Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Toyota RAV4 1997 burning oil

I have a 1997 Toyota RAV4 with 137,500. I got it in 2004 with 93,000 miles. Since I’ve had it, it burns about 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so. I don’t think it’s been getting worse since I’ve had it. I had the compression in the cylinders checked last year, and the compression’s good in all four of them. Any ideas what the problem might be? It the problem worth repairing, or should I just keep adding a quart of oil every 1,000 miles? Also, does burning oil damage other parts of the car?

Thanks for the help!

Do you have the 5S-FE 2.2 liter engine? Pop the hood and check.
Some of those older Toyota 4-cylinders use a lot of oil.
Are you passing the smog comfortably . . . or barely?
Are your HCs high?
It might be worth it to get your valves adjusted. That way, you can rule it out.
FYI: Just because valves aren’t noisey doesn’t mean they’re "fine"
No external oil leaks?
No smoking on startup?

Provide the compression numbers. Those are often stated to be good when that is not the case at all.
Even many service manuals are incorrect on this.

It would also help to know if both a dry and wet compression test was performed.

As to other problems, over time oil burning can harm O2 sensors and even worse; lead to converter clogging which can cause lack of performance, lowered mileage, and when bad enough can cause overheating that is severe enough to ruin an engine.

If the engine is burning a quart of oil every 1,000 miles with 137k on the engine I wouldn’t worry about it. Just check the oil level every month to make sure it doesn’t get too low.

Did you know that some vehicle manufacturers consider a quart every 1,000 miles as normal consumption on their brand new vehicles?


My 2012 Toyota Camry’s manual says " engine oil consumption is not excessive unless it exceeds 500 miles per quart."

Thanks for the info everyone! I really appreciate the help!