Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Tercel, Engine Problems
Q: The engine on my '92 Toyota Tercel is using oil. First it was burning
oil (1 quart per week) so I started adding oil treatment. It started losing
acceleration and tried to cut off when I'd stop. So I had the fuel injectors
cleaned, and a tune-up. Then it started burning out the spark plugs within
a month's time span. Recently, it was diagnosed with 2 dead cylinders
(4 cylinder car.) I've always had the scheduled maintenance done on time.
Nothing else is wrong with the car, except this engine problem. The estimated
cost to fix the current problem is $700. The estimated cost to have a
rebuilt engine is $2200 and I've gotten 5 different estimates. My question
is: given the circumstances, would it be feasible to have the $700 job?
My fear is the 2 new cylinders will overpower the 2 old ones. ......signed
$700 job is likely to remove the engineís cylinder head and have a valve
job performed. Cylinder head problems will cause oil consumption but not
at the level you are describing. Because of the large amount of oil, my
recommendation would be to replace the complete engine. When pricing a
replacement engine the lowest cost isnít always the best deal. Be sure
to ask about the warranty, in the event of a problem who pays for what?
Some engine rebuilders will cover all costs and others will pay only for
parts, the labor is your problem! If you have the engine replaced it is
a great time to install new coolant hoses, water pump etc... Why? The
replacement engine comes with no external parts.. everything has to be
removed from the old engine to be installed on the replacement. You need
a repair facility that you trust. Also, ask yourself do I want really
want to invest this amount of money in a vehicle that is 8 years old?