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2012 Toyota RAV4 - increased oil consumption

My 2012 Rav4 - 4 cylinder, is all of a sudden going through oil … down 3 quarts after only 3,000 mi of an oil change. 2nd time happening, No leaks. Where is oil going?

Assuming there are no leaks it’s probably going out the tailpipe. How many miles are on your Rav4? How often do you change the oil? If you’re just now checking it after 3k that’s not good. AFAIK your Rav4 only holds 4 quarts, which means you only had a quart left. You should’ve noticed well before it got down 3 quarts. I generally check the oil in my Corolla at least every couple of weeks (admittedly less often in nasty weather). Anyway, you’re averaging a quart every 1k, which isn’t a disaster provided you keep an eye on it.

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+1

Again, +1

Toyota installed 4-cylinder engines with defective piston rings for a couple of years, circa 2008.
For the OP’s sake, I hope that this manufacturing defect didn’t recur a few years later.

Its burning it internally if this vehicule has a lot of miles.There is no miracle cure for this except replacing the oil rings.

Add a can of this to the engine oil.

https://www.restoreusa.com/index.php

I’ve added this to the oil of several vehicles that burned oil, and it reduced the oil consumption considerably.

Tester

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I’m not going to disagree strenuously with Tester, but Restore only reduced oil consumption on my friend’s Rav-4 to a very small extent. Instead of consuming 1 qt every 300 miles, it “improved” to a consumption rate of 1 qt every 400 miles. Others may wish to differ, but I don’t think that this decrease is significant in light of the cost of a can of Restore vs the price of a qt of oil.

Yes, the OP should give it a try, but… don’t expect miracles.

1 quart per 1,000 miles is not awful. If you check your oil every other fill up you will easily be able to stay on top of this. If this happened suddenly something changed, like an EGR valve or pcv valve going bad. But I am going to suggest this has been getting gradually worse as you only noticed the drop after 3,000 miles. Unless your post was brief and you were checking and adding as needed.

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My 73 Chevy Vega burned 1 quart every 1000 miles until I rebuilt it. Besides that one I’ve never owned a vehicle that burned more then 1 quart every 2-3 thousand miles. But that was when the vehicles had over 250k miles. I know manufacturers say 1/qrt every 1k miles is acceptable…But I’d never buy from that manufacturer again if my new vehicle did.

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… and that is why my friend won’t buy another Toyota after his severely oil-burning 2008 Rav-4.

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You’re right. One quart per 1000 miles is completely acceptable…on a 20-year old car with over 200,000 miles on it. It is completely unacceptable on a much newer car with under 100,000 miles, and unacceptable to the point of being comical on a new or low-mileage car–even if the manufacturer claims otherwise. As a side note, I have driven many old cars with over 150,000 miles, and never observed oil consumption of more than a quart per oil change interval.

Then you’d better cross a lot of European cars off your list :laughing:

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+1!
+1!
Good advice, both of you! I totally agree. Any and all those vehicles that start out “life” consuming oil will never be on my list of desirable vehicles.

:palm_tree::sunglasses: :palm_tree:
CSA

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About 30 years ago a mechanic showed me how to avoid buying oil burning cars.
Inspect the tailpipe. Oily, sooty deposits are a deal breaker.
Probably won’t work with a brand new car, but I’ve never bought one of those.
Won’t work with diesels; never bought one of those either.
With GDI some soot is okay, as long as it’s dry.
I often see newish cars with filthy tailpipes, usually Euro-luxury models.

We’re dealing with a 9 year old vehicle with unknown mileage. Based on national averages 120k is a reasonable assumption. Plus, there are hints the vehicle hasn’t received the best of care. The OP could well be fortunate the oil consumption isn’t worse.

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If the OP is not checking the oil level regularly and keeping it topped off as needed and if the assumption is made that this “down 3 quarts” was pointed out to them by someone else then they need to lay some or all of the blame on themselves.
Running an engine very low on oil or chronically low will cause oil consumption problems.

Again, knowing the miles on the car and what the oil change regimen is might help a bit.

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I have been having regular oil changes and upkeep on this car since I have owned it … about 6 years now. It has 181,000 mi. I just had the Transmission replaced Nov. 2020. I drive an average of 70 mi. a day and have been for a long time. Since the transmission was replaced it seems to have this oil loss issue. I just put in 3 qts. … Oil was changed at 177,829 mi. It is now at 181,040. I use synthetic oil. This is the 2nd time this is happening. The first time, I consulted with the mechanic at the car repair shop. His response … well, it’s not leaking and we cant find an issue, so I wouldn’t worry about it. It is coming up on the oil change date and I’m hesitant to take it back again… Still don’t know what to tell the car repair since they seem to think this is OK.

You need to replenish the oil as soon as it is down by 1 qt.
Waiting for an extended period of time before checking, and then needing to add 3 qts, has likely exacerbated the oil consumption problem. Yes, I know that I am essentially re-stating ok4450’s advice, but I want the OP to know that he is not the only one who finds fault with her oil-checking routine.

I strongly suggest that you check the oil once each week.

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I don’t think the transmission replacement has anything to do with the oil consumption, perhaps a real mechanic can enlighten me but I think it’s coincidence. In any event, as a number of us have written more than once, letting the get 3 quarts low isn’t good maintenance. Get in the habit of checking your oil. I add oil to my Corolla when it gets down half a quart. A quart in 1000 miles isn’t a big deal, especially for a vehicle with 181,000 miles, as long as you keep on top of it. The alternative is a rebuilt engine, which would still need regular care, and you can buy a lot of oil for what you’d spend on that.

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I never had an oil problem before November 2020. Always ran fine with regular oil changes and checkups every 4,000 - 5,000 mi. (as suggested by Dealership/Car Repair for synthetic oil changes). The first time it started to warn me I contacted the Car Repair (Firestone) and they said bring it in and they would top it off. This is the 2nd time it is losing oil. This time I had a friend who is a mechanic look at it and he is the one that told me I was 3 qts. down and there was an issue Firestone was not catching. So … now with all the comments, I am checking every Monday morning. Thx.

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If I’m interpreting your post correctly you’re saying the oil light never came on until last fall. Since you haven’t been checking your oil you don’t know whether it was low or not, you’ve been depending on whoever serviced the vehicle (apparently Firestone) to let you know. You were simply not aware of a problem, which is different from saying there wasn’t one. If they just drained and refilled the oil without checking it first they wouldn’t catch it either, especially if they were in a hurry and you hadn’t reported a problem. In my experience it has to be fairly low before the light comes on, which is why you ended up down 3 quarts.

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