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Oil consumption?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Oil consumption?

My Toyota "uses" engine oil, not huge amounts of it, around a litre every 4 or 5 months or so. It doesn't burn it or leak it...just er! uses it.
Its a VVT-i engine (variable valve timing) using the very light synthetic 5-30W oil. Questioning the local Toyota dealer got a bit of a shrug of the shoulders and an offer punctuated by £ signs that they would investigate it if I wished.
My local garage that I usually use for services etc. were non-committal saying its pretty well known with Japanese engines and to be expected with VVT-i engines using the specified grade of oil, but to keep regular checks on the oil level, which I have been for some time.
The consumption doesn't increase or stop, its just...there!!
Anyone else experienced it?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
13 REPLIES
MrC
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Re: Oil consumption?

Have to say without some further info (fuel type, engine age, engine condition, regularly serviced, no. of miles covered overall, typical trip distances, miles per litre of oil, etc) it's hard to say. Subjectively modern engines don't burn significant amounts of oil although unless it starts failing emission tests, smoking or, more critically, starts poisoning the catalyst I wouldn't worry too much.
Community Veteran
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Re: Oil consumption?

Not relevant to your Toyota, Petlew,  (just me showing off !!!)...  Roll eyes    . My Skoda Fabia 1.9 SDI Y reg 166,500 miles on clock, and 65 mpg does not use any oil at all... Change it every 10,000 miles (as near as poss) and have done since I bought it..
Community Veteran
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Re: Oil consumption?

Gotta be said shutter I prefer volvo engines myself. They're not even considered run-in until 200k  Wink (Admittedly the MPG is nowhere near as glorious though)
@Petlew: If its just 'used' then it must be going somewhere. If there are no leaks then the only other place it can realistically go is: Thin air OR out the exhaust. All engines are different and Toyotas have an incredibly reliable reputation but its not unheard of for them to burn fuel. My friends dad recently showed me his collection of wankel engines and internals and was saying they're the most reliable engines he's ever had but due to the design they burn a lot of oil which can't be stopped and you literally have to check it and top it up almost every time you fill up the petrol tank.
At least all the time you're topping up with fresh oil you're diluting the older dirty oil Wink
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Re: Oil consumption?

I used to have an old A55 van which used to do about 200 mpg (oil that is) shortly before I had a recon engine installed.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Oil consumption?

Thanks gents.
Mister C may well have touched on the reason. A lot of short trips...
The mileage is 72k, not high for a 2003 car (late 52 plate) 1.8 v v t-i automatic. During long trips on motorways and major A roads I can achieve an enviable 55+mpg without being a slow-coach, even better if I lighten the touch on the throttle, not bad for a 1.8 auto I feel.
But the vast majority of my car driving is four daily trips to and from work (I come home for lunch) a distance of just under 5 miles each way. Barely time to get the engine warmed up.
At MoT the exhaust emissions have always been pretty good. And yes, this oil use has been going on for at least the last two MoT's
A friend with a Honda Jazz of similar engine type (Honda call the variable valve timing something different I believe, but its basically the same thing) reports almost identical symptoms as I do with my Toyota. Long term test reports in a Australia/New Zealand publication "The Dog and Lemon Guide" waxes lyrical about the Toyota Avensis but, suggests serious attention to regular servicing or many problems will befall. Perhaps this is what they meant.
Never seen the Dog and Lemon Guide?  http://www.dogandlemon.com/ ; Tells like it is, pulling no punches. Have a couple of copies here that I've picked on trips to NZ. its a weighty tome but, the best car review publication available. You can purchase individual reviews online.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
itsme
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Re: Oil consumption?

Have you read the manual? If I remember correctly I believe Toyota do mention oil usage in the manual.
Community Veteran
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Re: Oil consumption?

Doh...!
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Oil consumption?

Quote from: Petlew
But the vast majority of my car driving is four daily trips to and from work (I come home for lunch) a distance of just under 5 miles each way. Barely time to get the engine warmed up.

I see this mentioned on quite a few forums. I'm not sure about the newer cars but mine has a temperature gauge on it and it's always up to temp by the top of the road. It's been the same with all the cars we've had. By the top of the road they're upto their normal temperature. Add to that you then drive a couple of miles using the accelerator (which in turn uses more fuel and makes the engine hotter) and I don't really see how this is a problem to be honest.
I'm not saying I don't believe it, I'm just saying that engines do reach their operating temperature on short journeys.
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Re: Oil consumption?

My 03 Vauxhall Zafira was doing about 1000mpp (miles per pint) - we traded it in!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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itsme
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Re: Oil consumption?

It take 6 miles for my car to heat up and on cold winter days the temperature can go down when stationary for some time. Heat is wasted energy.
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Oil consumption?

I Once had a mini van (around 1966) where the Oil Level INCREASED the more miles I did.
As you will no doubt have guessed the reason for the increase was a leak in the cylinder head gasket that allowed water to pass into the oil compartment.
Spent more time working on the van than using it.........happy days........I learned a lot !!
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Re: Oil consumption?

Ah yes.... them were the days...!.... I have a full socket set, plus some extras, torque wrench, oil filter wrench, etc etc etc... I used to have to carry it around in the boot all the time, "just in case" I needed it on a journey!... now it resides on the floor, under the work bench in the shed, where it has been ever since I bought my trusty Skoda !... Over 7 years now !... I have a very good Mobile Mechanic, that does my major work for me... but I still keep the tools,..... "just in case" ! !  Roll eyes
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Re: Oil consumption?

My 2 year old Toyota Yaris with VVT and 9K on the clock has not used any oil in the last year (second-hand dealer demonstater in case you do not believe the mileage). Mostly short trips but an occasional Motorway dash. 55mpg (petrol). First service next week. 6 speed manual box puzzles SWMBO....too uised to only 4!