Burning Engine Oil

Asked by Jun 26, 2010 at 03:55 AM about the 2001 Toyota Corolla

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a toyota corolla 2001 and its burning oil. There is no oil leakage as such but i have to put 1L every 1500-1800 Kms. Went to a mechanic, he told the oil seal(packing) around oil pan needs to be changed. I dont see any heavy leakage around oil pan. Also engine seems to be good and car has good pik up. No Black/white smoke after starting the car in teh morning and its 167300 on mileage .What can be the problem ? Can anyone help ?

31 Answers


check your coolent, see if it looks mily in any way, if so you might be leaking oil in to the radiator by the oil cooler, but that will also change the coler of the oil sometimes because water will be going in to your oil... is there any oil around the tappet cover? if so you may have a blown tappet cover gasket. try running the car till operating temp and then check the exhaust, smell it as well because it will have a smell to it if your burning oil. thats all i can help you with mate. good luck

26 people found this helpful.

so it only happens when it starts well then its the valve seals letting oil seep into the cylinder head.... this happens some times if you let your engine sit for like a couple months without starting sometimes even weeks without starting depending on the age and how thick the oil is....

33 people found this helpful.

my guess is valve stem seals, they're common enough on somewhat older corolla's, especially the e11 (or gen *) with the early vvti engine...they go hard over time and allow oil to pass into the combustion chamber, hence the increased oil used.

23 people found this helpful.

If you stop @ a light & then hit the gas... does a little white puff of smoke comes out? Answer: Valve Stem Seals. If the smoking is constant? answer: piston rings.

16 people found this helpful.

it's piston rings. very common with 98-02 corolla's.

28 people found this helpful.

I concur these years had problems with oil consumption. To be safe spray the whole engine clean with degreaser and a pressure washer, being careful to avoid things that shouldnt get that wet ie intake, electrical stuff etc, especially areas of concern. let it dry and then drive it for a few days and look for oil spots they should be easy to see this way you can remove any possibility of an external leak.

8 people found this helpful.

It's kind of a well known fact amongst mechanics that Corolla engines burn oil. Especially after 90K miles. A few posters mentioned it is just the design of the engine and I agree with that- Whether the "valve seals go hard" or the piston rings start leaking, etc... The freakin amazing part is, these engines are legendary for often going strong 300,000 or 400,000 miles or more without skipping a beat. So whatever the reason, I guess it is not something that hurts performance and engine life. I have a 99' Corolla with 140,000. Thing runs like a champ, not one problem ever with the car. Amazing vehicles. But it does burn oil. I put in 1 Qt per month approx. If I go on a long trip, I need to add a QT per every 1000 miles or so. No smoke or exhaust problems whatsoever. Passed emissions testing in N.J. which is insanely strict on their specs.

47 people found this helpful.

I have a 2001 with almost 300k on it. My wife noticed a little hesitation the other day so I checked out the oil as it was overdue and it was bone dry. I wonder how long it has been like that? Question, should I switch to 10w30, put an additive of some form in, or just keep an eye on it and top-up as needed? Thanks, Sean

32 people found this helpful.

sb_corrolla, stick to 5w30 and don't switch to 10w30. You'll have staring problems if you go to the thicker oil (especially if it gets cold in your region). My Corolla 2002 CE also burns oil... it has 150k miles on it and burns about 1q per 1000 miles freeway driving. I believe it's due to the fact that the transmission doesn't have many gears and the engine runs at higher rpms at 60+mph. The mpq is still impressive though - 32 combined... I just keep an eye on the oil and top-up as needed.

21 people found this helpful.

i have a 2001 corolla doing the same thing 130,000 miles on it have to put 1 ot oil in it every 1,000 miles it use to be every 2,000 miles i have to clean the spark pulgs every time i change the oil i keep geting white crap on it when i pull out the spark plug on Cylinder 1 i saw some oil on the bottom of it might have to pull the head off and see what going on in there not sure what will cause that

18 people found this helpful.

I have a 2001 corolla CE, the transmission has just 3 gears, which makes the engine run at higher RPM on freeways. I'm filling 5w-30 and keep checking it every 800-1000 miles Current odo: 112700 Miles

8 people found this helpful.

has any one with a corolla have a a issue when fueling the gas tank up the car will not start unless to had to hold down on the gas then run rough for a little while when i fuel the car up when it runing the rpms go up and down any help will be nice thank you mike

13 people found this helpful.

