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Discussion Starter #1
I have found a lot of people having problems with there 99 corollas having issues with the engine drinking oil at a very rapid pace and no signs of leaks and no smoke. Well my wife bought her 99 corolla with the 1ZZFE engine last July and she thought it was a great deal for 5,000 total. Well 3 weeks after getting it the oil light come on and all the oil was gone!!! Well I told her with out income tax refund I would fix it and I thought it was stem seals and I replaced all of them and the old seals were badly worn and I put on a new timing kit plus water pump, etc and the problem was just as bad. I was stumped and figure it has to be rings. I read online about everyone having issues with these engines and I didnt want to buy a rebuilt block and have the same issue.

Well I called a machine shop here that has been around for ages. As soon as I told him the 99 corolla engine he said "ahhhhhh one of those engines". He said that the problem is that when Toyota built the engines they put smaller pistons in the engine than what should of been in there and just put in oversized rings to compensate. They did this to make the initial startup and break in easier. Well after 30,000 or so miles the rings would wear down and then the oil consumption started and only gets worse. He said my rings were worn and sticking. He said for a temporary fix to reduce the oil consumption I could pull all the plugs out and dump a little transmission fluid into each cylinder and replace the plugs. He said to start the car and it would smoke like hell for a little bit but that transmission fluid would possibly free up the rings and reduce some carbon. But he said that your engine needs to be rebuilt.

I just thought some people may be interested in hearing this since so many people are baffled at this problem.
 

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uʍop-ǝpısdn
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That is good to know. It's strange though how my car is a 98 and hasn't had any of these problems. I've already got 125k miles on the motor and still no signs of oil burning. Perhaps the problem was only with 99+ years. I'm guessing since I have the 1st generation 1ZZFE motor that they didn't skimp and put in normal/oversized pistons. After that, they may have used undersized pistons and oversized rings to cut costs.
 

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Oh great!!!!!! i just bought my 99 prizm less then a month ago and now this post has scared the crap out of me!!!! i got nearly 3 years of payments to go.......................................................................................

iv always heard that toyotas were awesome cars with awesome engines and of all there cars..i had to get the one they went cheap on :thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown >< X(

PERFECT!!!
 

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We too have the oil burning problem in our '98 CE, although it burns at a rate close to 1 quart per oil change (3 months) so of course the low oil light never comes on. Still the problem exists yet that's really the only nagging problem with the car. We'll probably keep this for another year and then get rid of it and move on to another car.
 

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u&#653;op-&#477;p&#305;sdn
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Oh great!!!!!! i just bought my 99 prizm less then a month ago and now this post has scared the crap out of me!!!! i got nearly 3 years of payments to go.......................................................................................

iv always heard that toyotas were awesome cars with awesome engines and of all there cars..i had to get the one they went cheap on :thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown >< X(

PERFECT!!!
Not necessarily. I have over 125k on mine and I don't have any hint of burning. If you maintain it and give it a little TLC, it'll treat you right. I've run it on synthetic oil blends and now full synthetic oil ever since I owned it. Royal Purple really polishes and smooths out the internals and keeps everything lubricated and protected with their Synerlec additive.:D btw, I'm not running it stock either. I romp on the accelerator quite a bit and drive it hard. Still nothing wrong. I average 30-32 mpg too.
 

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Not necessarily. I have over 125k on mine and I don't have any hint of burning. If you maintain it and give it a little TLC, it'll treat you right. I've run it on synthetic oil blends and now full synthetic oil ever since I owned it. Royal Purple really polishes and smooths out the internals and keeps everything lubricated and protected with their Synerlec additive.:D btw, I'm not running it stock either. I romp on the accelerator quite a bit and drive it hard. Still nothing wrong. I average 30-32 mpg too.

well id feel alot better about it if i had bought the car new but it was used and has 87k on it but it dose look like it was taken care of really well.. the car has been running great so far and i use it as a delivery driver so i am testing the hell out of it.... so far it has not lost to much oil if any but i still over worry about things sometimes.. thanks for the uplifting reply
 

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My 99 Corolla VE apparently has this same engine. I have maintained it pretty well throughout the 90K miles and 8.5 years I've had it. It is now drinking oil at the rate of about 1 qt every 800 miles, so I have to put 3 quarts in to not be dry-stick at a 3000 mile oil change interval. My gas milage has just recently dropped off from 27-30 mpg to 24-26 mpg.

