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2000 Corolla - Stick With High Mileage Oil Or Change To Synthetic Oil.



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Hello,

I have 2000 Corolla CE trim, I bought this car about a year ago, I've been putting 5W-30 high mileage oil so far since.

I do my own oil change every 3000 miles as people says on internet. (Not sure its too short)

Some of my friends telling me that Synthetic oil would make the engine lasts longer and some other friends telling me its always better to be stick with what I have been adding, which is high mileage oil.

I do not have any information that regards what kind of oil the previous owner have been adding, since I got it from private dealer. I do having trouble with losing oil. I believe its common for old car but I need to add about 1qt. every 2 weeks to be stable on engine oil. Should I add thicker oil? Is that the solution?

Please help me to give the best treatment for my car, should I stick with the kind of oil that I've been adding?

And is there a way to prevent oil loss? Would the thicker oil will last longer but not harm to the engine?

Thanks..!!

Synthetic oil is more resistant to burning.

Depending on what is causing the oil usage, using thicker oil may cause an increase in consumption.

One old theory about switching to synthetic is if the engine is sealed with sludge, the synthetic will clean the engine and cause leaks.

About how many miles can you go before you notice it being a quart low? 1000 miles a quart, 500 miles a quart, worse? How many miles at on your Corolla?

Synthetic is a great oil, but it will not necessarily make the engine "last" longer - there are definitely pros with running synthetic, but if they are worthwhile? That is completely up to you and your situation.

So pros:

- As mentioned, high temperature stability, harder to oxide synthetic oil, leading to deposits. But in the case of a car consuming oil - switching to synthetic may or may not do anything. In cases of heavy oil consumption - running synthetic only means you are spending more money on oil that will only get consumed in the end. They also tend to run thinner - so this can also cause an engine that hasn't been consuming oil to start losing oil. Not really a fault of the oil - just that the oil can now slip past the rings and get burned up.

- Also mentioned, synthetic tends to have higher solvency - wants to clean off deposits, sludge, etc., tends to run a little thinner, flows faster. Can be a good and bad thing - in a car that is leaking oil (older car) - this higher solvency can actually cause more oil to leak, as the crud and deposits are actually helping "seal" those leak points. In a modern engine - more solvency tends to be better - especially in the case of the 1ZZ-FE, as some of the 8th gen Corollas/Prisms have seen oil consumption due to clogged oil return holes on the piston. Running a thinner here is a good thing, gets in behind the oil ring and tries to eat away at those deposits. But in some advanced cases - even higher solvency won't help.

- Synthetics big claim to fame is low temperature flow. Subzero weather - when starting the car, it may sounds like it has molasses in the engine - with synthetics - it will crank more easily and get oil where it needs to go.

As for your use of high mileage oil - I'd continue to use that. Many formulations of high mileage oils are actually semi-synthetic. Some like, Castrol GTX HM and Valvoline Maxlife HM are some of the better oils out there. They do then to run on the thicker side of their viscosity range - which could exacerbate your oil consumption. On the 1ZZ-FE, some owners found that running a thinner oil, but still within the recommended grade - helped reduce oil consumption. Good example of an oil that tends to run thin is Mobil 1 synthetic. My usual go-to oil on my cars - Valvoline Synpower synthetic is another.

Doesn't hurt to experiment with oils - as each engine is a little different, some tend to prefer one brand/viscosity over others. The big key is not what kind of oil you run, but how often you change it. Your oil change interval at 3000 miles is pretty short and conservative - I wouldn't be surprised if you could run it out to 5K miles easily. But in the case of oil consumption - keeping an eye on the level of oil is the most critical thing. Your sump doesn't hold a lot of oil - if you end up suddenly down a quart or two - that remaining oil has to work a lot harder to protect your engine. So 3000 miles might be right for you.

Oil changes ever 3k miles is way too soon if you're burning that much oil since you're basically already adding a new 4qt oil change every 2 months. I recommend valvoline max life synth blend HM oil since I've had good results with it. I have a similar oil burn rate as you with this oil and I just changed it at 7,500 miles and had it analyzed at blackstone labs. They told me it looked just fine where I can wait until 9k miles to change the oil and send them another sample next time. So you can go at least 5k miles before changing the oil & filter.

Toyota recommends filling an extra 16oz to keep the oil level from dropping below full as it burns off. I did so then marked the dipstick with a razor blade to show the toyota updated fill level mark on it.

Corollan8085- We need more info to produce an appropriate recommendation.

What mileage are you at? How much mileage in two weeks to go through about 1 qt, and at what driving speeds? Is it manual or automatic? Does it only burn oil, or does it also leak, and where?

Thanks to everyone, I really appreciate you all.

dom :

Here's little info. of my Corolla.

