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01 Corolla Burning Oil

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This is the outline of my own approach, after much research and discussion with other members on BITOG, including things I'm doing now and future steps I plan to take after my winter experiment is over. I'm not selling a cure to the problem, but if anything is going to work short of a rebuild, then this approach (from my research) promises to yield the best results as its aimed at the culprit deliberately, rather than using thick oil and or HM oil to mask the symptoms but ignore the cause.

 

-Spyder

 

How exactly does a high mileage oil mask the symptoms?

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trap

This is the outline of my own approach, after much research and discussion with other members on BITOG, including things I'm doing now and future steps I plan to take after my winter experiment is over. I'm not selling a cure to the problem, but if anything is going to work short of a rebuild, then this approach (from my research) promises to yield the best results as its aimed at the culprit deliberately, rather than using thick oil and or HM oil to mask the symptoms but ignore the cause.

 

-Spyder

 

How exactly does a high mileage oil mask the symptoms?

 

I worded that incorrectly; I should have stated it masks the cause (failure of the oil control rings, and oil leaking past them where its burned off during combustion) by treating the symptoms (being thicker than its non-HM counterparts within the same grade, less oil gets past the faulty oil control rings, and therefore less is burned off during combustion). HM 'works' in reducing consumption, but it doesn't achieve its results - where the cause if burn off due to failed oil control rings, rather than leakage from say worn gasket not sealing properly, it reduces consumption yet the underlying cause remains and HM oil doesn't address that directly. The other methods have the potential to, but require either hands on work (with the piston soaks) or time to see the benefit begin to work (use of UCLs and mos2 to correct the problem at the source, in a similar means as with piston soaks but over a much longer interval of time). HM oil has the advantage that any potential results it offers can be seen immediately, and without the hands on work of a piston soak, but the disadvantage that unlike the other methods, it is not addressing the underlying cause directly; instead it is reducing the effect, consumption, by treating the symptom (using its relative thickness to lessen loss through the oil control rings and into the combustion stroke where its burned off).

 

-Spyder

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I am just curious... could you not add an additive, like SeaFoam, into your oil (like 1½ oz to 2 oz per quart) per oil change, and help get rid of the varninshing and copper build ups that are occurring? Would this also help to unblock the holes? Anyone try this route, possibly with Marvel Mystery Oil, SeaFoam, etc?

 

 

Ian

Edited by txsizzler

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I'm no mechanic, but my solution to the problem was to piston soak each cylinder with MMO, as well as put MMO in the oil and drive it for a week. I changed the oil and piston soaked with seafoam and added it to the oil. I ran it for around 500 mile and changed the oil again. Consumption is down to 1/2 a quart every 3500-5000 miles.

 

For more info - http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80118

 

 

 

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Interesting thread.

 

It reinforces to me the value of using only synthetic oil, once break in of a new car is over.

 

Some of the problems from design flaws that caused the sludge problem in some Toyota engines as well as the carbon build up on oil control rings discussed here, probably could have been avoided or at least minimized by using synthetic oil.

 

I realize that when you are buying a used car, you do not always know what the previous owner(s) did relative to oil usage, etc. But, I have had good luck using synthetic oil to clean out the deposits left behind by the previous owner’s use of conventional oil, in some of the used cars I have owned. This approach cleans them out over the course of several oil change intervals, rather than all at once.

 

I realize synthetic oil costs a little more, but when you look at all of the trouble and expense that use of conventional oil can result in, synthetic oil looks like cheap insurance.

 

 

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Interesting thread.

 

It reinforces to me the value of using only synthetic oil, once break in of a new car is over.

 

Some of the problems from design flaws that caused the sludge problem in some Toyota engines as well as the carbon build up on oil control rings discussed here, probably could have been avoided or at least minimized by using synthetic oil.

 

I realize that when you are buying a used car, you do not always know what the previous owner(s) did relative to oil usage, etc. But, I have had good luck using synthetic oil to clean out the deposits left behind by the previous owner’s use of conventional oil, in some of the used cars I have owned. This approach cleans them out over the course of several oil change intervals, rather than all at once.

 

I realize synthetic oil costs a little more, but when you look at all of the trouble and expense that use of conventional oil can result in, synthetic oil looks like cheap insurance.

do you have any data to support your conclusion that synthetic oil will solve piston wear or reduce it significantly

over say 200 -400k miles ??

