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#1 of 82 Engine's burning oil - how much longer will it last?
Jul 02, 2005 (12:41 pm)
I have a '93 Tercel with about 125K miles. It had 89K when I bought it back in '02. The engine used a little oil when I bought it (I had to add about 1/2 qt every 750-1000 miles or so), but I believe the consumption has gotten worse. Now it'll go through 1/2 qt about every tank full of gas. It doesn't leak so I know it's burning the oil. The weird thing is that the engine still runs very well, has plenty of power, and still pulls over 40 MPG on the highway. In other words, the engine doesn't act like it's burning oil as badly as it is. Usually when an engine shows signs of wear to where it's burning oil this badly, you usually notice a definite drop in power and/or fuel economy. That's just not my case. I've always used good oil (Havoline) and filters (PureOnes), with frequent change intervals (about every 4K-5K). I guess my questions are these: How much longer before this sucker starts looking like a misqusito fogger going down the highway, and is there anything I can do differently to slow down this wearing out process? Also, I was hoping to get 200K out of this car. Is that no longer a feesable goal?
#2 of 82 Re: Engine's burning oil - how much longer will it last? [bottgers]
Jul 02, 2005 (1:54 pm)
Are you getting less than 500 miles per quart? If so you may have to replace the motor but if you are still in the 600-700 mile range then you might be able to get some more use out of it.
It doesn't sound like you'll get 200k out of the motor but you could get that out of the car if you want to put another motor in it.
#3 of 82 Re: Engine's burning oil - how much longer will it last? [bottgers]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 02, 2005 (2:05 pm)
It's not uncommon for vehicles to burn oil but still run well. Old Volvos are notorious for this. Your oil rings are probably shot or maybe you are sucking oil through some really bad valve guides or seals.
At any rate, unless you run afoul of emissions testing (which generally doesn't care how much oil you burn) or unless your car's smoke becomes reallly obnoxious, you can keep it running for a long time. Eventually you will burn oil so badly that you'll foul the plugs a lot or destroy your catalytic converter and this will become quite a nuisance for you.
Or you will forget to add oil and then KABOOM.
Jul 02, 2005 (2:47 pm)
That happened to my fintail, as it was stored for some time and the guts of the engine deteriorated. The plugs would foul, so I'd get to clean them and run it for 30 mins until they fouled again. The car eneded up getting a valve job AND rings...it was a disastrous job that took me and some others over 2 months to do. But 8 years later, it's running like a top.
The worst it got before I had to break down and fix it was maybe 200 miles/qt on the highway, I could double that in town. Smoke was awful at startup or when going up a steep hill...barely notioceable otherwise.
If you really like the Tercel...just have it looked at. A valve job couldn't cost too much on something like that...surely less than that fintail.
#5 of 82 Either that or trade
Jul 02, 2005 (4:03 pm)
the baby in on a new Scion xA RS 2.0, eh? I owned a '66 Ford Fairlane(without fins!!)that burned oil badly. When the smoke would waft inside the passenger cabin I finally had to get rid of the thing. Yukko. Talk about barbequeing your old car's engine!
fintail, been to Burlington, WA lately? Anything new along the I-5 corridor there?
BTW-take a gander over towards Burlington as you're heading past town on I-5 next time and you should be able to spot Jerry Smith Kia there on old Highway 99. That's the dealer I bought both of my Kia's from. They're a solid and reliable dealer of Kia products there in the beautiful Skagit Valley region of Washington state. Over and out.
#6 of 82 oil consumption
Jul 02, 2005 (4:59 pm)
Here's what I'm thinking on the matter. Since the engine's still got good power and it still gets good fuel economy, my guess is the oil burning problem isn't coming from worn cylinders or rings. I would say this indicates the engine still has good compression which means the rings, cylinders, and valves are all sealing properly, which could only mean the valve guides are the cause of the problem. Anyone else agree? If this is the case, I could have the valve guides replace relatively inexpensively and still have plenty of miles left on the car. I really don't want to replace the car just yet if it can be avoided.
#7 of 82 Re: oil consumption [bottgers]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 02, 2005 (5:14 pm)
You could have worn oil rings but good compression rings however.
Best way to know what's up is to do a cylinder leakdown test, and then all will be revealed.
Jul 02, 2005 (6:28 pm)
My fintail had a severe lack of power and poor mileage when it was an oil burner. I was amazed at how competent the car performed when I had it fixed...the mileage isn't shabby either.
iluv - I now live in Bellevue, transferred to a better job. I'll actually be going through that area tomorrow though, to pick up the fintail (it is stored north of Bellingham) and bring it here.
Do a leakdown test for sure, as Shifty says. A valve job for that thing has to be well under a grand.
Jul 02, 2005 (8:03 pm)
My daughter drove for about two years using a quart every five hundred miles. as long as it isn't blowing blue smoke and you keep it topped off it will run for a long time. She just checked the oil every week and added when it reached the Add point. That was a Nissan Sentra that had maybe three oil changes in 100000 miles... I think it would have lasted a few more years had it not been totaled. And a lot longer had she changed the oil.
Jul 03, 2005 (6:57 am)
So is it possible the problem could be worn valve guides? If that's the case, I'm thinking that couldn't very expensive to get fixed, right? If it's the rings causing the problem, then that would be something I'd just have to live with. I wouldn't spend the money it would take to rebuild the engine. I suppose a valve job would be worth doing if the rest of the engine is still in good shape.