1998-2002 Corolla Excessive Oil Consumption Issues

#1
I was considering purchasing one of these cars and in doing a search on a 2001 Corolla at http://www.CarComplaints.com, I discovered that this generation of Corolla apparently is notorious for very high oil consumption.

Using Google, doing a keyword search -> Corolla, Burning Oil, I discovered there are many articles about this issue. Apparently the design temperature for the pistons in this engine was 120 degrees Celsius and the actual temperatures reached are 160 degrees Celsius, which causes the petroleum oil to sludge up and carbon to accumulate in the piston oil holes that allow oil to flow to the piston rings. This blocks those oil holes, preventing oil from getting to the piston rings and subsequently the piston rings wear very, very quickly, then allowing oil to be able to slip past the piston rings, into the combustion chamber and out the exhaust. Toyota has addressed this issue with an updated piston design with more oil holes in the piston.

To verify if your Corolla has this problem, quickly rev the engine up to 4,000+ rpm, release the accelerator and back several times and then look to see if a blue cloud of smoke has been created from the tailpipe of the car. Blue smoke equals oil burning and a lot of it.

This problem takes time to appear, as the oil holes in the pistons take time to get plugged up with sludge and carbon from petroleum oils. Top quality synthetic oils are far, far more resistant to the degrading affects of hot engine temperatures, (such as sludge and carbon build up).

The part number for the redesigned pistons is Toyota part # 13101-22142.

I was majorly disappointed to learn of this problem and that Toyota isn't stepping up to the plate, recalling these engines and rebuilding them at no charge. It would seem a class action lawsuit may be in order.
 
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#3
That's what I might do

I think my next step is to go 10 W30 - Or maybe 10W40

Than add Lucas Oil (1 quart in addition to the 10w30, 40)

And go from there. I was looking into getting Jasper engine put in... I dunno

I am still looking into the Amsoil flush and foam
 

Scott O'Kashan

Super Moderator
#4
Using thicker oil will make the problem worse, as the oil flows slower, which means it doesn't transfer heat as well, which means temperatures increase even more, creating even more sludge and carbon to plug up the piston oil holes.

Oil additives can have unplanned and negative affects, (like potentially damaging the catalytic converter), and upset the delicate chemical balance of a motor oil.

I think the only hope of freeing the stuck piston rings and cleaning out the oil holes in the pistons is by using AMSOIL Engine Flush about three times in a row, along with an inexpensive synthetic oil, combined with AMSOIL Power Foam, which can also free stuck/gummed up piston rings.

I sent you a private message with prices and ordering information. Give me a ring when you can and I'll have you order to you in just a few days.
 
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#5
What I don't get is how pistons get stuck???? And if they do, how do they contribute to oil consumption. I have been trying to figure this out over the past week
 
#6
Correct me if I am wrong ... but the compression rings are supposed to have a tight fit and should only be moving when the piston moves. Oil control ring is a different story.
 

Scott O'Kashan

Super Moderator
#7
What I don't get is how pistons get stuck???? And if they do, how do they contribute to oil consumption. I have been trying to figure this out over the past week
The piston rings get gummed up with sludge from the use of petroleum oils exposed to very hot engine temperatures, which the piston ring area is anyway. However, with this engine the intended design temperature for the pistons and piston ring area was supposed to be 120 C., but in reality it is 160 C., much hotter. So this causes increased amounts of sludge and carbon to form in the piston ring area and the rings subsequently get stuck and are unable to move, which causes a loss of oil control, allowing the oil to slip by the piston rings up into the combustion chamber where it is then burned and sent out the exhaust.

Petroleum oils are nowhere near as resistant to sludge and carbon build up as top performing synthetic oils are. Considering the problems Toyota has had with their engines using petroleum oils, I think it very likely this is why all new Toyota engines now come from the factory filled with synthetic oils. A good synthetic oil can prevent a lot of different problems for an engine.
 
#8
I well it looks like I am having this problem. 3 weeks ago I had full oil level. I noticed the smoke on startup and no leaks. Just checked the oil and I see nothing on the dipstick. Not happy. I guess this is why the person was selling it.

2002 Corolla S
 
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#9
It's a good thing you checked the oil before the engine destroyed itself.

