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Boxer54, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1755
Experience:  ASE Master tech with L1 certification, Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician
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I believe it is the vvti actuator or the oil control valve

Customer Question

I believe it is the vvti actuator or the oil control valve on my car
JA: What size is your engine? How many miles since your last oil change?
Customer: at the moment my car is on the side of the road.
JA: What is the model/year of your Toyota?
Customer: 2006 toyota carolla.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: i just had a newer engine put in my car a month ago. I checked my oil and there was nothing in there. I know that oil doesn't just disappear in a month
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: I wanted to fix it myself if i can
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Toyota Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Customer: we were looking at it at 2AM on the side of the road.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting us with your questions. Can you give me the chain of events as to what has happened with your vehicle? Has it stopped running? Will the engine crank? Have you added oil to see exactly how low on oil it is? Keep in mind, nothing showing on the dipstick is a little over a quart low and doesn't mean it has no oil in the engine.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It started sounding weird last night and I went and stopped to check the oil. I didn't see anything on the dip stick. I added oil to where it was in the middle of where it should be. I started driving and it still didn't sound right so I pulled over to let it rest. Every time I went to go faster, it would go slower. I pulled over, turned the car off. I waited a minute and tried turning it on. It would make a huge sound but not turn on normally. I had a friend come check my car this morning at 2AM and checked the diagnosis codes and these were the codes that came up.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

We will not be concerned with the P0420 code right now. The other code is concerning. How much oil did you add to it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2.5 quarts. There should be no reason why I should've been that low after only a month of getting an engine in my car and oil was supposed to have been completely full.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

There are MANY reasons it COULD have happened, but first, we need to get you going if at all possible. Was it a used engine that was installed? Was it done at dealer or a local shop? Any warranty on the engine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a used engine that was put in at a local shop. I don't know if there was any warranty because my father wouldn't give me info I was asking about.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

Knowing the warranty period on it is critical at this point. When you try to start it, does the engine turn over and just not start? How would you explain the sound it makes as you try to start it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I t started but it was VERY loud that I turned it off immediately.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

Would you describe the noise as a knocking noise? Do you have access to the car where you could possibly record the noise and send it to me? Even if its a youtube video upload and you can send me the link it would be helpful.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is like a knocking noise. No I do not have access to my car
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 1 year ago.

Based on what I know, the engine oil got low enough to do engine damage. That is pretty much a given at this point. The P0012 code is a RESULT of the low engine oil, and not the cause. So, there are 2 possibilities here. This engine could need extensive mechanical repair to get it going again, IF it is not too damaged, or it will need an engine or short block replaced. I would highly recommend getting into contact with the repair facility the installed the engine and discuss the situation and talk about what warranty period this engine has. Its pretty standard that a used engine will come with a 90 day warranty.

What will come into play is HOW the engine oil got so low. If it is due to damage, such as something run over in the road and the oil pan damaged, warranty may not apply. However, your car insurance may pay for a repair in that case. If it has a leak somewhere or burned the oil, it should be covered under any warranty in effect on the used engine.