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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 24016
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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2000 Toyota Avalon: white smoke @ start up..mech..burning oil

Resolved Question:

Hi, My 2000 Toyota Avalon, 110 miles, has been billowing white smoke @ start up. Been told should replace engine from local mech. due to burning oil. 3,000 + labour (Yikes). Is there a cheaper solution? I love my car and would hate to replace it. Thanks, XXXXX  X.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Do you know if the shop did a leakdown test on the engine cylinders, and if so, what the results were?

 

Did the shop retreive the fault codes for the check engine light being on, and if so, what the fault codes were?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Eric,

I don't know if they performed a "leakdown" test or not. I did however once experience a decrease in power while driving prior to bringing it in to be checked.. They attributed it to loss of oil pressure. Is this a compression issue I've been reading about. Sounds like it to a lay-person.

He did hook up to their diagnostic computer but said got no readings. Bizzare right?

Steve

P.S. I'm told I can go to my local AutoZone store and they would complimentary diagnos via same means.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

It does sound like a loss of compression, which combined with burning oil, is either worn piston rings, or worn valve seals and guides. The leakdown test on the cylinders will let you know which it is. Another way you can determine is to do a compression test and write down the compression of each cylinder, then pour an ounce of engine oil into each cylinder and then do a compression test again. If compression comes up, then the pistons are worn. At this point, you would need to either do a lower engine rebuild or replace the engine. If compression remains the same, then the cylinder heads need to be pulled and a valve job done. This would run about $1500 for the valve job, parts and labor.

 

Most of the time it is due to worn valve seals and guides, so I would have a shop do either of the tests above to verify source of loss of compression and burning oil.

 

And yes, you can go to Autozone to have them scan the computer and tell you the engine fault code numbers and definitions

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If I were to furnish you with the codes would this be helpful to you? Also,
What would Toyota chage me for my worst case senario and is it worth while. I have my eye on a pre owned Solara Convertible.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Yes, with the fault codes, I could tell you what you are looking at to diagnose and repair that, but most likely this will be a different issue from the low compression and burning oil.

 

For a delaership to do any work, you will be paying more for parts and labor. Labor to do a valve job is 14 hrs, and parts will run about $150.

 

At average dealer rate of $125 per hour, you would be looking at $1750 in labor, plus the $150 in parts for total of $1900

 

At average independent shop rate of $80 per hour, same job would run $1120 labor, $150 parts for total of $1270

 

For engine replacement, at dealer 27 hours- $3375 for short block labor and $3300 for short block, total $6675

 

Independent shop can drop a complete remanufactured engine for 15hrs labor - $1200, and $3000 for engine - total $4200

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Yes, with the fault codes, I could tell you what you are looking at to diagnose and repair that, but most likely this will be a different issue from the low compression and burning oil.

 

For a delaership to do any work, you will be paying more for parts and labor. Labor to do a valve job is 14 hrs, and parts will run about $150.

 

At average dealer rate of $125 per hour, you would be looking at $1750 in labor, plus the $150 in parts for total of $1900

 

At average independent shop rate of $80 per hour, same job would run $1120 labor, $150 parts for total of $1270

 

For engine replacement, at dealer 27 hours- $3375 for short block labor and $3300 for short block, total $6675

 

Independent shop can drop a complete remanufactured engine for 15hrs labor - $1200, and $3000 for engine - total $4200

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That is helpful although painful:)

I did fetch the codes from my autozone which is literally 2 minutes from my house. These are the findings: P0300/ Random Cylinder Misfire Condition & P0171/ Air/Fuel System lean bank 1

Does this help add to your diagnosis?

Last symptom I failed to remember, on acceleration make "knocking" 50% of the time.

Lastly, am I wasting my time am money? I did think I would have my Avalon for another 90,000 miles or so.

That's it. Thank you for your final answer.

Steve
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Ok, the random misfire would be related to the low compression as low compression will create engine misfires. This is a good indicator, although not conclusive in and of itself, that it is a valve problem. The lean code is normally due to a vacuum hose leak, and sometimes an intake manifold gasket leak.

 

If the engine has a deep knock, this could be an indication of lower end engine problem. If it is more a metallic or high pitched knock, then likely the valvetrain.

 

I would at least have the leakdown test performed. If the compression leaks down on this test, then you are looking at the valve job, and I would go ahead and have it done. If however it indicates worn piston rings, then I would lean towards trading it in.

Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 24016
Experience: 20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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