2000 Toyota Camry Solara Engine: 4cyl.

  • 19,350 MILES
2000 Toyota Camry Solara
Engine: 4cyl, 2.2L, 5SFE
Mileage: 193,500
I have a 2000 Solara that is in fabulous overall shape. However, about 5 years ago it started using oil very rapidly. No leaks, no oil in the water, a light plume of smoke when starting in the morning, but within a week of driving the oil light would come on. Alarmed, I took it to a mechanic and they said to just start using high mileage oil. I did and that cut the consumption dramatically, but I still have to monitor oil usage closely. Over several weeks of driving the oil level slowly goes down and I have to keep topping it off. And, I still get a light plume of smoke when starting in the morning. I would like to fix this and return the engine to normal operating conditions.
My question:
I notice that there are many companies that sell rebuilt cylinder heads or have new heads for this engine. I have asked a three local mechanic shops about replacing the head with one of these new or rebuilt ones. All of them were cool to the idea saying that a new cylinder head would be too strong and could ruin the rest of the engine components. Is this really fact? A new head can kill an older engine? What are the chances? How do machine shops sell rebuilt heads if they are going to ruin the engines they are attached to? I would really like to fix up this problem. The rest of the car is just perfect.
Winston Foley
Cross Junction, VA

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 AT 12:48 PM

1 Reply

I have never heard of a new head that can be too strong for the old engine. Where on earth did these mechanics learn their trade?
There is no necessity to replace the head.
If you want to solve the problem, replacing the valve seals and piston rings should be sufficient but you would need to check the wear on the cylinder liners.
Was this
Thursday, October 25th, 2012 AT 1:31 PM

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