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#1031484 - 11/19/07 08:50 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: Buick92]
Camu Mahubah Offline


Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 3048
Loc: the Sandhills of Nebraska
 Originally Posted By: Buick92
I bought this 1998 Prizm with 73,000 miles as a second car, I know that it's a toyota corolla for the most part but I haven't done any oil changes yet and was looking for suggestions on a oil and filter combo? It's a 3 speed auto and I'm hoping to get 30 MPG highway, any help/suggestions would be great, thanks.


I have a 2002 Chevrolet Prizm with 81000 on it. I have only owned the car since March. I bought it with 72000 miles on it. I also have the A131L 3-speed auto which is stout if maintained!. I have ran Valvoline conventional 5w30 with Nascar Select and Amsoil XLF with EAO. My UOA of Valvoline is in the UOA section. The car gets 30 mpg in town. Right now we are averaging 33 mpg in town. Fuel mileage increased dramatically after I rotated the tires and inflated them to proper levels. A tire was down to 15 psi so I believe this was hurting economy. Anyways I have discovered less start up noise with the EAO than the Nascar Select. I am going to install a Napa Gold next time as I believe for the money they are the about the best you can get. This motor the 1ZZ-FE is a known oil burner as Drew99GT has stated. I personally believe it has something to do with the long-stroke design and the cam being chain-driven. I believe this motor's cam chain chews up lesser quality oils and and the long stroke allows well the longer the stroke the more chance for blow by. And as Drew99GT has stated it is most noticeable in Corollas and Prizms that have been abused. Bill in Utah has an O5 Toyota Corolla with the same engine and has done quite a few UOA's...Don't quote me but I believe Bill has found just about any name brand dino on sale will go 5000 in this motor. I don't know what filter he uses and I once asked him if his motor was noisy at start up. Bill was going to post a video of his Corolla at start up. I don't know if it's just mine or if they are all a bit noisy until warmed up. I think you can get by with any dino that's on sale with a good filter. The reason I run Amsoil is because I want to go 7500 between oil changes. I can't change my oil where I live so I have to take it somewhere and the less other people touch my car the better!. If you are not sure the car has been properly maintained I suggest a 3000 mile run with name brand dino(I like Valvoline) and a Napa Gold or Wix filter sample the oil and send it in for analysis. I was aghast to discover the TBN of my oil was only 1.3!!! after 3000 miles. this lead me to believe the previous owners did not change the oil often enough to keep up with acid formation. So I am contemplating a AutoRX run or maybe some MaxLife which might also be a good oil for your Prizm...my car generally consumes about 1 qt over 3000 miles so it's not really a big deal but if this motor is abused all it takes is for one ring to get a little sticky and there will be oil consumption. Chevrolet does says 3000 mile oil change intervals.

How's the transmission?. I suggest a Filter and Gasket service and be advised the A131L has a differential seperate from the transmission. Lots of owners neglect to service the differential and I believe it will fail if the factory fill is left in there forever. I had a 91 Geo Prizm with this tranny and I knew nothing about the differential. It locked up when I was going 55 mph!. That car had 140000 on it. To me that was way to long to go on the factory fill. In my younger days I often obsessed over oil and spark plugs while the tranny was dying and when I discovered the problem it was too late. It only takes 3 pints of a high quality ATF in the differential to fill it. It can be a pain to fill but I discovered a little trick...We had the car on a lift and drained the differential...(its on the back of the motor it is quite easy to spot if you have the car on a lift!. When I drained it this terrible black looking fluid rushed out!. I am sure it was the factory fill!. We rigged up a hand soap pump that had been thoroghly rinsed and dried to a clear plastic hose we then pumped from the ATF bottles. I used Amsoil Multi-vehicle ATF but I believe the owner's manual says Dexron III. One and half quarts and I sleep better at night!. I also flushed this tranny and installed a new filter. I don't know if the flush was needed. But I seriously recommend dropping the pan and filter service. I paid a shop to do this and they charged me 50 bucks and I had my own filter. I believe if this is done once a year and the differential fluid is changed they will last forever. I don't know how long to run the diff fluid but I think I might start changing it once a year as it is easy now that I know how to do it...Sorry I went off but I want you to know this tranny is stout if maintained. If not, I don't think they will last past 150000 miles. If you need help let me know! I also know where to get cheap interior door handles! I really enjoy my Prizm and I am glad there is another Prizm owner here with the same transmission!...most of the other guys here have the 4-speed auto or a manual. Can you believe I just last week figured out how to set the clock!...Someday I'll figure out how to replace the headlight wiring hookups...one of them is a little melted.
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#1031533 - 11/19/07 10:00 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: 02zx9r]
JohnBrowning Offline


Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 9448
Loc: USA
These engine's will easily do 300,000-500,000 miles with very little maintence..They are known to consume oil only with lot's of high speed driving and even then it is 50/50 not all of them do this! SO I wouldnot worry about it the Carolla has to be one of most reliable and durable car's sold in the USA!

