What to Do About Toyota’s Excessive Oil Consumption

You’ve probably heard many great things about Toyotas, and that’s why you bought one. But after driving it for a few years, you’ve realized that you might have gotten a lemon. Your car eats up a quart of oil every 1,000-1,500 miles! In extreme cases, the engine runs out of oil before the recommended oil change interval. Unfortunately, that’s a common concern we hear from Toyota owners coming to our Davidsonville Toyota service and repair shop. And here is some more information about this problem and what to do about it. As a reminder this blog is informational only, our service centers do NOT perform Excessive Oil Consumption Tests.

Affected Vehicles

In 2011, Toyota issued a technical service bulletin T-SB-0094-11 that acknowledged excessive oil consumption in the following vehicles manufactured between 2006 and 2011:

  • 2007 – 2011 Toyota Camry HV
  • 2007 – 2009 Toyota Camry
  • 2009 Toyota Corolla
  • 2009 Toyota Matrix
  • 2006 – 2008 Toyota RAV4
  • 2007 – 2008 Toyota Solara

The problem was said to be related to defective parts in the 2AZ-FE engine that all of the above vehicles share. The repair procedure consisted of replacing the piston and piston ring set and was covered under Toyota Powertrain Warranty for vehicles within 60 months or 60,000 miles of purchase. Unfortunately for a big portion of Toyota owners, the problem started manifesting itself after the warranty expired.

Toyota Limited Service Campaign

In 2014, Toyota was hit with a class-action suit from Toyota owners who were tired of buying ridiculous amounts of oil and wanted a compensation for the diminished values of their vehicles. In response to the public pressure, in the beginning of 2015 the famous auto manufacturer has finally done something about thousands of unsatisfied customers who were unable to get their vehicles repaired due to expired warranty or paid ridiculous costs out of pocket. Toyota issued a Limited Service Campaign (LSC) ZE7 which offered free repair for qualified vehicles during the campaign time frame.

The vehicles affected by this campaign slightly differ from the service bulletin and include:

  • 2007-2009 Toyota Camry
  • 2007-2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • 2007-2008 Toyota Solara
  • 2009 Toyota Corolla
  • 2009 Toyota Matrix
  • 2006-2008 Toyota RAV4
  • 2007-2008 Scion Tc
  • 2008-2009 Scion Xb

If you own one of these cars, you should have received a letter or several letters instructing you how to proceed. If you haven’t received anything, run your VIN number though Toyota’s recall check to see if your vehicle was affected by this campaign. Keep in mind that this is not a recall, but rather a warranty extension that will be available until October 31, 2016, so you still have time to take advantage of it.

If you have already spent money on repairs related to this problem, you may still be entitled to a reimbursement as long as you have a proof of payment and a repair order.

The Oil Consumption Test

In order to take advantage of the free repair, Toyota owners are asked to go to their local dealership and get an oil consumption test performed on their vehicle, at Choisser we do NOT perform these tests, but your local dealership will! During the test, a mechanic will perform an oil change and then tamper-proof the dipstick, drain plug, fill cap, oil lines and oil filter. You are asked to drive around for 1,200 miles and then come back to get your oil checked. If your engine used up 1 quart of oil or more during that time, you qualify for a free repair.

Your Other Options

But what if your car consumes a lot of oil but not enough to qualify for the free repair? Or maybe it’s one of the Toyota years or models not included in the extended warranty campaign? If you want to keep driving this car, you should get the issue fixed, because excessive oil consumption may eventually lead to complete engine failure—we’ve seen that happen. And even if you want to sell your car, you will sell it faster and get more if it doesn’t have any problems.

At Choisser Import Auto Services we’ll be happy to take a look at your Toyota and let you know your options. It’s possible that in your case excessive oil consumption is related to a different issue, which may be an inexpensive fix. Either way, we are are here to offer our professional opinion. And with our pickup service, we can easily inspect your car while you’re at work, saving you the drive.

Call us or contact online to schedule an appointment.

Image by Island Born from Pixabay