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Guest rnayar

Corolla Sludge

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Guest Paul Cherubini
I did not have any evidence that I was running low on oil

chrisxxx39, we (and your owners manual) have pointed out to you the only way an owner can know if the engine is running low on oil is for the owner to check the level on the dipstick. But up to 33,564 miles you never checked the oil level. Then when the dashboard oil light came on you went to a dealer to find out why the light came on at which time the dealer found only one pint of oil left in the engine. So clearly you are relying on the dashboard oil light to be an oil LEVEL indicator light even though the owners manual explains the light does not indicate the oil level. Your new engine could be ruined again if you wait until the dashboard oil light comes on before checking the oil level on the dipstick. This is true of virtually all makes and models of cars made for the last 50 years.

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trap

Yep, it's a good idea if you drive a 1998 Corolla to check the oil regularly.

 

According to Toyota, the 1998 Corolla can consume an entire engine capacity worth of oil in less than 3000 miles and still be running "within specifications". Nice! When I asked if they would be happy if they had to add 4 litres of oil every 3000 miles, they looked at their shoes, shifted uncomfortably and said, "No". It's pretty easy to see when an employee is reciting a company policy that they know is a load of BS.

 

Personally, I would never recommend buying a 1998. There appear to be significantly more complaints about them than the next few years (99-02). The 1998 was the debut of the 1ZZ-FE engine and I think that they used this model year to troubleshoot the new engine.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Regular Joe

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Guest Paul Cherubini

4 liters Regular Joe (= 4.5 quarts) ? Is that what your owners manual says is the amount of oil that should be added to the engine after an oil and filter change?

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4 liters Regular Joe (= 4.5 quarts) ? Is that what your owners manual says is the amount of oil that should be added to the engine after an oil and filter change?

 

Nope, I think you're reading my message out of context. Let me clarify.

 

Toyota says that the consumption of 4L of oil within 3000 miles is within the acceptable limits for oil loss. 4L of oil is more than the engine holds. That upper limit specification, as determined by Toyota, seems unreasonably high to me. It also seems unreasonable to their mechanics and service managers, at least the ones that I spoke to.

 

Owners should not read into this the that I have ever or that I recommend anybody putting 4L of oil into their car. Follow the recommendations as presented in your owners manual.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Regular Joe

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Guest chrisxxx39

Regular Joe,

 

I would like to know how many '98 Corolla owners have had a simmilar experience. I am aware one more guy did, but luckily he was under warranty. Toyota made design changes in '98, maybe it has something to do with higher consumption of oil. You are right in observing that this problem is specific to only '98 Corolla models.

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Guest unrealii

Holy crap!?!? 4 liters?!?! Wow. And I thought ford was bad. Ford spec's a quart per 900 miles. After bugging the dealer for 7 months with my car consistantly drinking a quart per 850 miles, they replaced my engine. This is a 96 taurus btw. Good luck to whoever is fighting toyota for oil problems (haven't read the whole thread yet).

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Guest chrisxxx39

The dip stick really sucks. I can hardly discern the level of the oil each time I check it (I am doing it every now and then having learnt my lesson). The oil is almost colorless and the two measuring dots are quite close to each other.

 

If the '98 engine has some inherent problems, I am expecting that hisotry will repeat itself. To recover the money I spent, the only way is to drive this car as long as it lasts. I think should have oil samples analysed occasionally, just to make sure I catch the problem in time.

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You need to somehow document that you are checking the oil. Nothing extreme (i.e., no videotapes or photos), just some sort of logbook.

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A logbook for checking oil??? No manufacturer in the world could possibly require that. As per Toyota, this is a recommendation, not a requirement of the owner.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Regular Joe

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Guest Paul Cherubini

chrisxxx39, there are over 200,000 1998 Corollas on the road right now with their original engines. Your's would have been one of them if you had been checking the engine oil every 2 or 3 fuel stops or so. If the owner never allows the engine to run low on oil, the oil never becomes overheated and therefore never turns to sludge.

