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6G Celicas Forums > 6th Generation Celica > Engine/Transmission/Maintenance
enderswift
hey everyone,

my oil pressure light flashed on every time I hit the brakes on my way home today so I knew something was very wrong. Sure enough the dipstick was bone dry. I added roughly two quarts and it still doesn't register oil. So I'm pretty sure my engine has been running on next to nothing for at least a week. I'm pissed

but i dont understand how this could happen. I ALWAYS warm up my car until at least the cold mark, I don't leak oil anywhere, and I dont think i could lose 3 quarts through the valve stem seals... the car does not smoke at all!

anyone ever have something like this happen?
bccentaur3
This consistently happens to my ST beater. Its the valve stem seals and combination of piston rings. But I'm trucking on towards 240,000 I have nothing to complain about.
Hanyo
some healthy engines naturally burn oil.

It burns it in a way that no smoke or leaks will be seen.
Tech-Nics
Same here. I did an oil change right as the summer was ending. Just did an oil change last week and checked the dip stick for oil level and I was missing almost 2 quarts of oil. Didn't leak a damn drop nor did I see it coming out the muffler in blue smoke. After draining it I only filled 2 1/2 quarts. The old quarts from the summer. Now I'm checking my oil levels every 2 days now. My car just hit 182k a few days ago. I gotta start keeping more of an eye on this old man. This car is giving me little problems as it is and I take care of this car like my other son.
96stgreendemon
My celica burns oil, about a quart every 600 miles or so, just keep an eye on it
enderswift
good to hear some of you are experiencing a similar issue.... thing is, my car only has 88k on it O.O

weirder still is that this has never happened before. Oil consumption has been non-existent for all the 30k that the car has been in my possession. It remained constant even after my spark plug shattered into the cylinder last May (compression test shows perfect pressures btw). So this is really sudden .... I also don't think its due to cold weather because I ALWAYS warm up my car and never start it more than 3 times a day ... so there is no way I would lose 3 quarts in 2000 miles from cold-starts w/o seeing crazy amounts of smoke. In fact that much oil in the exhaust would have ruined my catalytic converters by now and would have tripped a CEL.

now, my car has the common valve seal leak, but I just don't see how that would spontaneously deteriorate from an occasional puff of blue on startup (on a hot day) to consuming 3 quarts in 2k. It just doesn't add up. Furthermore I can't say that its escaping through the spark plug tubes because there is only a tiny amount of oil in there...

I thought that it might be leaking past the rear main seal and filling my tranny bellhousing but a check quickly dismissed that idea. Guys I'm stumped, and I'm afraid to drive my car until I figure out where this oil went. I don't want to have to suffer a siezed engine to discover that my oil only leaks on the highway or something.

Sigh, can someone confirm if the following reasoning is sound? :

since my oil pressure light only came one for a split second, I can assume that the oil pump has been properly fed with oil up until that point. Therefore all of the most critical engine surfaces have had oil forced between just like normal. Its not until the oil pickup loses pressure that actual wear takes place. correct? Thus the only major lubrication loss was from the lack of 'splashing' inside the engine and so the final conclusion would be that the wear resulting from this would be minimal. correct?

Because if thats the case then I would feel a lot better. I've gone to great lengths to meticulously take car of this car and the thought that a few hundred miles of low oil would offset 3 years of careful maintenance pisses me off.
bccentaur3
I have been driving the beater ST like this for the past 2 1/2 years. The oil pressure switch is located in the head. So that split second its not getting oil, you should be okay on the bottom end. I feel that this issue is common. Just keep an eye on it like myself. If you are really concerned Do a leak down test. You can do a compression test, but thats not going to tell you as much as a leak down test would.
4-eyed-freek
i dont want to jinx my self or be an ass but this is new to me, my car has 351k on it and i never have to add oil..yes my car does have the celica valve seal leak but never once have i had to add oil in the 20k miles i have owned the car. i hope you find out whats wrong luke.
enderswift
you an me both man.

what do you guys think of my reasoning though? Because I've read that an engine cant tell how much oil it has as long as the sump can maintain pressure, and that all that extra oil is only a buffer.
4-eyed-freek
was there any sign of oil leak from the filter... i just dont see a 4cyl eating that much oil so fast, also did you check you coolant. any signs of anything in there?
enderswift
I raised the car and gave the car thorough look-over. all surfaces are as clean as the day I pressure washed the bay (except for salt).
The coolant is also good and what little oil I did have wasn't foaming up. sooooo.... I'm still confused.

