My car burns oil. Should I replace the spark plugs with cheaper ones?

Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,352
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
I drove a '68 Impala for a few years, and would have been delighted to burn only a quart every 400 miles.

I used to carry a spare set of plugs to throw in as soon as the engine started misfiring. Pulled the fouled set, and swapped in the ones I'd cleaned previously. Could do the swap in about 20 minutes. Would scrape the deposits off the fouled plugs, and spray them with a cleaner, maybe WD-40. Kept going with those two sets for at least a year.

Stubborn young guy; the oil savings alone over six years would have paid for a rebuild.

I read an article around that time about drilling a small hole in the ground electrode and installing a very fine nichrome wire, which was supposed to be resistant to oil fouling. Never tried it though.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Messages
63
Location
Daytona Beach, Florida
If you go to Toyota Nation.com or corollaforum.com you should find that your engine has a very common problem for that year and engine. Toyota issued a service bulletin that takes some investigation to learn about. But in short there are not enough holes in the piston to allow for oil to flow to the oil control rings. With dino oil, this part of the piston and the amount of restricted flow gets so hot that oil gets burnt/ carbonized. The fix at the time was to replaced pistons and oil control rings to allow more flow. If you research deep enough, some have drilled a few more holes in the pistons and filed the control rings some to allow for more flow of oil to fix the oil burning and sludging the motor. The other option is too just use MOBIL 1 Full Synthetic High Mileage which is excellent at removing sludge in your engine. I did this on my 2002 Corolla and my oil consumption dropped but not too much longer I developed a leak on a seal that should have been replaced anyways. You can use some seafoam in the gas tank and in the oil just before a oil change. Get yourself a good filter and use the Mobil 1 and see if things get better. You should run a longer oil change interval close to 10000 miles.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
15,056
Location
Indiana
Run a cheap thick conventional.

Get the new and correct plugs. Do a bi monthly or monthly brake cleaner clean? Hopefully they’re easy to get to.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2022
Messages
22
Location
Massachusetts
My vote is Ngk or Denso copper in your situation. They are my go to brands but likely any name brand will be fine and a conventional blend 5-30 oil if you live in a cold state or 10-30 if you live in a warm place. Might want to try Chevron Supreme if available. No idea why but it cut oil consumption better than in half in one of my kids 2005 car compared to two other name brand oils.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,742
Location
Juno Beach FL
I would first try cleaning and regapping the plugs every few months as well as adding oil as needed. If cleaning the plugs does not help, I would then go with inexpensive plugs to replace. Good luck, some warts in the car is made up by all the money you save by not springing for a new car.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
411
Location
MN
If this were my car I would look for a replacement and once I found a replacement I would seriously start adding TCW-3 oil every time it needs a quart just to see what happens...

At a quart every 400 miles that's probably about a 50:1 mix. plugs would stay clean as well.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
21
Try to address the oil burning issue. Try BG EPR then after that use 1QT of marvel mystery oil with 3000 mile oil changes and see what happens. Im doing that right now with my 03 Vibe that has the 1ZZ engine that is burning 1 QT for every 1000 miles.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
8,312
Location
Atlanta,GA
If you go to Toyota Nation.com or corollaforum.com you should find that your engine has a very common problem for that year and engine. Toyota issued a service bulletin that takes some investigation to learn about. But in short there are not enough holes in the piston to allow for oil to flow to the oil control rings. With dino oil, this part of the piston and the amount of restricted flow gets so hot that oil gets burnt/ carbonized. The fix at the time was to replaced pistons and oil control rings to allow more flow. If you research deep enough, some have drilled a few more holes in the pistons and filed the control rings some to allow for more flow of oil to fix the oil burning and sludging the motor. The other option is too just use MOBIL 1 Full Synthetic High Mileage which is excellent at removing sludge in your engine. I did this on my 2002 Corolla and my oil consumption dropped but not too much longer I developed a leak on a seal that should have been replaced anyways. You can use some seafoam in the gas tank and in the oil just before a oil change. Get yourself a good filter and use the Mobil 1 and see if things get better. You should run a longer oil change interval close to 10000 miles.
OP should read this. The oil burning issue isn't necessarily due to wear (although with the mileage it could be).
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
174
Location
The web
Use the cheapest copper plugs you can find and clean or change them often, its the best you're going to do. I had a Corolla of this era and no snake oil, high mileage oil, additive, or piston soak is going to cure the problem. As others have said, its a coking issue due to too few and too small oil return holes in the pistons. If you've ever torn one down, you'd see the size of the mountain you're trying to climb by trying to cure this problem with different oils or whatever. The carbon encasing the rings will be rock hard, to the point you'll need a hammer and chisel just to dislodge the rings, if you even can. Then many hours soaking the pistons in solvent to loosen the carbon enough to clean things up and drill out the holes a size or two larger. Easier just to use new pistons.

They will run forever if you just keep adding oil, I had one burning close to a quart every 400-500 miles starting just under 100,000 miles, very little smoke at all, and it went 400,000 miles before I sold it to a junkyard due to severe rust. It had an aftermarket cat on it from about 200,000 and still, somehow.. I have no idea how... passed emissions right up to the end. The engine ran fine and had decent power and great gas mileage, it just went through oil like there was no tomorrow.

Cheap copper plugs, don't waste money on anything else.
 
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