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Why Toyotas Burn So Much Oil and What You Can Do About It

Here’s a great discussion on exactly the reasons why modern Toyotas are so prone to becoming oil burning vehicles in spite of hearing numerous stories of 200,000+ mile Toyotas on the road. Is there a disconnect between these two facts? Find out the reasons why this happens before you decide to buy that used Toyota.


What’s In This Must-Watch Video

Toyotas are great cars---there is no denying that. However, it is not without its faults and neither are some of its owners.

That is the message in this important video that you need to understand why Toyota vehicles burn so much oil and what this means to someone shopping for a used Toyota just because someone recommended it as a preferred used car buy.

Discover in the Video:

• What oil consumption stage your Camry or other Toyota model is in and what it means.

• Why Toyota engines burn so much oil and which engines are worse than others.

• Why you should not switch oil types to fix an oil burning problem.

• The caveats to using oil system cleaners for helping your engine burn less oil.

• Why you cannot compare the worth of two of the same models when one looks neglected with road salt rust damage and the other is immaculate.

• What the manufacturers fine print has to say that most new owners miss.

• How you can tell that a used Toyota is really irreparable and why.

• How two identical Camry models compared side by side with one driven 92,000 hard miles and the other only 49,000 easy miles within the same time frame.

That said, sit back and relax for what is guaranteed to be an enjoyable and informative learning experience that can save you money and help you select a used Toyota.

Why do Toyota engines consume oil ? And how to prevent it?

And finally…

For more used car articles related to the topic, be sure to check out the following linked articles “The Sealed Automatic Transmission Flush Deception Revealed by a Mechanic; and, “How to Inspect The Transmission Fluid on a Used Prius.

COMING UP NEXT: What a Toyota Engine Rebuild Can Cost

Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily automotive-related news.


B.Rand (not verified)    September 29, 2021 - 12:43AM

I’ve been driving Toyotas for over 30 years (usually 2 vehicles at a time) and have never had one that used or burned oil.

Timothy Boyer    September 29, 2021 - 9:50AM

Yep, no surprise with that. Which is what the mechanic was making a good point about---take good care of your car with regular oil changes every 4,000 miles and those old engines will go past 200,000 miles. Fail to do so, and problems develop. Thanks for the input---much appreciated.

John R Davis (not verified)    January 21, 2023 - 12:25PM

I have the opposite problem where my 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2.4L (190000mi) has MORE oil on the dipstick each time I check the oil level! When the rising oil level goes above the full line on the dipstick, I either let some oil out or I change the oil and refill to the halfway mark. Then the process of seeing the oil rise starts over again.
Someone told my fuel injectors are leaking gasoline into the oil and that if why my oil level goes up. I cannot smell gasoline in the oil and the oil doesn't appear thinner.
Any ideas as to why my oil level increases is appreciated.

Carla Dunn (not verified)    February 9, 2023 - 6:19PM

My 2007 4.2 Limited Rav 4 is another one of those oil guzzlers. It started burning oil around 87,000 miles. I complained at the Toyota dealer and they tried blaming me of not having it checked when the warnings came out. I didn’t have the problem when I received the notices. They offered to put another engine in at a cost to me of $4,400.00. No thank you. Then they offered to run a carbon cleaning process of performing 3 oil changes with the SUV idling 15 minutes between changes at a cost of 3 oil changes. Nope. It’s obviously defective pistons or whatever. So until I decide to get a new vehicle guess I will be adding oil every fill up and carting quarts of oil in the back. Even now it only has 107,000 miles on it. It was an early burner in my book.

Den (not verified)    April 15, 2023 - 4:30PM

My Rav4 with 2.5L doesn’t burn any oil. At 102,000 miles I haven’t ever burned a measurable amount of oil between changes. I don’t know anyone that has a Toyota burning oil. So, what is the fuss? I know two Subaru owners that have had this issue.

Gabe P (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 9:13PM

Tim: This is a very informative, great video on oil consumption. I have a 2012 Highlander with 163K miles and it is consuming a quart of oil every 1K miles. I had the oil changed every 5K miles mostly at a Toyota dealership from the time I bought new. I believe the oil Toyota uses is Full Synthetic 0W-20. Question: Do you recommend using Full Synthetic High-Mileage 0W-20 instead of the regular Full Synthetic 0W-2? Thanks!

Scott (not verified)    November 3, 2023 - 8:54PM

I don’t believe the oil usage is due to untimely oil changes. I bought my 2008 Rav4 new. Changed the oil at the dealership every 3,000 miles. It’s now at 87,000 miles & burns oil, no leaks. I have to check and add oil about every two weeks. I’m tired of it. It’s be a wonderful car up till now with this only issue.