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Car issue, i would like input...

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
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Angry Car issue, i would like input...

I was randomly checking oil on my wife's 2007 Toyota Camry AT with 2.4L I6 and 115k miles. It has been about 5500 miles since last oil change and I when pulled the dipstick it was BARELY reading on the bottom! I poured 1.5 quarts of oil in and the dipstick was reading little below the low mark. So in 5500miles the 2.4L drank 2.5 quarts of oil! The 2.4L holds 4.5 quarts with oil filter change. It has always been drinking oil since the day i got it and of course after the warranty is up it got progressively worse.

I have NO oil leaks and NO signs of blown head gasket. Oil is not milky just regular oil color.

I did some research on the 2.4L and it turns out that there is a TSB out for it. The TSB is for oil consumption caused by bad piston rings. So I assume thats whats wrong with my engine. The TSB only covers the engine under 60000miles or 7 year warranty, so I am screwed on that since the camry has 115k miles.

Now I am skilled when it comes to a car, but I wont undertake putting piston rings in. I don't have tools to do such a job.

I think I have three options;

1, Change oil, detail the car and sell the car. I owe $9600 on it. I "should" be able to get that private party. If I can't sell I will be forced to go with option #2 or #3,

2, Keep eye on oil level and keep driving it until motor gives out. It can go a long while or a short while. No one knows how bad it actually is and if the cylinder walls are scored.

3, Repair. There are three options on undertaking this;

a, Get engine from junkyard and replace it. I can do labor by myself and cost of engine is $1700-$1900 from local junkyard. This option i like the least, because I have no idea if the engine I will get will have the same issue, since the bad piston rings are documented and known issue.

b, Have current engine rebuilt. That would probably be around the same maybe little cheaper, IF I do pulling and installing the engine myself.

c, Buy a rebuilt engine. Most expensive option. I saw rebuilt engines from $2300-$2500.

One thing to mention is that I don't have money laying around to cover option #3...

Let me know what would you guys do...
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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That engine will last for ever.Check oil weekly add as needed and enjoy a fantastic car for another 100k.I see these engines everyday with well over 100k and quite a few pushing 200k.Adding oil is the cheapest option and the most sensible.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Check the pcv valve. I suggest this to everyone with excessive oil consumption because it is the number 1 cause of oil usage and easy to check and replace.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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What kind of warranty comes with the rebuilt engine? The extra cost may be worth it. Or use the 2500 as a down payment on something newer. Certified pre owned and try to keep your principal the same if possible. The way I look at cars is that whether they are new or old, paid off, leased or financed; they will always cost you something. Reliability and peace of mind go a long way with me. I like having a warranty, even if it costs me more in the long run. You can keep putting oil in it and save money and see if the engine gets worst. Oil is not free either. If it was me I would want reliability and be looking at something newer with a warranty. If I couldn't afford that option I would save money while adding oil and see how much worst it gets. Hopefully I would have enough saved to go with plan A. If you replace the motor you still have a vehicle with 115k which is not crazy but what else needs work at this point? Tires, brakes, suspension, exhaust, transmission? Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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No. 1 would be your best bet financially, but I would never do No. 1 because the buyer will get screwed, and I just hate that (although I realize that it happens all the time)
If you like the car do option 2 and start putting money away to eventually do a engine rebuild.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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I hate to be that guy... but I'm going to do it anyway.

Correct me if I'm wrong. When you bought the car, it had warranty? The car was still IN warranty when you realized that it was clearly drinking oil? Now after many miles and much missing oil, and well out of warranty and TSB range, you are trying to figure out how to fix the problem?

Now that I've sufficiently beat you up about it... In good conscience, I couldn't sell this car to someone at "Great condition, nothing wrong with it" price, knowing there was clearly a pretty significant problem with the car. I say keep putting oil in it and drive it till the wheels fall off.

*edit - Have you tried taking it to the dealer and doing your best "Please help me!" routine to see if they might honor the TSB? Did you ever take it to the dealer for oil changes? Did they ever point out that the car was drinking oil? You could certainly use this, tactfully, to your advantage.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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Just keep an eye on the oil level. I would bet you will never have any issues with it. (at least with the engine blowing up)
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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change the oil, and note the mileage and oil level. then check on it in 1000 miles. i bet it is less of a problem than you imagine.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityPickle View Post
I hate to be that guy... but I'm going to do it anyway.

Correct me if I'm wrong. When you bought the car, it had warranty? The car was still IN warranty when you realized that it was clearly drinking oil? Now after many miles and much missing oil, and well out of warranty and TSB range, you are trying to figure out how to fix the problem?

Now that I've sufficiently beat you up about it... In good conscience, I couldn't sell this car to someone at "Great condition, nothing wrong with it" price, knowing there was clearly a pretty significant problem with the car. I say keep putting oil in it and drive it till the wheels fall off.

*edit - Have you tried taking it to the dealer and doing your best "Please help me!" routine to see if they might honor the TSB? Did you ever take it to the dealer for oil changes? Did they ever point out that the car was drinking oil? You could certainly use this, tactfully, to your advantage.
He noticed the oil consumption at 115K...warranty only lasted till 60K
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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I would do a compression check on each cylinder , if it check out ok I would not worry about it , if its burning that much oil , it probably would not pass emissions test , maybe it was never completely filled from the begining and your not burning as mush oil as you think.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #11
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Suggestions:

Ask your dealer about doing the tsb, ask to talk to the Toyota district rep, ask if they would at least help.

Drive it and add oil as needed, don't skip oil/filter changes, many manufacturers used to consider a quart in a 1000 miles "normal", maybe not now with today's cats.

If you want to trade, trade it too a dealer, I wouldn't sell it privately with out written disclosure because it might come back to haunt you and the haunter might be big and not so understanding
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Wife's 08 has 95k on it . Burns no oil and actually runs like new . Too bad you owe so much on it .
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #13
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let me see, a quart of generic 5w-30 is about $2.50, and it could use a quart every 1,500 miles or so. So for under $10 between changes you can keep this car going for years...

or you could try a heavier motor oil and see if that helps consumption. This is far less of a problem then you really think it is.

Howard
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taco47001 View Post
He noticed the oil consumption at 115K...warranty only lasted till 60K
He said, "It has always been drinking oil since the day i got it and of course after the warranty is up it got progressively worse."
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityPickle View Post
He said, "It has always been drinking oil since the day i got it and of course after the warranty is up it got progressively worse."
I missed that part during my skim...
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:52 AM   #16
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Use a "high mileage" oil in a thicker viscosity, stick with conventional, and dry/wet compression test the motor. You should be fine as long as you keep an eye on the dipstick - running 2.5qts low could cause you to spin a bearing
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