Engine oil dipstick down halfway after 130km highway drive

Hi everyone, so i own a lexus es300 2003 presently with 264,000 miles on it and it is losing oil progressively. There’s no major repairs done on it ever and i had a previous complaint here where it is losing speed but it appeared the air box was not properly connected to the engine, something of that nature. Now i performed oil change abouts a month ago and the dipstick level was intact throughout the daily city driving. Then yesterday i went interstate, covering a distance of 130km on the highway and mt dipstick is now halfway. First time i noticed this was after 210 km interstate driving of about 6hrs, i only lost 1/3 on the dipstick from full guage so i felt maybe itself normal. Now it is worrisome after 130km in a day but all through city driving and it is intact. I called my mech he said it’s camshaft oil seal needs replacement. Is he correct? Also i have no leaks in my environment, and no unusual smoke.

It is much more likely your engine is simply worn out after a quarter million miles
Ask your mechanic to do a compression test, wet and dry.


210km/130 miles in 6 hours = 35kph/21mph

or were you doing 210kph/130mph for 6 hours = 1260km/780 mile trip
On a car with 1/4 million miles on it and you’re wondering why it’s using oil?

You said interstate driving so I’m not sure if you drive real slow or real fast.

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The most important thing now is to keep checking the oil and topping it up.



Now that the OP has learned of his engine’s high rate of oil consumption, he needs to check it at least once each week, and top it off when needed.

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Have the PCV system inspected to make sure it’s operating correctly.




The OP seems to be conscientious in that regard, but, like so many other owners of Toyota products, seems to expect them to run forever.
I’m still adhering to what I was taught in the 1950’s: Unless a car is collectible and has had extraordinary maintenance, once it is older than 10 years old or has passed 100,000 miles, it is no longer reliable or suitable for daily driving.

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That just is not true anymore .


Hey, when I look in the mirror I see a 30 year old guy with a full head of hair. That’s not true anymore either, but it’s the reality I prefer.


I used to adhere to those old “rules”, but I ceased doing so by the mid-90s.
My 2011 Outback will be 11 years old at the end of August. It currently has ~120k miles on the odometer, doesn’t consume more than 1/4 of a qt of oil between changes, and the only repair that it has ever needed was the replacement of the WW fluid reservoir–under warranty.

I am planning on ordering a 2023 vehicle in July, but that is because I feel that I deserve to treat myself to a new vehicle–not because I actually need a new one.

If your car uses a timing belt you need to replace the camshaft seal asap anyway, b/c if it leaks onto the timing belt , that can cause major problems that you definitely don’t want. Usually if a camshaft seal leaks on a timing belt engine you’ll see oil leaking on the ground after an overnight park. Do you see any oil puddles under the car?

Has the oil and filter been replaced consistently on the manufacturer’s suggested schedule? If so, suggest to repair any leaks that drip oil on the ground, check the PCV system as posted above, and otherwise just top the oil off at every re-fueling. I’m presuming you are not losing oil faster than one quart per 500 miles.

I too am puzzled by the 35 kph average on the interstate. You mentioned city driving. If you do a lot of short trip city driving, a lot of unburnt gas and condensation can build up in the oil and can mask the fact that your car is consuming oil in the city also. When you take a highway trip you boil off most of that and your dipstick now reads low.

Another possibility is that driving around with the air box disconnected, your engine may gave sucked in a lot of dirt, damaging the rings.

I would do a compression test then a leakdown test. Rings sounds like poor in one or more cylinders. The wear depends on many things if the oil was not maintained properly then they wear down faster. I had one car a AMC Gremlin with a 6 cyclinder which the rings did not rotate and wore egg shape buring alot of both gas & oil? sometime they will rotate aligning the gaps acting like excess blowby! Usually it because the rebuilder did not properly space the gaps when installing the rings or installing them upside down.

I doubt your mechanic is correct - at that pace, there’d be a huge puddle under the car and the engine would be soaked.
Try adding cleaner/decarbonizer to oil and gas - I vote for stuck piston ring(s). My guess is you don’t notice smoke because it happens when you are driving.
Another option is hardened valve seals. See if there is a puff of smoke on initial start up. I heard Lucas seal conditioner helps with that. It’s really low mileage for a Lexus to develop oil consumption of that magnitude.

264000 miles with unknown service records so this engine could be worn out .


Let’s not kid ourselves here. Most reasonable people expect a car to provide dependable transportation for a good 20 years/200,000 miles with reasonable care and maintenance. Anything which would be so worn-out that you can’t depend on it to take you to work on time after just 10 years/100,000 miles even with proper maintenance is just unacceptable. Maybe 50 years ago, that was acceptable, but not today.

Most vehicles wouldn’t even start with such oil consumption. Even Lexus wouldn’t run right without misfire. I doubt it’s worn.

Many moons ago but my 59 Pontiac would always use a quart of oil on my 200 mile jaunt to or from school. It was fine in town but on the highway would push the oil out. It had a little over 100,000 miles and ran fine, but I’d just make sure to check the oil after a highway drive.