An engine rebuild seems an expensive proposition for a 9 year old car that is probably worth $2000 or less.
 

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u&#653;op-&#477;p&#305;sdn
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Problems like this are caused mainly from owner neglect and poor or little maintenance. If you put a little TLC into the car, it will serve you well. Preventative measures are always better than treating problems when they occur.
 

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I'm sitting on the fence with this. If you type Toyota oil consumption into Google you'll get a ton of extremists wanting to ban Toyota from the face of the earth. On the other hand, my early '70's VW beetle used to use a quart of oil every 850 miles like clockwork as stated in the owner's manual. My 98 Corolla uses about 1/2 litre between oil changes City driving and about a litre every 1000 km highway driving. Sooooo . . . I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the consumption scale. It's not a lot compared to what others describe but it's certainly not like my wife's big ol' buick with 270k that doesn't use any oil - no matter what kind of driving you do. Just my 2 cents . . .
 

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good lookin rolla
1998 Corolla 5 spd
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I'm sitting on the fence with this. If you type Toyota oil consumption into Google you'll get a ton of extremists wanting to ban Toyota from the face of the earth. On the other hand, my early '70's VW beetle used to use a quart of oil every 850 miles like clockwork as stated in the owner's manual. My 98 Corolla uses about 1/2 litre between oil changes City driving and about a litre every 1000 km highway driving. Sooooo . . . I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the consumption scale. It's not a lot compared to what others describe but it's certainly not like my wife's big ol' buick with 270k that doesn't use any oil - no matter what kind of driving you do. Just my 2 cents . . .
1 quart every 800 miles and i average 27 mpg 90% of that driving city so i don't mind the oil so much
 

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No oil useage

My '99 LE 5 Speed manual at 99k miles does not consume oil (at least not that can be seen). Always Castrol GTX 5w30, 3,000 miles between changes.
 

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my 2000 Prizm drinks about 1 quart every 1500 miles, so I put a quart halfway between oil changes and next time its low its time for an oil change anyways. And I have done every preventative maintenance. this car has been babied. I'd love to have the engine rebuilt, cuase it still averages 31 mpg, but I can't afford that project.
 

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Rachael
1996 Camry
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I've been doing a lot of searching on this forum today, because yesterday, my bf's noisy little Corolla had the oil light come on. Pull out the dipstick, and the Mobil 1 I put in there not too long along was black as soot, and very low.

The three solutions I've found to be said the most often in every thread are:

1) Just keep topping off the oil, maybe run through an engine "cleaner"
2) Change the valve gaskets (I think that's what I remember?) and piston rings
3) Rebuild the motor

Could we all possibly get some more input on any of these from someone who's delt with this problem long-term? Sounds like this is a common issue...

EDIT: Lemme just rephrase that, because there's a lot of good info in this thread. I mostly want to know if there's anyone who has simply topped off the oil as needed for quite some time and not experienced the symptoms worsening?
 

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Resident asshole
Corolla
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He said that the problem is that when Toyota built the engines they put smaller pistons in the engine than what should of been in there and just put in oversized rings to compensate.
Actually no, he's wrong. Toyota used a ring provider that gave them less than good piston rings and alot of them were broken quite early. Hence it burns oil. As for pouring ATF into the cylinders, thats another chapter in redneck repairs.

couldnt this kind of thing be called a defect and coulda/shoulda been recalled for it?
it is a defect and toyota keeps its mouth hush and fixes it to the customers bill.

All you really have to do is change the rings into better ones and the problem should go away, as for the "piston rings sticking" clause... I dont buy that, piston rings are a spring and if they would stick, the spring force would be gone... anyways, thats my opinion, you cant revive worn out parts with magic.
 

