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crypticlineage

Engine Repair/replacement Advice Needed

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Hello everyone.

 

I recently bought a Corolla VE 2000 with 110k miles on it. Everything seemed to be okay when I got it inspected at a mechanic shop. However my problems started immediately after I drove off the lot. Unfortunately I bought it AS IS, so the dealer is not going to take it back.

 

1. MIL came on in 10 miles of driving off the lot after purchase (P0125 and P0420): My mechanic replaced thermal sensor and that took care of P0125. As for other code, we tried replacing both O2 sensors one by one, but none took care of problem, so now I know its cat converter. I would go ahead with replacing it, but there is more serious issues that need to be addressed before I do it.

 

2. Within one week, I realized the engine was burning too much oil (at highway speed, 2 quarts of 5W-30 every 70-80 miles). Smoke is not always visible, but many times bluish white smoke. My mechanic has adviced to use 20W-50 now until we solve the problem. We have also confirmed that there are no leaks, so engine is definitely the culprit.

 

My questions are:

 

1. Is it worth trying to repair the engine. I have limited 3 month warranty from an independent company on it but do not know if it will cover the repairs.

 

2. How much would a reconditioned or a used engine taken off of another salvaged car cost? If this cost is less than the repair cost, it may be wise to just replace the engine.

 

3. I am taking car to local toyota dealer to get a complete diagnosis and repair estimate on engine. Any ideas and suggestions on how much this diagnosis should cost?

 

I welcome your suggestions, ideas, comments, criticisms and thoughts. It has been very frustrating after investing so much into this car. I simply cannot walk away from it, at least not for another year and half, so fixing it is the only solution, unless it dies completely and then I will get back to my previous life on bicycle.

 

Thank you all.

Vikram

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it sounds like you have the stuck rings problem, that should be covered under the 3month warranty since it was probably a prexisting condition. it doesnt just suddenly happen.

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I would check out the details of your warranty. It is expensive any way you look at it and if you have warranty coverage it would be cheaper for you. There are places that will change an engine for you, which is sometimes cheaper than the cost of major repairs.

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I would definitely NOT run 20w-50 to solve the burning oil issue, even as a temporary solution. You will end up doing more damage than good by doing so (I've helped rebuild a 1ZZ-FE that had a blown oil pump and oil starved valvetrain from someone running 20w-50 Amsoil all the time in it even in warmer areas (Arizona)).

 

I would use 5w-30 or 10w-30 high mileage oil instead (actually most are synthetic blends with seal conditioners and extra detergents).

 

A rebuild of the existing engine would probably be cheaper than an engine swap (also depends on the amount of damage presently) and likely be covered under the warranty.

Edited by fishexpo101

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I would definitely NOT run 20w-50 to solve the burning oil issue, even as a temporary solution. You will end up doing more damage than good by doing so (I've helped rebuild a 1ZZ-FE that had a blown oil pump and oil starved valvetrain from someone running 20w-50 Amsoil all the time in it even in warmer areas (Arizona)).

 

Should I get an oil change to 10W-30 before going into toyota dealership for a complete diagnosis? Do they check for what oil is in the engine and report it on their diagnosis report. If so, it may void my warranty. I do not wish to take any chances (I am already upside down in this car).

 

Thanks for the advice.

V

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I would if it was my car, I wouldn't even chance it. Potentially trading a $20 oil change on a $3000 engine - as they probably would note in the report that the oil seems excessively thick - I know I would if I was the tech.

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I would definitely NOT run 20w-50 to solve the burning oil issue, even as a temporary solution. You will end up doing more damage than good by doing so (I've helped rebuild a 1ZZ-FE that had a blown oil pump and oil starved valvetrain from someone running 20w-50 Amsoil all the time in it even in warmer areas (Arizona)).

 

Should I get an oil change to 10W-30 before going into toyota dealership for a complete diagnosis? Do they check for what oil is in the engine and report it on their diagnosis report. If so, it may void my warranty. I do not wish to take any chances (I am already upside down in this car).

 

Thanks for the advice.

V

I think it would be a good idea to change back to the original type oil. They can definitely tell what weight the oil is by the diagnosis report. If it is not what the warranty calls for they may use it as a reason to charge you for any engine repairs/replacement.