2000 Corolla, has 210,800 miles as today (Believe its still a baby default_smile

Been doing oil change every 3000 miles with high mileage so far,

Adding about 1qt. every two weeks, depends how fast I drive but it burns much more when I go 65 mph or more. (Average 60), (Automatic)

I drive about average 160 miles per week, so adding 1qt. of oil every about 310 miles I believe.

Its amazing I don't see any leaks so far, I did have some leaks when I bought this car last year, but after I installed new head gasket I do not see any oil

leaks yet.

Thanks..! default_smile

01loadedLE:

Thanks for your comment, really appreciate it.

It's impressive how you maintain your car, especially oil lasts that long.

I will look into the valvoline max life synth blend. It is hard to chose one oil kind out of so many of them. default_smile

*Mind I ask you are a pilot? I am working on my private right now, thinking have my checkride by this november. Fly safe..!

Thanks..!!

I used to burn a qt every 400 miles with havoline dino since it's so thin but when I switched to the valvoline hm the burn rate decreased to 1,200 miles a qt so it really helped me.

Yep private pilot. Congrats and I know you'll really enjoy your first solo flight.

Thanks to all including01loadedLE

And

dom

Really appreciate your comments.

So, about oil filters..? : )

I've been using Fram's Extra guard (The basic one), since I have been doing my oil change every 3 K, so I thought it was perfect oil filter for me.

I see many oil filters for High mileage cars in part shop these days, should I switch to high mileage oil filter as well? Do they really work?

Sorry for your trouble but I really want to do right thing for my car. : )

Thanks..!

Don't - stick with what you have.

Most of the High Mileage labeled oil filters are more of a marketing gimmick than anything else - especially the ones that use any sort of additive "lozenge" inside or additive package goo. Those can cause more problems than helping. A few do advertise a composite filtering media (paper cellulose + synthetic fibers) - if they stopped there, it would be fine. They usually mess things up by adding things that "condition" the oil. Definitely the last thing you want to do, you want the oil to do its job - the filter should only be concerned on filtering.

High mileage oils is one thing - but for filtering, stick with what you currently have.

Do you notice a puff of smoke out of your exhaust after starting up in the morning or when the car sits for a few hours in between driving? I have an 02 and have similar oil consumption to what you are experiencing.

^^^ Puff of smoke on start-up after the car has sat for some time is the tell-tale sign of leaking valve stem seals leaking.

Oil drips down them, dribbles into the combustion chamber - then you get that blueish puff of smoke on start-up. Some advanced cases, the car can blow smoke for a decent amount of time before it burns off, can also see a puff of smoke if you accelerate after coming to a stop or when the engine has idled for some time.

Any cases of heavy oil consumption - before you start any additive regiment, switch oils, etc. - good practice do a compression check and a leak down test. If the compression is bad or the leak down test fails - you have to stop and address what you want to do next, as those automatically point to an engine rebuild / swap / dump the car.

Some 1ZZ-FE have been noted by their owners to consume a quart ever 250 miles!!! Even at that rate - no evidence of drips or leaks, sometimes no smoke at all from the exhaust. Most of that is trapped by the catalytic converter and burned off from the high heat generated.

fishexpo101,

that is exactly what I believe is happening to mine. my compression is good on all 4 cyl's but it's sucking down the oil and I'm getting the smoke. the catalytic converter is only a year old but the car has been having random fits of hesitation and the cat CEL code is on which makes me think that it is bad again. A partially clogged cat would cause the hesitation issues I'm having, right?

Correct. If it consuming an excessive amount of oil - that will eventually clog the monolith core of the cat. That could increase the exhaust backpressure the engine is seeing, causing poorer performance + hesitation issues.

Most shops will not do this, but some speed shops might - install a test pipe (basically a section of pipe that replaces catalytic converter) - see if the car runs any better. If it does, the cat is clogged. If there is no change, then you have to look elsewhere for the hesitation issue.

So lets assumed both my valve stem seals are bad and my catalytic converter is bad. If I replace the cat and this fixes the hesitation issue, it's only a matter of time before it goes bad again. So I'd really have to fix the valve stem seals first, drive it a few thousand miles to track the oil consumption, and assuming the consumption problem is then fixed, I could replace the cat. How difficult a job is it to replace the valve stem seals?

Correct, have to fix the root cause of the oil consumption. Possible there is a combination of things going on - I wouldn't be surprised if the valve seals are bad along with plugged oil return holes on the piston/stuck rings - to see the oil consumption you sounds like you are having.

Valve seals, they can be changed with the engine still in the car (need special tools, pull the valvecover off, pull cams off, remove buckets over valves, remove spring, get to seals, etc. - not hard, but a lot of work). For piston/rings, have to pull the engine - though it can be done with the engine still "in" the car - but will be a nightmare trying to maneuver. Easier for the engine to be pulled, that way you can get it cleaned up and checked all over (deck the head and block, check for cracks, check bores, etc.