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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4820
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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I have a 2004 Camry LE 4cylinder. I am trying to determine

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Camry LE 4cylinder. I am trying to determine whether to just send it on off to salvage or have my mechanic do further investigation that at a minimum will be $200.00. I do not want to get much further upside down than I already am. I purchased the car used for my daughter and we kept a vigilant check on the engine oil because shortly after purchase it began using an excessive amount. Oil change occurred regularly after purchase (occurring more often than recommended intervals) I constantly had to add oil. I drove the car on a round trip of approximately 122 miles and it went from the full mark to needing almost a quart after the trip. There were no obvious oil drips. The only logical conclusion was massive burning or blow back. Researching I found out that a Class Action suit was filed by owners of later year model who’s engines locked up because of excessive oil consumption as well as a few 2004 model owners having the same problem. Anyway, hedging on a gamble I t
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Yes, it is true that these engines had some issues with oil consumption. A compression test would tell us quite a bit. Before you pay someone to do that, I would pull the valve cover off. Look down into the are where the camshafts are. Look to see if there is a thick black grease inside the cam area. If so, this is sludge, and you are going to be in need of some serious engine repairs. If you see this thick black grease, the oil is not draining back to the oil pan fast enoiugh andf the PVC system actually sucks wet oil out of the cam area into the intake manifold. Sludge repair is expensive. Plus, to fix it right you need to replace the piston rings, the main and the rod bearings. it would be cheaper to replace the engine with a known good unit before expending funds to repair this one if sludged. If you have any questions, please feel free to reply. I will be happy to assist you further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, was not able to get back with you until now. Part of my original message was cut off. Anyway, I had my mechanic attempt to clean carbon deposits, he replace a couple of plugs, and adjusted idle speed control and cleaned throttle body because when running car labored with AC on at stop. That problem was fixed, but on a test drive the car started making clanking noise particularly when OD was off and when I took my foot off the gas pedal. Car stalled but it started right back up, but clanking became more pronounced and I was hoping to baby it home, but it died a few yards later and this time would not even attempt to start just a click. Mechanic suggested new engine, he tried manually turning crankshaft but it wouldn't budge at all. He suggested new engine or possibly checking to see if drive chain had slipped off. I was wondering if this check would even be worth it?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

If the engine is not spinning you have some big issues going on here. Even if the chain slipped, the engine should still turn over by using a socket and breaker bar on the crankshaft pulley. You might want to consider a new engine. Don't waste money on diagnosing an engine that does not spin.