oil problem on 2000 Toyota Corolla

I was looking to buy this Corolla, but the man said it uses one quart of oil to every two tanks of gas.It doesn't smoke and there are no leaks. Has 139,000 miles on it and runs fine. So my question is this where is the oil going? Any ideals?

by in White House, TN on January 18, 2009
1 answer
ANSWER by on January 18, 2009
These are a great engine. It is normal for an engine to require a little engine oil between services. For an engine to excessive amounts or engine oil between services means the engine is either burning oil or leaking oil. Leaking oil should be pretty obvious, look for leaks underneath the engine at the oil filter, oil drain plug, and oil filter. Look for oil leaking from the timing belt cover area and Valve cover gasket. If an engine is "burning oil" look at the tail pipe and rear bumper for signs off discoloration and oil. Oil may leak down the valve guides particularly after the engine has been shut off and started from cold, blue oil smoke is emitted from the tail pipe on start up, may also be noticeable if the car is left idle for a few minutes and then accelerated away (for example after sitting at a traffic light). If the piston oil control rings are worn the engine normally smokes on acceleration. Oil control rings may fail due to an engine that has badly overheated or has had infrequent engine oil changes. I wouldn't be too concerned about a quart per 1200 miles. Ask the seller for records of oil changes and other service records and get a shop knowledgeable in Toyota to do a pre-purchase inspection of the car.
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