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#4686249 - 03/06/18 12:32 PM Engine burning oil. What to do?
Jeff999 Offline

Registered: 03/05/18
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I have a 1997 Toyota Tercel with 280k original miles. I've been monitoring the number of miles that it burns one quart of 10W-30 conventional oil for a while. The manufacturer's recommended oil is 5W-30, but it burns 5W-30 way too fast. My results have been highly variable, but I still think the data is useful. The level in the oil pan was not the same for all measurements which may have contributed to the inconsistent results. Oil consumption may increase as the oil level in the pan decreases.

From 184k miles to 247k miles I got five results and they varied from 1200 to 2200 miles per quart burned. The measurement I got at 251k and 252k showed that it burned a quart in 900 miles for both results, so something happened to the engine at that point. I have done compression tests myself after 252k miles, and the compression readings were good. So I guess something happened with the valves at that point maybe with their seats. The compression tests were not entirely trustworthy because the compression gauge needle would never peak with both of the gauges I used, i.e., as long as I cranked the engine the needle would continue climbing for some strange reason. But somehow the readings for all the cylinders were very close and within spec, and after several minutes the needle did not drop so there was no leaking. Because of the increase in oil burning after 251k miles I started using Lucas Oil Stabilizer at 40% concentration. The LOS did reduce the oil burning. At 262k, 265k, and 280k miles I got 1669, 1968, and 1627 miles per quart of oil burned respectively.

Lucas Oil Stabilizer is not popular on this forum, so what should I do about the oil consumption? Should I continue using the 10W-30 untreated and burn a quart every 800-900 miles? 5W-40 oil is controversial for several reasons especially for engines designed to use 5W-30, so should I try 10W-40 untreated? I recently started using Castrol High Mileage 10W-30 which does not seem to have made much difference. I'm not willing to have any serious engine work done because I will have the engine replaced for under $1000 with a used one from Japan that has 30-40k miles on it or pay a little more to have the engine rebuilt before spending several hundred dollars for serious engine repairs.

Thanks for any replies.

#4686254 - 03/06/18 12:36 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
PimTac Online   content

Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 2999
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Skip the Lucas. Next oil change go with Valvoline Maxlife which may help. It all depends on how your engine is burning the oil, whether via the valve seals or rings or other.
2017 Mazda CX-5 GT. Idemitsu 0w-20 factory fill. Factory Denso filter.

#4686258 - 03/06/18 12:38 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
CARJ Offline

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 68
Loc: Olathe, KS
If it was my car, I'd try some 15w40 Rotella next time.
04 Toyota 4Runner | M1-209A & Mobil 1 0w-40
12 VW Passat | VW OF & 5w40 Castrol Professional
97 Honda Civic HX | Fram Ultra & Red Line 5w-30

#4686264 - 03/06/18 12:42 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Kamele0N Offline

Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 1854
Loc: Slovenia
Get one quart of whatever ester based oil (usually motocycle) and use that at next OCI...

Esters will recondition your (valve) seals and will also clean your gunk out of your engine...Maybe even loosen gunk around your oil rings

Edited by Kamele0N (03/06/18 12:43 PM)
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

#4686265 - 03/06/18 12:43 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Mr Nice Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 20692
Loc: Orlando, FL
Not much you can do but continue to check oil level and top off.

#4686266 - 03/06/18 12:44 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
FordCapriDriver Offline

Registered: 10/22/15
Posts: 2275
Loc: Balearic Islands , Spain
Ditch the Lucas stuff.
Change the oil and filter and put some Valvoline Maxlife 10W-40 in it, it's well known for reducing consumption quite well.

You could try replacing the valve stem seals, they harden up overtime and no longer seal, i did that to one of my cars and it went from drinking 20W-50 to not burning a drop.
Replace the PCV Valve aswell.
1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6
1988 Ford Escort 1.6 Xr3i Convertible
1999 Peugeot 106 1.1i Max
Finnish expat living in Spain

#4686277 - 03/06/18 12:51 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Insertcoolname Offline

Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 146
Loc: South Texas
perhaps try a non resource conserving 10w30
Such as Mobil 1 high mileage 10w30?
It sits a little on the thicker side of the 30 range
And is a bit more robust with a HTHS rating of 3.5

Pennzoil platinum high mileage, quaker state hi mi, pennzoil hi mi,
valvoline maxlife, and maxlife full syn are all resource conserving now

$26 at walmart and a $12 REBATE going on right now....m1 hi mi comes out cheaper
Than maxlife syn blend.

