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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My Toyota Corolla 99 VE is burning 3qts of oil every 2000 miles. The
car has 90K miles on it,
and it has been burning oil at this rate for at least 15K miles.

I showed it to three car repair shops:
- Toyota dealer mechanic blamed worn piston rings and offered to
replace them for $1800.
- another Toyota mechanic said cylinders were out of round (egg shaped)
and offered to replace
the engine for $2750
- and another Toyota mechanic removed plugs and showed them to me. They
were dry and clean, some white stuff but no oil residue. He said if
piston rings or cylinder were a problem, the plugs would be covered
with oil. But the plugs are perfectly fine. He suggested a tune-up,
fuel injector cleaning and some other maintenance work for $380. He
said lack of tuneup can cause oil burning.

How to decide who is right here? Looking for advice, please help.

thanks,
Sergey
 
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Discussion Starter #2
SergeyR, 5/1/2006, 1:18:59 PM,
<[email protected]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> My Toyota Corolla 99 VE is burning 3qts of oil every 2000 miles. The
> car has 90K miles on it,
> and it has been burning oil at this rate for at least 15K miles.
>
> I showed it to three car repair shops:
> - Toyota dealer mechanic blamed worn piston rings and offered to
> replace them for $1800.
> - another Toyota mechanic said cylinders were out of round (egg
> shaped) and offered to replace
> the engine for $2750
> - and another Toyota mechanic removed plugs and showed them to me.
> They were dry and clean, some white stuff but no oil residue. He said
> if piston rings or cylinder were a problem, the plugs would be covered
> with oil. But the plugs are perfectly fine. He suggested a tune-up,
> fuel injector cleaning and some other maintenance work for $380. He
> said lack of tuneup can cause oil burning.
>
> How to decide who is right here? Looking for advice, please help.
>
> thanks,
> Sergey


Are you sure you don't have an oil LEAK? That is a lot of oil to burn
in 2000 miles.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
"SergeyR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi all,
>
> My Toyota Corolla 99 VE is burning 3qts of oil every 2000 miles. The
> car has 90K miles on it,
> and it has been burning oil at this rate for at least 15K miles.
>
> I showed it to three car repair shops:
> - Toyota dealer mechanic blamed worn piston rings and offered to
> replace them for $1800.
> - another Toyota mechanic said cylinders were out of round (egg shaped)
> and offered to replace
> the engine for $2750
> - and another Toyota mechanic removed plugs and showed them to me. They
> were dry and clean, some white stuff but no oil residue. He said if
> piston rings or cylinder were a problem, the plugs would be covered
> with oil. But the plugs are perfectly fine. He suggested a tune-up,
> fuel injector cleaning and some other maintenance work for $380. He
> said lack of tuneup can cause oil burning.
>
> How to decide who is right here? Looking for advice, please help.
>
> thanks,
> Sergey
>


It is impossible to tell who is correct without seeing the engine first
hand. 3 quarts of oil every 3,000 miles is a LOT of oil, and I would
imagine that if the engine is burning the oil, you would see clouds of smoke
coming out of the exhaust at startup or heavy acceleration.

If the third Toyota technician found that the plugs are clean and do not
have an oil residue, I'd suspect that the oil is leaking somewhere. A lack
of tune-up will not cause the car to burn oil, although lack of routine oil
changes can.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies. I changed oil regularly on it, around every
4K.

Neither of the three mechanics could find any oil leaks in the car.
Some time exhaust gas looks white, especially in winter, I've seen a
cloud of white smoke coming on startup. Rear bumper is covered in some
black stuff above the exhaust pipe but the third mechanic said it was
soot from rich mixture, not oil in exhaust.

How to detect oil leak? I have been paying attention to the garage
floor but never seen oil drips on it.

Is it possible to ask them to conduct some tests, like compression or
something, to prove their diagnosis?

thanks,
Sergey
 
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Discussion Starter #5
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Thanks for your replies. I changed oil regularly on it, around every
> 4K.
>
> Neither of the three mechanics could find any oil leaks in the car.
> Some time exhaust gas looks white, especially in winter, I've seen a
> cloud of white smoke coming on startup. Rear bumper is covered in some
> black stuff above the exhaust pipe but the third mechanic said it was
> soot from rich mixture, not oil in exhaust.
>
> How to detect oil leak? I have been paying attention to the garage
> floor but never seen oil drips on it.
>
> Is it possible to ask them to conduct some tests, like compression or
> something, to prove their diagnosis?
>
> thanks,
> Sergey
>


The cloud of smoke at startup seems to indicate leaking valve stem oil
seals, as does the sooty buildup on the bumper. If the mixture were too
rich, the vehicle's on board diagnostics system should catch the improper
air/fuel mixture.

Those clues (clouds of smoke at startup) are important ones that you need to
share with whoever is diagnosing the car if they did not specifically ask
you.

