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2001 Corolla Le - 202K Miles



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Hi,

I have been a member here since 2005. My last post here was in 2005 also. I had a 2001 Corolla then with 20k or so miles. Almost new. I had to sell it because of some family issues. Once I recovered. I bought other Toyotas but not Corolla for some reason. Before that I had many Corollas (84, 85, 86, 99)

Well... I am back.. have a 2001 again. LE. With 202k miles. 5 speed STICK with sunroof and everything.

It drives perfect except that it BURNS one quart of oil at every GAS fill up.

I bought it for $1000.00. It is for work so I can save on gas. I didn't want to drive my FJ Cruiser 50 miles everyday.

Could it be the PCV valve?

Can I use 20W50 oil OR the high mileage oil ?

Can I continue driving like this by adding oil? Will it not clog my exhaust pipe?

My exhaust has so much grease in it, that it is not even funny. All that oil burned out.

I can keep on filling oil and keep on driving it. It means that 35 dollars to fill tank and 3 dollars for a quart of oil so about 38 dollars to fill up tank for next however many years so I can keep saving on gas as compared to my FJ.

I love Corollas. This one is perfect and I will baby it but I want to make sure I am on the right path taking care of its maintenance and issues with this many miles.

PICTURES are here posted on the FJ thread. Not sure how to put pictures here.

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/general-discussion/312322-fj-savior-here.html

There is a fraction of 8th gen Corollas (1998-2002 model years) with the 1ZZ-FE engine that have an issue with excessive oil consumption. The cause is from a couple of possible issue, but the majority settle around clogged oil ports (holes behind the oil control ring) on the piston that don't allow enough oil to be pulled back into the crankcase. In some cases, the oil ports are completely clogged - which leaves the oil no place to go except to be squeeze by the oil scraper ring and be burned during combustion.

No set fix for this - some have been able to slow or even stop oil consumption by switching to different oils or using a piston soaking approach. Unfortunately, this only seems to be effect very early on, less effective once oil consumption becomes steady. That point, an engine rebuild or engine swap are the only options left - if you plan on holding on to the car.

There has been a number of discussions on whether this constitutes a manufacturing defect or not - this point, almost impossible to say for sure. There was some design changes to the piston for the 9th gen Corolla - hole numbers have increased and overall piston skirt has changed - but that also coincided with a revised camshaft profile and higher RPM shift of the powerband - in which those changes would make more sense.

Not all 8th gens have oil consumption - mine for example has over 200K original miles and doesn't burn any oil. Others also have similar stories to mine - no issues at all on their 8th gens. But there are also a number of owners that have considerably less mileage and consume a staggering amount of oil. Some can't go 100 miles without burning a quart of oil. Part of it might be in the way the car was broken in - when I picked up my Corolla, I literally bought it straight from the transport truck. So I had control over the initial break-in. Conventional motor oil for the first several oil changes during normal break-in then synthetic motor oil for the rest of its operation. I don't baby it at all - I drive the nuts off the car, mixed driving - though mostly highway, it is in the DC Metro area - which can be gridlocked for a significant amount of time.

Best thing you can do is monitor its oil consumption and note if it is staying steady or getting worse. High mileage oils and ones with LOWER viscosity seems to help more owners than the old school thought of heavy/thicker oils. The idea is to maintain a thin enough oil to make sure oil pressures are at a safe level and oil film strength is sufficient for protection, but thin enough to start working on those deposits and circulate and move in smaller, tighter clearances.

As for constantly adding make up oil - have to stay on top of that. Running a reduced oil levels will increase the likelyhood of creating more deposits and prevent the oil from effectively transporting and suspending dissolved deposits. Going to a higher mileage oil, synthetic blends or synthetic oils may also help. Lots of discussion here and on Toyotanation and BITOG forums.

