Toyota Burns Oil | Excessive Engine Oil Consumption

Toyota owners with models such as Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Rav4, Solara, Scion xB and tC equipped with the four-cylinder 2AZ-FE engine may experience excessive oil consumption.

If your Toyota has excessive oil consumption the engine performance may be severely diminished. As oil is burned at a high rate, the engine may need oil every couple of weeks.

If you don't check the engine oil regularly, the oil may have diminished to almost nothing by the time the maintenance interval arrived (typically at 5,000 miles for many of the vehicles affected).

Symptoms

 Toyota Excessive Engine Oil Consumption oil level low

Common symptoms include:

  • Oil level low in 1000 miles
  • Oil light coming on
  • Engine noise
  • Engine burns  oil
  • You have to add oil every month.
  • Oil pressure light comes before the maintenance schedule. 

Pay close attention to the oil light. If it comes on before the oil due date, add engine oil immediately.

For example, if you normally have your oil changed every 3,000 miles, the oil pressure light comes on after 1000 miles. Add engine oil and get your car diagnosed as soon as possible.

Affected Models

Affected Toyota Models with engine oil burning
  • Toyota Camry 2007-2011
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid 2007-20011
  • Toyota Corolla 2009
  • Toyota Matrix 2009
  • Toyota Rav4
  • Toyota Solara 2007, 2008 Scion xB 2008 2009
  • Scion tC 2007-2009

Affected Engines

  • 2AZ-FE 2AZFE Service Campain: LSC ZE7

Cause

Affected Toyota Models due to piston rings

The service bulletin indicates that the cause of excessive oil consumption was defective piston rings not providing the appropriate seal.

In the notice, Toyota instructs technicians to replace the piston assembly which will fix the problem of the engine burning too much oil.

Piston rings that function normally work with oil to seal combustion gasses off from the bottom half of the engine. There is another set of piston rings below it that helps to wipe excess oil from the cylinder walls.

Toyota issued a technical service bulletin to all of its dealerships. Toyota acknowledged the problem of excessive oil consumption in some of their vehicles produced between 2006-2011. The bulletin lists the specific engine types and vehicles affected. The defect affects mainly the 2AZ-FE engine.

A technical service bulletin is not a recall. Instead, it is a set of instructions that are written for technicians at Toyota service departments that outlines repair procedures and warranty coverage, if any.

According to this notice, customers were covered under Toyota's Powertrain Warranty - which lasts for five years/60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

However, they are only covered for repairs under this warranty if they can pass a qualifying test. In a healthy engine, the oil circulates throughout the moving parts and helps to lubricate and cool all of the parts within it.

Very little oil is burned in this process because the oil is reused over and over until it needs to be changed after a certain mileage. The amount of mileage will vary depending on the vehicle, oil type and how new it is.

Depending on the oil type and filter used some cars can go 10,000 miles or more before needing an oil change. With conventional oil, you need to perform oil change every 3,000 miles.

Test Procedure

Test Procedure

You will need to take your Toyota to your dealer and have them check for excessive oil consumption. A Toyota mechanic checks the oil level of the vehicle marks the dipstick indicator, seats it and then tells the customer to drive for 1,200 miles, and return to the dealership at that time.

When they return, only those who are a quart low on oil after driving for 1,200 miles will have their vehicles repaired under the warranty terms. Those who do not meet those requirements are forced to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

Toyota engine oil consumption bulletin is different than a recall, which requires vehicle manufacturers to notify all owners of the problem and cover the cost of repairs. A technical service bulletin, which is what was issued in this case, is essentially an updated repair guide for the service departments of dealerships on how to repair vehicles that are affected by this problem and are still within warranty specifications.

Is There A Recall? 

Because excessive oil consumption is not considered a safety defect, a recall was not issued. Recalls are only issued when safety defects appear.

Things like faulty brakes, steering components malfunctioning, airbags that deploy when they're not supposed to, etc. are considered safety defects. What to do?

Unfortunately for many Toyota owners, the problem of excessive oil consumption did not begin until after the powertrain warranty had expired.

Many customers were forced to pay for the repairs out of pocket or continually top off their engines with a quart of oil in order for it to function properly.

Toyota has said that they have sent letters to customers affected by this problem, beginning in December 2014.

Customers can check to see if their vehicle qualifies at this link https://www.toyota.com/recall using their VIN numbers.

Lawsuit

 In 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filed by frustrated Toyota owners who were looking for some sort of compensation for the expenses incurred from replacing huge amounts of oil as well as the expensive repairs required to fix the piston ring issue.