How many miles does that three week period represent? Is that three weeks sitting in the driveway or a round trip across the U.S.A?

Do you have any idea what kind of oil was used in the engine and its viscosity?
 
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#10
Bought the car the 1st week of this month (Sept 2014). Owner said he just changed the oil. Don't know what type. I checked the oil level the next day I brought the car home so I know it was full. I have put 1k miles on the car. I only notice the car slightly smokin on startup. I am going to change the oil tomorrow. I see a post that thicker oil isn't the best idea. So I will put in the oil it asks for. I believe 5w 30?

Is there anything I can do? Thinking of using the restore additive.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/ima...rumb=FXKVgiQq1//&fr=yfp-hrtab-901&fr2=piv-web
 
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#11
Yes, read the comments in the thread.

Pour in oil additives are not recommended, as they upset the delicate chemical balance of the motor oil and can have unplanned and negative affects. The issue isn't engine wear anyway, but the oil holes in the pistons becoming plugged up with petroleum oil sludge and varnish.
 
#13
I am in the same boat as you

It's ashame cause I am getting 34-36 mpg.

If what I am doing isn't working (flushing, powerfoam, amsoil) I am just going to run this thign to the ground.

In the mean time ill put in 10w40, Lucas, etc

So I am up creek without a paddle? Nothing but an engine rebuild to fix the issue?
 
#14
I got 38mpg on the 1st tank of gas. Car runs good and drives good. Sucks because I bought it for my sons 1st car. Guy I bought it from said "everything is perfect you won't need to do anything". Just gas and go. Bull

Yea and a quart of oil every week..........
 
#16
I am in the same boat as you

It's ashame cause I am getting 34-36 mpg.

If what I am doing isn't working (flushing, powerfoam, amsoil) I am just going to run this thign to the ground.

In the mean time ill put in 10w40, Lucas, etc
Do not use Lucas or any other oil additive with AMSOIL synthetic motor oil. Firstly, the drain intervals will be immediately be reduced to only standard drain intervals, which is costly. Secondly, the AMSOIL product warranty will be immediately voided. Thirdly, pour in oil additives upset the delicate chemical balance of a motor oil and can have unplanned and negative affects. If the recipe for a cake called for three eggs and we added two more, (pour in oil additive), the cake would be destroyed.

The issue with this vintage of engine is not engine wear, (that pour in oil additives attempt to address), but the oil holes in the piston becoming plugged up with petroleum oil sludge, varnish and carbon. Over time a good synthetic oil like AMSOIL has a chance of helping to clean those oil holes out and help to restore normal piston ring operation and reduce oil consumption. This wont happen immediately, but over time.
 
#17
Well after 3 weeks and 1k of driving it was down 1 1/2 quarts. So filled and i will keep an eye on it from this point. It doesnt smoke much at all. Really only during startup when cold. BUt needless to say i will now keep a few quarts of oil in the trunk.

When i filled it, I did put in some Engine Restore and Lubricant. They sell it in 4,6, and 8cyl cans. I used this stuff 25 yrs ago on a car that was smoking slightly and it really helped it stop. I also used a can of the seafoam cleaner and lub in the throttle body. I think its basically the same thing as the Amsoil Power Foam. Just cant find that in the local autoparts around my area, but the seafoam was availible. This cleans up a lot of the carbon buildup in the throttle body and intake. Right now the run is running smoother since doing that. WHen i 1st looked in the throttle body you can see the black around the throttle plate as well as when you opened the throttle plate. Now its spotless.
 
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#18
SeaFoam is not like AMSOIL Power Foam, which is a far superior and versatile product in my humble opinion. :)

To check for oil consumption/burning, start the engine, leave the transmission in Park and really rev up the engine up and down, very quickly several times. Have someone else do this for you, or vice versa and watch the tailpipe closely for blue smoke pouring out. If you see that, it's oil burning.

Another thing you can do is to remove the spark plugs and visually inspect them to see if they look oil fouled. A normal spark plug will have a tan color to it, but a spark plug from an engine burning oil will have a darker color to it.
 
#19
My 99 rolla burns oil at a rate of one quart every 500 miles and gets 38 mpgs. It's done this since I bought it two years and 40,000 miles ago (has approximately 100,000 miles on the engine).

