What we know about the 2AZ-FE Oil burn problem - Scionlife.com



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Old 02-20-2018, 09:36 PM   #1  
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Default What we know about the 2AZ-FE Oil burn problem

Hello friends (I'm brand new to this forum so sorry if I do something wrong)

( DISCLAIMER: I am definitely not a mechanic! I'm just someone with a basic understanding of how most cars work. I simply have done much research on the issue and compiled all the information on this page for the convenience of others.
My goal here is to help people with this problem so they can keep there Toyota or Scion longer)

It's come to my attention that the 2AZ-FE engine can burn a lot of oil in 1 thousand miles. This is due to the piston rings in engines 2007 to 2009 or so fail to let oil pass through the piston and back into the crankcase, thus burning it all up in the combustion chamber.
For most people this problem happens at around 100,000 miles, which is sad considering piston rings are supposed to last much longer then that.

Another reason this might be happening for some is because of the oil return holes in the piston. If they become clogged the oil can not return to the crankcase.

OK, so we know the cause but how do we fix it? Keep in mind I'm just spitting out ideas here.

I remember hearing once about a redesign in the piston rings to stop the problem. It was from some video on YouTube so it might not be true but then again what would someone gain from lying about this. If I can find the video I'll see if I can link it.
But if this is true then having the engine rebuilt by Toyota with the new design should keep the motor running basically for good with little to no oil burn.

<--I'm sorry but I don't know how to add links, copy and paste this to your search bar or whatever to see the video

Alright but what can we do if the rebuild isn't an option? First off drive with the RPMs low and take it slow. For the automatics just apply less throttle to make the gearbox shift sooner, and for the manuals do the same, making sure to shift sooner while staying in high gears more often.

I had this other idea too that I read about on a different thread... switching to a oil brand with a lower NOACK level. The NOACK level is how much of the oil burns in a certain amount of time, the lower the better! Allow me to save you the time, some of the lowest I can find is the Amsoil signature series (5W-30). Along with Castrol GTX and Royal purple, I recommend you look for the NOACK levels yourself before buying just to be safe. Of course only use full synthetic oil, never cheap out with this motor.

I am concerned about his problem as I have just gotten an 07 Scion tC with 80k miles (not burning oil). And my dream is to keep it for a VERY long time, sounds stupid I know but hey that's what a dream is...

If you also own a car with this engine please let me know how it is doing so I can use it for research, whether it is burning oil or not. If you can do that for me that would be amazing as you are helping not only me but also many others with this problem.
Please be specific as possible, brand of oil, viscosity, type of driving you do, how much oil is being lost (if losing), and if it is synthetic or not. Remember you can't be to specific, so just say whatever other details you want. I understand I'm being picky here,
but this issue seems to have lots of variables so we need to be careful.

Again thank you so much if you responded with data, trust me your info is very helpful to the ones dealing with this problem. If you didn't I understand completely.

Thank you so much for reading, if your losing oil I hope you can get your engine back in proper working order soon.

Have a nice day/night!

-M4E

Last edited by MR_LUV; 02-21-2018 at 06:41 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:37 PM   #2  
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Oh hey the video just shows up like that! Well don't I look silly!
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:43 PM   #3  
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Our '09 just missed the cut off threshold during the oil consumption test done by Toyota - in other words it "passed". It was burning almost a quart/1K miles and was being used as a daily commuter car. A couple times the oil light went on while driving before we realized how bad the situation was. Up to that point (193k miles) it had been getting Castrol high mileage 5W20 which I believe is a syn blend. After that I switched it to Pennzoil Ultra Platinum full syn 5W30 (specifically for the significantly lower NOACK%) and have closely monitored the oil consumption for ~4000 miles and it has been exactly 1oz/75 miles or 1qt/2400 miles, which is about half as much consumption as it was having using the Castrol 5W20.

I have no intention of doing a rebuild at this time, and feel it could go another 100k miles now that we are aware of the problem and are watching the oil levels carefully.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:19 PM   #4  
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I'm glad to here you found a solution, I hope the engine goes another 100k! I would recommend at least trying to figure out if the rings are clogged or just worn to much. If they are clogged you might be able to save them using seafoam ...try talking to a trusted mechanic about that.

Anyway thank you so much for the details. What you said was more then enough. It's nice to find someone else who understands that complicated problems require lots of details.

I wish you the best of luck with your car!
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:03 PM   #5  
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Pretty common for most cars to start eating oil 100k+ miles. As the rings wear down and heat over time the rings get weak (kinda like a worn out spring). They just get worse over time and start to loose sealing ability and it's just a normal maintenance item on all engines in my eyes. The relief holes getting clogged I've only encountered once and I believe it was from cheap oil and long periods of sitting that make them cake up. There is no way to unclog the relief holes without pulling the pistons. Mine had to be drilled out they were so bad.

Of course the best way to do it is pull the engine but I have done a few re-ring / dingle ball rebuilds in car. It's not a fun job but it doesn't really cost much to do. Rings and Felpro laser welded head gasket is under $100 in parts. After that is done you are good for another 100k miles and don't have to worry about your oil light lighting up in the middle of nowhere. And also if your oil light comes on that means you have lost oil pressure and most likely have scuffed bearings and scratched crank. It only takes seconds of that to ruin the engine. I hear a lot of different types of oil stories fixing consumption problems but I really don't believe that to fix worn out rings. Kinda like engine rebuild in a bottle stuff... When you take 100+k rings off of a piston and put new ones on and feel the tension difference it really opens your eyes to what is going on in your engine.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:35 AM   #6  
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Replacing the piston rings isn't the "easiest" thing to do on the car by far. But it can be done. With that being said, parts isn't really the issue here since you wont really spend over 150 bucks on parts. the main issue is labor or time or inconvenience if your doing it yourself. This will require you to take the engine out of the car if you want to do this correctly. It probably can be done with the engine in the car but it would be way more of a pain since you will have to take both the top and bottom end apart since the pistons are located in the center of the engine.