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Definitely try to cash in that warranty - hate to think what you just spent on O2 sensors ! My car was going through the same amount of oil as yours - ~1qt every 70-100 miles (mostly 80) depending on the speed i drove at (at 80mph, it was 1 qt / 80 miles) How much have you been driving it since you got the new O2 sensors? it might not be a bad idea to get the old ones changed back until it's fixed - if you paid anything like full price for them it was probably close to $400 for the pair. lowest i found still put them above $200 and that was wire-it-yourself types. (advance auto seems the cheapest). if you do the repair yourself, expect to spend $400-600 depending on how much tooling and crapola you need.. not many places carry the parts for these, even the dealers don't stock much and talk about overpriced!

 

the bottom line, twist someone's arm until they fix that - there's no way they sold it to you not knowing the motor was hosed - if nothing else, someone there had to clean the carbon off the rear end!

Edited by tomservo

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I have an appointment scheduled for next week at toyota dealership to diagnose engine damage. And I am going to change the oil back to 10W-30 this weeekend. I dont drive much, just a couple of miles to office, or to get groceries. I am definitely going to try to get this warranty to cover the repairs/replacement. Unfortunately, the warranty does not come from the used car dealer I bought it from. It comes from a third party. The guys where I bought the car are extremely defensive and they told me to go f*** myself and are not ready to take any responsibility. This is the first time I bought a car and I did not have any help from friends or anybody in the entire process and obviously was not knowledgeable enough, so these guys cheated me very easily. I wonder how many people get conned out of their money like this every year. Its surprising there is no law to forbid such AS IS SALE practices. I think there is a used car lemon law in NY, but not down here.

 

The bank #2 O2 sensor that was on the car when we replaced did not look like a original part, it was modified with some extra parts on it. My mechanic has no idea what it was. Later we replaced the bank #1 sensor as well. I have for now gotten refund for the latter but my mechanic decided it was better to leave the former one in there. It cost me $230 for one sensor including labor.

 

I wish I knew about this forum before I bought the car, I could have avoided so many stupid mistakes and had made a well informed decision.

 

Thanks everyone. I will keep you guys posted about developments. :)

 

V

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Just dropped off car at the local toyota dealership. The service guys dont seem too friendly. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully not too much damage to engine and hope that warranty will cover it.

<_<

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:( I just picked up the car from the dealership. They did not do any detailed analysis and still charged me for half an hour of labor. They are saying someone has already worked on the engine and it has non toyota parts attached to it (hoses and stuff) and they will need my authorization to charge me $780 in labor to take engine apart to figure out what the problem is. Then they will call the warranty company, get their authorization to whatever repairs need to be done. If they get the authorization, I pay $35 an hour in labor (warranty only pays $45) and deductible and they do the repair. If there is no authorization, I will have to tow my car out of there because they will not put the engine together. I did not know whether to laugh or cry at such ridiculous practices.

 

So I pay for the diagnosis that they havent done, take my key and get back to the car. Guess What! The driver's door does not open because the handle is broken. I go back to the manager, explain to him, he pulls the car back in, opens the door panel says its not their fault, it was already cracked, designates it incidental damage. It will cost me $256 plus tax to get replaced. I decided against.

 

I just cannot believe how many crooks are out there trying to steal your money. I am basically upside down in this car right now and wondering what my options are. This is what I can thik of:

 

1. Drive it in city (it shoudln't die too quickly if I keep pouring in oil) for an year, until the loan comes down to the actual depreciated value of the car and get rid of it.

2. Think about swapping the motor with a used one.

 

Any feedback much appreciated. How much would a replacement used 1ZZ-FE cost? What would be the labor? Is it worth investing more in this car or its better to just get rid of it.

 

Thanks guys.

V :(

Edited by crypticlineage

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:( I just picked up the car from the dealership. They did not do any detailed analysis and still charged me for half an hour of labor. They are saying someone has already worked on the engine and it has non toyota parts attached to it (hoses and stuff) and they will need my authorization to charge me $780 in labor to take engine apart to figure out what the problem is. Then they will call the warranty company, get their authorization to whatever repairs need to be done. If they get the authorization, I pay $35 an hour in labor (warranty only pays $45) and deductible and they do the repair. If there is no authorization, I will have to tow my car out of there because they will not put the engine together. I did not know whether to laugh or cry at such ridiculous practices.

