2013 Toyota Camry - Loss of confidence

Yes looser piston rings to reduce drag … 0w16 oil or even 5w20 … All for less than 2% fuel economy improvement I think it is. At least the thinner oil aspect of it is a very small percentage. I’ll keep my 90s car that uses a quart of 10W30 every 6000 miles with 180,000 miles on it.


Last car 03 trailblazer ended up eating a quart after 3k miles at 175k miles, 03 ranger nothing, 03 windstar no use, 17 optima nothing, 17 Acadia nothing, 2017 rav4 nothing, so my own experience is no unexpected oil loss due to loosed, or is that loser piston rings.


Neither my '19 Nissan Frontier nor my wife’s '19 Buick Encore have used a drop of oil between oil changes.

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I think around that time Toyota messed something up with their looser piston rings. They were somehow were defective and were even more loose than intended.

I’m responding in general to why some late model cars will have higher oil consumption when new compared to the older models.


It’s not particularly useful to judge a manufacturer from one bad example, every one will have a few individuals that fail prematurely. Better to consider the aggregate experience of may users over many years, such as the Consumer Reports ratings.

As others have pointed out, even the best of cars won’t give good service without proper maintenance. Not just the scheduled maintenance, but the routine checks you (or someone) must perform regularly (weekly, monthly), such as checking oil and other fluid levels and conditions. For instance, as cars age they tend to consume more oil and engine wear will accelerate if the level is allowed to get too low, and very rapidly if very low. Read the owners manual, and ask your mechanic for advice on this.

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Piston ring tension is a compromise between drag for fuel economy and oil loss that shortens the life of the catalytic convertor. Since the cat is warranteed by law for 80k miles, it is not in the manufacturers interest to go too far with loose rings.

Owners, however, will skip oil changes, and use cheaper grades of oil to lower their costs today and cause problems down the line.


The part I don’t understand, Rachel, is you put your faith in the dealer for 8 years and then when you hear a noise on turning you take it to 3 different shops but didn’t just ask the dealer what’s going on?

The answer, as usual, will never be known but there is a huge difference between what the OP thinks the car needs and what it actually needs.
My gut feeling is that the loose piston rings have nothing to do with it. The rule of thumb is .003 to .004 end gap per inch of cylinder bore; applicable to all engines.

The fact that one engine has rings at (Ha…like they check) .005 end gap and another at .007 or .008 is not going to make one iota of difference in friction or break-in procedures.

And there’s always that omnipresent issue of whether the hood ever comes up to check the oil level. In most cases; not.
That is neglect on the part of the car owner and running the engine chronically low on oil exacerbates the oil consumption problem.

The interim story from the “few months ago” noise and 3 different mechanics would be interesting. Never to be known of course…

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Toyota has used hydraulic lash adjusters for several years now

Thank god this is becoming a thing of the past with dipstick-free engines and electronic oil level monitors. One less reason for people on this site to make newcomers feel like crap, instead of actually answering the question.

If you or anyone else had taken a few seconds to apply critical thinking, instead of not being able to wait before pouncing on OP for not checking oil (which, btw, how do you know? nothing OP shared points to this), maybe you would’ve picked up on the seemingly incongruous statements about getting the car checked by 3 mechanics?

@keith framed it correctly…before anything else, you need to know more about the connection between the noise and the oil burning? Why didn’t OP have the car diagnosed at the dealer if that’s where they’ve been maintaining it? Why 3 different mechanics? On what basis did they determine that the engine was burning oil?

I’m so freaking sick of the ‘holier than thou’, jump to conclusions-how-dare-you-not-think-about-car-maintenance-23-hours-a-day attitude displayed by so many on here. I jump back in every couple of months, hoping things will change. And usually within a post or two, it becomes evident that it’s exactly the same.


The attitude is prevalent because of the simple fact that with most people they do not maintain their cars as often as needed and never raise the hood to check anything.

When the excrement hits the fan they don’t hesitate to point the finger at the mechanic, dealer, car manufacturer, or all 3.

