Owner's of Toyota models such as Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Rav4, Solara, Scion xB and tC may experience excessive oil consumption. You will know if your vehicle is suffering from excessive oil consumption if your engine performance is severely diminished and if your oil levels are low too soon after changing the oil.
Some customers reported that the oil level had diminished to almost nothing by the time the maintenance interval arrived (typically at 5,000 miles for many of the vehicles affected).
Common symptoms include:
- oil light coming on
- engine noise
- the engine burns least 1 quart of oil every 1200 miles.
- having to add oil every month.
Oil Pressure light comes on halfway through your maintenance schedule (for example, if you normally have your oil changed every 3,000 miles, the oil pressure light comes on between 1000-1500 miles)
Affected Toyota Models
- 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
- 2AZ-FE 2AZFE Service Campain: LSC ZE7
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.
Technical service bulletin
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 amount of mileage.
The amount of mileage will vary depending on the vehicle and how new it is.
Depending on the oil type and filter used some cars can go 10,000 miles before needing an oil change (certain synthetic oils). With conventional oil, you need to perform oil change every 3,000 miles.
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, 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.
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.
Toyota Oil Consumption 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.
he 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.
How to Fix Toyota Excessive Oil consumption
To properly fix the Toyota oil consumption is an extensive task that requires the engine to be taken out of the vehicle and taken apart, which 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 you using a 5W-40 oil grade can slow down oil consumption. Rember to check the engine oil every week and top off if necessary.
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