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Slight ticking / "knocking" after brief low oil pressure (video)

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Slight ticking / "knocking" after brief low oil pressure (video)

Old 06-30-2017, 08:05 AM
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Default Slight ticking / "knocking" after brief low oil pressure (video)

I have a 2003 Camry LE that has treated me well. I bought it in January 2011 at 115,000 miles, and it is currently at 207,000 miles. I have put less than $700 in repairs / nonstandard maintenance to it.

About a year ago my mechanic started telling me it was burning oil slightly. So if it sits for, say, two or more days, it smokes for about three seconds upon start. But all that has meant to me is that it's getting older and needs oil changes at more like 3,000 miles instead of 5,000 - 6,000 like I've always done.

Well, just as I was thinking I'd go another year or two before replacing the car with a newer model, the oil light blinked ever so slightly upon hard braking at the end of a 3,800 mile road trip. I stopped within five minutes, the light having only blinked for a half of a second or less just three or four times, and the dipstick showed little or even no oil on it. It's hard to say. I made the decision to drive three miles to the Shell station, the light blinking three or four more times on the highway but much more / for longer periods in the final seconds pulling into Shell. I ended up putting THREE quarts of oil in the car, and at that point it registered halfway between the two marks on the dipstick.

There is now a slight ticking sound, though I am not sure if it was there before or not. I've driven about 400 miles since the trip, and the noise doesn't seem to be getting worse. It's hard to capture on audio / video, but...there is one at the end of this post.

Is the end near? My mechanic says he guarantees it won't go another 50k miles, but whether 1k or 20k, there is no way to know. Do I need a new car quickly? I'm about to drive 500 miles and then back again two weeks later (car sitting in between), and I currently have the opportunity to pick up a certified 2012 Camry locally at an amazing price.

Old 06-30-2017, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,742

Sounds normal.

The smoke on startup is leaking valve stem seals. The oil consumption from this would be small.

It could be clogged oil ring return holes in the piston. Do keep it full off oil.

My opinion is drive it.

If you start hearing a knock, stop driving it.
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