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One of the burning questions every Toyota lover asks before purchasing their first car is, “Do Toyotas burn oil?” No one wants to buy a Toyota Corolla and have it burn oil (or any other Toyota models).
On one hand, we hear stories about Toyotas going 200,000+ miles on the road, and on the other, some users refer to them as “oil-burning vehicles”.
So, what’s the truth? Let’s find out!
Toyotas are inarguably some of the greatest vehicles out there.
Most of the Toyota models do NOT have an oil burning issue. However, some vehicles do burn oil by the fault of either the manufacturer or the owner.
Most commonly the Toyotas that burn oil pretty badly are those from 2006-2009. This was an issue with almost all Toyotas made during that time frame including:
- Toyota 4Runner
- Toyota Avalon
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota FJ Cruiser
- Toyota Highlander
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Toyota Matrix
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Rav4
- Toyota Sequoia
- Toyota Sienna
- Toyota Tacoma
- Toyota Tundra
- Toyota Yaris
Some car owners don’t change the oil in a timely manner and thus, the engine performance diminishes over time. Consequently, there comes a time when the vehicle starts consuming more oil than usual.
That being said, I have seen an increased number of Toyota cars experiencing excessive oil consumption especially during 2015 and 2016. Defective piston rings that didn’t provide the appropriate seal were to blame for that.
This problem was more prevalent in some models, such as the Corolla, Solara, Camry, Matrix, Scion xB, Rav4, and tC, that came with the 2AZ-FE engine featuring four cylinders (more on this later).
For those who don’t know, piston rings work with the oil to prevent combustion gases from entering the bottom half of the engine. The second set of piston rings is installed below the first one to keep the cylinder walls free from excess oil.
How Much Oil Do Toyotas with Defective Piston Rings Burn?
Many people who owned one of the above-mentioned Toyota models with defective piston rings complained that the engine burned through 1 quart of oil in 1,200 miles.
Yes. You heard that right.
After receiving several complaints from car owners, Toyota took notice of the excessive oil consumption issue and issued a Technical Service Bulletin to dealerships.
“Some 2006 – 2011 model year vehicles equipped with the 2AZ-FE engine may exhibit engine oil consumption. The piston assembly has been changed to minimize oil consumption. And that “P030# (cylinder # misfire detected) DTC may also be set as a result of oil consumption.”
Toyota dealership mechanics were given a set of instructions regarding repair procedures and warranty information. The company announced that the repairs were to be made under the standard warranty (60 months or 60,000 miles) after a qualifying test.
A healthy engine is characterized by the oil circulating through the various moving parts to lubricate and cool them down. As you may have guessed, little to no oil is burned in the process. The oil keeps circulating until you hit a certain mileage, after which an oil change is recommended.
Some Toyota vehicles can go 10,000 miles or more without changing the oil, depending on the type of oil and filter used. If you use conventional oil, it’s best to change the oil after every 3,000 miles.
The mechanics were to check the engine’s oil level and mark the dipstick before requesting the owner to drive the vehicle for 1,200 miles. A thorough inspection was to be conducted afterward. Engines that were more than 1 quart low were repaired under warranty.
Which Toyota Models Had an Oil Consumption Problem?
Now that we’ve responded to the most commonly asked question, “Do Toyotas burn oil?”, you will probably want to know which models and years had the worst problems with burning oil.
Here you go!
• 2007-08 Toyota Solara
• 2007-2011 Toyota Camry HV (Hybrid)
• 2006-08 Toyota RAV4
• 2007-09 Scion tC
• 2007-09 Toyota Camry
• 2008-09 Scion xB
• 2009 Toyota Matrix
• 2009 Toyota Corolla
Excessive Oil Burning Symptoms You Should Look Out for
Excessive oil consumption in vehicles puts an undue burden on the engine. If your car burns oil at a high rate, your vehicle will warrant an oil change every couple of weeks.
You must check the oil level regularly. Otherwise, the oil tank will be almost empty by the time you take the vehicle for a maintenance check (Note: the maintenance interval for most of the affected vehicles is 5,000 miles).
That being said, you should keep an eye out for the following signs:
• Engine burning oil
• Oil level low after driving 1,000 miles
• Engine noise
• Oil light coming on
• The oil pressure button lights up before the routine maintenance check
• Need to change the oil every month
You must pay close attention to the engine light. If it switches on before the due date, add oil immediately.
How Can You Fix the Excessive Oil Consumption Problem?
Fixing the oil burning problem is a major repair job since your vehicle’s engine will have to be taken out and apart. It may seem like an easy job but it requires special tools and equipment that you probably don’t have in your garage.
If your Toyota car is burning oil, you should consider reaching out to the service department at a local dealership. Before calling them, make sure you have the VIN and other relevant details of your vehicle on hand.
If your car is out of warranty, you can try using thicker oil, such as 10W-40. It probably won’t solve the problem but it might slow down your vehicle’s oil consumption. Something is better than nothing, right?
Apart from this, you must check the oil levels in your car regularly. It’s best to do weekly checks. Also, you must avoid driving your car if the oil light has switched on.
In conclusion, Toyotas generally don’t have an excessive oil consumption problem. This issue came to the surface when numerous owners of a few models, primarily from 2006 to 2009, complained that their vehicles were burning oil.
The company identified it as a “piston rings” problem. If you have any of the models listed in this article, you can get it checked by an expert mechanic.
That being said, oil burning generally happens because of worn-out parts.
Regardless of the model you own, you can get the components checked to reduce your vehicle’s oil consumption. Switching from conventional oil to a thicker oil might also help.
I hope you found this article helpful. If yes, please share it with your friends and family!