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By autotech2612, June 2, 2017

Haven't been on here in awhile, except to ask about the Matrix last month

Heard a funny noise two nights ago idling, like I had low oil. Turns out I was two quarts low. Filled to mid-point on stick with Napa 530 synthetic blend

I did run the car for 15-20 minutes on the highway the day prior in fourth gear at 55mph with a/c on. Not sure why I wasn't in 5th.

Since filling, the car sounds back to normal. I'm now at 268,000 on original engine. Do you really think I harmed anything, considering the car takes 3.4 quarts? Need to keep this car a few more years.

Your engine oil capacity with filter is 3.9 quarts. Keep it at the full mark... Being 2-1/2 quarts low (to have it back to full, and not just at mid-point) is quite deplorable and deserving of severe condemnation but if it still runs normally, it should be okay for a while still. Time will tell.

Is it 5W-30?

Napa synthetic blend 530 and conventional 530

Just got done driving 55 miles one way on highway, no issues and no unusual noises at idle; oil at halfway point on dipstick.

The other day, I traveled roughly one day at 1.9 - 2.0 quarts low in mostly highway driving and a/c usage.

That amount of distance - should be fine, given that is sounds like you topped off quickly. If it was bone dry and not 2 quarts down - that would be an entirely different story.

Still - I'd keep an eye on the oil levels - once you get a hint of oil consumption, running the sump a little low on oil, even for a short amount of time, can lead to eye-popping oil consumption down the road.

So far, so good on it...but still hear a mechanical-growling (low sound) from time to time when idling fully-warmed up.

Ever since Dom and you stated it, I have to be more careful about the oil level now. Before it was that low I was running synthetic blend. I have switched to conventional in the 85-94 degree outside temperatures and that has slowed consumption.

Changed the oil today with another genuine Toyota 1ZZ filter at 8,000 miles. I do mostly highway driving.

Yeah, when at temperature and idling - oil pressure is pretty low, maybe a handful PSI. Little too low for my tastes - but seems to work for many cars. Mechanical growling noise could be from anything - could be accessory related. Clunking/tapping noise that follows engine RPMs is what you have to worry about.

Even though I haven't seen excessive oil consumption - I get into the habit of checking the oil levels at least once a week. Oil quality now is a quantum leap ahead from what they were even a decade ago - just keep the same schedule you were running before, sounds like it is working for you.

I see at my local Meijer store, Quaker State has a five gallon jug of of full-synthetic 5W-20 for my roommate's Accord for $50. Apparently this is good for a year.

No clunking or tapping noises on my Corolla.

It was a nice surprise, however, to pull out those plugs and not see carbon/soot/oil

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