1999 Toyota Corolla - engine oil burning

engine oil burning, is this a common problem for 1999?

Those engines allegedly have too few oil return holes in their pistons which could get clogged increasing oil consumption.
On a 22 year old car car with unknown mileage or maintenance there are other causes for oil burning,


Thanks it has 94000 miles

Which means that it has been driven–on average–just a bit over 4k miles per year, and that usually means mostly local short trip driving, which is not good for the engine.

Has the oil been changed twice each year, consistently? If not, then oil sludge has likely built-up, and is leading to increased engine wear and increased oil consumption.

Just how much oil is it consuming?

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Aren’t the oil return holes located in the cylinder head?

If it’s not leaking then it’s burning oil. You have not stated how long you have owned this car, oil change regimen, how often you check the oil level, and so on.

In most cases oil consumption is related to the oil control rings (a.k.a. wiper) on each piston. A stuck wiper ring on one piston can cause oil consumption. They get stuck, can’t breathe so to speak, and the oil on the cylinder wall will not be scrubbed off on the piston downstroke.

Those are for the valve train.

Any 22 year old engine can burn oil.

It’s generally better to just monitor the oil level and add as necessary than try and “fix” it.


I would agree with that! In the past engines were expected to burn some oil, like a quart every 1000 miles. If you bought a new Jaguar in the 50s and 60s, you were told to expect oil consumption of 1 quart every 700-1000 miles!!!

oil change Every 3 months or 3000 to 3500 miles like religion.

That is very good!

That is not so good, based on your apparent driving patterns.

I would entertain the idea of something as simple as stuck PCV valve here.
Few dollars to replace, just to be on a safe side?


Definitely a good idea. This has to be the cheapest maintenance procedure that has the potential to improve things.


had same idea-just changed it today, i’ll see how it goes. but thanks

I hope that replacing the PCV valve works for you but it’s pretty likely that the previously mentioned oil return holes are clogged. There is a thread sticky about this typical issue in the 8th gen Corollas on Toyotanation.com.

Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t limited to those Corollas. My friend’s 2008 Rav-4 began consuming 1 qt of oil every 800-900 miles just before Toyota’s limit of 60k miles for free engine repairs expired. The dealership performed an oil consumption test, and the engine “passed” :angry: because it wasn’t yet excessive enough to qualify.

A couple of years later, the oil consumption increased to 1 qt every 500 miles.
By the time that the oil consumption issue ramped up to 1 qt every 200-300 miles, my friend opted to dump the car, rather than pay for engine repairs on his own dime, on a vehicle that was then 13 years old.

This issue is also a known problem for certain years of Camrys, Matrixes, and Solaras.

Keep adding oil. It makes no sense having the new improved pistons and rings installed on a 22 year old car. It is a very well known issue with that generation Corolla.

I agree, but the OP needs to be aware that, at some point, his catalytic converter will need to be replaced, and that won’t be cheap.

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Sorry if I missed it, how miles to a quart?

Sure! I owned that generation Corolla and sold it 2 years ago for $800.Car was running fine but it was burning some oil. I knew the long term consequences of an oil burning engine.Repair for the new improved pistons was around $2000cdn…too much for me.Bought a used 2012 and its been bulletproof.