'98 Camry using oil- No Leaks, No smoke. - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 08-31-2009, 11:24 PM
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'98 Camry using oil- No Leaks, No smoke.

'98 Camry 162k miles, uses about a quart every 1000 miles. Odd thing is it doesn't smoke, nor leak ANYTHING. I put a new timing belt, water pump, change all the seals including the oil pump.
When I got the car about a year ago, the oil pump seal was leaking pretty badly. This is when I went ahead and changed WP, TB, etc....
Any clue where this oil is going? No oil in water, leaks or smoke.
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#2 Old 09-01-2009, 12:45 PM
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since you say you did the oil pump, i'm assuming it's a 4cyl.

do you get the puff of smoke on cold start, like in the morning? worn valve stem seals will do this, and eventually show up as lost oil, but it takes a while. is the engine sludged from lack of oil changes by previous owner? pull the oil cap or even the valve cover and check it out.

how's your driving style? my miata has 166k miles and doesn't smoke, but it consumes about a quart of oil every 1500 miles when i drive it hard (ie: on the track/autocross) and about every 3000 miles just driving on public roads.

if this is the case, you can try stepping up one notch on your oil grade. i went from 10w30 to 10w40 in the miata and literally halved my oil consumption. i WAS using about a quart every 750-1000 miles when using 10w30.

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#3 Old 09-01-2009, 02:39 PM
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Yea it's a 4 cyl. No smoke EVER, not even at start up. (My old Camry's use to 92-93). Put a new valve cover on it last year also (forgot to mention) and underneath was relatively clean, no build up.
My driving style is very easy. I have never hammered my rides (well maybe the Gixxer).
I use Castroil 20-50 and have for years, in everything, even my bikes, 4 wheelers etc.
I think I'm gonna try the Seafoam thing. I've always used it just in the tank.
Been doing alot of reading on here. Seems to be a few people with Camry's that have this problem.
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#4 Old 09-01-2009, 03:01 PM
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i did the seafoam in the oil thing in the miata many moons ago, but that was to cure sticky lifters. i guess if you have stuck rings or something where it's a little more oil burnoff than nromal, then seafoam could fix that... won't hurt anything as long as you do it right!

curious though - why do you run such a heavy oil in your motors? ours were designed for 5w30 or 10w30, not 20w50. seems the oil pump might have trouble pushing something that thick... and it might have a hard time getting down into bearings as well.

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#5 Old 09-01-2009, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Gibson99 View Post
i did the seafoam in the oil thing in the miata many moons ago, but that was to cure sticky lifters. i guess if you have stuck rings or something where it's a little more oil burnoff than nromal, then seafoam could fix that... won't hurt anything as long as you do it right!

curious though - why do you run such a heavy oil in your motors? ours were designed for 5w30 or 10w30, not 20w50. seems the oil pump might have trouble pushing something that thick... and it might have a hard time getting down into bearings as well.
Never had ANY trouble with "heavy" oil. Guess it's because of my old 92 Civic. Purchased brand new in '92. Drove it for 15 years (Castroil 20-50).
It had 412k miles when it died. Oil pan was as clean as new metal, NO sludge.
Been using 20-50 for YEARS, year round.
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#6 Old 09-01-2009, 06:38 PM
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Just because your Civic used 20w50, doesn't mean ALL cars can use it. Toyotas (Camrys in particular) are quite picky with what they'll take... I won't go over 10w40 on an older Camry... 5w30 on anything less than 5-10 years.

Put it this way - I'm yet to come across anyone driving a Camry that uses that thicker oil in their car... maybe my mate's 88 Camry, that's about it. Not saying you're wrong or right or anything, just saying that just because it works well on another engine, doesn't mean it's gonna work on all of them.



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#7 Old 09-02-2009, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by whip_cracker View Post
Just because your Civic used 20w50, doesn't mean ALL cars can use it. Toyotas (Camrys in particular) are quite picky with what they'll take... I won't go over 10w40 on an older Camry... 5w30 on anything less than 5-10 years.

Put it this way - I'm yet to come across anyone driving a Camry that uses that thicker oil in their car... maybe my mate's 88 Camry, that's about it. Not saying you're wrong or right or anything, just saying that just because it works well on another engine, doesn't mean it's gonna work on all of them.

Good point.... BUT I speak from my own experiences. This is not the first Camry I've owned. I've used "heavy" oil in every one and everything I've owned, (Several Civic's, Camrys, Tacoma, numerous bikes, ATV's etc's.. (You get the pix) I stick with what works, for me anyway.
Opinions vary though.
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#8 Old 09-02-2009, 01:19 AM
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Try switching to Castrols or kendalls (or any high mileage) oil. I messed around and forgot to tell my mechanic to NOT put regular oil in my 96 camry, which back then, had 164K and it would burn (not smoke) alot of oil...and have a smokey smell when I turned on the a/c. I had to add oil constantly.

My last oil change was a few hundred miles ago with castrol green jug, and toyota filter...no smoke smell, and its still at the full line.