I have a toyota corola 2002 G edition.I run almost 130k ,it's recondition,imported from japan.now,my engine has some smoke if i run it through gas ,& using a.c.But, with octane,i don't have any problemAny help?

5 people found this helpful.

Toyota has finally admitted there is a problem with the pistons..that's why the car was burning so much oil, The dealer I got my Toyota from CLAY COOLEY did an consumption test on it last year and found out I was using 1 quart 800 miles they fixed the problem it would have cost me 2700 dollars Call your dealer.

10 people found this helpful.

My 2000 Toyota Corolla uses 5 qt of oil on a 1500 mile trip every time. I get different opinions from everybody but it's way too much money to redo rings. Any other suggestions?

53 people found this helpful.

I have toyota avensis 2004 .there is a problem too oil i have to pour 1 liter every 500 mile.But no leak and smoky.Can anyone help and answer me.MANY THANK'S

42 people found this helpful.

i Have A 1996 Toyota Corolla 1.6L 4D Sedan . When i turn it on in the A.m , it knocks for literally 3 seconds up top on the head then stops the knocking . My car is drive-able and all just knocks on a cold start .. what can that be??

16 people found this helpful.

I like thicker oil, that have less volatile compounds. 2 You don't want a PCV valve that is stuck closed or blocked. 3 Run it and rev it with the oil fill cap off and put your hand over the opening to check for too much blow by, too much crank case pressure getting past the rings. 4 Oil seeping down valve stems overnight past seals causes morning puff. 5. Smell exhaust and check plugs for signs of excess oil. 6 Run the engine parked under several rev levels to see if there is oil loss from any sporadic leak. 7 Valve knock is either or both advanced spark timing and heat. Heat can be excessive to one or several valves depending on Head gasket design flaws. Water flow blockage to small head areas can also cause excess oil burning. A cooler engine burns less oil generally.

10 people found this helpful.

I have a Toyota corolla 1.6 Sedan EFI 1993 it brings burnt oil smell inside the but it doesn't have any oil leakage

11 people found this helpful.

a Toyota Voxy is ejecting water and smoke at the exhaust pipe, what could be the problem?

9 people found this helpful.

I have a Toyota corolla 1.4 professional 2009 model. Just pick up the car from mechanic and notice it takes a while to pick up speed as if there cut in petrol and another thing I drove it for 80km when I got home engine sound is not the same any more. There is a taping sound on the head like a loose tapit. Performance wise the engine is weak. You can't even pull off on second the car struggles yo pick up. Mpho 0843331638 Mph55modisenyane@gmail com

5 people found this helpful.

UI have a 2003 corolla LE and I have noticed just recently that within a matter of about 2 weeks my oil will all be gone and the car will start being loud. Now I'm pretty sure my timing chain is messed up and needs to be fixed but it's another noise on top of that. I only have 91,000 miles on the car and just got it a few months ago, I can't afford to keep filling it with oil once a week I'm just lost tonas what the problem may be..

7 people found this helpful.

Rings or valve seals


My son has the same problem with a 1999 Corolla. Not leaking. Can't see it burning. But it is burning it. From what I have read, it is a design problem with the pistons. The pistols have small holes so the excess oil can return to the crankcase during normal operation. These oil return holes get plugged and the excess oil doesn't return to the crankcase. As a result, some oil gets burned at a small enough rate so you can't see it burning. But it does. And sometimes at a rate of a quart every 500 miles or worse. It would cost too much to fix a 1999 Corolla relative to what the car is worth. Toyota has turned their back on this problem. Last Toyota for me.

4 people found this helpful.

Oil does not burn but detergents in the oil do.


Well yes oil does burn. It is a hydrocarbon. Gasoline and motor oil come from the same stock and last time I checked gasoline burned also. If you remember in the first gulf war Sadaam Hussein lit his oil fields and there was a lot of black smoke. That was crude oil burning. No detergent in that.

7 people found this helpful.

I have a 95 corolla that less Schwab told me has an abnormally loud engine. It also burns oil like crazy. I get the cheap oil and get at least 2 topoffs between changes. Each time it is at least 2 quarts low. Is this the same situation?

