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allaroc

Crypticlineage Car?

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Here are the details:

 

Toyota Corolla VE 2000

Automatic Transmission: 3 spd.

Purchase odo: 108700

Current odo: 110207

 

1ZZ-FE 1.8L

SAE 10W30 Advance Auto Parts Brand

2 Quarts per 100 miles

 

 

Octane 89 rating BP Amoco Silver (Always)

Highway MPG: 30 @ 60-75 MPH

 

Also posting this in the first post on this thread

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trap

Two quarts of oil per 100 miles is extremely excessive. I don't think that is normal at all! I think you definitely have something wrong with that engine. It must show some signs of damage, such as exhaust smoke (if it is not leaving a pool of oil underneath). You must go thru a lot of cases of oil. How many quarts in the 1507 miles? Can you imagine what that would be after 100,000 miles? My guess is that your rings are shot and the oil is just passing right thru the engine. I bet you have very little compression. It's a wonder your car is still running!

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As I mentioned earlier, I can see blue smoke coming out of tailpipe all the time on the speedway. Its not so much noticeable at city driving speeds, but at cold start, there is definitely lot of smoke on freezing mornings. Once the engine warms up, very little smoke is noticeable during city driving (25-40 mph). I think during the time I have owned this vehicle, I must have fed it between 6-8 gallons of 10w30.

 

I am going to my mechanic today, he's going to try and get an estimate from another shop on engine swap. Let's see how much it costs.

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Without compression numbers, I wouldn't pay for a new engine. Out of all the engine problems I've read about on this forum, I've yet to read any damn compression numbers. Just because a your car uses oil doesn't always mean that the engine is shot. It could be just the head or things that aren't even that bad. If the engine has good compression, then it would be a wast to touch the bottom end of the block.

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A compression check would be useful to see what condition the rings are in and if they are shot- that is more of a push to replace the engine. I wonder about the valve seals as well.

I'm curious about why you use the 89 octane and not 87? Does your manual call for 89?

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A compression check would be useful to see what condition the rings are in and if they are shot- that is more of a push to replace the engine. I wonder about the valve seals as well.

I'm curious about why you use the 89 octane and not 87? Does your manual call for 89?

 

 

I just thought it was better to use higher quality gas. Do you think octane 87 would be just fine as well? Is there a chance my MPG will go down if I used 87?

 

I had a discussion with my mechanic about the oil consumption issue. He says considering the amount of oil consumption, there is definitely serious damage to the engine and no matter what it is, it will cost me more than what would cost me to replace the engine. Piston rings, if I understand correctly is a 25 hour job and will cost me 25 x $78 in just labor. The snipty warranty is going to run out soon and I doubt they'll do anything (they only offer $45 in labor).

 

Moreover, even if I do compression test, thats still just an outer assessment. The engine will still need to be taken apart to find out exactly what the extent of the internal damage is. Most mechanics require a ridiculous fee to take the engine apart to evaluate the damage. This fee is over and above whatever is charged in repair later on, if they do it that is.

 

Considering all this, swapping an engine would be my best shot ($2000 inclusive of labor) if I want to salvage this car. I have too much invested in this vehicle right now to walk away from it.

 

My plan is to keep the car to do city driving, run errands (thats most of my car needs right now, everything else is just recreation/extra that I can live without), and save for the replacement engine. Then just before the smog test is due again in Dec 06, do the engine swap. I have come up with this plan after weighing all possibilities that I learnt through comments/suggestions/opinions/observations that I have had and elsewhere and with my mechanic.

 

Regarding the loss of performance issue that I am having, my mechanic thinks its probably the spark plugs developing a lot of carbon due to the amount of oil being burnt. He says next week, we should put new plugs in and then keep cleaning the ones that go bad and keep on replacing them. The cat, he says, would not make the power go down slowly, it would just cut it off, if it were clogged. My power has gone down slowly over time as I mentioned in one of my previous posts. He has also suggested me to switch to 20W50 and wants to put car on a STP oil treatment. His intention behind switching to thicker oil to slow down the consumption. I know you guys warned me against using 20w50 before, but considering the condition the engine is in, do you think that it would really matter? I am not saying that I am definitely switching to 20w50, but if its not going to strangle the motor, I would like to go with it, as I will save some $$$ on oil.

 

Further discussion welcome...

 

Thanks

V

Edited by crypticlineage

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Switching to a heavier weight oil will definitely slow down the consumption. The white smoke you see coming out the exhaust is actually oil passing by the rings on your pistons and it is being burned up with the spark, which explains why your plugs are fouling. You will constantly have to clean or replace them to keep the car running. If it is just bad rings it would not be as expensive to repair as a new engine. If you just drive the car in the city it will become quite a smoker, but at least it may not burn as much oil. You must allow time before you have it smog tested to get the engine changed and run.