What about my oil sump theory? thoughts?
96stgreendemon
Sounds about the same as my car, but i had it for about 3 days and took a corner fast the light came on, stopped at a gas station and added 3 quarts to it, i was pissed. and like you there is no oil burning on start up, from what my friends who drive behind me tell me i do burn a little oil when i really get into it. the consumption has slowed down since i seafoamed her, and just keep an eye on your oil level it will be fine
4-eyed-freek
im stumped..i just cant wrap my head around this one. i autocross my car and my oil light never comes on....well at least i dont think it does haha. i will ask one of my teachers for ya luke, see if they know anything.
enderswift
much appreciated man. Keep in mind that my oil light came on when there was approximately 1.5 quarts in the pan. I'd imagine that autocross with the full 4.5 quarts would never drain the sump that severely
4-eyed-freek
dont worry i just wrote it all down on paper haha just so i dont forget anything. i will post sat. im driving home tomarrow night.
EKAn
Mine burns the same as 96stgreendemon and its got 194k on it, but damn 3 quarts is alot. Good luck brother
enderswift
hey guys I jacked my car up today and did a more thorough inspection of the engine. I found a small oil leak coming from the drivers side near the distributor cap. It looks relatively recent since there is very little of the grime that forms on oil leaks; it looks like someone poured oil on the engine block a week ago or something. Anyway, there is a treaded hole near the distributor that looks like it may be the source:




Is there supposed to be a bolt that threads into this hole??? If not then its probably coming from the gasket. I think that switching to 5w-30 on the last oil change was the main culprit of my disappearing oil. And maybe its working its way past this gasket too. Its just too thin for the tolerances in this engine.



here is a view from underneath the engine:



that same threaded hole is viewed from the side in the middle of this photo (under the distributor). It seems that this leak is originating from there

what is this hole and what threads into it???
4-eyed-freek
idk man im not sure you lost 3 quart from that little mess, if you look at the back side of my engine it looks like its wet.. im sure mine is leaking from the manafold or something, but it never drips on the ground or looses oil. and mine looks alot worse than your picture.
i will text you luke if you want what they say(if its anything good)
enderswift
thanks dude. and yea theres no way 3 quarts got lost through there.
enderswift
so anyone know what that threaded hole is for?
Spider77
I think that's for different applications. Later today I'll take a look at mine, and see if I have one as well (I'm sure that I do though).
enderswift
QUOTE (Spider77 @ Dec 20, 2010 - 10:47 AM) *
I think that's for different applications. Later today I'll take a look at mine, and see if I have one as well (I'm sure that I do though).


much appreciated man
mkernz22
All I can tell you is that, that piece isn't on my '97 engine, I checked when I was in the garage earlier taking out my ebrake
enderswift
craaaap...

what is this thing?? O.o
Bitter
something your car does not have, don't worry about it. distributor O-ring looks like its leaking but not 3 quarts worth. Replace the O-ring and then clean the engine down with a few cans of brake cleaner to get it dried up and see if its leaking anywhere else. Valve cover is another common leak on these as can be the rear main seal or oil pan gaskets...hell anything with this age/miles.

If you want help I'm willing to lend a hand if you don't mind rolling down here some weekend.
4-eyed-freek
bitter, when are you moving back here?

luke..i asked some teachers and they said they didnt have a clue, they said it shouldnt have lost that many quarts so fast.
enderswift
QUOTE
something your car does not have, don't worry about it. distributor O-ring looks like its leaking but not 3 quarts worth. Replace the O-ring and then clean the engine down with a few cans of brake cleaner to get it dried up and see if its leaking anywhere else. Valve cover is another common leak on these as can be the rear main seal or oil pan gaskets...hell anything with this age/miles.

If you want help I'm willing to lend a hand if you don't mind rolling down here some weekend.


good idea, and I'll let you know if things go horribly, horribly wrong and I need help haha. Who knows maybe I'll be swapping in a new 5s if things like this keep happening to my car.