Unfortunately, the problems with the piston rings usually did not start happening until the powertrain warranty had already expired.

In response to this lawsuit, which has not yet been settled, Toyota initiated a Warranty Enhancement Program, allowing customers to seek reimbursement if they had paid for the repairs themselves or if they had not sought repair, which they could now have the problem repaired at a Toyota dealership for free.

According to the letter issued by Toyota, the Warranty Enhancement Program offers coverage until October 31, 2016, regardless of vehicle mileage.

After this coverage has expired, secondary coverage is offered from ten years of the vehicle's first use or 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The letter is individualized for each customer, so it should specify the VIN number of the affected vehicle as well as the official first use date.

What Should I Do? 

To properly fix the Toyota oil consumption is an extensive repair job that requires the engine to be taken out of the vehicle and taken apart. It requires special lifting equipment and tools that most people do not have in their home garages.

Toyota owners are encouraged to contact their local Toyota dealerships service department. Be sure to have your specific vehicle information on hand when you call, including the VIN.

This number is a unique identifier for your vehicle and it will help the service technician discover if your car falls under consideration for this repair.

If your Toyota is out of warranty and you can not afford to fix this problem, try using a thicker oil. Make sure to check the oil level every week. Do not drive your car if the oil light comes on. Switch to a thicker oil such as 10W-40. Thicker oil won't fix the problem but can slow down oil consumption.

Toyota
Visitor

Has anyone tried doing a performance oil change to break down the carbon or am I getting screwed?

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  • Visitor

    i freaking bought the car right on 59K miles and the owners seem like they just wanna get rid of it quick and they never told me that the 2009 Scion XB burns oil.. what a crappy thing to do to somone and i bought it right after October 2016 around november.... now i might sell it for more than i bought it for and tell the ad exactly the truth that it burns oil.....

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  • Visitor

    I've just been for a service and my car needed a major top up, evening though I've been doing it around every three weeks. I went to a Toyota Dealership and he said he was unaware of the oil problems! He said my car was probably at its end of life...after only 9 years and just under 100000 miles, serviced always and really good care taken. I will certainly never buy a Toyota again and will be telling everyone. Really feel let down!

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  • Visitor

    If this class action case has not been settled, does anyone know who to contact? I am the original owner and at 68k miles, the dealer wants $3400 to fix this known problem.

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  • Visitor

    Hi All,
    I bought my 2007 Toyota Blade in August '17 from a local dealer imported from Japan (so New Zealand new - no service history) with 108,000kms on the clock, 2AZ-FE engine. Reputable dealer, biggest financial outlay I've ever made for a vehicle dammit. Traded in my ANCIENT Camry wagon with 480,000 kms on the clock (!!!)
    So, owing to the fact I've spent most of my life dragging various cars up the road behind me like a bag of clanking spanners, I frequently check the oil and watch carefully for signs of impending (nervous) breakdown. Imagine how unpleasantly surprised I was to find that I was absolutely CANING through oil (despite no visible signs of burning it). I started tracking the consumption and worked out that I was using 600mls (just over 0.6 quart) every 1000kms (620miles).
    9 months of arguing (and a "hydrogen clean" that would "sort it all out") this was NOT "acceptable consumption", with the dealership got the rings replaced under warranty.
    Now - 9000kms since this and my car is still using oil (approx 250mls/1000kms). I have zero chance of persuading the dealership to do anything more - and consider myself lucky they agreed to do the expensive rings on warranty. When I am done with paying for this Blade, I will sell it for as much as I can, cut my losses and go back to old bangers (my 3million year old Camry was only using MINIMAL oil!!)
    Advice would be: DO NOT TRUST THE TOYOTA BRAND without question!! ALWAYS Google the Engine no. and make/model, there are forums all over and if any issues have arisen, you can have them checked out before you sell your soul to the devil (Toyota) for a lemon always check your fluid levels - even when your gorgeous, shiny, grown-up new car appears to be a delicious dream come true. Always get a warranty. Never ever ever ever trust a car dealer unless they are your actual parent or child.

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  • Visitor

    Good info on the excessive oil consumption except floating ads on right side of web page overlap words and pictures making it nearly impossible to read.

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  • Visitor

    I have a 2007 RAV 4 limited with 4 cylinder engine with 126000 K. I switched to Valvoline synthetic oil 5W20. They put a sticker with date and next mileage change. We put very few miles on the RAV therefore the date expired in Feb. 2019. It wasn't till April of 2019 that the shop added a half a quart. I checked it again just the other day and May 25th about a month later and I had to have another half quart of Valvoline 5W20 synthetic oil. Question, would it be better to change oil at the due date rather than mile date? Does the oil have a tendency to break down after the due date. The oil was change Nov. 2018. Thank you.

