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iceracer
iceracer UberDork
1/3/14 5:46 p.m.

I was going to suggest an "Italian Tune Up" as it used to be called. PCV is easily checked. With the engine idling, pull the oil cap, place hand palm over the opening. should be trying to pull you hand in. Another thing you might try. Run it a qt. low on oil. Worked on my '46 Plymouth

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/3/14 6:29 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: Ah, the old "blow the carbon out" trick. Well, I can certainly firewall the gas pedal a few times on the way home tonight.

Do that every day(with it warmed up), its Japanese, they like being redlined daily.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
1/6/14 9:59 a.m.

I have nowhere on my daily commute where I can beat on my DD. It will exceed the maximum speed limit I see on the way to/from work in 1st gear. Combine that with very mild traffic, and it rarely ever sees the high side of 3000rpm. The occasional blast above that is possible, but nowhere I could sustain any substantial load on the engine.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
1/6/14 10:14 a.m.

No back/country roads ?

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
1/6/14 12:53 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: My daily driver, a '93 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon with the 1.8L is consuming oil, at a rate of about a quart every 500 miles. (...) The car has just under 190,000 miles on it. (...) Or should I just continue to dump cheap $3 quarts of gas station 10W-30 in it every other fillup?

Every other oil add, use Dexron instead of motor oil. Change at normal intervals.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/6/14 2:02 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin:

No highway on ramps?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
1/6/14 2:46 p.m.

Nope. All single lane country/suburban roads 35-45mph with light traffic.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/6/14 2:50 p.m.

Take the long way home a couple times a week.

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
1/6/14 4:39 p.m.

I can’t let a thread about high oil consumption go without telling this story. It involves disappearing oil but it wasn’t being consumed (at least not all of it) but I think it’s relevant to put 500 miles/qt in perspective. Back when I lived in Detroit, I commuted in a series of beater cars which ended when I bought my mother’s Accord. At one point, I found myself in possession of the combination of German engineering and Brazilian craftsmanship known as the VW Fox. Now this was a low mile (85k) rust-free California car and it was loaded with features like four manual roll down windows, a four speed manual, heat and vent, and a stereo that wasn’t connected to anything including speakers or power. It even came with good enough tires. I commuted in this finely tuned machine for about a year to give you an understanding of how these events played out. When I first got the car, it had a tiny oil leak. It started at the top of the engine so naturally, this being a VW product, I thought valve cover gasket. I went ahead and changed the oil and slapped a new valve cover gasket on there. Sure enough, the old one was hardened and falling apart so I felt pretty good about this being the fix. I began commuting from one of the southern Detroit suburbs into Detroit proper , 21.5 miles each way. Now I’ll not bore you with most of the cars faults (the clutch cable would start sticking in stop and go traffic, a black car with no A/C in the summer, the completely dead struts at all four corners, the leaking windshield seal) and focus on the oil. When the car was stopped in traffic, I would get some oil burning smell and I noticed that the puddle where I parked the car in the driveway was continuing to grow. A closer inspection showed that oil wasn’t leaking from the valve cover anymore (if it ever was) but was now leaking out of the head gasket. That oil would leak directly onto the exhaust manifold and a significant portion of that oil would burn which is where the oil burning smell was coming from. Like any good beater car owner, I elected to ignore it. Meanwhile, the spot on the driveway kept growing. After a couple of months, the car began making a horrendous rattling noise on the drive home. When I stopped to check the oil level, the dipstick was dry. I grabbed a couple of quarts of oil and drove home. This cycle continued, with the intervals until the rattling would start gradually decreasing. The other thing I noticed was the smoke. As the oil add intervals decreased, the quantity of smoke that was rolling out from under the hood. Now this wasn’t an unnoticeable amount. When people in Detroit start edging away from your car at stoplights, you know it’s pretty scary looking. Eventually, I crossed the quart per day threshold. That’s to say, every day, I’d add a quart of oil when I got home. That’s a quart of oil every 43 miles. At that point, I realized it was used oil time. I had about 5 gallons of oil sitting around in jugs that I hadn’t had a chance to take back for recycling. That went in the car first. Then I performed a round of oil transmission, and differential oil changes on the rest of the fleet. That netted me another 5 gallons of oil. After another couple of weeks, the situation was looking grim.
That when I had a eureka moment. Surely everyone I worked with had a bunch of used oil at home! I asked around and sure enough, I was swamped in a deluge of used oil. I had months worth of oil! I was saved! But the oil use was increasing. After 10 months of commuting, I was having to add 2 quarts of oil on each leg of my commute. That’s 12.25 miles/qt. That’s when things took a turn. I was heading out to work and I’d run out of used oil. I decided to swing by the parts store, buy two quarts so I could get to work and beg for more there. I picked up my oil, dumped it in, and headed out. On the interstate, it became apparent that I had exceeded my lifetime allowance of hood openings when the hood flew up into the windshield while I was passing a semi. Now a Fox isn’t like a normal car. There’s a 3 inch section of sheet metal between the windshield and the cowl so when the hood comes up, you can’t duck to see under the bottom of the hood. I put on my turn signal, slowed down until I was sure the semi-truck has passed and pulled onto the shoulder. When I slammed the hood shut, the hinges broke off. I tried to put the hood into the back seat but it just refused to be stuffed in there. Into the ditch it went. The oil smoke at stop lights was even more impressive without the hood in the way and access to add oil was that much better! I kept burning oil for another two months before I sold it on MIVE for next to nothing. A post script to that tale, a couple of years after we moved (about 3 years after the VW left), I was showing someone our old neighborhood on Google Maps. When I saw a black blob in the driveway, I thought it was an old image with the Fox parked in its usual spot. When I zoomed I saw that I was wrong. That was the oil slick left from 12 months of parking in the same spot.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
1/6/14 8:03 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
Sky_Render wrote: My daily driver, a '93 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon with the 1.8L is consuming oil, at a rate of about a quart every 500 miles. (...) The car has just under 190,000 miles on it. (...) Or should I just continue to dump cheap $3 quarts of gas station 10W-30 in it every other fillup?
Every other oil add, use Dexron instead of motor oil. Change at normal intervals.

