Toyota "Take Out" Engine

My sister-in-law recently replaced her 2001 Toyota Corolla 18.1 Engine with a “take out”. The shop has a standard 12000/12 month warranty on parts and labor but will not do anything about this “new” engine burning approx a quart of oil a week (less than 200 miles). What is the industry standard for warrantying a “take out” engine. Is an owner at complete risk? This seems to be unreasonable.

What is a ‘Take-out’? Do you mean a salvaged engine, or a low mileage imported used engine? A quart every 200 miles is a bit extreme. She must be blowing quite a bit of smoke. If it has a warranty like you said, read it carefully. Excessive oil consumption is not a good sign of a healthy engine. And, check to insure the PVC system is working correctly. A plugged PVC valve or hose may be causing this.

Many manufacturers consider one quart per 1,000 miles to be the maximum for normal oil consumption on a new engine, although most people here feel that’s actually somewhat excessive.

This engine is pretty bad in comparison to that rule. I’d be worried about damage to the catalytic converter at that rate.

Did the engine come with any break-in procedure?


The shop called the engine a “take out”. I understand that as an engine out of a car in the junk yard. I googled “take out” and it also applies to engines from Japan - many reasons to do so to include older cars are not always worth going through the inspection process even though they are low milage in Japan. I do not have the data on where this engine originated but she was told it had 46,000 miles on it. There is no warranty other then what is written on the botton of the repair shop’s invoice - a generic statement about 12000, 12 months labor and parts. Unfortunately my sister-in-law is a trusting soul. After the original car threw a rod and the shop told her the best course was a replacement engine from a “recyler” she went with what the shop told her. Now they are not willing to address the oil loss problem. The engine is not smoking and there are no leaks on the ground nor is the engine “wet”. But still for a couple of weeks in a row the engine comes up a quart short each week. What I am trying to figure out is there an “industry standard” for such engines as far as what is warranteed by shops.

Your going to have to loose the term "industry standard"
Your recourse is with the shop and the warranty they provided,no “industry” involved.

Well one way is to let the engine run dry like in two to three weeks and then you are up for warranty work. The other one is the small claims court or the discussion of such action. I will start with an accompanying male showing up at the shop and explaining that the engine is burning excessive amounts of oil.

That is burning too much oil. They need to suck it up and put in another engine.

The engine, or some part of it is defective. It should be replaced or repaired. You need to get their attention if they are ignoring you. Do the following:

  1. Send a certified letter outlining your complaint with a specific request of what you want them to do. In this letter make no threats of any kind. Allow a reasonable amount of time for them to respond.

  2. If you get no answer, or if you get an unsatisfactory answer, file a complaint with your local BBB, AND with your state’s Attorney General. More than likely you will be able to file both complaints on line. Again, allow time for each of these organizations to contact the repair shop and get a reply.

  3. As a last resort, file a claim in small claims court. Go you the county courthouse in your county and request information on filing such lawsuits. Most county court houses have a complete kit of information with instructions and guidelines for preparing and arguing your case. Read and follow the instructions carefully. When it comes time to serving the defendant with the suit, spend the extra fee to have the Sheriff’s department serve the defendant personally.

  4. Keep ALL documentation related to the repair and correspondence. Organize the informaton chronologically in a neat file, preferably in a binder with tabbed sections.

  5. Get estimates from independant repair shops to determine the cost of repairs, whether it be to repair the existing engine or replace it as needed. This will become the bulk of your damages for the suit.

Remember that in a small claims action you will be limited as to the amount of damages you can recover. Typically, you cannot recover more than $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the rules in your county.

Also, be advised that even if you win, the Court will only grant a judgment in your favor. It will be up to you to collect the judgment.

Good luck.

Thank you all for your posts. We have been tracking the oil closely over the last two weeks and we have not seen the same loss, in fact almost no loss. We are at a loss to understand this change from the first two weeks of a quart a week. Any thoughts on the initial oil loss? Thanks again on the advice - I think countrydriver laid out a good plan if the situation does not stabilize.

Could have been some seals that dried out, but not to the point where they couldn’t be rehydrated.