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The burning oil issue is a viscous cycle. Once an engine begings to burn oil the residue and excess carbon developed as a result of oil in the combustion chamber begins to build up. It covers your exhaust and intake valves it, causing a decrease in volumetric effieciency, it builds up inside the combustion chamber causing preignition, detonation an increase in the compression ratio causing increased combustion temperatures. It also builds up in the ring lands of the piston. If anyone has ever tried to clean up an engine that has been burning oil, you will know just how thick, sticky and difficult that stuff is to get off. Once it builds in the ring lands it in some cases causes the rings to 'stick', by this I mean the amount of holding force that the sticky crap has exceeds the spring force that the little thin piston ring can exert and it doesn't full expand out against the walls of the cylinder. Now your allowing more oil to pass the rings and enter the cylinder, which is now, as I said before, full of carbon from burning oil. That carbon actual acts like a sponge and sucks up the oil and the cycle continues.

What does transmission fluid do? Transmission fluid, like most other hydraulic fluids contains alot of detergents, to keep the systems they are used in clean and free of 'crap'. Putting transmission fluid into the cylinder may help to soften and break up some of the carbon in the combustion chamber and allow it to exit through the exhaust valve, to where though? Just down the line a bit, a huge cloud of smoke usually and, the begining of a plugged cat' convertor.

General Motors has used a technique similar to this on their northstar engine to resolve oil consumption issues. The spark plugs are removed, a solution (not transmission fluid) is pumped via eight little tubes from a machine, into the cylinders. It sits for a few hours, as much of the stuff is sucked back out, the engine is turned over, without the plugs in it to expell as much more crap as possible. The plugs are reinstalled, and its fired up. I have seen this done and the car smokes like you wouldn't believe for about ten minutes. And they claim it slows, not stops, slows oil consumption down to a level that is 'acceptable'.

So....the moral of this story. There are many many things you could do or try to slow down or stop you oil consumption. But there is, like the last post said, only ONE way to stop it for good. That is to solve the underlying or root cause. The rings. Replace the rings, maybe pistons if they are too undersized for the bore. Clean everything, then clean it again. Put her back together and save your grandchildrens air.

My two cents only.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I have an update on our 99 Corolla with the oil problem. We were driving the car on the interstate and the check engine light come on and the car started to run rough. At the light the engine definetley had a miss. I pulled the plugs and cylinder 1,2,4 plugs were all white ash coated, cylinder 3 plug was oil soaked. I bought new plugs and stuck a new one in and it still ran the same and after running for only about 10-15 seconds I pulled the plug out and it was oil coated already. Well I later did a compression test and cylinders 1,2,4 had roughly about 180 and cylinder 3 only had about 35!!! I decided then to dump some gas down cylinder 3 and put the plug back in and it ran fine for a few seconds so I am guessing the fuel injector for 3 is bad. I pulled the wire off and put the plug in for 3 and touched it to the engine block and it fired strong.

I also tried putting transmission fluid down cylinder 3 and starting it hoping the transmission fluid may free up a ring if it were stuck but no luck. I determined at that point that the ring or rings in cylinder 3 were either stuck or broke.

I decided I am going to do a rebuild. I pulled the engine out. I was going to remove the head but 2 of the bolts became stripped :( so I will have the machine shop drill them out for me. I was going to pull the pistons out of the bottom but there was one hex head socket I did not have and would need it to remove the last bolt for the oil filter fitting. I asked the machine shop to keep a mental note about cylinder 3 and I am waiting for them to break it down.

But I am going to have them redo the head with valve stem seals, valve guides, and to check for an even surface. I am going to have them check the cylinders for out of roundness and most likely will tell them to bore the cylinders .10 over and have new pistons and rings installed. I am also having them check the crank and I am going to have them install the pistons, rings, bearings, and the crank for me. I dont care to fool with that part.

I told my wife that if by some impossible miracle chance the oil consumption was still there. There would be nothing else that could be repaired. But I know this will fix it because it will be like a brand new engine.
 

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Rachael
1996 Camry
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How does everyone here feel about seafoam? Some people swear by it, never tried it myself... I know even if it worked it wouldn't solve the problem, but perhaps buy some more time before more serious complications arise?
 

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i wonder if the warranty i got with my car would cover this problem... what i know they wont cover is basic stuff you replace like plugs and brake pads/rotors... they also dont cover bad gaskets.. lol.... is a piston ring considered a gasket? that may b a stupid question ^^; .. how would i go about telling them the problem to see if they will cover it?
 

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Rachael
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Isn't it actually considered a bushing? I could be totally wrong...
 
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