I have have had a '95 Toyota Tercel DX for 10 years. It has been a great car, very few major repairs - now at nearly 212,000 miles.
Earlier this year, I had the timing belt, serpentine belt and the spark plugs replaced. A day later, I had a smoking tailpipe, which led to me getting the engine replaced at the end of April. I was told that the “new” engine has less than 50K and came with a 2 year, unlimited mileage, parts and labor warranty.
Within a month of getting the new engine, I noticed a knocking noise when I started my car that seemed to be getting worse. I checked my oil, and it was way over the full mark. Two days later, my oil light came on and I discovered that the oil was gone. I returned my car to the shop and there was something cracked near an intake valve; it was replaced (not sure of exact details because I wasn’t given any paperwork).
Over the last 2 months, I have been back to the mechanic several times because of oil leaks/consumption. Most recently, she lost 1 quart of oil in less than 125 miles, was burning oil upon acceleration (some smoke from tailpipe), but had only a 1-2 inch drop of oil under car. Last week, the engine supplier was contacted (because of the warranty) and after its rep looked at the engine, sent my mechanic a new seal kit. I have had my car back for 3 days, driven it less than 200 miles, and now there are large spots of oil - 3 by 12 inch splotch - under my car (near front, passenger wheel, just under edge of the plastic tray thing which is also black with oil) wherever I park it. However, it is losing oil at a slower rate - down only a quart, I think.
I am incredibly frustrated. My car was in the shop for about 1/2 of the last month. I now dread looking under my car and checking the oil. I haven’t been charged for any of these return visits, but returning to the mechanic repeatedly is very stressful. Even though it’s not my fault, I feel bad every time I go back. Plus, I don’t have any paperwork for any of the warranty work, which concerns me. I haven’t yet contacted my mechanic about the current leak.
Is this normal for a replaced engine? Am I going to be doing this until the warranty expires? Should I take her to a different mechanic, even if it means I’ll have to pay for the visit?