Burning oil?

toyota
corolla

#1

I drive a 2002 Toyota Corolla with a four cylinder 109 cubic inch engine. It has a 123,041 miles on it. Until about 2 months ago it used about one and a half quarts of oil every 5,000 miles. Now it’s using a quart every 1,000 miles. It doesn’t smoke or leak oil on my garage floor. Does anyone have an idea about what is going on with this car?


#2

Not without more info, most of which can only be gained by looking at the car.

Was your oil change done by your usual shop?
Was it a Quicky Lube?
Was the normal weight oil used? Is it the weight recommended by the Owners’ Manual?
Was any other work performed?

Beyond that, I’d want to check the PCV valve (if you have one) and for evidence of oil seepage in various areas like the front seals and the valvecover gaskets. Front seals can leak with the engine running and not with the engine static, as crankcase pressures, fluid pressure from turbulance, and the simple act of the shafts spinning in the seals can cause oil to pass that would not pass in a static state. This statement also applies to the oil filter seal, and I['d want to look for evidence of leakage there too. Perhaps the shop left the old rubber ring stuck to the block and screwed the filter in over it, causing an improper seal.

If this was done by a real shop, I’d take it back and ask them to recheck it. If it was done by a Quicky Lube I’d have a real shop check it out. It’s worth the extra cash. The amount should be minimal.


#3

You have received good advice from “the same mountainbike”. Keep checking your oil and when you change oil again, be certain that the correct weight oil is being poured into the crankcase.

I had a Ford Maverick that was taking about 1 quart in 1000 miles. I was using Sunoco 10W-40 oil in the car. I bought some Valvoline on sale a 25 cents a quart with rebate(this was a long time ago) and my consumption rate improved to 1300 miles per quart. On the other hand, a colleaugue had a Buick Electra and he got better oil mileage with the Sunoco brand than with other oils.

1000 miles per quart is really o.k. My 2011 Toyota Sienna manual says that 600 miles per quart is acceptable. Fortunately, it doesn’t take any oil between changes because the specified oil is 0W-20 synthetic and the price the dealer charges is $7.00 a quart. I don’t even drink anything that costs that much. I also own a Toyota 4Runner and in hammering out a deal, the dealer said I was a loyal Toyota owner and I receive free oil changes for 2 years. If my Sienna used a quart every 600 miles of $7.00 oil, I wouldn’t be a loyal Toyota owner for long.

As I said, keep a close watch on the dipstick and see what happens after the next oil change.


#4

“Does anyone have an idea about what is going on with this car?”

Yes. It’s wearing out…But it has a long ways to go…The transmission will fail before the engine…


#5

You say it isnt leaking. How do you know. Do a good inspection. The oil is going somewhere. Do you check it on level ground? 120000 on a toy should barely use if ant oil unless they dont make em like they used to. Watch for smoke at start up


#6

Thanks for all your comments. In answer to your questions:
I change my own oil and filter and have done so for 52 years. I use Fram filters and a good quality oil like Havoline, Quaker State, etc. My manual says to use either 10W-30 or 5W-30. I?ve always used 10W-30 in south Louisiana but may switch to 5W-30 since I?m in Springfield, MO now. But 10W-30 is still OK per the manual even though the winters are colder here. I always check the filter seal and wipe the face of the engine where it seals on. No problem there. I changed the oil and filter about 60 miles ago. No work has ever been done on the engine except to change an alternator about 30,000 miles ago. The engine doesn?t have a PCV valve that I can see. I checked for leaks…with the engine running for 5 minutes…on the valve cover gaskets, and the front and rear of the engine also. Nothing leaked onto my garage floor while the car was running. I had my wife start the car so I could check for smoke but there was none that I could see.


#7

Thanks for all your comments. In answer to your questions:
I change my own oil and filter and have done so for 52 years. I use Fram filters and a good quality oil like Havoline, Quaker State, etc. My manual says to use either 10W-30 or 5W-30. I?ve always used 10W-30 in south Louisiana but may switch to 5W-30 since I?m in Springfield, MO now. But 10W-30 is still OK per the manual even though the winters are colder here. I always check the filter seal and wipe the face of the engine where it seals on. No problem there. I changed the oil and filter about 60 miles ago. No work has ever been done on the engine except to change an alternator about 30,000 miles ago. The engine doesn?t have a PCV valve that I can see. I checked for leaks…with the engine running for 5 minutes…on the valve cover gaskets, and the front and rear of the engine also. Nothing leaked onto my garage floor while the car was running. I had my wife start the car so I could check for smoke but there was none that I could see.


#8

Thanks for all your comments. In answer to your questions:
I change my own oil and filter and have done so for 52 years. I use Fram filters and a good quality oil like Havoline, Quaker State, etc. My manual says to use either 10W-30 or 5W-30. I?ve always used 10W-30 in south Louisiana but may switch to 5W-30 since I?m in Springfield, MO now. But 10W-30 is still OK per the manual even though the winters are colder here. I always check the filter seal and wipe the face of the engine where it seals on. No problem there. I changed the oil and filter about 60 miles ago. No work has ever been done on the engine except to change an alternator about 30,000 miles ago. The engine doesn?t have a PCV valve that I can see. I checked for leaks…with the engine running for 5 minutes…on the valve cover gaskets, and the front and rear of the engine also. Nothing leaked onto my garage floor while the car was running. I had my wife start the car so I could check for smoke but there was none that I could see.


#9

Have the wife stand behind it and watch for some blue smoke when you start it in the morning and perhaps even follow it down the highway and watch while you decelerate…and accelerate.

My thinking is that since it isn’t leaking, it has to be getting burned. If the valve stem seals are wearing out, the engine will burn some oil when decelerating, as that’s a very high vacuum condition in the cylinders. Basically, they’re still trying to draw in the same amount of air that they were when you were cruising, but now the path they’re drawing through becomes blocked by the throttle plate. In these cases the vacuum can pull oil down past worn valve stem seals. In addition if these seals are worn some oil will usually drip past them when you park and lie on the back fo the valves or in the cylinders and get drawn in and buened upon startup in the morning.

The smoke while accelerating is simple worn cylinders & rings. The driver usually won’t notice it until it becomes really bad, because the smoke will be dissipated behind the car. A quart every 1000 miles is .0016 ounces burned and dissipated along each mile of highway, not always visable in the rearview mirror.

Post back with the findings.


#10

I did as you suggested. I stood behind it and watched for blue smoke at various times. If the engine was warm…no smoke. In the morning with the engine cold the car put out white smoke for a few minutes and then it stopped. I suspect that was only condensation being burned off. I also had her accelerate from a dead stop to 55 mph and then decelerate…foot off the gas pedal…back down to 20 mph or less. No smoke that I could see either speeding up or slowing down. I’ve been checking the dipstick since the oil change about 250 miles ago but I can’t tell if it’s still using or not.


#11

The 2002 appears to have a PCV valve. This link has the locations (2 possible).

Autozone has an on-line repair guide for the Corolla, this page has diagrams of the emissions components. The Corolla diagram is near the bottom of the page and can be enlarged.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0996b43f8038018a


#12

My PCV valve was on the backend of the engine screwed into the head. Simple change. The old one still rattled but I played it safe and changed it anyway. The engine still seems to be using some oil but maybe not as much.