Search Corolland!

By qassab, April 8, 2014

I have a corolla 99 LE with 130K, I have noticed recently that it started consuming oil. I checked it after 2400 miles and I found out that the car consumed around 1.5 qts of oil. I mostly drive on highways around 15 miles everyday and usually go out of town on weekends. I read a lot about this problem.

My car does not leak at all

I started using Lucas oil treatment, is it really reduces oil consumption ?

without adding Lucas, at high RPM (more than 3000) the car blows white smoke but with Lucas it blows out white smoke at 4000+ RPM

How can I make sure it's the piston head ring and not something else ? can i do some tests to find out.

Is using seafoam useful?


Lucas treatment is hit or miss - for some it helps with oil consumption, others it actually makes it worse, others - doesn't seem to have any perceptible change. But from what you described - sounds like the Lucas is doing exactly what it is designed to do. The additive is an oil stabilizer - means that it thickens the oil slightly, for more oil pressure and adds additional additives to "potentially" boost oil life.

I add "potentially" as additive packages are not all complementary - some cases, differences in additive packages can cause the base oil's additives to not properly protect the engine. On the 1ZZ-FE's with oil consumption - majority of the issue is stuck piston rings, where the oil control ring drainage holes are plugged up with carbon deposits and varnish. What was found is that you do not want to run a thicker oil - but run a thinner one. Thinner to help penetrate the deposits and through solvency, dissolve it away.

Many have seen good luck with a Kroil oil treatment / piston soak - though that stuff can be pretty hard to find. Being a particularly aggressive solvent - depending on where you live at - may not even be able to get it shipped to you. Others were able to get MMO (Marvel Mystery Oil) to work well in a piston soaking role. Seafoam can work here as well - but having such a low viscosity and slow solvency - may not sit long enough to attack the deposits.

Personally, not a fan of Seafoam - sure it cleans out the top end of the engine - but it tends to cause issues down the road (excessive engine pinging, vacuum leaks, etc. - worse case, can accidentally hydrolock the engine with too much solvent). I can get the effect with dribbling distilled water into the intake - basically "steam" cleaning the top end.

Need a bit more info - What oil are you running right now? Convention oil, synthetic blend or full synthetic? Viscosity - 5w-30 as spec'd or something else?

I went to a new mechanic and he notice that two of my sparks connection was soaked into oil and there was a small leak at that corner. The valves seal was bad. He replaced it and charged me 100$ for parts and labor including PCV (is this good price?). in your opinion, is this the only problem? 1qt for every 1500 miles is a lot. I only use Sears conventional 5w-30 oil should I switch to Maxlife High mileage oil and use lucas oil stabilizer ?

I read many threads, for piston soaking, people use either MMO, Seafoam or Car-rx. Since piston ring problem in this model is common and ( hopping) I do not have such problem now, what is the best way to keep this problem away from my car. Is using MMO or car-rx ( as they advertise ) regularly in my car prevent this problem?

Thanks for replay

Valve seal? Did he mean the valve cover gasket? $100 for parts and labor for valve cover gasket and PCV is not too bad. Pretty much the going price for that sort of repair work - as the parts are very inexpensive, but that job is pretty much all labor. Curious - did he replace the spark plug wires, replace the plugs as well?

1 quart every 1500 miles is not too bad - I've seen much worse. Might see some benefit from running Valvoline Maxlife High Mileage motor oil - as your oil consumption hasn't crossed over to the point of no return.

Sears convention motor oil is made by Warren Petroleum company, same company that makes Walmart's convention motor oil. Its an OK oil - but does tend to shear down quickly, get burned off more easily. Probably why you saw a marked difference when you added the Lucas additive.

As for treatment - impossible to say. Some cars respond well to running a different brand of motor oil, some can do a piston soak and have no problems. Some cars don't respond to anything short of a complete engine rebuild. Problem is - not every 8th gen has this oil consumption. Some have twice as many miles as you and don't burn any oil. Some have 1/2 your mileage and burn a quart every 150 miles! I'm convinced that much of this discrepancy is likely do to how the car was originally broken in and what oils were used during the first couple thousands of miles of operation.

Best you can do at this point is to monitor the oil levels closely and often. Every time you fill up the gas would be just about perfect. Always keep additional reserves of oil in the trunk of the car, to top off as needed. Must keep the car from running low on oil at any time - if you find yourself having to add 2 or 3 quarts of oil at once to bring the levels up, you've waited too long and potentially worsened the rate of oil consumption.

By keeping up on oil levels, you can actually run the car a surprising long time. Some owners have been able to drive 10's of thousands of miles / years of driving even with excessive oil consumption. But eventually, it will come to a point where no additive, no amount of oil top offs will be cost effective. That point - you'll have to rebuild the engine, do an engine swap, or just dump the car.

Thanks for the advice. Yes, Valve cover gasket. H did not tell me that I need to replace spark plugs and wires. However, I will replace them soon. My car rattles when I stop at the traffic light when i put it to N it stops rattling is this because of the spark plug?

That could be related to spark plugs / ignition system. Could also be a dirty or gummed up throttlebody and/or transaxle that is adding too much of a load on the engine. Sounds like the car just needs a good tune-up.

  • Like 1

Due to the Chevy Prizm being this car's engine twin, I'll tell of my mom's experience with her old Chevy Prizm. I mention how Bluebell (see my intro post) became an oil burner at higher mileage. Once, when my mom was still working, she noticed her car was noisier than usual. She didn't notice any other issues, no lights that came on when the noise started or weird smells and the cars was running normal, apart from the noise. So she went to the garage, thinking maybe there was something wrong with the exhaust, like a leak or muffler issue. And then, they said the car was down 4 quarts of oil. The oil consumption seemed to be a quart every ~1000 miles. My dad started checking the oil more after that and I think the lowest Bluebell's oil got after that was down a quart- a quart and half, the latter right before an oil change.

  • Like 1

Topic List