Just a suggestion...

I also noticed my camry is designed to run on 5w30
In the USA but in other countries 20w50 oil on same engine
Is acceptable. I would give a xw40 a go.
Or that thick M1 himi 10w30
04 Camry 2az-fe 2.4L 197k Valvoline maxlife 10w30
Bosch WS oil filter

#4686288 - 03/06/18 01:02 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
WhyMe Offline

Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 456
Loc: Washington for now
you might have a issue where changing oil will do nothing. if that the case keep driving till it dies. oil is cheap. my sub with 285k is the same. it runs great and still get good gas mileage, but it sucks oil.

#4686296 - 03/06/18 01:05 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Trav Offline

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 17817
Loc: MA,
21 years old and almost 300K, either run a 15w40 or 20w50 or swap the engine if the car is worth it and you need/want to keep it.
Personally I cant see as the rest of the car has a lot of years and miles but to each their own. I would seek out a replacement car and let this one die in peace.

ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

#4686301 - 03/06/18 01:16 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
ecotourist Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 1016
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
You could have failing valve stem seals. If so you should notice a bit of smoke on start up. They're fairly easy (and shouldn't be too expensive) to replace.

Or you could have a failed PCV valve. I'd suggest you replace it unless it's almost new.

Or your rings could be worn or carboned up. Nothing helps worn rings except replacement, but an "Italian tune up" and possibly some oils (as suggested by other writers) might get rid of some of the carbon. It's worth a try.

And a heavier weight xW-30 or xW-40 weight oil should help. I'd try Castrol 0W-30, a good heavy 30 weight oil (or Castrol 0W-40).

Finally, a quart of oil in 1000 miles isn't all that bad. If none of the above suggestions help, just keep an eye on the oil level and add oil as necessary.
2000 BMW 528i 5MT
2007 Honda Accord EX-L 4Door V6 6MT

#4686313 - 03/06/18 01:35 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Chris142 Offline

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16339
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
My bosses Jeep was drinking 15w40. Last time I changed it I put sae40 in it. Have not had to add any oil since. Try a straight weight in it.
02 Wrangler super-s 10w30
87 F250 proline 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 Lucas 10w30
KLR250 Maxima 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40

#4686322 - 03/06/18 01:44 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: CARJ]
rooflessVW Online   content

Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 3502
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: CARJ
If it was my car, I'd try some 15w40 Rotella next time.

Bingo Bango. Buy a 2.5 gallon jug and keep it topped up.
"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."

#4686326 - 03/06/18 01:50 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
supton Offline

Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 11532
Loc: NH
Good on you for your measurements, and willingness to try stuff out.

But if it was me, I'd just keep checking the oil and keep it topped off. Cheaper than a new car payment! Assuming it's not PCV or leaks; not sure how hard it is to change valve seals on this engine.

New cars are allowed to burn up to a quart every 1,500 miles so you might not do better even you did buy new.
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 156k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 141k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 174k, his

#4686359 - 03/06/18 02:12 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
Powerglide Offline

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 75
Loc: SE Florida
So if the Lucas cut the motor's oil consumption in HALF, and it's has over 280,000 miles on it. Why would you stop using it? Seems like the product did exactly what it's supposed to do. Using Lucas in any newer car seems dubious. but f it keeps a 280k mile Toyota on the road and the guy behind you fog-free and conscious. Why not?

#4686363 - 03/06/18 02:15 PM Re: Engine burning oil. What to do? [Re: Jeff999]
JohnnyJohnson Offline

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2143
Loc: Wet side WA
Haven't you got your moneys worth out that old Tercel yet?
2004 Toyota Corolla 118739
Out: QSUD 5W-30 Purolator One 5030 mile OIC
In: Valvoline ML 5w-30 Fram TG4967 117530
2006 Duramax 73712

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