Like the young man whose Subaru threw a rod through the block. Eight months of not raising the hood, no oil on the stick, flywheel/pressure plate/clutch disc BBQed beyond recognition, and 1500 RPM OVER the red line by the data logger.
The dealer, Subaru, and the investigator denied any claim because of those factors. Whose fault was it according to the young man? Subaru; for manufacturing a crappy engine and nothing in the world would convince him otherwise.
Obviously he had a loss of confidence in Subaru’s crappy product also…


Just adding a cut and paste to elaborate a bit more that the abused number is not chicken feed.

April is spring’s [National Car Care Month]one of two months (the other is October) dedicated to promoting seasonal vehicle maintenance. During inspections at two key points last year, the Car Care Council found that an overwhelming 84% of cars were in need of service – and less safe than they could have been.

… but they still state that their car is “well-maintained”.
Then, when we delve for details, that claim almost always turns out to be a fantasy.


A lot of the attitude you are perceiving would not show up if posters would give more information in the first place. We so often get questions or complaints with few details, and a lack of maintenance will often explain the vague symptoms presented. Worse, OPs often never respond when asked to fill in the blanks. Perhaps they are embarrassed to admit they caused the problem themselves. In this particular case, the symptom (noise while turning left) doesn’t jibe with the diagnosis (engine burning oil) unless the engine was run with a severely low oil level.


The average ignorant car owner is fed loads of crap about unnecessary repairs and maintenance and therefore has no idea what is important or not. Carshield is currently running a TV ad campaign saying that if your check engine light comes on that your car is ruined and you need a new engine, and it is covered by their warranty.

They wouldn’t know that changing the engine oil every year is more important than changing the air filter or brake fluid.

I do however fault car owners for not reading the owner’s manual, even it if is written more by lawyers than engineers. If you have a several thousand dollar machine, why don’t you spend an hour reading the manual? You spent more time learning how to properly operate your TV and coffee maker.

Rachel04 may be just the kind of car buyer that the industry wants. They’ll find a car maker that has a good reputation and buy that brand, just after their quality takes a hit, and the problems won’t show up for 5 to 10 years.

Hey, I had auto blanket and they paid $4000 to fix my trans. Twice. I love their commercials. Thanks ice-t. Or is it ice cube? Marshmallow?

I think it’s just… sad… that so many people apparently fall for those after-market warranty scams.

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As I’ve stated before, as a shop foreman I had to listen to people cursing us and the car makers for building junk. Many escalated their complaints to the regional offices.

Those complaints ranged from why warranty would not cover a mangled oil drain plug (fast lube did it), mangled lugs (tire store left loose), to a trashed engine on a new car that the owner would not pay us to do the first oil change oil. “You charge too much…”. Forty bucks total.

The same fast lube left the filter loose. It blew off 200 feet away at the mall. Walk back to the fast lube and tell them? Not a chance. She took some tissue after “noticing the little oily can on the ground…”, placed the filter (inked OIL FILTER on it) in an emptied shopping bag in the rear of the car, and headed home 10 miles away. She never made it and the tow truck hauled it in. She was enraged when told sorry, warranty is now like your 4000 miles engine; junk. Fast lube owes you. No one else.

In every single case without exception the car owner never told corporate the full story. The word “they” was the most common with that word being used to insinuate that “they” was us, the dealer. With “they” defined, the regional office would just tell them sorry. This is on you. “I will never buy another dxxxxx (fill in blank) as long as I live…”.
They still blame the dealer and the car manufacturer.

The drain plug lady even threatened to see an attorney…


Do they deny any claims if a problem was caused by corrosion? A real world example of this is rusted out wheel hub teeth or whatever they’re called for the ABS sensor on a 2014 RAM in 2020. That’s only 6 years!

Extended warranties have the same exclusions as the manufacture and more.

These are listed as an exclusions;

Defects, damage, or deterioration due to exposure, misuse, alteration, negligence, accidents, or deterioration of non-mechanical parts due to normal use.

“Deterioration due to exposure” would include rust and corrosion.

There are ways to get around this. If the ABS tone wheel is part of the hub and bearing assembly, the service writer can report this as a wheel bearing failure and possibly get that repair covered. The attitude of the customer can be a factor in this.