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Oil consumption 2007 Toyota Camry

Apparently oil consumption in the 2007 Camry is commonly reported. Mine is using about 1 qt every 1000 miles. Toyota recommends either 0W-20 or 5W-20 oil and I have been using 5W-20. My question is can I try using 5W-30 oil in an attempt to slow the rate of oil consumption without harming the overall lubrication of the engine. I am wondering if the higher top end viscosity might mean oil will not as readily get into all the little nooks and crannies as a 5W-20 oil?

This Camry was not apparently consuming oil until around 50,000 miles. One day the oil light came on about 3,000 miles after the last oil change, and when I checked the oil was below the lowest mark. I have been checking and adding oil as needed. The Toyota dealer said that some oil consumption is “Normal” after the engine loosens up. In my view it might be common for these 2007 2.4L Camry engines, but consuming a quart of oil ever 1,000 miles should not be expected or normal after only 50,000 miles on a well maintained car like mine. It is a flaw, but if I can slow the oil consumption with a slightly higher viscosity oil it would be less of a hassle. I live near Philadelphia in the winter and Maine in the summer, thus moderate temperatures.

Actually a quart every 1000 is not uncommon, not great but it happens. I’d change the brand of oil as the next step rather than going up to 5W-30. Some brands burn off faster than others.

A quart of oil is pretty cheap. If you add in 1/2 qt increments and keep the level between the 1/2 and full mark this may help too. When the oil level is low (as in at the bottom mark or below) then the remaining oil in the works harder, gets hotter, and burns off faster.

With 0W20 or 5W20 it is quite common to have oil consumption, mainly due to the thin grade. My 2007 Corolla originally specified 5W30, then a bulletin said 5W20 was OK. I would not hesitate to use 5W30 in your Camry, and oil consumption may be lower then. On the other hand, I don’t know how much wear there is on the engine, or if have have small leaks.

However, as others say, 1 quart in 1000 miles is not unusual.

Check your PCV valve abd replace if needed. This could increase your rate of oil use dramatically if it is bad or dirty/clogged as they sometimes get. These parts are usually cheap $5-10 and usually a couple minute fix if that.

Conor

Some consumption is normal, and a qt every 1000 miles is considered by all manufacturers to be within acceptable tolerances. As cwalkin said, check or change your PCV valve, but don’t let that amount of usage upset you.

I don’t generally recommend changing weights in today’s engines mainly because they use the oil now as a hydraulic fluid to operate the variable valve systems. Sticking with the recommended weights is prudent.

Consuming That Much Oil Is Not Normal, Even On A Much Older Car With Many, Many More Miles. I Have Owned More Cars Than I Can Recall And None Have Used That Much Oil.

Even if it’s true that these Toyotas “all do that,” I don’t consider a quart in 1,000 miles as normal.
The car companies decide that this is “normal”. Otherwise they’d lose their shirts in warranty work. “Normal” means we won’t fix it unless you pay for it.

We currently own several GM cars that have as many as 250,000 miles and none of them use a quart in 5,000 miles when an oil change takes place.

I see that even Consumer Reports gave the 07 Camry 2.4L a black eye when they rated a Trouble Spot for Engine Cooling As "Worse Than Average."
Besides running it low on oil by not checking/maintaining it, has it ever over-heated ?
Running an engine low enough on oil to set off a warning is a sure way to make a real oil burner out of an oil consumer.

Let me put it this way about the oil consumption being normal on that car. I would never buy a new or used car that used that much oil unless is was sold “as is” for way less than market value.

Heavier oil is not he answer.
Also, it scares me that the oil light had to illuminate to prompt you to do a routine underhood check. Was this car driven with the “oil light” on ?
Has this car been inspected for oil leaks ?

CSA

CSA, as a long time Toyota owner I can testify that the statement that “all Toyotas do that” is categorically false. And I agree that it’s on the high end of the “acceptable” spectrum.

But it is considered acceptable, and IMHO it isn;t worth worrying about other than to make sure the level doesn;t run low. I would not tear an engine apart for that much usage, nor consider it worn out and ready to replace.

I noticed the commment on the oil light too and support your question. I wondered about that too.

Using a heavier weight of oil in an engine with variable valve timing is not a good idea. As someone else recommended, changing brands might help, but if it’s been run so low the oil pressure light came on, it may not. It’s worth a try.

@Archimedes Toyota has a 24 page technical service bulletin dealing with oil consumption on the 2AZ-FE engine.

http://www.rav4world.com/tsb/2011/T-SB-0094-11.pdf

On page 1 it clearly states “The piston assembly has been changed to minimize oil consumption.”

On page 2 it states “This repair is covered under the Toyota Powertrain Warranty. This warranty is in effect for 60 months or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s in-service date.”

You are obviously past the 60 months, so technically you don’t qualify for this freeby.

However, did you complain to a Toyota dealer in writing about excessive oil consumption before the 60 months expired?

Also, did you complain about it before August 11, 2011? That is the date of the TSB

It might be worth contacting your local dealer to ask them to repair your engine on their dime.

The existence of this TSB proves that Toyota knows it f…d up.

You’ve got nothing to lose by asking for financial assistance, should you want to get a permanent repair.

On page 3 it states that acceptable oil consumption is 1qt/1200 miles. So even by Toyota’s standards there is a problem, because your oil consumption is 1qt/1000 miles.

Have you been a “good customer” at your local Toyota dealer? Sometimes the service manager will authorize a free “goodwill” repair for “good customers.”

