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Oil Consumption Is High In Corolla

By haroldwoodring, February 11, 2016

This is to clarify one of my query. I have a 2009 model Corolla. When comparing to other cars in the same category the oil consumption of this car is really high. I always do car maintenance services on time. What could be the reason behind this? Is it something related to piston complaints. If somebody have experienced this problem. Give me a permanent solution for this.

Which trim level do you have on this car - base, S, XRS? In particular which engine, the 1.8L or the 2.4L engine? The 1.8L was in the base trims, the 2.4L in the S and XRS trims.

In the case of the 2.4L engine, this 2AZ-FE engine is known to have oil consumption issues. Some cases, if caught early enough, it can be fixed by switching to a different brand or oil. In other cases, the oil consumption is so excessive - nothing short of an engine rebuild can remedy the problem.

There is some discussion that this could be related to stuck piston rings, clogged oil drain holes, bad valve stem seals, a function of the variable valve timing system, poor PCV recirculation, excessively high engine temps, wrong oil or oil change interval, or a combination of all of these.

The real reason for all this is likely much harder to nail down - as some owners don't have any oil consumption, some guzzle quarts of oil between changes. One thing that you can do is go to a Toyota dealership as ask them to do an oil consumption test. They will basically top off the engine and carefully measure it over set period of miles/time. If the engine consumes oil faster than their cutoff rate of 1qt per 1200 miles - you might be able to get this fixed entirely or partially under warranty. You have to baseline it first - find out exactly how much oil it uses, what situations causes the most oil consumption.

I own two generations of Toyota products that are known oil consumers - 8th gen Corolla with the 1.8L 1ZZ-FE and my 2nd gen Matrix with the 2.4L 2AZ-FE. Neither one of them are currently consuming oil.

- The Corolla, likely due to the specific break-in I followed (in fact, I didn't follow the recommendation in the owner's manual) - I actually drove the car pretty hard instead of the recommended easy driving the first hundred or so miles - followed by a short oil and oil filter change interval. Then ran synthetic oil after I felt the car was fully broken in. I run extended oil change intervals backed with UOA to make sure the oil is still in good shape. Over 200K miles and it hasn't consumed a drop.

- The Matrix, bought used with a low 8K miles and it was already consuming about 1/2 quart oil at 5K miles!!! Ran a couple of short oil change intervals with a high solvency / detergency motor oil - then ran synthetic motor oil afterwards. Following the same oil change interval as my Corolla - between 7500-10K miles between oil and filter changes.

The takeaway message I found on my vehicles - the "correct" oil change interval and oil type depends heavily on driving conditions and tolerance of the engine. If the engine is starting to consume oil, you have to catch it quickly and try and correct it, otherwise - nothing short of tearing down the engine will stop oil loss.

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