 

So I pay for the diagnosis that they havent done, take my key and get back to the car. Guess What! The driver's door does not open because the handle is broken. I go back to the manager, explain to him, he pulls the car back in, opens the door panel says its not their fault, it was already cracked, designates it incidental damage. It will cost me $256 plus tax to get replaced. I decided against.

 

I just cannot believe how many crooks are out there trying to steal your money. I am basically upside down in this car right now and wondering what my options are. This is what I can thik of:

 

1. Drive it in city (it shoudln't die too quickly if I keep pouring in oil) for an year, until the loan comes down to the actual depreciated value of the car and get rid of it.

2. Think about swapping the motor with a used one.

 

Any feedback much appreciated. How much would a replacement used 1ZZ-FE cost? What would be the labor? Is it worth investing more in this car or its better to just get rid of it.

 

Thanks guys.

V :(

I suggest you get a bunch of burly men (maybe some mafia connections) and have them talk to the dealership guys to get it fixed right. If they try to rip them off, they can always start talking about the last place where they took a car and how the people there are now wearing cement overshoes and are planted at the bottom of the river.

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get a lawyer and do some research may be your best course of action. this car was sold to you in poor condition and through legal action you may be able to get this taken care of properly.

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Can't get away from the diagnostic charges - most dealerships won't even touch the car unless you pay them the diagnostic charge or 1/2 hour to a full hours worth of labor (varys from state to state, region to region).

 

I would try and take it to another dealerhsip for a second opinion - unless the warranty is only good through this dealership. In that case, there is not much you can do - just hope that the warranty will cover the costs minus any labor. As for non-OEM parts - no dealership can argue the use of non-OEM parts as a basis for engine damage or been "worked" on before, unless they can prove that the use of such parts caused the damage. A federal law - Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act - protects the consumer in cases like these. Since the dealer pointed out that the car had non-OEM parts instead of explaining what is really involved in an engine diagnosis - may mean this dealer does not have your best interests at hand (they just want to suck more money out of you).

 

I agree that the engine will eventually have to be disassembled to get an exact idea of what the problem is - but there are many other test that can be done first before the engine should even be taken apart.

 

Did they check compression in the cylinders? Check for leaks, missing hoses, etc? Simple visual inspections. Did they verify oil consumption at the dealership? (usually they have you stop at set mileage intervals and document the oil level and amount needed to bring the level back up.) I've read somewhere the maximum oil consumption on that particular engine used to be 1 quart for every 1500 miles (they changed it to 0.85 quarts per 1000 after VW, Chrystler, and others had problems with oil consumption and oil "gelation" problems). Service manager should be able to show you a factory spec sheet with this written on it - if they don't - automatically means to avoid the dealership.

 

As far as options - very limited right now. Least expensive options - engine swap and eat the negative equity and get another car. Sounds like it is more expensive than constantly topping off the engine oil - but your oil consumption problems will not go away, nor will they get better. Could be a case where the engine will run for a long time and burn oil only - or completely die in a matter of weeks.

 

Switching to a heavier weight oil will help in the short term - but you risk starving bearings and valvetrain components with the heavier oil (high viscosity oils cannot effectively penetrate and protect these critical areas). You may get lucky with oil additives like Marvel Mystery Oil, Rislone, Auto-Rx, etc. But many are only temporary solutions - if physical engine damage is present, no oil additive will ever fix the problem.

 

Trading in the car at a loss would be on the same order as getting another engine. Since your already upside down in this, financially - you have to decide if you have another $2000 or so to put into a engine swap or another car.

 

I've seen 1ZZ-FE engines with less than 40K start at $650. Cheapest labor will be atleast that much. Average price for the 1ZZ-FE VVT-i (since your is a 2000 and up model) with labor and limited warranty runs about $1500-$2000. On the high side - I've seen them go for as much as $2000 just for the engine. Keep in mind that you would have to swap in atleast the same model year or newer in most states to satisfy emission regulations/vehicle registration. Check with local laws (usually at your DMV) concerning this project. You don't want to dump all this money into something that you can no longer legally drive on the road.

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