2000 Corolla VE using 1 qt oil per 250 miles


Old 12-19-06, 04:03 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Unhappy 2000 Corolla VE using 1 qt oil per 250 miles

We bought a 2000 Toyota Corolla VE in September. It has the base 1.8L engine and automatic transmission, and about 63,000 miles. One thing the seller didn’t tell us was the car was an oil burner. Now here’s the kicker. On hot or cold, as in 10 F cold, starts, there is no smoke or odor. There are no drips, puddles, or splashes in the engine compartment or on the ground. I had a service garage look at it and they said the compression was equal across all four cylnders and well within manufcturer’s tolerances. The local Toyota dealer claimed the rings were bad. The car is, however, going through about a quart of oil every 250 – 300 miles. I switched to 10W – 40 from 5W – 30 and dumped some Restore in the crankcase, but no change. I’d just as soon get rid of the thing but my wife wants to keep it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 923
Most manufacturers will allow an engine to burn up to 1 quart every 500 miles before action must be taken to reduce oil consumption. That's because burning this much oil can be economically damaging in the long run. It's too tough on the engine (converter can go bad, more deposits inside the engine, fouled spark plugs, too much for the EGR to handle, and more). If you plan on keeping the car much longer, you'll need to take some action.

Hopefully the problem will be confined to the top end of the engine (head). Though it'll cost, it'll still be cheaper than replacing rings or reboring the cylinders.

I'm confused how the compression can look good, yet the mechanic diagnosed bad rings. Perhaps this was his way of saying, "I'm not sure what the problem is, but a complete engine rebuild will solve it." Bad rings are diagnosed by comparing compression readings before and after squirting oil in the cylinders. Oil will raise compression if the rings are bad.

Another common source for oil consumption is worn valve guides and seals. This usually shows up as a puff of smoke when you take off from a light. Some just replace valve seals, but sloppy valve guides will just enlarge the new seals in short order, requiring the job be redone in short order.
Old 12-19-06, 06:16 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
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I think I would check the plugs. That much oil burning should show as a build up on the end of the plugs. If there is no buildup and no smoke out the exhaust, I would look somewhere else for the oil loss.

That engine is good for a lot more than 63,000 miles.

Hope this helps,

Old 12-20-06, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 242
There are 3 rings on each piston. The top two are compression rings and if a compression check proved that they were good then they are good. The third ring is the oil ring and that is the one that controls how much oil is left on the cyl wall after a stroke. You can have good compressio rings and bad oil ring. Somtimes changing oil brands can change oil consumption. Have you tried blowing the sut out of it? By that I mean run the crap out of it for a day, thats a joke but somtimes it works. We used to work on this old ladies car about twice a year, she would bring it in because it was running bad. The old man that owned the shop took me with him to fix it. We went and filled it up with premium gas and ran the crap out of it until it started running good.
Old 12-20-06, 04:09 PM
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Assuming it has a PCV valve, change it. I had a bad PCV on another car and it would literally suck the oil up and thru the intake manifold.

Last edited by goldstar; 12-20-06 at 04:14 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 12-22-06, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
its probably is due to the oil control rings it will not affect compression but cause greater oil consumption. there probably isnt much you can due sort of replacing the rings or trading the vehicle off and let it be someone elses problem, your not the only one that has had this problem which is why the dealer knows its the oil control rings to begin with. even a quart every 500 miles is excessive under most manufacturers guidelines most engines shouldnt consume more than a quart per 1000 miles.

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