It is possible to check for bad rings and elongated cylinders with
compression and leakdown tests. Fortunately, valve stem oil seals are less
expensive to replace. Ask your technician to check them out.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Ray,

The mechanics did not ask me about the smoke or the soot. They didn't
mention valve stem
seals either. I will talk to them about it.

When I hear about $2700 worth of repairs I am becoming very distrustful
:) One last question to you:
- Can mechanic run some tests or a visual inspection to diagnose valve
steam seals? If a mechanic
says "I am sure it is cylinders not valves" or the other way around,
how can they corroborate
their statement?

thanks,
Sergey
 
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Discussion Starter #7
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Ray,
>
> The mechanics did not ask me about the smoke or the soot. They didn't
> mention valve stem
> seals either. I will talk to them about it.
>
> When I hear about $2700 worth of repairs I am becoming very distrustful
> :) One last question to you:
> - Can mechanic run some tests or a visual inspection to diagnose valve
> steam seals? If a mechanic
> says "I am sure it is cylinders not valves" or the other way around,
> how can they corroborate
> their statement?
>
> thanks,
> Sergey
>


If you left your car overnight at the service facility and the mechanic was
able to start it up and see the smoke himself, then he didn't have to ask.
If you did not leave your car overnight, then the mechanic should have asked
you if you noticed smoke coming out of the exhaust. Likewise, he may have
noticed the sooty buildup on the bumper.

there are several ways to check whether oil is leaking past the valve stem
seals. If the service facility has a borescope, they can remove a spark
plug and actually look inside the cylinder and see if there is oil pooled on
top of the piston after being parked overnight. If the service facility
does not have a borescope, they can still park it overnight and start it up
in the morning and see what comes out the exhaust.

As I mentioned before, it is possible to check rings and cylinders by doing
compression and leakdown measurements.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #8
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Ray,
>
> The mechanics did not ask me about the smoke or the soot. They didn't
> mention valve stem
> seals either. I will talk to them about it.
>
> When I hear about $2700 worth of repairs I am becoming very distrustful
> :) One last question to you:
> - Can mechanic run some tests or a visual inspection to diagnose valve
> steam seals? If a mechanic
> says "I am sure it is cylinders not valves" or the other way around,
> how can they corroborate
> their statement?
>
> thanks,
> Sergey


They can show you the results of their compression and/or vacuum gauge
tests. These are sort of "old school" diagnostics & don't know whether
anyone uses them anymore in these days of OBD readers.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
"Mike Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Ray,
>>
>> The mechanics did not ask me about the smoke or the soot. They didn't
>> mention valve stem
>> seals either. I will talk to them about it.
>>
>> When I hear about $2700 worth of repairs I am becoming very distrustful
>> :) One last question to you:
>> - Can mechanic run some tests or a visual inspection to diagnose valve
>> steam seals? If a mechanic
>> says "I am sure it is cylinders not valves" or the other way around,
>> how can they corroborate
>> their statement?
>>
>> thanks,
>> Sergey

>
> They can show you the results of their compression and/or vacuum gauge
> tests. These are sort of "old school" diagnostics & don't know whether
> anyone uses them anymore in these days of OBD readers.


Compression, leakdown, and vacuum gauge readings are still very useful
although in this case, manifold vacuum will not point out the cause of the
leak.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I have the same problem with my Toyota. My 99 Corolla has 113K miles
on it and burns oil as well. I've seen several mechanics and all said
that the problem would be stuck rings, major engine problems, things
I'm not ready to pay for. I've tried oil additives, cleaners, etc...
Nothing seems to slow the burning and I know there are no leaks. My
back bumper is graying from the burning, and while I don't see puffs of
smoke when I start up the car, I see it when I'm driving on the
interstate and the car downshifts to passing gear. Would you mind
keeping me up to date on your findings? I thought my Corolla was the
only one with this problem.

Thanks

Ray O wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> >I have enough to go talk to the mechanics now. Thanks a lot for your
> > help!
> >
> > Sergey
> >

> You're welcome and good luck!
>
>
> --
>
> Ray O
> (correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #13
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I have the same problem with my Toyota. My 99 Corolla has 113K miles
> on it and burns oil as well. I've seen several mechanics and all said
> that the problem would be stuck rings, major engine problems, things
> I'm not ready to pay for. I've tried oil additives, cleaners, etc...
> Nothing seems to slow the burning and I know there are no leaks. My
> back bumper is graying from the burning, and while I don't see puffs of
> smoke when I start up the car, I see it when I'm driving on the
> interstate and the car downshifts to passing gear. Would you mind
> keeping me up to date on your findings? I thought my Corolla was the
> only one with this problem.
>
> Thanks
>


Unfortunately, smoking when downshifting is an indication of ring problems.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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