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  • Visitor

    As an update for those stuck with this problem. Started adding "Sea Foam" per directions to the oil about 300-500 miles before oil change and it seems to have slowed down the consumption. Don't know if this is a long term fix/help for the problem since we are in the process of purchasing a new Subaru Forester. Since Sea Foam cleans the inside of the engine, dissolving the buildup, it seems to help the rings seal better and clean out the oil return holes in the pistons. Have to leave it up to others to followup in the future as to the long term results, but it seems to be working for us.

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  • Visitor

    My 07 Camry has been burning oil for years now. Has 225,000 miles. I add half a quart of oil every 400 miles or so, so I check it every week. When I went for the test (four years ago), Toyota said it had more oil on the dipstick after 1200 miles than when the test started! Bunch of liars.

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  • Visitor

    2010 scion tc. Didnt know this was an issue until today. And what a freakin mess it is to fix. Cant believe this would never be announced because it is NOT safety related. WHAT ABOUT THE CONSUMERS WHO USE YOUR PRODUCTS!! You did us dirty toyota. Now its to late to fix anything.

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  • Visitor

    Quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so is not why a bought a Toyota. They will not correct this defect and I'm with you, I'll never buy another Toyota as a result. I'd have bought a Korean car if I was planning to get less than 200,000 miles from a vehicle.

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  • Visitor

    Toyota reminds me of Harley Davidson. They don't care. I've had so many issues with both I'm done with them. Currently an 07 camry with the worst ratings of all.we bought the car from First team Honda in Portsmouth va used and now are told it's on us. The service should have been done before purchasing but was not. Not surprising because we've had nothing but problems since the original purchase because this dealership does not check the history of trade ins and don't have a good check point system for resale, done,done, done

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  • Visitor

    I agree with you, I have a 2008 Camry, it burns a quart of oil for one thousand miles. I brought my car to the Toyota dealer, they did a oil consumption test, they said it's normal to burn a quart of oil for a thousand miles. They refused to fix under the warranty.

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  • Visitor

    Just became another victim of the Toyota excessive oil consumption problem. I purchased my 2009 Camry with only 80,000 miles in March of 2019. The vehicle was purchased in good faith from a reliable Toyota dealer. I never knew the consumption problem existed with my car until I checked the oil level after driving it 1000 miles. It was down 1 quart. As it turns out, by the time I discovered the problem the vehicles 10 year extended warranty ended in May 2019. Now Im stuck with problem on my own. The carfax for this vehicle states that a consumption test was performed in March of 2015 with only 46,000 miles by the same dealer I bought it from. I guess no repairs were authorized at that time. Will check to see if the results from that test are still available. I got burned, never Toyota for me ever again.

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  • Visitor

    We have a 2008 Rave 4 since new. Never received this letter from Toyota. When i found out about this issue, and noticed was low on oil, went to dealer. It was the last month of the "ten year" limit. They won't let me see how much oil was in the vehicle when they "sealed" it. After 1200 miles, they checked it and said it was only down 3/4 of a quart, so "passed" test - no repair authorized. I checked it again after another 1200 miles, and down 1 quart. Have checked it every 500 miles, and more often. At 860 miles, 1 quart low. Have them top it off and give me an invoice showing miles, date and amount of oil added. It is getting worse - less than 500 miles and already 1/2 quart low. I am going to start adding some Sea-Foam in hopes that it will help remove deposits and free up the oil rings and slow the consumption. We have had many Toyota's in the past but no more. Amazing that Toyota admits there is an engineering issue with the pistons/rings on these engine, but won't stand by their products and fix it. NO MORE TOYOTA PRODUCTS.

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  • Visitor

    I have 2012 Toyota Camry. It has around 97K miles on it. Every time when I take it to the Oil change service, they says car is running on no oil at all. Since this is know issue, why can't Toyota fix it. I have used 3 Toyota Camry and 2 Toyota Corolla but next time it won't be Toyota.

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  • Visitor

    You should check the engine oil every two weeks and top off. Once you figure out how much oil it consumes then you can have a schedule to add oil on regular basis. My guess is that you probabily need to add about a quart a month.

    They don't want to fix it becasue it means a complete engine replacement.

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  • Visitor

    My local toyota dealership (Browns Toyota Glen Burnie) failed to properly handle this issue twice. I will never use Browns again and I will never purchase another toyota vehicle (even though I have been a lifelong toyota driver). Toyota knew this was an issue and Toyota refused to properly fix the vehicle.

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