2 people found this helpful.

There are a number of reasons why any engine can burn oil! The Corolla has a sporty engine and if driven hard or driven at high speeds the piston rings and oil scraper ring heats up which will burn oil to the rings an in turn cause the rings to stick in their grooves and the oil scraper ring will clog up and stop oil being able to go back to the oil pan, instead it is pushed to the top of the cylinder to be burned on each cycle of that firing cylinder. To fix this problem you must remove the piston and clean the ring grooves and scraper ring holes. You might try pouring a strong petroleum solvent into the spark plug holes and let it stand for a while. Once the engine has sat for a while drain the engine oil and replace because you don't want the solvent cycling the engine because it will soften the oil seals. Oil can bypass the valves although this can be easily detected in the morning when first starting the car. The car will have a light blue smoke coming from the exhaust and when the engine has warmed up the smoke will go away. Replace the PCV valve, if the engine isn't breathing it is creating pressure and oil blow by past the pistons. If you have oil in the coolant you either have a cracked block or a blown head gasket. This would be the same if you have coolant in the oil pan although this is more than likely a blown head gasket. If an engine sounds loud it is an indication that you starving the top end of the engine of oil. Just a note but a car that is driven below 75 mph it's hole life it will last longer than a car that is driven hard through the gears or above 75 miles. I am a Toyota technician and have driven 3 different Toyotas upto 400,000 miles and one to 550.000 miles, yes! they all burned oil after 250,000 miles, anything from a quart to 3 quarts per 4,000 mile intervals.

11 people found this helpful.

I have a Corolla 2000 and it also burns oil like crazy! I called Toyota about it today and they recorded my Vehicle Identification number. They told me if enough people call about the issue they will do a recall. Please call them and tell them about the issue. It only takes 5 minutes and the number is 1(800)-331-4331

7 people found this helpful.

PCV VALVE, check it because 99% of mechanics (even Toyota's own apparently) do NOT check or replace them. When they get stuck, if its stuck open, your car will guzzle oil. If it gets stuck/gunked closed... your crankcase pressure will blow oil out of the valve gasket AND spark plug tube seals (and with a very good chance of an engine fire if your spark plug boots also happen to be compromised). This part is so inexpensive that you may as well just replace it outright. Ideally, you will replace the PCV valve *AND* filter with every oil change. No excuses, its really cheap insurance and piece of mind.

2 people found this helpful.

Oil consumption is actually normal, in your owners manual it tells you how much oil consumption is normal. For example in the owners manual of my 1995 Toyota Corolla DX it says every 750 miles it will burn 1 quart of oil. I just recently checked oil dip stick after I passed 1k miles after oil change and it has went down almost exactly 1 quart maybe less.

1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Corolla in your area?

CarGurus has 64,330 nationwide Corolla listings starting at $1,499.


Toyota Corolla Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Camry
863 Great Deals out of 71,819 listings starting at $1,300
Used Honda Civic
488 Great Deals out of 44,847 listings starting at $1,150
Used Honda Accord
728 Great Deals out of 103,269 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota RAV4
638 Great Deals out of 76,314 listings starting at $1,995
Used Hyundai Elantra
459 Great Deals out of 47,257 listings starting at $1,700
Used Nissan Sentra
580 Great Deals out of 46,669 listings starting at $990
Used Nissan Altima
850 Great Deals out of 62,221 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Prius
124 Great Deals out of 18,928 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Yaris
43 Great Deals out of 2,419 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Tacoma
465 Great Deals out of 49,935 listings starting at $2,695
Used Honda CR-V
760 Great Deals out of 76,925 listings starting at $100
Used Hyundai Sonata
523 Great Deals out of 47,282 listings starting at $900
Used Ford Focus
514 Great Deals out of 76,283 listings starting at $800

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Toyota Corolla For Sale
19 Great Deals out of 33,869 listings starting at $12,895
2017 Toyota Corolla For Sale
119 Great Deals out of 5,032 listings starting at $9,877
2016 Toyota Corolla For Sale
149 Great Deals out of 5,536 listings starting at $7,995
2015 Toyota Corolla For Sale
205 Great Deals out of 6,112 listings starting at $7,990
2014 Toyota Corolla For Sale
44 Great Deals out of 1,639 listings starting at $6,483

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.