Dexron? You mean I should dump a quart of auto trans fluid in instead of motor oil? I'm not arguing with you; I'm just asking why. Is the idea to clean the carbon buildup from the piston rings? Would adding an ounce or two of Marvel Mystery Oil or Seafoam to the crankcase do the same thing?

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/6/14 8:20 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: Or should I just continue to dump cheap $3 quarts of gas station 10W-30 in it every other fillup?

I missed this. DO NOT do that. Most of that stuff barely qualifies as oil, let alone something you should put into an engine. http://www.pqiamerica.com/

Opti
Opti New Reader
1/6/14 9:20 p.m.

Seafoam it. Most people use the booster hose, but your actually looking for a vacuum source as close to the throttle body as possible, most of the times this isnt the booster hose. Hold it about 2000 rpms as it is introduced. Afterwards I generally go dog the E36 M3 out of it until it quits smoking, that normally involves a 4th gear pull to 7K.

I also like the spray deep creep into the throttle body, a bunch, like a whole bottle and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before firing it up and giving it the old italian tune up.

The seafoam or marvel mystery oil in the cylinders is probably a good idea to, I always did that on an old engine that had sat for a long time before starting

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
1/6/14 9:28 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: Dexron? You mean I should dump a quart of auto trans fluid in instead of motor oil? I'm not arguing with you; I'm just asking why. Is the idea to clean the carbon buildup from the piston rings? Would adding an ounce or two of Marvel Mystery Oil or Seafoam to the crankcase do the same thing?

Pretty much. ATF is more or less a 5W20 oil with a different additive package. You're processing enough oil that you don't need to worry so much about long term combustion by-product handling so much as you can use the sludge/carbon deposit breakdown properties. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that the friction modifiers will deglaze the bores a bit, too.

I have done complete engine fills with ATF and usually do every third quart of top-up with the stuff as well. Regular ATF use completely de-clattered the lifters in my rather elderly VW engine. (It's getting close to 380k.) Marvel is similar but a lot more expensive.

Also, that PCV? Throw it away and put the old one back in. Aftermarket PCVs are almost never right. It's to the point now that the OEMs are making the PCV a permanent part of the valve cover so people don't screw it up by putting in some generic part.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
1/7/14 9:56 a.m.

PCV valves almost never need replacing.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
1/7/14 1:01 p.m.

