 Corolla.

dropstep Reader
Feb. 28, 2015 10:54 p.m.
Jerry From LA wrote: It's the standard filter found on any -sfe variant. same one for our Camry with a 5-sfe. The same filter for my stepdaughter's '03 Corolla.

i work in a lube shop for a living but im not up to date on toyota engine codes. i know that at some point they switched from a cannister style filter(valvoline number vo40) too a cartridge filter(vo84)... but im guessing since its the same one as your daughters 03 carrolla its the cannister. either one isnt real difficult but the plastic is annoying.

Vigo PowerDork
March 2, 2015 2:15 p.m.

In reply to novaderrik:

I do my own oil changes?

Also the 'just give it throttle' thing doesnt always seem to work for mine.

March 6, 2015 2:24 a.m.

I ended up changing the Prius oil and filter in the rain. Turns out my stepdaughter's boyfriend last had the oil changed in early 2013. So a quart and a half of opaque blackness came out of the sump. The batteries were well charged so I had the heater going full hot, the lights on, and the radio,and every other accessory for about 15 minutes before the engine fired up.

After I told him he ought to ride herd on the oil better, my stepdaughter chimed in, "Don't worry. I'll show you how to check the oil."

These kids today.....

Mike HalfDork
March 6, 2015 3:22 a.m.

As a safety feature, many hybrids will start the engine if the hood is opened while the car is set to run. The idea is, since the car could start the engine at any moment, they don't want you taking the engine apart or stocking your hand in places it should not be, then being surprised when battery soc starts the engine.

March 7, 2015 9:07 a.m.

You mean it WON'T start with the hood open, no?

Mike HalfDork
March 7, 2015 2:58 p.m.
Jerry From LA wrote: You mean it WON'T start with the hood open, no?

Nope. Other way around. They want you to turn the car off to work on it. When the car is on, a hybrid engine could start or stop at any time. Unlike a normal car, it's not obvious from under the hood whether the car is on or off. By starting the engine when the hood is opened and the car is on, it is made obvious that the car isn't in a safe state for being worked on.

I don't have a list of cars it works on and doesn't work on, but I thought the Prius was one where it worked. If you try it, lemme know.

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