 

thanks

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I used to use Mobil 1 for many a year as well as Castrol Syntec and Pennzoil Platinum. The only thing I buy that goes in my Corolla now is Supertech Synthetic 5w30. I get a Purolator Gold filter from Advance auto (now that I know better I will install the taller Matrix XRS filter next time).My car runs better, gets better mileage and is nowhere near as noisy (especially when cold) with Supertech. I won't say its better than Mobil 1 or the others but I will say my engine seems to appreciate it and its a good price. I run it for 5000-5500 miles and according to my UOA's I could run longer.Some good info on Supertech Synthetic over at Bob Is The Oil Guy forums.

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“do you have any data to support your conclusion that synthetic oil will solve piston wear or reduce it significantly over say 200 -400k miles ??”

 

 

In response to the above question: I never said that the use of synthetic oil will solve piston, (ring) wear over 200 – 400K miles, so no I don’t have any data that supports that conclusion either.

 

I know a number of people who have successfully run Toyota engines to over 250,000 miles, both using synthetic oil as well as conventional oil, so it is readily apparent that it can be done under the right circumstances of how the vehicle is designed, used and maintained.

 

What I was referring to was the fact that many conventional oils are just “good enough” to get by and many synthetic oils are “a little better than they absolutely have to be” for many applications.

 

By using synthetic oil which is a little better than it absolutely has to be, we now have a little built in “margin of safety” into the system. This margin of safety is the “cheap insurance” I was referring to.

 

The margin of safety comes in handy when a vehicle is not designed, used or maintained under the best of conditions. In the case of the early engines in question, the oil control rings were running hotter than planned and therefore the oil was being oxidized on them and forming severe carbon deposits, which then cause these rings to allow excessive oil consumption.

 

Oxidizing in this case means combining with oxygen and being partially consumed in the process, leaving carbon deposits behind. In oil specification speak, how easily an oil oxidizes is measured in part by its flash point temperature. This is the temperature it will start burning at. Synthetic oils tend to have higher flash point temperatures than conventional oils, in part because their molecule sizes are more uniform. These and other specifications are readily available on most reputable oil manufacturer web sites.

 

The flash point temperature for conventional SAE 5w-30 oils range from about 200 degrees C to 232 degrees C, while the flash point temperature for synthetic SAE 5w-30 oils range from about 223 degrees C to 254 degrees C. So on average, the synthetic oils can withstand temperatures which are about 20 degrees C higher. This is the margin of safety or cheap insurance I was referring to. By having a higher flash point temperature, synthetic oils would be less likely to form significant carbon deposits on the oil control rings.

 

So what does that cheap insurance cost?

 

At the present time a 5 quart jug of conventional Mobil oil sells for about $11 at Wal-Mart, while a 5 qt. jug of Mobil 1 synthetic oil sells for about $24 at Wal-Mart, or $13 more. The average driver goes about 15,000 miles per year. So if the oil gets changed every 5,000 miles, that is three oil changes per year, so the synthetic oil costs a total of $39 more per year. That adds up to 5 x $39 = $195 over 5 years or 75,000 miles.

 

Edmunds.com calculates and publishes “True Cost to Own” data for many new model cars. This estimates the total cost of ownership for the car including all costs, for the first five years and 75,000 miles of use. Their current estimate for the 2010 Corolla LE automatic is around $32,000. So the added cost of using synthetic Mobil 1 oil of $195 for the same time period and miles adds only six tenths of one percent to the total cost of ownership.

 

Where I come from, six tenths of one percent is called “cheap insurance”, especially when it may easily add “significantly more” trouble free miles to the usable life of the car.

 

 

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retired08, I appreciate your reply.

 

I think its good to keep a rational, evidence based reason for using different products.

I like to do things that have a scientific and statistical significance to back it up.

 

In my experience, the synth had no bearing on oil burning . Dyno oil used every 3-5k miles did not cause any oil burning or

drop in every car I had that went to 150-300k. none of the cars I(family) had,( I've had atleast 6 in our family) that I bought brand new and scrapped had their life terminated by oil burning in the cylinder. These were toyotas, mazdas,hondas.

The issues that caused the car to be sent to the scrap yard were transmission, rusted brake lines, fuel lines,

rusted heater core, failed suspensions, etc that were too expensive to fix.

 

The autos are engineered to last a certain amount of usage or time. The parts are designed to fail after a certain amount of

time or usage. The oil burning or wear in the cylnders, atleast in my experience are not the factor so I do not see the need for synth in moderate climates.