There is a fraction of 8th gen Corollas (1998-2002 model years) with the 1ZZ-FE engine that have an issue with excessive oil consumption. The cause is from a couple of possible issue, but the majority settle around clogged oil ports (holes behind the oil control ring) on the piston that don't allow enough oil to be pulled back into the crankcase. In some cases, the oil ports are completely clogged - which leaves the oil no place to go except to be squeeze by the oil scraper ring and be burned during combustion.

No set fix for this - some have been able to slow or even stop oil consumption by switching to different oils or using a piston soaking approach. Unfortunately, this only seems to be effect very early on, less effective once oil consumption becomes steady. That point, an engine rebuild or engine swap are the only options left - if you plan on holding on to the car.

There has been a number of discussions on whether this constitutes a manufacturing defect or not - this point, almost impossible to say for sure. There was some design changes to the piston for the 9th gen Corolla - hole numbers have increased and overall piston skirt has changed - but that also coincided with a revised camshaft profile and higher RPM shift of the powerband - in which those changes would make more sense.

Not all 8th gens have oil consumption - mine for example has over 200K original miles and doesn't burn any oil. Others also have similar stories to mine - no issues at all on their 8th gens. But there are also a number of owners that have considerably less mileage and consume a staggering amount of oil. Some can't go 100 miles without burning a quart of oil. Part of it might be in the way the car was broken in - when I picked up my Corolla, I literally bought it straight from the transport truck. So I had control over the initial break-in. Conventional motor oil for the first several oil changes during normal break-in then synthetic motor oil for the rest of its operation. I don't baby it at all - I drive the nuts off the car, mixed driving - though mostly highway, it is in the DC Metro area - which can be gridlocked for a significant amount of time.

Best thing you can do is monitor its oil consumption and note if it is staying steady or getting worse. High mileage oils and ones with LOWER viscosity seems to help more owners than the old school thought of heavy/thicker oils. The idea is to maintain a thin enough oil to make sure oil pressures are at a safe level and oil film strength is sufficient for protection, but thin enough to start working on those deposits and circulate and move in smaller, tighter clearances.

As for constantly adding make up oil - have to stay on top of that. Running a reduced oil levels will increase the likelyhood of creating more deposits and prevent the oil from effectively transporting and suspending dissolved deposits. Going to a higher mileage oil, synthetic blends or synthetic oils may also help. Lots of discussion here and on Toyotanation and BITOG forums.

Thanks man. That was good information. I will just keep filling oil for the next 200k miles. Oil changes every 5000 miles or so (basically the filter.. LOL !! )

This kinda explains the burning smell too sometimes. There is no engine leak so I could not figure it out.

Yeah, the oil lose on this engine doesn't really show up as a visible leak - majority of them is all internal. Only common spots where you could potentially see oil leaking externally, would be the valvecover gasket and the plug well gaskets, and the timing chain tensioner o-ring on the back of the cylinder head - these are pretty common on the 1ZZ-FE after it runs past 100K miles.

Monitoring the condition of the PCV would also help somewhat - under normal conditions, the engine can tolerate some flow obstructions to the PCV. In the case of excessive oil consumption - any obstruction would exacerbate the rate of oil consumption. For such an inexpensive part - good practice to replace them at regular intervals. Same goes to the tubing running to the PCV and cleaning the throttlebody.

Other than that - keep up with the oil top offs and deal with issues as they come up. Even an excessive oil burner can run a long, long time, as long as you keep it filled with fresh oil.

Curious......... how much should a Corolla engine rebuild cost? Would that fix the burning issue??

Depends on how everything else looks inside the engine. Say everything was spot on, bearings still good, cylinder walls still true, have cross hatching on them, valve seals still good, etc. - then you are just looking at a re-ring and either replacing the pistons with new ones (extra holes) or drill additional holes for drainage (HIGHLY recommend a machine shop doing this, as you have to rebalance the piston).

Labor is what will eat up most of the costs. If you did this yourself - possible to permanently fix this for around $300-$400 tops - have a shop do it - could be $300-$400 in parts + 5-10 hours of labor, depending on the shop. That could easily be another $500-$1000 in labor alone.

