I’ve discovered that the 2000 prizm/corolla has a defective motor design. All the motors from 1998-2002 end up with MASSIVE oil consumption problems. Can I replace the engine with a pre1998 or post2002 motor? Will anything else work with the transmission? Please help me figure out it the car is salvageable.
Do you have massive oil consumption problems?
Toyota long ago discovered the issue with these engines and their massive oil consumption problems was the design of the pistons. The updated piston design has more and larger oil passages around the oil control rings, and I’m sure any rebuilder will use the updated pistons so you won’t have this problem again. Other than that, the engine used in these cars is a wonderful, durable design that will last a very long time with proper maintenance and care. The proper fix for your engine will be either a full rebuild including redesigned pistons (don’t forget the camshaft and bearings since they were probably starved of oil at some time), or replacement with a remanufactured engine.
If it’s any consolation, there were several Toyota engine designs that had high oil consumption.
And some of these were maintained very well, so it’s not all due to neglect.
The motor is seized, it was driven on a trip of 400 miles and had to be towed home. We were not aware of the oil usage problem which apparantly is made much worse by highway driving and didn’t know to check it during the trip. I found all this out after the fact. We had only had the car two weeks. I would prefer a motor from some other years if it’s doable. I bought this car because of the stellar cars I’ve owned previously (2 prizms, 3 corolllas, 3 tercels)What a MAJOR flaw to pass on to the public.
My corolla is a 92 my other two prizms are 93,94 all are alive and well ,while the 2000 that I paid the most for is dead
Do any of your other cars have the 1.8 liter 7A-FE toyota engine?
If so, I’d advise you to check the oil frequently, if you aren’t already doing so. I’m quite familiar with these engines, as I’ve had a few cars with that engine. It uses A LOT of oil. They were maintained very well and used a lot of oil right from the beginning. One of them was in the family since new and it had high oil consumption from the very beginning.
My 1995 Corolla 1.8 used 1 quart/1000 miles. I checked the oil level every 2 weeks, because I didn’t have the time or money to do a major engine overhaul.
I have seen some Corollas/Prizms of this era use as much as (maybe more than) a quart every hundred miles or so, and yes I do think it gets worse during sustained highway driving.
At least now you know why the car was for sale…
Kimby, the problem with using an engine from another generation is that the computer programming may not match up. I’d suggest that you follow mark’s advice and either have yours rebuilt with the proper pistons or get a reman with the updated pistons.
db. the issue with the 7AFE engine was the same for all the A series Toyota engines and that is the front crankshaft seal. These were bad about leaking. The seal should be changed with every timing belt change but if the mechanic looked up the procedures in the factory service manual for changing this seal, they would be reluctant. It didn’t take long for the Toyota mechanics to figure out that the seal could be easily popped out and replaced, the factory procedures did not have to be followed.
Installing a different style of engine would make it more difficult to get it through the smog.
Did you buy the car from some sort of a dealer? Did the car have any sort of "warranty?"
Perhaps you should just go back to them and argue that they sold you a POS and you would like another comparable car instead.
You have nothing to lose at this point. The damage is done, literally.
No dealer I’m stuck with car, so it sounds like a rebuild is the only viable option. Does it become a GOOD reliable motor then? My husband says to junk it. I hate to see a car scraped but I’m nervous about a rebuild.
It appears that your engine is a 1ZZFE engine so you could use the long block from any newer Corolla up to 2008. You mechanic would have to swap all the exterior stuff, like some of the sensors, the FI rail and maybe the ignition system, but the basic mechanical parts of the engine should swap. You might get lucky and find a newer engine at a junk yard that you think you can trust, but any used engine is going to be a risk. And it won’t be cheap either.
I’ve had good luck with a reman from ProFormance in Springfield, MO but there are a couple of other good reman companies, but a lot of not so good also. Also check the dealer and see if they can get you a good deal on a brand new crate engine, sometimes they can be a bargain, but only if the dealer wants to cooperate.
BTW, my daughter has an 03 Corolla that uses this engine, she has about 165k on it and it still runs strong and generally goes from oil change to oil change (7500 miles) without having to add any oil. It will be down a quart at oil change time though.
I would be reluctant to rebuild a seized motor.
Thanks for all the helpful advice and info it’s greatly appreciated
Also 165xxx is the kind of performance I’ve learned to expect from these vehicles. Besides brakes and door handles I’ve had little to no problem with the cars prior to this . I think that’s why I’m so stunned and feel cheated by their motor that is flawed. I expected this car to be just like all my previous cars, dependable and reliable till the end of a long, long life.
Odd thing with these motors. I have a 1998 Prizm LSI loaded with every option available including the 4 speed auto. It now has almost 110000 miles on it and it never uses a drop ( knock on wood ) cruises on the highway at about 2400 RPM @ about 75 mph. I do change the oil at 3000 miles religously!
the earlier Prizms had a a valve clearance problem. If the timing belt broke the valves would be bent. just an FYI
I’m not sure I agree about the valve clearance problem.
I worked on a Toyota with that same engine as the earlier Prizms, and the timing belt broke COMPLETELY. Was able to turn the crankshaft through several revolutions without touching one single valve. After replacing the timing belt, that engine fire right up and is still going strong.
I’m assuming you meant the 1.8 7A-FE, by the way.
Some early Prism’s (90 era) may have had the 4A-GE (1.6 liter) engine, it would bend valves if the timing belt broke. I don’t think the 4A-FE or 7A-FE and I know the 4AC were not interference engines.
None of these engines are interference engines. ( including the 4AGE ) starting in 1998 all had timing chains not belts.