I change my plugs often (around 20K) but they don't have any dark coloration about them, though they do foul up quickly. It's more of a white build up. I use the cheapest NGK plugs so it only cost about $10 per change.

I use Walmart Supertech 5W30 as I don't believe I want to spend the extra money for synthetic. I've tried it and it seemed to go through the engine faster.

I only paid $1700 for the car and I figure I'll get a couple more years out of it for a total of four years, so I can't complain much. Haven't put much money into the car with the exception of last weekend when I changed the rear drums and shoes and the front pads.

As a side note, from what I've read about the clogged piston ring drain hole, it gets so carboned up that people have had to drill the hole out so I don't think any kind of additive or synthetic oil is going to clear that build up.

When I'm coasting down a hill, not giving it much gas and then give it gas, I can see blue smoke come out of the exhaust briefly but then it goes away.
 
#20
sds - What synthetic oil did you try? They are vastly different from brand to brand and many of them aren't even really synthetic oils but are merely petroleum oils subjected to more refining. Buyer beware.
 
#26
You're very welcome. I enjoy helping people with their cars, which is why I'm an AMSOIL Dealer, which provides me the ability to help people in a very big way. :yes:
 
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#29
Well we must have the 1998 Toyota Corolla from Heaven. We bought it new, it always used oil to some degree. The owners manual said this may happen, one qt in 1,000 miles is normal. I totally disagree, but on the other hand. Our Corolla has never seen a Toyota dealership since it left the showroom. Oil is cheap, I add it when it needs it. This has kept the engine happy for 17 years. I'm not complaining! This Corolla has 132,000 miles on it, all we ever did was change the oil, replace the brakes and front rotors. I have never changed a spark plug in it yet! The serpentine belt is still in good shape! This spring I have made it a point to replace the belt, spark plugs, and water pump. This is our commuter car now I replaced her Corolla with a Toyota Scion tC for Christmas this year.

OH! The Air Conditioner will freeze you out!
 
#30
Outstanding

OUTSTANDING Scott. Very informative video. Thank you, I know I have some blow-by. Every once in a while I'll get a few drops of oil from the front main seal, and it seeps from the back side of the valve cover. What really gives the blow-by away is. One day my wife went into CVS to pick up a prescription, the parking lot is on a fair incline. When she came out 10 minutes later, our Corolla was at the other end of the parking lot. That was perfect, because. No one was parked behind her. Every once in a while when we shut it down, it will be on that low compression cylinder and it will bump to the next one. If we are in the car when it happens we let it go to the next position in the firing order and step on the brake pedal and it stays there. Most of the time we use the E brake.
 
#31
Well I was planing on rebuilding my engine and maybe getting some more power out of it. I want to turbo charge mine 2000 corolla but i wanted to figure out why I was losing oil. I have to put a new bottle of oil in every other time I fill up the gas. I also had oil on my spark plugs but a quick change of a valve cover gasket fixed that. I got to get my car fix so I can pass emissions.
 
#32
Hello,
I've noticed that almost all of the oil is gone from my 2000 Corolla 1.6 VVT-i about 2 weeks ago. Unfortunatelly I forgot to check the oil before that so I have no idea how many time was needed for the oil to dissappear. I've refilled it with a non-synthetic 10W-40 oil because thats what I had. It was about 3/4 full last time I've checked and I've gone 3-4 full tanks of gas with it since the refill. I see here that this type of oil is not recommended for this engine. Is it bad for the engine or simply it eats more of it while operates? So when should I completely change the oil for a 5W-40 or 30? Do I have time or should I change it ASAP?
 
#33
My wife's 99 Corolla Seca 1600 is coming up to it's 180,000 mile service, runs very sweet like new. It has only had 10w40 mineral oils of different brands over the years, has been changed every 6,000 miles & only burns a pint between oil changes. For being a good girl, it's getting new spark plugs on the next service.
 
#36
Its the porting holes on the piston itself.Toyota made them to small or not enough of them. So the spring that seperates your oil rings gets gummed up causing the two rings to stick together allowing oil to slip past into the cylinder and burn off. Ive noticed on 1st gen 1zz's the problem is not as bad. Maybe toyota changed ring size or piston size on the second gens.
 