QUOTE
Luke..i asked some teachers and they said they didnt have a clue, they said it shouldnt have lost that many quarts so fast.



thanks for asking Skyler, I guess its just gonna remain one of those unsolved mysteries because the oil hasn't dropped a single mm in the last week.
Bitter
QUOTE (4-eyed-freek @ Dec 21, 2010 - 11:04 PM) *
bitter, when are you moving back here?

luke..i asked some teachers and they said they didnt have a clue, they said it shouldnt have lost that many quarts so fast.

moving back where? I've always lived south of Chicago laugh.gif
4-eyed-freek
oooh never mind..srry i was thinking of someone else hahah sorry!
Bitter
just use the force, luke tongue.gif
Spider77
I did check my engine today, and to let you know I've (and probably every other 5S owner) has the same "mystery" hole with threads. And mine is dry.
Driver
There's a lot of you guys from Chicago! Why have I not seen any of you driving around? LoL
enderswift
QUOTE
just use the force, luke


haha that reminds me of when i was first learning stick in my friends wrx. 'use the clutch, Luke!'

QUOTE
I did check my engine today, and to let you know I've (and probably every other 5S owner) has the same "mystery" hole with threads. And mine is dry.


thanks for checking, its probably for something that camry's need.

QUOTE
There's a lot of you guys from Chicago! Why have I not seen any of you driving around? LoL


I'm all over the place, its you guys that are hiding. anyone down for a chicago meet this summer?
Driver
How about a meet and greet sometime soon? It's been a while since the XRunner has been out. As long as it's dry I'm good smile.gif
Bitter
QUOTE (Driver @ Dec 23, 2010 - 6:23 PM) *
There's a lot of you guys from Chicago! Why have I not seen any of you driving around? LoL

I'm way far south of the city, past I-80...and I don't drive a 6th gen.
enderswift
quick update,

after I discovered my horribly low oil level, I topped it off with 3 quarts of mobile 1 10-30 until I could figure out what was wrong with the engine. I drove the celi like this for about a week before giving it a proper oil change just now. Fortunately the oil that came out didn't have any silver swirls in it. There wasn't anything stuck to the drain plug either, but I'm not sure if its even magnetized. Tomorrow I'm going to cut open my K&N oil filter to see if there were any large bits of metal stuck in there. So far it looks like I dodged a bullet (again) rolleyes.gif

Thanks for all the input guys.
Driver
QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 23, 2010 - 8:36 PM) *
QUOTE (Driver @ Dec 23, 2010 - 6:23 PM) *
There's a lot of you guys from Chicago! Why have I not seen any of you driving around? LoL

I'm way far south of the city, past I-80...and I don't drive a 6th gen.


That's not that far, I'm I55 and route 83 pretty much. And I usually drive my Tacoma.
Bitter
I'm just north of Monee and West of Crete.
Black 7th Gen or light metallic blue Mazda 626.

LOL, you call Willowbrook south? Dude...I'm not even in Cook County.
4-eyed-freek
im in schaumburg hahah where ever that is in relivance to you guys.
Bitter
QUOTE (4-eyed-freek @ Dec 24, 2010 - 4:36 PM) *
im in schaumburg hahah where ever that is in relivance to you guys.

land of 'everything costs too much', high curbs, and way too many traffic lights.
Driver
QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 24, 2010 - 3:25 PM) *
I'm just north of Monee and West of Crete.
Black 7th Gen or light metallic blue Mazda 626.

LOL, you call Willowbrook south? Dude...I'm not even in Cook County.


I said it wasn't that far from you haha it's not that south at all. I actually take my dog to the Vet in Crete off of 394. Schaumburg is close too, only about a 20 min drive.
Bitter
Cool, yea I'm not too far from that area. Right off Exchange before Governors.
4-eyed-freek
yup, i hate it down in schaumburg. gas is over priced.. and its sh**t gas. illinois in general isnt a state i would want to live in ever. if school wasnt there i would stay far away hahah.
Driver
I don't really care for this place much either. It's nice being sorta centralized to everything though...
enderswift
i hate the weather. especially the resulting salt and what it does to our cars.

insta-rust
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