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Switching to a heavier weight oil will only be advisable if you plan on replacing the engine instead of rebuilding it. At the cost quoted to you - it would probably be cheaper to get a remanufactured engine (comes with warranty) or a used one from a salvage yard and swap it in. If you plan on rebuilding the existing motor - stick with 10w30 - the heavier weight oil has been shown to cause excessive wear on the cams and too much load on the oil pump.

 

Most oil treatments thicken the oil or plate components, like rings and cylinder walls, in an attempt to stem oil loss. Those are used as a last resort - especially if you plan on swapping motors. Don't expect them to keep the engine running - most will only curb oil consumption, not extend engine life. With the tighter tolerances in modern engine - a thicker oil will seriously shorten engine life. Up to you to decide which works better. I speak from personal experience on the thicker oil issues on imports.

 

You could try switching to a high mileage synthetic blend - Valvoling Max Life - cost is not that much more than conventional oil and many have reported good luck with it. AutoRx additive was also shown to give good results with stuck rings (main reason for oil consumption, may also be in your case - hard to say). Rislone - is another additive that seems to work - frees sticking rings. Basically - these are high quality oils that contain extra additive package - best thing that you can add and not gum up the engine.

 

Plugs being fouled that badly is not a good sign. A compression test is still useful. Can be done quickly and will tell you if there is a cylinder that is way off - this can also be determined via reading the plugs. If the damage is just piston rings and valve seals - the engine is still salvageable. Poster Tomservo also had some extreme oil consumption issues - he did the work himself and immediately saw improvement in oil control.

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A compression check would be useful to see what condition the rings are in and if they are shot- that is more of a push to replace the engine. I wonder about the valve seals as well.

I'm curious about why you use the 89 octane and not 87? Does your manual call for 89?

 

 

I just thought it was better to use higher quality gas. Do you think octane 87 would be just fine as well? Is there a chance my MPG will go down if I used 87?

 

Your car was made to run on 87. Running higher octane can acually cause a loss in power. 87 has more energy in it and it takes more compression or heat to get higher octane to explode.

 

I had a discussion with my mechanic about the oil consumption issue. He says considering the amount of oil consumption, there is definitely serious damage to the engine and no matter what it is, it will cost me more than what would cost me to replace the engine. Piston rings, if I understand correctly is a 25 hour job and will cost me 25 x $78 in just labor. The snipty warranty is going to run out soon and I doubt they'll do anything (they only offer $45 in labor).

 

I highly recomend getting a 2nd opinion from a local mom and pop import mechanic. It's your money and you can do what you want, but your mechanic is wrong in assuming that the engine is bad.

 

Moreover, even if I do compression test, thats still just an outer assessment. The engine will still need to be taken apart to find out exactly what the extent of the internal damage is. Most mechanics require a ridiculous fee to take the engine apart to evaluate the damage. This fee is over and above whatever is charged in repair later on, if they do it that is.

 

A compression test does only tell you if something is wrong with a engine. I can do a compression test in about 15 minuets on my car. You need a leak down test to figure out where any compression leak (if any) is comming from. If you think they are worthless test and that a new engine is the answer, again, it's your money. You could need a new engine, or it really could be something simple.

 

Considering all this, swapping an engine would be my best shot ($2000 inclusive of labor) if I want to salvage this car. I have too much invested in this vehicle right now to walk away from it.

 

My plan is to keep the car to do city driving, run errands (thats most of my car needs right now, everything else is just recreation/extra that I can live without), and save for the replacement engine. Then just before the smog test is due again in Dec 06, do the engine swap. I have come up with this plan after weighing all possibilities that I learnt through comments/suggestions/opinions/observations that I have had and elsewhere and with my mechanic.

 

Regarding the loss of performance issue that I am having, my mechanic thinks its probably the spark plugs developing a lot of carbon due to the amount of oil being burnt. He says next week, we should put new plugs in and then keep cleaning the ones that go bad and keep on replacing them. The cat, he says, would not make the power go down slowly, it would just cut it off, if it were clogged. My power has gone down slowly over time as I mentioned in one of my previous posts. He has also suggested me to switch to 20W50 and wants to put car on a STP oil treatment. His intention behind switching to thicker oil to slow down the consumption. I know you guys warned me against using 20w50 before, but considering the condition the engine is in, do you think that it would really matter? I am not saying that I am definitely switching to 20w50, but if its not going to strangle the motor, I would like to go with it, as I will save some $$$ on oil.

 

Spark plugs that have carbon built up on them will cause performance problems, but your cat doesn't come clogged over night. It can take years to build up. It's not a on off swich. Your cat had a array of honycomb looking ceramic tile things in it. Burning oil will clog it and a new engine isn't going to fix that. You can get direct fit ones from summit racing. Usually they are around $100-120.

 

Does your mechanic advise against a compression and leak down test? It sounds like he is willing do to some bandaid fixes, but wants to sell you a new engine?!?!?!? I'm really comfused, but I don't trust your mechanic at all. Again, for the last time (I'm going to post about this subject), oil consumption does NOT equel a bad engine!!!!!!!! I can not express this enough.

