Q: Should I get the piston rings replaced or just swap the entire engine?

asked by on

My car has been burning about a quart of oil every week and a half or so recently. I took out and checked the spark plugs and there is some oil on two of the plugs up the rings. My plugs are burning a bit hot as well. Im almost positive its the rings and not stem seals reason being there is little to no smoke coming out the tail pipe and im losing such a large amount of oil. So should I get my engine repaired or just replace it? About how much would it be to do either of them? Whats cheaper? Whats more reliable? Or is it worth just getting rid of the car? Thanks.
My car has a manual transmission.

First off, if it isn’t smoking, it probably isn’t burning all that oil. A quart a week is four quarts a month and about 1000-2000 miles. That’s a lot of oil. It is most likely a combination of leaking oil and burning it. To be able to advise you on the best course of action for your car, I would need to see it in person. There simply isn’t a substitution for seeing it in person in a circumstance such as this.

For informational purposes I will address a few items...

If it were burning that much oil, I would expect to see quite a bit of smoke out the tail pipe. It is possible it begins burning the oil on a steady freeway drive and you are unable to see it because the smoke dissipates quickly. Let’s say it is burning the oil; Most likely a motor with 100,000 miles or so from a wrecking yard would be the most cost effective repair in this case. Re-ringing has two disadvantages; one, it takes more labor so more money is spent; two, it introduces a lot of opportunity for human error.

Even then, compare what that estimate is to a similar car that you can purchase. Can you afford something that cost more? Is it better than what you have if you were to fix the car you have now. All this depends on the condition of the car you have now.

As it is, I am not yet convinced it is burning all the oil. My instincts tells me you maybe able to fix a leak or two and get the oil consumption to a manageable level. My own car uses a quart every oil change. This is normal. My car has 235,000 miles on it and I drive it every day.

I recommend booking an appointment with a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose your oil consumption and figure out the best path for you.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Should I get the piston rings replaced or just swap the entire engine?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Replacing transmission on '95 Toyota Corolla with Celica transmission

You shouldn't just be swapping those things because it's a different engine, different size, and different gear ratio in them. Just live with whatever it does because you really shouldn't be doing these types of swap. I know guys who...

Q: Q: 1998 Toyota Corolla won't accelerate

A low fluid level will cause the transmission to not go into a drive gear fully. The differential seals from the transaxle can leak, and cause fluid level to drop. If these seals are leaking, they will need to be...

Q: Are Captivas are known for engine failure and gearbox box issues?

As with any vehicle, they are prone to mechanical problems and issues, even when properly maintained. However, as with anything else, if it is properly maintained, you will greatly enhance your chances of prolonging the life of the engine and...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.