 

A genius engineer will design all the components to fall apart at the same time, thereby maximizing each part over the lifespan of the car. Such is not the case and oil/cyclinder wear is usually not a factor, atleast in my observation.

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Bhp02

 

I think we are in agreement that under the right circumstances, it is possible to run a car to 150,000 – 300,000 on conventional oil.

 

I also agree that it is possible to extend the life of the car’s engine to a point that goes beyond the designed life of all of the other components in the car.

 

However, these two facts do not negate the value of using synthetic oil. Synthetic oil has the ability to outperform conventional oil in adverse conditions and therefore can increase the number of trouble free miles that a car can provide.

 

The individual who first posted this original thread is dealing with a recently purchase used car that only has 79,000 miles on it, yet it is consuming a quart of oil every 300 miles. I don’t think we have to wonder too hard why the previous owner got rid of it. A quart of oil every 300 miles are not exactly trouble free miles.

 

There has been a wealth of useful information shared on this thread, to try to address this problem, but it brings to mind the old saying that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. Once carbon deposits are burned onto something, it is really hard to get them off, especially if you cannot reach them to scrape them off mechanically. There are very few chemicals that will safely dissolve carbon.

 

My posting was simply observing that compared to all of the trouble and expense that the current owners of these cars were experiencing, the cost of using synthetic oil, which would be less likely to oxidize on the overly hot oil control rings, looks like cheap insurance. Had the previous owner of the original poster’s Corolla used synthetic oil, maybe they would still be happily driving the car, rather having to get rid of it long before 150,000 miles, and saddling the current owner with a very difficult problem.

 

 

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Hello, first post here. Could use some help.

 

79,000 miles, bought used, no clue if the oil was changed regularly. New plugs new wires.

 

Burns 1 qt every 300 miles. Ran a compression test and get 190-200 PSI on all 4 cylinders. Does smoke a little out of the tail pipe, but not excessive. Tail pipe has a bit of build up on it. Does not leak oil while the car is off, yet my right drive axle does look a little shiny, so it may be possible something is leaking out of the pulley's and then the axle is spinning the oil off while it runs. Not sure though, I haven't dug into the car far enough to get a close enough look.

 

Oh and this may be another problem, but I get occasional misfires or similar lag under hard acceleration, and only under hard acceleration.

 

I am assuming the rings and valves/seats are good due to the successful compression test. I am having a hard time figuring out where the oil is going. Only thing I can think of is maybe a bad exhaust valve guide or a pulley leaking. I have read other threads and will check my PCV tomorrow, but am curious as to how this might affect oil consumption? I am moderately knowledgeable when it comes to cars but not enough so, and always looking to learn more.

 

Any thoughts? All help or even random guesses are appreciated.

yeah, mine was loosing a bit of oil and it was the leaking oil sensor which I replaced and to my surprise my engine

at 120k miles does not burn any oil at all. It could be a slow leak that only happens when you are driving and the oil gets burned off.

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Thought I would pass on Oil Burning and fix to everyone.

 

Within my family I have had over 5 Corollas years 1998 to 2002 in the past few years. ALL have had a oil burning problem! Toyota says there is no problem with the engine. HA! I would beg to differ.

 

What I found Oil problem is in the piston design. There are small oil passages in the oil ring area that clog. Once clog plan on tearing the engine apart. I tried additives to no avail.

 

Solution:

 

Remove head. have it rebuilt since it is off. Replace Rings after cleaning piston especially oil passages. check Rod bearings and replace if needed.

 

You can do all this without removing the engine block from the car.

 

Hone Cylinder walls reassemble.

 

Break in Rings properly.

 

Oil consumption went from 1Q / 300 miles to 0.125Q / 2000+ miles

 

Cost doing it myself $900

 

Cost to having someone do it $2000

 

If they remove engine $5000

 

Hope this helps.

 

I would be interested in others comments and experiences vhpick@yahoo.com

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Have we ruled out a leak yet. Every time I think my 98 is going south I clean the motor off then drive and look and find another leak at a different place. Valve cover, seal etc. Seems to me the material Toyota is using fails quickly.

 

Btw, anyone notice that when you drive over 70mph for a few hundred miles you burn much more oil than driving at 60mph?

Edited by Sonix

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My father works for toyota here in ireland for over 40 years,now he tells me that corollas have thinner piston rings and slightly smaller pistons to help increase fuel economy but the downside is oil gets past the oil rings and gets burned off thus increasing oil consumption.He will not drive toyota anymore due to there bad build quality.

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