 

Further discussion welcome...

 

Thanks

V

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Compression check can tell you a lot. Higher octane gas is supposed to be better for your car. You have to weigh the price against the performance gain. High oil consumption is not a good thing but it is fixable.

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Unless your manual calls for 89 octane gas there is no reason to not use 87 octane. Just go by the factory manual. A compression test will provide you with concrete information about the condition of your engine. It's cheap and takes less than an hour. If you are switching engines, you need to put in a new cat so count that expense for the job as others have mentioned.

Generally speaking, toyotas are very long lived if maintained properly so I would say that your experience is unusual for the mileage of the car.

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Overall, even with a poorly taken care Corolla, I just can't see the pistons rings being dammaged so badly, that lots and lots of blow by on the piston rings accures. Rings usually get destroyed from knock causing them to burn up, or running dry of oil. My sister in law who is the worst car owner I have ever met in my life NEVER changes her oil. I acually checked her oil a few weeks ago and the oil on the dip stick was well below the low mark. On top of that, the oil looked like it just came out of the ground. It was BLACK. Now for a quick fix, I just added oil. It was two quarts low and then I took the car out for a drive and it acually drove pretty decent.

This is a late 80s early 90s Corolla too. Lots of car, very little love, and it still runs and some how does a good job of running. It starts up right away too.

Check for a oil soaked intake to the TB, and oil soaked spark plugs.

 

my 01 rolla was burning a similar amount of oil - 1 qt every 80 miles.. never had any smoke (unless i revved it hard) put in new rings and rod bearings... hasn't burned any appreciable amount since. old head gasket was in perfect condition, seals seemed okay - I didn't change the crank seals (the only seals on the engine) and i TRIED to change the PCV valve but noone carries them. the old rings looked fine - no scratches, breaks, but filthy. No oil on the plugs, no oil in the TB...

 

So either oil was leaking out my oilpan - the seal had no breaks or it was magicing out somewhere else.

 

moral of the story: newer rollas may not have the "fault" tolerance and toughness of the old ones..

 

 

 

cryptic: I would definitely spend some time on a saturday with a "lemon" sign - there's nothing illegal about it. Stand on the sidewalk, not on their property. If they threaten you with police, wait and see if the police come - if they do, ask them if you are doing anything wrong and what the dealership reported you were doing. :) Get a big piece of posterboard and make a sign with bold black letters and maybe a yellow lemond behind the letters. Catch potential buyers' eye, and they may be willing to work with you. At least you can impact their business for screwing you hard.

 

something else you can try is to find someone else whose car won't pass emissions, take it to the place your dealer has theirs done... and say you're with the dealer... see if it "passes"

 

I am not saying that I am definitely switching to 20w50, but if its not going to strangle the motor, I would like to go with it, as I will save some $$$ on oil.

 

Don't. If you do manage to solve this and take it back to the dealer, the whole thing could be invalidated with the wrong oil... besides the relatively high risk of destroying the motor, and it may burn just as much of the 20w50 after a few days/weeks. If you want to save money, use cheaper oil. I like trop artic from wal-mart - partial synthetic, decent oil, under $2 a quart. My mechanic, who I've never seen be wrong (in 20 years of association) reccomends it. Using thicker oil is a trick you can get away with on older cars, on newer ones it's a bad, bad idea.

 

Same thing with the additives - they may work, but if your rings are as dirty and stuck and gross as mine - you'd have to run straight brake cleaner for engine oil. MMV

 

Have him do a compression test before trying a bunch of stuff.. it's supposed to be 165-218 with 15 psi difference max between cylinders. You can learn a great deal doing a simple compression test, without and then with oil... I did. Do it yourself if he doens't want to, and you've got a spark plug wrench. It's not too expensive.. www.harborfreight.com sells a tester on the cheap($10) and they may have a store in your area.

 

If he is telling you 25 hours for piston rings, find another mechanic - it's a 15 hour job. I had it quoted from 2 dealerships (chevy, toyota) and a private mechanic. All three said 15 hours. I did it myself in a bit under that, without removing the engine.

 

Does it burn more oil on the highway? mine did...

 

 

 

gvr4ever:just read your post - you may not have read my thread... I posted compression numbers :)

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I am getting convinced that I should get a second opinion. But before I give another mechanic a shot, I think I am going to take your advice and do a compression test myself. Thanks for the Harborfrieght info, they have a store in my area and the tester is in stock (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=92697). Tomservo: Is this the one you were talking about?

 

Now, while I am at it, should I go ahead and replace spark plugs too if they are bad? If so, what kind spark plugs do you guys recommend? I noticed some Bosch ones for 1ZZ-FE at advance auto, which ones are the correct ones? No gap or gap ones? Any suggestions appreciated.

 

I also need to buy wrenches to open engine plastic cover and spark plugs. Is there a standard set of wrenches that I could get for general "under the hood" maintenance? Can you guys recommend some?

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