1000 miles per quart is a bit excessive but within the limits of most auto manufacturers; i.e. the dealer will tell you to live w/it until/if it gets to 500 miles per quart or something like that.

It’s a surprising fact that I heard recently, that if an engine consumed a drop of oil on each cylinder cycle, it would be consuming one quart per 2 miles! So one quart per 1000 miles ins’t much oil consumption. It’s a good idea as posted above to check the PCV, that’s easy for a mechanic to check.

And are you certain it isn’t just leaking out? It’s not uncommon at all for the valve cover gaskets to start to leak a little at 50K. Sometimes the leak is small enough the oil flows down the hot engine and evaporates before it drips onto the ground. Next time you park your car, after you’ve driven it to operating temp, put a newspaper or white paper of some kind on the ground, and check the next morning for any oil drips. If you see any drops at all, suspect the valve cover gaskets. Sometimes it isn’t even the gaskets, just that the bolts holding the valve cover down have come loose. But don’t try to tighten these yourself unless you know the torque specs and have an accurate torque wrench. Otherwise, its easy to cause more problems than you solve.

@GeorgeSanJose I had a car with a seeping oil pan gasket, which I didn’t fix.

It used less than 1qt/10000 miles!

Running the oil level clean off the stick and having the oil light come on is not helping the problem as the piston rings/cylinder walls rely on splash oil to stay lubricated.

Depending on the oil change regimen, it’s possible that one or more rings have decided to seize due to oil coking. This usually involves the oil control ring, or wiper ring as it’s called in slang.
This is true of any engine so I’m not picking on Toyota here.

I’m not a subscriber to the quart per 1000 miles is fine theory. To me anyway, it denotes a problem. The only question is the severity and the car manufacturers have a vested interest in maintaining something like this is normal; countless billions of dollars in engine warranty claims.

@ok4450 it’s “common” knowledge that Toyota has had more than its share of oil consumption problems over the years.
And it’s often been pistons and rings

DB 4690

Thank you! You hit the nail on the head with the Technical Service Bulletin 2011 T-SB- 0094-11. Unfortunately, the excessive oil consumption was not detected until the summer of 2012, which was past the 60 month powertrain warranty, as the in-service date was April 25, 2007. Toyota also defined qualification for the warranty as using more than 1 qt in 1,200 miles, and I doubt this car would have qualified. This is my wife’s Camry and I have a 2004 Highlander that doesn’t use a drop of oil! In spite of being loyal customers of our local dealership I would not expect a very sympathetic ear on any financial help, if we wanted to do the necessary engine repairs. That just isn’t their style! They seem to do good work, but they treat every customer as a “profit center”, which is why I now use a local shop.

Once I was aware of the oil consumption I discussed it with the Toyota Dealership in Waterville, Maine near were we spend the summers, and they said some oil consumption was expected. They suggested replacing the PCV value which I did, but which had no effect on the oil consumption. They also never mentioned this TSB, which came out in 2011, so they should have been aware of it. Since I claimed approximately 1 quart consumed in 1,000 miles and the fact that I was past the warranty, I assume they just chose to communicate the company line that oil consumption not exceeding 1 qt in 1,200 was Toyota’s self-defined “Normal, Acceptable, Expected.” But, clearly this is a quailty flaw.

I just plan to keep a close eye on the oil consumption, and will decide when necessary to either fix or trade it in when the time comes.

Thanks for the feedback!

“consuming a quart of oil ever 1,000 miles should not be expected or normal after only 50,000 miles on a well maintained car like mine”

Driving 3000 miles or more without checking the oil level is not my idea of “well maintained”.
I’ll bet there were times that the oil level got really low between oil changes (but not low enough to turn on the oil light) during those first 50,000 miles.
That reduced volume of oil has to work harder, run hotter and wears out faster.
The cumulative result is even more oil consumption.

My 2006 Toyota uses oil at a rate of 1/2 qt every ~5000 miles.
I still check the oil every 1000 miles and keep it right at the top.

@circuitsmith

Which Toyota model?
Which engine?

I have a 2005 Camry with the V6.
I went onto the factory Toyota website and there aren’t any oil consumption TSBs for my car.
My point is that Toyota screwed up some engines, but not all.

@Archimedes a dealer will sometimes not disclose the existence of a TSB if you didn’t point out that you already know about it.

It may not be "fair"
But it’s life

@Archimedes You are consuming more than 1 quart in 1,200 miles. if you burn 1 quart every thousand miles, in 1,200 miles you would burn 1.2 quarts-above the acceptable limit per Toyota. So you may yet qualify for a goodwill repair.

@Cole’s Law The dealer will only authorize a goodwill repair if they want to.

In reality, they don’t have to do diddly.

They might do a goodwill repair if they think the customer will spend money there in the future

My son’s Camry with the 2.4 and 190k miles on the clock doesn’t even burn a quart between the roughly 3500 miles oil change intervals.

True enough about a Good Will warranty. Those are completely arbitrary and sometimes the ones that go halfsies are not as generous as they appear to be.

A few years back a good friend of mine in a neighboring state who is a long time mechanic and now parts man was telling me about a GW repair they had to perform for an elderly woman. The car was an 8 year old Chevy with 100k miles on it that had not seen regular enough oil changes and which had worn the timing chain out. GM did a GW repair on that one because the old lady had a decades long history of owning nothing but Chevys.