Toyota Corolla CE 2000


Hello. My Corolla seems to be dying on me. Maybe someone out there has an idea as to what could be wrong with it.

  1. It burns oil (a lot: 1.5 liters on 380 km).
  2. Black/ blue? smoke from the exhaust.
  3. Idles very low at times (800rpm) and a little high at other times (1300rpm?).
  4. Jerks / stutters while driving (since valve cover gasket (I think that was the one) was changed, due to burning of oil)
  5. clicking sounds while accelerating.

The guy at the garage didn’t even try to sell me anything, but told me to not put any more money into it, as it seems like the car needs a new engine.
Do you think, I should get rid of it, or is there anything affordable, that I could do to make it keep working for approximately a year?


Your mechanic gave you a good assessment of the car, sounds like he is being straight with you. The burning oil , blue smoke and clicking all point to an engine on it’s last legs. How many miles on the car? Toyota engines can last a very long time if they are taken care of-regular oil changes etc. To try to keep it on the road you can try an oil additive. Stop at Advance auto, Pep Boys and places like that - tell them what your mechanic told you and get a can of STP or other brand that may help reduce the burning of the oil. It may or may not work and is only a temporary fix. This is a good time to start looking for another car. If you are buying a used car, ask to see maintenence records and have your mechanic look it over before you buy it to avoid getting another car that burns oil.


Thank you for your response. The car has roughly 190,000 km. :frowning:


The Toyota 1ZZ-FE engine (the engine used in U.S. models) is known for piston/oil consumption problems. I doubt oil additives will help.

Do a search for Toyota 1ZZ-FE oil consumption and you will find a lot of information.


I’m not too worried about the oil consumption (I can always top it up). The problem is the stuttering while driving…


I noticed you’re using metric data. Do you mind if I ask where you’re located?

I’m also wondering if this is all city mileage. 190,000 kilometers isn’t much for a Toyota engine, and that low a mileage makes me wonder about the driving environment. 190,000 km in the city can be the equivalent of 450,000 kilometers if it’s all city driving. The engine could be just plain worn out even though the total mileage seems too low.

I have to agree with Steve on this one. His post describes my suspicions totally.

As regards the stuttering, a worn out engine will have uneven & low compression readings and excess oil being consumed will coat the sparkplugs with carbon (perhaps even wet oil), as well as leaving carbon deposits on the valves, causing them to stick. In addition it can clog up the throttle body through ingestion via the EGR system and even due to oil being drawn into the throttle body via the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system. It can also foul the mass airflow sensor (MAF) and the upstream oxygen sensor, both of which send signals to the ECU to meter the fuel. All of these things, or any one of these things, can cause erratic operation (stuttering).

I could suggest a number of analytical checks, but I truly think you’d be wasting your money. They’d just serve to confirm what your mechanic has already told you.

By the way, I tip my hat to him for his honesty. I know of shops that would clean your wallet out and only then tell you the engine is shot. This guy sounds honest.


It is possible that after removing and reinstalling your old ignition coils in order to reseal your valve cover that there is now a misfire. Has anyone observed this stuttering?

BTW the smoking and engine noise would discourage most people. Smoking vehicles are not allowed in my community, the owners are fined and the registration will get cancelled.


An engine burning a lot of oil wouldn’t – as a remedy – usually have the valve cover gasket changed. That must have been for something else. Maybe it was leaking, so they thought stopping that leak would help a little at least. Or did they open the valve cover to replace the valve stem seals perhaps? Defective valve stem seals can cause extra oil burning on start-up, blue smoke, etc, but that stops soon after the engine is started, and wouldn’t cause the amount of oil loss you are seeing. Maybe it would help if you explained why the valve cover gasket was replaced, since that seemed to occur just before this stuttering problem you are now experiencing. If they changed out the valve stem seals, if that task went bad, that could lead to a stuttering problem, as one of the valves may now not be seating properly.

I have to concur w/my learned colleagues above, your mechanic gave you good advice to not pour much more money into this engine. If the car is otherwise in good shape, you could consider to purchase a used replacement engine, or a rebuilt engine, or have your own engine rebuilt. If this high rate of oil usage started all at once, rather than gradually, and there was nothing that happened unusual to the engine like an overheating incident, loss of oil, loss of coolant, etc then there’s a slight possibility what’s wrong could be fixed without needing a complete re-build job.