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Dead Toyota

I have a 1989 Toyota Corolla that was a lot of fun to drive but my daughter ran the engine oil dry. I was actually able to drive it home after putting 5 quarts of oil in it but of course it smoked super bad and was dry again by the time I drove the 5 miles home. Is there any hope for it? Or is it ready for the junk yard?

If you can find another engine for it and put it in yourself, it might be worth it. Otherwise, it’s junk.


Perhaps you should teach your daughter how to check to oil before this happens again…

Purchase a used engine. Plan on you and your daughter installing the engine – daughter turns the wrenches – you advise. Maybe next time she will check the oil level more frequently.

Before you put another engine in this Corolla, evaluate the rest of the car. If the body is starting to rust, particularly underneath, it isn’t worth an engine. If the car has an automatic transmisison that hasn’t been serviced recently, there is another potential problem. How is the suspension and steering gear? How many miles are on the car?
This car is 21 years old–old enough to vote. An engine that would fit the car may be hard to find.

I wholeheartedly agree.

And I’d get it on a rack or get underneath it (SAFELY on ramps or stands) and check carefully for rot in the subframe, the body under the rocker panels (they tend to rust there and these are structural), and check the condition of the braking system out thoroughly. If the fittings or lines show signs of severe corrsion, that would definitely make my decision to junk it. Losing the brakes could cause you to lose your daughter.

when you get the new used car for your darling daughter, buy her a Haynes repair manual to go with it, and dont let her drive it until she can pass a 100 question test. The test must include, oil change, brake service, coolant change, transmission service, tires wear, and battery service. It is the least she can do to make up for her current ignorance and the cost of the replacement car.

Thanks for all the comments.
Looks like it’s time to go car shopping.
Did some calling around and there isn’t a used engine that runs in this area if I wanted to try and fix it.
My daughter is headed off to college so I told her she could take a bicycle with her for transportation.