That's why some opted to just swap the engine with a 2003+ 1ZZ-FE donor engine - if you got the engine cheap enough and be looking at about 1/2 the labor costs - could actually come out cheaper in the end.

I'm no longer burning a qt every 400 miles since I've been keeping topped off 16oz above the oem fill point after also switching to a more thick Valvoline Max Life High Mileage 5w30 instead of the thin Havoline 5w30 I was using beforehand. Now I'm burning a qt every 1,200 miles. A big improvement. I usually top off once every two weeks and the excess level never burns down to the fill line that way.

So I'm not looking to rebuild the engine soon like I was beforehand. Based on my situation I would recommend using the oil that I do, or 5w20 if you're in cold climate, and keep the oil topped off 16oz above the fill line on the dip stick.

Best thing you can do is monitor its oil consumption and note if it is staying steady or getting worse. High mileage oils and ones with LOWER viscosity seems to help more owners than the old school thought of heavy/thicker oils. The idea is to maintain a thin enough oil to make sure oil pressures are at a safe level and oil film strength is sufficient for protection, but thin enough to start working on those deposits and circulate and move in smaller, tighter clearances.

My 1999 burns quite a bit of oil too. I'm currently using Castrol High Mileage 5W30, but I'm wondering if I should switch to another brand, or maybe even try 5W20. I live close to the Canada/US boarder so the temperature can get as high as 40C and as low as -40C. I do about 100km a day, most of which is on the highway.

I'd try that Castrol during the summer months since it's the thickest brand of 5w30 high mileage and try Valvoline Maxlife 5w20 high mileage in the cold months since it's a little more thin than Castrol brand. Whatever you do just make sure to keep it topped off 16oz past the fill line on your dipstick.

Do you mean the full line? I always fill it up to the full line when I do an oil change. In terms of oil I'm thinking about maybe switching to Pennzoil High Mileage for a few changes to try and clean things out a bit, and depending how that goes, maybe stick with it. I use PP in my wife's car and it's great stuff, especially in the winter. Also the first post in this massive thread on Toyota Nation suggests taking out the spark plugs and dumping in some ATF in there to help clean things out. Not sure if that will really help out or if it's a good idea. Unfortunately I don't have the know-how to take the engine apart and replace the piston rings.

Yep 16oz past the full mark. Pennzoil high mileage would be a good choice. It's near the thickness of Valvoline I believe. I'd personally just use whichever I could find the cheapest. I've never used ATF to clean the engine so I don't know about that but if they say it helps then I bet it does.

Ok thanks, I'll give that a try on my next oil change. From what I've researched on the topic, it seems that Toyota released a replacement dipstick with the full mark higher up the stick to help prevent or at least minimize the burning.

Yeah, lots of information out there. Piston soaks are a pretty popular first "fix" for stuck piston rings, to see if you can clean those deposits off and get the oil to flow like it should through those holes. But it also depends on the extent of the current oil consumption. If consumption is pretty heavy, then no amount of piston soaking will fix that - have to look at a rebuild. But if you catch the consumption problem early enough - then a piston soak may extend the time you have before you start to consume oil.

It's been burning oil since I got it, which was about 2 years ago. Just a cheap car to get me to work and back. When I switched to Castrol High Mileage it helped out a bit but it seems to be getting worse. I'm guessing a piston soak won't help me. After about 2000km I was below the fill line, which is actually the worst it's ever been. 90% of the driving I do is on the highway to work and back, which is about 30 mins of driving each way.

I haven't been able to find that supposed updated dipstick after buying two of them online. One for a '01 was identical to what I had in the engine and another for a '03 was too short. The best option I found was filling 16oz past the full mark then scraping a updated full mark on the dipstick where the top level of the oil was on it by using a box cutter but I'm sure a small flat head screwdriver would scrape a mark on it good too.