Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Corolla Excessive Oil Consumption


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Howard Pick

Howard Pick

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:10 PM

Can anyone help me. I have 2001 Corolla with about 130K on it. It consumes about 1Q of oil every 300-500 miles. I have searched on the web and found others with similar problems. I wanted to find out if anyone here has had the same problem. Is it a class issue? Is it rings or valve guides? I have changed the oil every 3K. Lately it has been fouling plug 4. No smoke.

#2 fishexpo101

fishexpo101

    I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous words...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,340 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:27 PM

The Corollas that seem to have the majority of the oil consumption are the 1998-1999 model years, though a few of the later ones also have seen some oil consumption. The common cause are stuck piston rings, followed by leaky valve stem seals. First course is to do a compression check and leak down test. That will give you some indication of where the oil is leaking past. Plug fouling on cylinder #4 is interesting - might want to check that out further. Have you checked the PCV system? What oil weight and type are you using currently? What type of driving is the car seeing - highway, city, a mix? Longer trips, short trips? Transaxle - automatic 3-speed, automatic 4-speed, manual?

#3 Howard Pick

Howard Pick

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

The Corollas that seem to have the majority of the oil consumption are the 1998-1999 model years, though a few of the later ones also have seen some oil consumption. The common cause are stuck piston rings, followed by leaky valve stem seals. First course is to do a compression check and leak down test. That will give you some indication of where the oil is leaking past. Plug fouling on cylinder #4 is interesting - might want to check that out further. Have you checked the PCV system? What oil weight and type are you using currently? What type of driving is the car seeing - highway, city, a mix? Longer trips, short trips? Transaxle - automatic 3-speed, automatic 4-speed, manual?


#4 Howard Pick

Howard Pick

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:41 PM

The year of the corolla is 2001 manual 5 speed. I have been using Valvoline 5-30 weight and also tried 10-30 weight. It does not seem to make much difference. The car is used for a little more highway than city, 60/40 mix. Mostly short trips but on a 200 mile trips it may start out fine and then start misfiring. I have not check pcv system. Not really sure how to do that. How do you unstick piston rings? Is that a tear down?

#5 fishexpo101

fishexpo101

    I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous words...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,340 posts

Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:03 AM

PCV system - inspect the check-valve in the valve cover. Hard to miss - it is sticking out of the valvecover corner closest to the driver. Check the rubber tube from it as well - could be clogged with oil and blowby gunk or collapsed.

To successfully "unstick" piston rings, depends on how stuck they are to begin with. Some reported good luck by just switching to a synthetic or synthetic blend/high mileage motor oil. Stick with the same weight - 5W-30. Some have reported good results with AutoRX - an oil additive that cleans up sludge and engine deposits. Others had luck with other oil additives (Rislone, MMO, Lucas, etc.), Seafoam solvent is also reported to have good results as well.

Note that any additive is a stop gap fix - it doesn't fix the problem, just delays it. In the case of the 2001+ model years - you have a good chance that a rebuild is not necessary, as those years have better rings and oil control. Changing the motor oil used could make the difference. Then again, if there is significant cylinder wall scoring - nothing will fix that short of a rebuild.

#6 Papa Bear

Papa Bear

    2nd Gear

  • Active Members
  • PipPip
  • 150 posts

Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:34 PM

Can anyone help me. I have 2001 Corolla with about 130K on it. It consumes about 1Q of oil every 300-500 miles. I have searched on the web and found others with similar problems. I wanted to find out if anyone here has had the same problem. Is it a class issue? Is it rings or valve guides? I have changed the oil every 3K. Lately it has been fouling plug 4. No smoke.


Did you buy this car new? Was the oil changed every 3K since new?

#7 friendly_jacek

friendly_jacek

    4th Gear

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 666 posts

Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:44 AM

Unfortunately, 2001 corolla is an oil burner. The oil consumption issues were only fixed between 2002-2003 (there were several issues). I have 2003 (made in 2002) that has some countermeasures (revised oil rings) but not all (no oil return holes in piston). I started mild oil consumption at 60-66,000 miles that required topping of oil (less than qt per 5000 miles so far). 1 qt per 300 miles is very severe and probably irreversible without ring job ($$$$). The only trick you may want to try is overnight piston soak with MMO or chemtool B12 or both. Go to saturn forums (also oil burners) for details.

I did that this weekend and removed a lot of carbon from the pistons (and hopefully rings) in the process. I did MMO, B12, and finaly ATF sequential soaks over the entire weekend. Safe to do if one is careful and knows what he/she is doing.

Solvents in oil and Auto RX cleaning will probably not work if the rings are all caked in carbon. You could try them afterwards after the soak. Also, Techron additive (in chevron gas) cleans carbon, but it's mild and mostly cosmetic. You may also consider moving to heavy duty engine oils like Delo or Rotella 15W40. If 15W40 is too heavy for you (climate wise), use high milage oils (maxlife or similar). One more thing, never, ever let the oil drop below full, as the lower level is, the more burning you will see.

Reading Saturn forums should be a good source for you.

Edited by friendly_jacek, 01 April 2010 - 10:50 AM.