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#1031643 - 11/20/07 05:55 AM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: JohnBrowning]
02zx9r Offline


Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 3205
Loc: Ball, LA
Well that is very good to know!

You never see ford, mazda, buick, etc. commercials about there cars going 300-400K miles, but you always see the honda and toyota commercials.
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2012 Honda Insight EX





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#1032035 - 11/20/07 05:58 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: 02zx9r]
Buick92 Offline


Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 623
Loc: Pullman Wa
Camu Mahubah,

I ordered a new interior drivers side door latch, I know it has one screw to remove it but how do you disconect it from the rod? There is a little plastic retainer that connects the two but I don't want to break it, any help would be great.

Buick92

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#1032172 - 11/20/07 09:05 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: Buick92]
Camu Mahubah Offline


Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 3048
Loc: the Sandhills of Nebraska
Do you have the new one?...You don't want to break that plastic piece because the new ones I ordered the piece was slighltly different!...They were gonna charge me $150 bucks at a Chevy dealership and a Toyota dealership refused to even try...the [censored]!...Anyways I had a buddy who came over and he did the the swap in ten minutes without even taking of the interiour door shroud or whatever it's called...all you need is a screwdriver and and a little bit of old fashioned persuasion. There is a place somewhere with detailed description of how to do this!...I will find it and send you the link...I believe the replacement door handles are much stouter than OEM, I think a lot of owners had this problem...You will probably need that plastic piece!...They one they send you...the one sent me...could be wrong!...









The plastic piece(pictured) they sent me was wrong!...I used the OEM piece withe the new handle and everything worked out!...If you still need help PM me..I will be glad to get my buddy who is a Toyota Mechcanic on the phone with you if you need more assistance!...Like I said He did it in ten minutes!... \:\! also my camera sucks! but you should be able to see the difference between the two plastic pieces!...Christmas is coming and I'll get a better camera!...



You might be able to see it better here!...This is what they sent me and it is wrong!...Keep the piece you have!...And like I said if you still need help I will get my buddy over here!...They want to much to do it at the dealerships...

Good Luck!...

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#1032355 - 11/21/07 08:42 AM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: Camu Mahubah]
Buick92 Offline


Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 623
Loc: Pullman Wa
Camu Mahubah,

Thanks for the info, you've been very helpful, I haven't gotten the new door latch yet but I'll let you know how it goes. My old latch isn't broken yet, but when you shut the door you can hear it raddle a bit, that's why I went ahead and ordered a new one.

I'll let you know how it goes- buick92

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#1032485 - 11/21/07 12:17 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: Drew99GT]
Pat in Speedway Offline


Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 325
Loc: Speedway, IN
 Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
The older ones are at least. The newer ones I don't think are.


My stepdaughter has a '95 Prizm she bought last year. I was adding about 1 quart every 1k miles (The car has 170K miles on it.). I read several threads on BITOG regarding their tendency to consume oil and that seemed to be about the same ratio others were dealing with. A couple of months ago I changed the oil and threw in some Max Life 5w-30 full synthetic and after about 800 miles, the consumption appears to be nil thus far. Not sure if it's the oil or the new PCV valve that did the trick, but so far so good.
_________________________
Pat B.
Speedway, IN
2004 GMC Envoy XUV
2006 Nissan Sentra SE
2010 Serro Scotty HiLander
http://smalltrailerenthusiast.com

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#1032493 - 11/21/07 12:26 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: Pat in Speedway]
02zx9r Offline


Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 3205
Loc: Ball, LA
I have thought about running maxlife in my corolla even though I only have 5051 miles on mine and just running that for the long haul but just too many oils out there I want to try.... :???:
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2012 Honda Insight EX





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#1032497 - 11/21/07 12:29 PM Re: 1998 Chevy prizm, which oil? [Re: 02zx9r]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 20517
Loc: Colorado Springs
The older formulation of Maxlife didn't help the oil consumption in my 94 Corolla, but the newly labeled synthetic blend formula in 10w-30 has cut it to practically nothing. After a thousand miles it's just a hair below full, where as before I'd be about 3/4 of a quart down.

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