Camry -- uses about 3/4 quart every three months -- Cure?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by cyberpriusII, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    1,006
    1,277
    0
    Location:
    VERY rural Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Our 2003 Camry (about 150K) uses about a 3/4 quart of oil every three months. No obvious leaks, nothing under the car and no black smoke.

    Hubby wants to change to 20w-50 at next oil change in about a month (manual calls for the 5w-30).

    Not something I want to fight him about unless it seems really stupid....he says it may slow the oil consumption. Thoughts?
    kris
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,484
    38,941
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    how many miles is every three months? maybe try some stp oil treatment, or slick 50. some have found that a synthetic lasts longer.
     
  3. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    10,847
    3,328
    1
    Location:
    Northern VA (NoVA)
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    That seems like reasonable loss rate...
    i might be tempted to go heavier too, but the first thing I'd do is go for something like Mobil 1 5w-30 High Mileage formula which is fomulated to reduce oil loss. Part of the way they do that is additives, the other thing is it's a bit heavier oil by design. Other brands may have high mileage too. I don't know if they have that specific formula at Walmart, but Mobil-1 at Walmart is $22.xx for 5 qts bottle lately.
     
  4. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    6,543
    2,320
    0
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    No black smoke from burning oil, it would be white smoke. ;)

    Had the "pleasure" of following a vehicle burning so much oil that there was a huge cloud of white, smelly smoke billowing out of the tail pipe. :eek:

    SCH-I535
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    14,938
    6,728
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    More oil loss in an older car can be normal as parts wear and seals degrade. The amount of miles during the 3 months is an important factor. I've heard some, like old Saturns with stuck rings, going through a quart every 1000 miles.

    I second trying a high mileage oil first. It seems every oil, including Wal-mart brand, has one. Their measured viscosity is at the high end of their rating, and they will likely have more seal and gasket conditioners. Those should swell any that have shrunk and lead to weeping from age. I put Valvoline's mix into our Sable because of a suspected valve cover leak.

    I don't think I'd go with such a thicker oil at first if that doesn't work. There are 0w40 synthetics, and it is alright to use diesel blend oils if you can't find a normal 40 weight. The extra additives won't hurt anything. Putting gasoline engine oil in a diesel leads to problems though.
     
  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    5,956
    4,877
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'd also try one of the High Mileage flavors before clubbing up to 20w50, but I don't think it's worth a night on the couch over..........depending on who usually drives the Camry, and how many miles you average in the 3-month period.
     
  7. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    1,333
    314
    0
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Suggest trying a high mileage oil before going to the that high weight oil. Probably 3/4 quart of oil every three months is not that bad for an 11 year old car with 150,000 miles on it. Of course it depends on the number of miles you have driven in that three months.
     
  8. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    2,626
    1,575
    0
    Location:
    Milpitas, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Ditto what the others said. No reason to jump to a 20w50 yet. Try some high mileage oil or a thicker weight oil like 10w40 first.
     
  9. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,181
    6,923
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    I would not go to a thicker grade,3 months would be close to 5000 miles of regular driving. Just change your oil or top off as needed. It's less than a quart of oil used, our prius cars burn more than that at 5000 miles.
     
  10. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    982
    208
    0
    Location:
    N. Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    Three
    This would be my advice too.......except that I think you will find that the "high mileage" oils will start at about 10W40 and go up from there.
    And I would NOT switch to synthetic if you haven't used that before.

    Even if that helps, you probably are looking at a half quart useage over that same period of time or mileage.
    It will never be sealed like new again.
     
  11. amm0bob

    amm0bob Permanently Junior...

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    7,730
    2,545
    0
    Location:
    The last place on earth to get cable, Sacramento
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    If it isn't leaking, and you can tell by the spots on the ground when you park it, then it is probably consuming the oil in combustion either through the rings or seals (usually valve seals)... going with a thicker oil is what a lot of shade tree mechanics swear by... I do not. thicker oil flows slower... if the engine isn't designed with large enough oil pathways, it may lead to oil starvation in a critical area, especiall if the engine is dirty inside.