If there is one thing out there I wont buy cheap is oil. High mileage oil is a deffo if you are above 75,000 miles.

Oh and I dont think heavy oil makes a difference. My cap recommended to use 10W30 and it works fine.

Last edited by 96ToyoCam164K; 09-02-2009 at 01:23 AM.
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#9 Old 09-02-2009, 02:16 AM
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All engines use some oil. Burning a quart every 1000 miles on an engine with 162,000 miles is not too bad. Also, you won't see any smoke at that rate of oil consumption. When you see a car smoking heavily as it is being driven down the street, that car is probably burning a quart every 50-100 miles. 20W-50 is pretty thick oil today. In your climate it won't hurt the engine, but it may effect gas mileage just a bit. When I owned a 98 with the 5SFE engine (totaled in an accident) the recommended oil was 5W-30. It was replaced by an 07 with the 2AZ engine. For that engine Toyota recommends 0W-20 or 5W-20 oil. Brand new that engine burns 1/2 quart every 1500-2000 miles.

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#10 Old 09-07-2009, 04:42 PM
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I have a 99 Toyota Camry 4cyl. At about 160,000 mi it too began "loosing" oil about 1 qt every 1000 mi. Since I am a motor head, I went to work and changed the valve oil seals (a real pain), the oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, as well as all the gaskets and seals on the timing belt face of the engine. After all that work the engine was as dry as a desert on the outside(no visible leaks at all), compression check was very good and oil seals were doing their job too. Oil was not leaking or being burned.

Yet the loss of oil continued!! The culprit was the rubber seal on the inside of the oil fill cap. The hard rubber seal had become very, very hard and was not sealing completely. What was happening was oil was leaking from the cap at the valve cover and running down the back side of the engine and pooling in the casting holes within the intake manifold. As I ran the car, the oil would eventually burn off. The leak was not large enough or in a position to show up on the garage floor or on the bottom side of the engine.

I replaced the oil fill cap seal (Toyota OEM part) and no more oil loss. The car now looses maybe 1/16-1/8 of a quart of oil between oil changes (every 3-5000mi).

The oil filler cap seal may or may not be a solution to your oil loss, but for the cost of an oil filler cap seal, I think it may be worth a try.

Another thing I find very curious is that none of the Toyota maintenance manuals recommend or even mention changing that oil filler cap seal or that it exists. If they do mention changing the seal, then I missed it. I did not even know there was a seal there until I started poking around the inside of the cap with a metal pick. When I found there was in fact a seal then I called my local Toyota Parts dealer and they confirmed its existence. Daaa!!

Hope this helps. Good luck. Let us know what you find.

Joe
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#11 Old 09-07-2009, 06:30 PM
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i know i wouldnt use 20w50 in a 5s. case in point i had 10w40 in my celi and my dad told me to use 20w50 cause the engine was burning oil. well about 1 month later that motor blew and the oil pump gear was impossible to turn by hand

OP stick with a 5 or a 10w-30 synthetic and change every 3000 miles.

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#12 Old 09-08-2009, 09:45 PM
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There is no "problem" with using 20w50 oil in a Camry, 5SFE engine or not.....instead of the 5w30 spec'd. That will NOT harm your engine....or damage the oil pump....etc. That is a MYTH. The oil pump on the 5SFE engine, for instance, is NOT some "special" device that will only work with thinner oils. What the thicker oil WILL do is increase fuel comsumption a little (minus 1 to 2 mpg). There is no need to use thicker oil in any engine without lots of wear....i.e., at least 100,000 miles. But, after that, especially if oil consumption appears or increases, then thicker oil is an accepted solution, to reduce oil consumption. It will make a difference in an older engine, because a thicker grade, such as 20w50, for instance, has more shear strength, by definition, than 5w30.....so the oil will stay put on the cylinder walls better. Thicker oil also will not be consumed as easily...and will help to restore lost compression somewhat, due to worn rings.
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#13 Old 09-09-2009, 12:11 AM
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Check to see if yer PCV valve is clean and working. Have you taken a peek inside yer throttle body? I'm gonna guess it's probably coated with oil and dirt and will need a good cleaning.

You could put in a oil catch system between the PCV valve and the air plenum...like I did on my wife's 2001 Camry 4cyl auto with a homemade catch jar.




I also put some Auto-RX in her car in the hopes it will clean up the engine and keep the oil loss to a minimum.
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#14 Old 09-11-2009, 08:34 AM
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I have to agree with bcp477 and r1gal Heavy oil didnt cause the oil pump failure. The reason that thinner oils are used is for fuel economy and modern engines have closer tolerances than engines of years past. I will say that you can go too heavy for any application. In my old 85 Supra I would use 20-50w during the summer but a 10-30w for the winter. Using a quart per 1000 miles is well within any OEM standards if you ever have a problem with a new vehicle. Personally I think thats unacceptable but try and get them to replace your engine if you us that much oil in a vehicle under warrenty. Just my 2 cents.
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