I thought about doing this to my 2007 last year after i "failed" the oil consumption test at the dealership by 1/8 quart. Our cars aren't hard to rebuild in comparison to others and the 2-AZFE is an engine worth saving since they do last forever if you take care of them. But unless your planning on boosting in the near future, i wouldn't worry about the oil consumption until it begins to get really bad. Mine burns about 1 quart every 2500 to 3000 miles and it hasn't gotten any worse over the years so i just keep an eye on it and let it do its thing. I will eventually boost it when i graduate but i will be letting future me worry about that.

My advice to you is to keep an eye on your oil level. check in between oil changes and you should be fine. if it gets low, add some, and keep it moving.
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:26 PM   #7  
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Guys, I think I figured something out...

The manual for my 07 Scion tC says something about oil consumption (page 152 if you want to look for yourself, unless they changed it over a few years).

1.1 quarts every 600 miles is the maximum. Why?! why is that the maximum?! This must be why so many people pass the test, because it has to be that serious to get covered by the warranty.
So I think that means Toyota knew about this from the start, that got me thinking. As Tjaye2013 said,

"it hasn't gotten any worse over the years so i just keep an eye on it and let it do its thing."

Interesting... it hasn't gotten worse over the years, so I guess it is healthy for the engine at that age for it to burn some oil. Toyota might have intended this... well at least they knew about it.
Now I'm even more curious, if we can get one of these engines to 300,000 to 350,000 miles, will it loose the same amount of oil it did at 100,000 miles? If so then I'm perfectly okay with this engine
and we can forget about this whole thing as we have learned about everything we need to know.

Dang, I thought I read the manual hard enough, guess I was wrong. Magic happens when you read your car's manual trust me

Last edited by MR_LUV; 03-28-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:20 PM   #8  
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Burning a quart or so between changes isn't a bad deal. Some people that use synthetic change at 5-6k miles. So your burning 1.1 quarts per 600 miles and @ 6000 miles you're ok with adding 11 quarts of oil between changes to keep the oil light off? Also burning that much oil isn't good for the valves, catalytic converter, etc etc....

It's a problem that needs to be fixed and normal maintenance on any combustion engine. Unfortunately these cars start eating oil a lot earlier than most these days. Hopefully going back to standard piston rings will make my rebuild hold up longer than the original. I doubt I keep the car that long since I get bored and switch cars about every 80-100k.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:10 PM   #9  
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Oh my bad I completely worded that wrong, I meant to say that losing a little oil in between changes is ok with with me. As it would be to pretty much everyone. But what exactly do you mean by rebuilding to standard rings? Is that even possible? Like the ring design form 2005 or 2006? Because that's actually a good idea!
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:37 PM   #10  
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Default 06 tC Oil Consumption

My tC has been burning oil since about 140,000 miles. I purchased it in 09 with 66,000 on it and now I have 314,000 on it. Is been burning a qt plus every 600 miles for years.
A few months ago the cam bearings started making noise and the rear main started leaking pretty bad. I just bought a JDM used engine today that I'll be swapping soon..

Last edited by MR_LUV; 03-31-2018 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:52 PM   #11  
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Yeah, I use the good old $25 standard piston rings. I have been using them in 300-400HP boosted applications for years and never had any problems in any of the builds. Our 08' TC that we rebuilt had the weird new rings in it but I used a 04' shortblock and cheap rings. I'm pretty sure they all use the same mm ring set. They just decided to change them in the newer blocks, probably for less friction / better mileage or something stupid. If they would leave things alone and just revise the problems that the 2AZ-FE has it would be a good motor After the rebuild / break in and 2 oil changes (currently 8k miles now) I just checked the oil level after 3000 miles and it hasn't lost any oil at all. Will keep checking it until the 6,000 mark and change it again.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:40 PM   #12  
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Has anyone does Seafoam, MMO or something of that nature in their crankcase? I did mine around December this past year but won' be able to check until late summer because I deployed a month later. Hopefully that does something. I need to clean my throttle body too and I replaced my PCV last summer even though my old one didn' have any issues. Mine is an '07 and I only got 98K on it.

I've been experimenting with some oils to see if it helps cut consumption. The oils I've tried over the years are at roughly 5K oil change intervals are;

- Mobil 1 5W-20
- Mobil 1 EP 5-20
- Pennzoil Platinum 5W-20 Dexos 1
- Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 Dexos 1
- Valvoline (unknown due to dealership changes)
- Valvoline 0W-20 Synpower Dexos 1
- Valvoline FS w/Maxlife 0W-20 Dexos 1 Gen 2 (Current oil in the car after Seafoam crankcase treatment)

I'm too busy to do a piston soak since my ca is my primary means of transportation and 10/11 years of owner ship since '06 I've personally used full synthetic oils when I changed my own oil. I did the oil consumption test twice and they said I passed both times.l which is strange because everytime I change my oil only about 2.0 to 2.5 qts of oil come out when I fill it with around 3.7 to 4.0 qts with the oil filter. I just trying to keep this car as long as possible, start longer OCIs since im already using full synthetic and a Toyota engine like this shouldn't be burning this much oil.

I will also be sending my oil samples when I get home to Blackstone labs to see if I'm actually getting my monies worth with these oils and see if their results can indicate another possible issue with my engine.

If my message has broken English is bad it' because I'm typing on this damn phone and the internet sucks out here.

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