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Again, back to root cause...I want to know why it ran low to start with. To me, that's the original defect.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Regular Joe

Just like I asked how much oil he added between changes, and what the oil level was at the fillup prior to the 33K oil change.

 

Not to mention how much oil did he add between changes after the 33K service. What was the history of oil consumption.

 

He doesn't seem to know this, and that leads me to believe that he wasn't looking.

 

Like I've said before, if he was losing oil at a rapid pace, this wouldn't have changed dramatically after the 33K service.

 

But when asked about how much oil had to be added between changes, he tells us he has to check with Fox.

 

If he was going to the dealer for oil to be added, there would be tickets, even from the parts department. If he were checking himself, he could tell us he had to add oil every X weeks or Y miles.

 

I've never said he didn't have a problematic Toyota, what I've said is he didn't help his case with many of his choices.

 

It is a very expensive lesson that I hope he and others learn from.

 

TB

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Guest chrisxxx39

I called FOX and explained the situation, requested him to send me the details. If he is able to pull it out, I will share it with you. Wait for a week or so.

 

Rahul

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The dip stick really sucks. I can hardly discern the level of the oil each time I check it (I am doing it every now and then having learnt my lesson). The oil is almost colorless and the two measuring dots are quite close to each other.

 

If the '98 engine has some inherent problems, I am expecting that hisotry will repeat itself. To recover the money I spent, the only way is to drive this car as long as it lasts. I think should have oil samples analysed occasionally, just to make sure I catch the problem in time.

Difficulty reading the oil can depend on the oil as well.

 

One thing I just thought of, does the 98 have dots, or notches, on the oil dipstick? I don't have one, so I can't look at it. I know my Prizm (A GM badged corolla) with the older 4A-FE engine has hash marks, IIRC. Is there any chance you are reading the automatic transmission dipstick? Of course, it is just as reasonable to believe Toyota changed the dipstick.

 

However, if you think for any reason you are looking at the wrong one, please get someone to help you verify that you have the right dipstick. If you are sure, then just ignore my concerns.

 

For those following along, I thought this page was a pretty good addition for those folks who've lost their owners manual. Howver, the maintenance schedule they list at the bottom doesn't seem to address time, so their intervals should not be taken as gospel, regarding scheduled maintenance: http://www.samarins.com/maintenance/simple.html

 

I'm using Mobil 1 in my 94 Geo Prizm and after 2400 miles (about a 5 weeks of driving) is just starting to get some "color". It has also used about 2-4oz of oil in that time frame as well, as the level has dropped about 1/8" on a 1" range from full to add.

 

On my 87 Buick (that I just sold btw, so cars can last a long time, I just get bored with them after 75K to 125K miles) I had one oil change in the shop and they used Pennzoil. That was tough to read until it got dirty.

 

My 81 VW Rabbit Diesel was the easiest to read. After about 10 minutes of driving after an oil change, the oil was BLACK as coal. Diesels tend to do that to oil.

 

Sometimes you just have to tilt the stick, and get the light just right so you can see the oil.

 

But the "hassle" of checking oil is nothing compared to the hassle of having your engine rebuilt.

 

Finally, I think if you stay on top of the oil level, don't let it drop too low and get those changes done every 3750miles or 3 months, which ever comes first, you will probably be fine.

 

But please, check your oil and other fluids at EVERY fuel stop, for the safety of those who ride in your car.

 

HTH,

 

TB

Edited by tboner

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You know what? I check my oil regularly, occasionally add some, but if someone were to ask me how much I added 15,000 miles ago between oil changes I could not tell them a thing. So I guess if you are going to come to these forums and be given the riot act or go to Toyota and told no warranty coverage because we don't think you really checked your oil, then a log book is a little extra insurance. I agree it is ridiculous and you shouldn't have to do it, but look what happened to Raul.

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