Well, right now my plan of action is to go get an OEM PCV valve from the local Toyota dealership and put a loop in the vacuum line. I've also been revving the motor a lot higher, which actually seems to have already made it run a bit smoother. I'll also dump a bit of Dexron in a few hundred miles before the next oil change.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
1/7/14 1:08 p.m.
iceracer wrote: PCV valves almost never need replacing.

With a PCV valve replacement, the tunawife's Civic went from 2 quarts every 4k to 0 every 4k. They do go bad and it's the exact problem they can cause. Like the OP, there were no real symptoms other than losing oil from the crankcase.

Cone_Junkie
Cone_Junkie SuperDork
1/7/14 1:13 p.m.
iceracer wrote: PCV valves almost never need replacing.

Assuming that is sarcasm?

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/7/14 1:29 p.m.
Cone_Junkie wrote:
iceracer wrote: PCV valves almost never need replacing.
Assuming that is sarcasm?

Its a reasonable statement to counter the OMFG YOU NED TO REPLACE THE AIRFILTER AND PCV EVERY 12K MILES a lot of people shout.

Cone_Junkie
Cone_Junkie SuperDork
1/7/14 1:43 p.m.
Kenny_McCormic wrote:
Cone_Junkie wrote:
iceracer wrote: PCV valves almost never need replacing.
Assuming that is sarcasm?
Its a reasonable statement to counter the OMFG YOU NED TO REPLACE THE AIRFILTER AND PCV EVERY 12K MILES a lot of people shout.

I didn't see any OMG statements on here. In addition to that the OP is experiencing a problem that could easily be directly related to a bad PCV, especially since his problem got worse after replacing his with a generic. I replace a PCV system on a BMW or Audi at least once a week due to smoking, oil consumption, or rough running.

This isn't Jiffy Lube trying to up-sell to a customer, it's a car forum trying to help a member out with a specific problem.

The PCV could pay for itself in the lack of oil the OP is pouring into his car routinely.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/7/14 1:56 p.m.

In reply to Cone_Junkie:

And I bet they all have 100k+ miles on the original pcv too. This could be a pcv problem, I've stated that in here, along with ways to improve upon the stock system.

The vast majority of the time however, people replace them too often, with an inferior valve, and end up screwing up the grommet in the process. I don't mess with them unless I suspect its got at least 100k on it, the hose is messed up, or there's obvious crankcase ventilation problems. "PCV valves almost never need replacing. " is a pretty true statement.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
1/7/14 5:46 p.m.

What happens in most cases is the connecting grommets or the line gets plugged. Exactly why a faulty PCV system will cause oil consumption is confusing. If it is not creating vacuum in the crankcase can cause leaks. Excessive blow by is something that can overload the PCV. Still I don't see any of this causing oil consumption. Unless it is blowing oil out the breather.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
1/8/14 7:38 a.m.

Last night I stopped at the Toyota dealer to order a genuine OEM PCV valve. The parts guy looked at me like I was nuts when I placed an order for an $8 part for a 21-year-old vehicle.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
1/8/14 12:03 p.m.
Cone_Junkie wrote:
iceracer wrote: PCV valves almost never need replacing.
Assuming that is sarcasm?

If they are giving issues, clean 'em out real well with carb cleaner. Even if you somehow spend more money on carb cleaner than a new PCV, you'll still be better off because generic PCVs are generically calibrated and usually not so good for your application.

So yes - PCV almost never need replacing. Maybe a cleaning every now and then, but they rarely will physically go bad.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
1/8/14 12:07 p.m.
Cone_Junkie wrote: In addition to that the OP is experiencing a problem that could easily be directly related to a bad PCV, especially since his problem got worse after replacing his with a generic. I replace a PCV system on a BMW or Audi at least once a week due to smoking, oil consumption, or rough running.

I do agree, the BMW/Audi/Volvo breather systems can fail in the horrendous oil consumption vein. But when you replace them, you're replacing them with OE parts, not a generic PCV valve with one calibration for everything from 1-liter Geos to 460 Fords.

In this case, putting a generic part on the car will often be worse than the faulty PCV that was on the car to begin with.

We never replace PCVs unless they are physically damaged.

dculberson
dculberson UltraDork
1/8/14 12:09 p.m.

The PCV valve is also mechanically very simple. If there's no damage to the part you can often clean it, say with some sea foam and a glass jar, and restore functionality.

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