    I'd recommend fushing the oil twice, with an additive (there are several from different companies (STP, Wynn's, ect.), and use regular grade oil for the flushing process (drive at least 3 hours hot to get it "washed up" inside the engine).

    Then with the new oil use a topside cleaner that can go into your gas like Sea Foam... my personally favorite. It will smoke like crazy for a few minutes, but it WILL do your engine some good.

    With the final oil refill, put in a container of Slick 50... then top the oil off.

    As for whether to use synthetics or not... if it is a newer car, sure... if it isn't a newer car, I know personally, that if it didn't leak when you were using only dino-oil, it certainly may when you switch to modern synthetics... as it did to the car in my avatar... and two of three other cars I have owned.
     
  12. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    649
    207
    0
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I will add to the suggestions to try a high mileage oil. My previous Volvo was burning 1qt every 800-1000 miles when I purchased it with 130k on it. Switching it to Mobil1 10w-30 high mileage reduced that to less than 1qt every 4-5k, even when I sold it with 180k on it.
     
  13. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    982
    208
    0
    Location:
    N. Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    Three
    That is a compilation of what could possibly be the worst advice I've seen in an automotive forum in YEARS.......and the competition is pretty stiff.

    By "flushing" the crankcase, you are prone to loosening sludge that is perfectly happy right where it IS.....and might be helping the gaskets seal.
    The loosened sludge might plug up oil passages.

    Whatever carbon is in the top of the combustion chamber likewise is not harming anything.
    SeaFoam is mostly snake oil and many of the advertised benefits are just fantasy.

    And finally, Slick 50 is mostly Teflon (PTFE) which is a dry lubricant that tends to stick around in places that it shouldn't.
    It is the KING of sludge producers.
     
  14. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    1,006
    1,277
    0
    Location:
    VERY rural Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    again.

    Thanks for the tips from all of you!! Greatly appreciated.

    We actually put high-mile oil in every other oil change or so....husband Kevin and I share a bit of a "thrifty" gene, and since high-mile oil is usually more expensive, we usually only spring for it for our April oil change. Sometimes it is on sale in the fall and we will buy it then, also.

    The car does not get a lot of miles. It is usually driven every day, but not always. Sometimes it may go a week with no driving.

    Both of us try to avoid driving as much as possible, actually.

    But, when the Camry is driven, it is only about 10 miles each day. Although usually a LOONG road trip each weekend of maybe 20 whole miles. :)

    So, maybe 10K per year.

    So, it sounds, mostly, that high-mileage oil is worth using, the oil use is not that much and not that big a deal.

    And, no white smoke either...:)

    Oh, and this probably makes no difference, but it is a 5-speed manual Camry with with the small four in-line engine.

    kris
     
  15. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    1,333
    314
    0
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    It is 11 years old with 150,000 miles on it. If it were mine I would just top off the oil in between oil changes and let it go.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,484
    38,941
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    agreed. it's not like you're gonna get stuck low on oil, 20 miles away.;)
     
  17. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    3,002
    474
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    It's not a bad idea to switch to a thicker oil like 20-50, as long as you won't be starting the car in sub-zero temperatures. It should reduce your oil consumption a bit, and it may also reduce further engine wear somewhat also.
     
    #17 GregP507, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  18. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    4,519
    390
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Using higher viscosity oil lowers gas mileage.In an F150 truck ,it caused about a 20% reduction.
     
  19. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    1,482
    134
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    10K miles per year
    3 months = 2500 mils
    3/4 quart per 2500 mils.

    This is normal usage !!!!!
    No need to worry or do anything.

     
  20. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    3,002
    474
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I've always had a problem justifying a cheaper oil. It's the main line of defense against engine wear.
     
Loading...