#37
The piston rings get gummed up with sludge from the use of petroleum oils exposed to very hot engine temperatures, which the piston ring area is anyway. However, with this engine the intended design temperature for the pistons and piston ring area was supposed to be 120 C., but in reality it is 160 C., much hotter. So this causes increased amounts of sludge and carbon to form in the piston ring area and the rings subsequently get stuck and are unable to move, which causes a loss of oil control, allowing the oil to slip by the piston rings up into the combustion chamber where it is then burned and sent out the exhaust.

Petroleum oils are nowhere near as resistant to sludge and carbon build up as top performing synthetic oils are. Considering the problems Toyota has had with their engines using petroleum oils, I think it very likely this is why all new Toyota engines now come from the factory filled with synthetic oils. A good synthetic oil can prevent a lot of different problems for an engine.
 
#38
I got 230 thousand on my 2000.i use the 5w 30 petrolium.oil I do put some marvel mytrwy oil.un has and oil sometimes seen to run better in chevron or Texaco. But does ok on cheap oil gets 29 to 30 mph yet. Vvtenfine and aluminum air intake..yea might use quarter quart in 4 thousand miles not bad considering.
 
#39
I got 230 thousand on my 2000.i use the 5w 30 petrolium.oil I do put some marvel mytrwy oil.un has and oil sometimes seen to run better in chevron or Texaco. But does ok on cheap oil gets 29 to 30 mph yet. Vvtenfine and aluminum air intake..yea might use quarter quart in 4 thousand miles not bad considering.
I got 230 thousand on my 2000.i use the 5w 30 petrolium.oil I do put some marvel mytrwy oil.un has and oil sometimes seen to run better in chevron or Texaco. But does ok on cheap oil gets 29 to 30 mph yet. Vvtenfine and aluminum air intake..yea might use quarter quart in 4 thousand miles not bad considering.
 
#40
Met marvel mystery oil in gas,and oil sometimes if low on oil.1vv engine I guess you call it.used gas,at was mart or pilot .aimetimes chevron.does ok on5w30 e wry 4 ton5 thousand.
 
#41
Sorry to say, but Its typically not going to be an easy fix with just an oil or fuel additive when it’s to the point of using a quart a week.

Have you ever had old pistons out of an engine and attempted to clean the residue off? The aluminum piston is actually softer than the crusty deposits.

The only likely way I see that working is if you know about it and catch it early.

I got my car (70K)with no knowledge of these issues, and was quite bummed learning the sad truth. The car ran too smooth at idle for a 4 cylinder engine, even with balance shafts there should be some chop there, a pulse.

One day I had downshifted very hard, and at the next stop light, I noticed the idle had become a bit rough.
Thinking that I just broke something, the light turned green and I soon noticed that the car pulled harder.

After some research revealed the issue, I figured I didn’t have much to lose, and hatched a plan.
After a compression test confirmed my suspicions, I had my wife pick up some Chem-Dip carburetor soaking solution and some atf on her next trip to Walmart.

With the oil drained from the sump, plug still removed, I positioned the pistons all half way up in the cylinders and poured some of the chem dip into each spark plug hole overnight, some rocking of the crank.
After blowing the solution out of the cylinders, I poured in some atf and rocked the engine back and forth a bit.
Replacing the oil with some cheap oil and running it for a few days before repeating the chem dip, and then going back to using Mobil 1, 5w40, marketed towards diesel trucks.
I change it every 2K miles as I have a short commute, and if you read the data sheet, it stated that the oil is for Diesel engines and high performance gas engines, whatever that means.
The compression has been restored to 165 across all, up from 135 - 155. I’m not sure if I will ever be confident that the tiny holes in the pistons are cleared however.
The car now consumes a half a quart every 2K miles, half as much as before this started, some 30K miles back.

The chem dip was a reckless move, and my advice would be to use that same oil I mentioned and change it every 2K, Amsoil stuff won’t anything hurt either, they make high quality products.
 
#42
Hello All,
I have a Toyota Corola 2002 G edition.I run almost 130k ,it's recondition,imported from japan.now,my engine has some smoke if i run it through gas ,& using a.c. but, with octane,i don't have any problem.

Overall it's going good! !!
 
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