pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,264 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. keep adding oil (7 reports)
  3. purchase oil weekly! (4 reports)
  4. rebuild engine ($2300) or replace engine with used ($2000) (2 reports)
  5. rebuild head and new rings (2 reports)
  6. replace oil ring (1 reports)
2000 Chevrolet Prizm engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Chevrolet Prizm Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Oct 012007

Prizm Base

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles


I own a 2000 Chevy Prizm that has 90500 miles, both maintainance free and easy to own for the last three and a half years. In August, I noticed a lot of black soot on the back end of the car following a trip across two states. I change the car's oil every three thousand miles. I always change the oil before a trip, even for a six hour trip to see my mom. Last August, my oil dipstick came back reading low after a 350 mile trip. This surprised me, and was alerting me to the car problem.

I bought my oil last week at an automotive shop. The cashier didn't seem to mind letting customers wait for help, and I asked him if he could share an opinion on the cause of my problem. He thought it was the cause of bad valves or piston rings. It sounds impressive, maybe like an expensive repair, but I considered that up until now, I have been very good with work I've done on the car.

My garage, a work bay that I like t use, employs a few knowledgable guys. I asked them for some help, and they gave me a compression gauge. I tested the pressure in the engine. It is a tube that is threaded into the space of the spark plugs. The test came back negative, with readings of kPa 150 lbs/in.sq. ():P I changed my oil for a trip that night, and headed out for the road again.

Thanks to all of you, I have learned that we will not be easily satisfied. The high cost of petroleum products makes those first oil changes seem like better days gone by. I paid as little as five and a half dollars for oil and filters back then. I considered buying a new car at 78000 miles, but it seemed like a greater loss to pay out more in monthly car loan payments for a new warranty. I like working on my car, and that is the reason why I am going to continue to monitor the oil levels. I see that others have no resolution but to add oil as needed, use a leak stopper, engine degummer, and be meticulous about scheduled tune ups. It is a compromise that I can make, considering how uncertain I am about my current spot at work. I expect to be leaving next summer, so there is no hurry on my end to buy new for this year.

I am going to look for solutions that might work on this problem. If it costs more than $100, I won't waste my money. All of you have said this much won't be necessary. Thanks again.

- , El Paso, TX, USA

problem #7

Nov 142007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

As shown from my prior complaint, I had to get a new engine at 89K miles. Now, 40K later, I am having the same problem -- it is burning oil. I have gotten oil changes ever 3 - 5K miles, but here we go again. This is ridiculous!

- , Missoula, MT, USA

problem #6

Apr 162003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

We bought the car used and about a year later it started burning excessing amount of oil. I added 2 quarts of oil once a week for a few months, but then had to have the engine replaced. Now, 40K later....... see my next complaint.

- , Missoula, MT, USA

problem #5

Jul 262007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Alright, well I'm a little relieved to see that someone else is having the same difficulties....

I got this car from my uncle, who passed away, at 45,343 miles. I travel A LOT, its my job. okay, so I was 16, free car, great on gas..... irrelevant really.

so I still have the car, great little thing. EXCEPT, that it uses oil like crazy, it didn't REALLY happen July 26th, but I just put a date down, because it became a problem mid-summer.

as someone else said, I can go from Erie PA to Danville VA with no problems, but, sometimes, it dissapears like crazy.

I haven't done anything to fix it yet, it would probably cost more than the value of the car at this point so, I just keep checking the oil religiously and adding more and more, because I'm a college kid, so, its easier than a car payment, or fixing it. my check engine light IS on, but 3 separate mechanics found nothing wrong.......its creeping up on 100,000 miles and by 2008 it will have probably reached that mark.

I Love this little car <3 and I'm sad Ill have to get rid of it sooner or later, but, jeeze.

- , Blairs, VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 162007

(reported on)

Prizm LSI 1.8L L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

2000 Prizm LSI with 1.8l uses oil (about 1 quart/600 miles). Compression test reviels that one of the cylynders has low compression (65 where it should be 135). It also stalls out on cold starts. To fix the oil usage problem, the shop recommends replacing the engine with a used one ($2000) or rebuilding the current engine ($2300). Of course, I could just drive it and put a half quart in every fill up. What would you do? chcarr@newulmtel.net

- , Cherokee, IA, USA

problem #3

Oct 122007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Got the vehicle at 69,000 miles, used. I have BAD BAD luck with used vehicles, so I really should have known better. Just before the second oil change, I noticed that the engine didn't sound as quiet. Not dry, just not AS quiet. Checked the oil, since I was always taught to check it first before looking for other problems, and it was a quart low.

Eventually, when it started eating 2 quarts of oil per month, I took it in for repairs. I really should have done a google-search for this problem, because I would have found this site and saved myself a LOT OF TROUBLE and money, to boot. The automotive place did a diagnostic and saw that the valves were pitted and thought that was the problem. 3 weeks and 2000 dollars later, and the problem appeared fixed. The first oil change came and went without a hitch. But by the third oil change after that.... yup. Oil for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Took it to THREE different places, and NONE of them could figure out where the oil was going. They knew that some of it had to be burnt, as I had a black mark on the bumper the size of a large watermelon. But since it wasn't a constant thing, or at least it wasn't producing a constant blue cloud behind me, there was no way to tell for certain how MUCH was being burnt, and where.

Eventually, one of the youngest mechanics chirped up "Could it be the oil ring?" The older mechanics all looked like the truth had hit them like a 3 ton sack of bricks.

They said it would be a costly repair, though. Between 2000 and 3000 bucks. Well, I already spent 5000 buying the car, and 2000 getting the valves FULLY REPLACED. So it's not fixed and I just put in oil once a week.

The pain in the rear car now eats 3 quarts a farking week. THREE QUARTS! I'm getting a new car, perferrably a toyota yaris, and putting this monster of a headache to pasture.

- , Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #2

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Prizm 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Bought the 2000 Prizm with 20,000 miles on it at 1 year old. Oil consumption began at the 60,000 mile range. I use about 1 qt every 200-300 miles. Consumption is worse with highway driving. No leaks or visible smoke from the tailpipe. My mechanic said the engine was 'bullet proof' when I bought it 6 years ago. This has been a POS vehicle for the past 3 years. I have found that it will be cheaper to put a quart of oil in once every couple of weeks versus trying to fix the problem. I can't wait to unload this piece of sh... Any solutions to this oil consumption problem?

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 222007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I am having oil consumption issues with my 2000 Chevrolet Prizm. The vehicle currently has about 68,000 miles, but I have had the problem since purchase (about 60-63,000 miles). The oil consumption problem is so sporadic that I am having trouble figuring out when I need to add more, sometimes I will go on long drives and return home with a full tank of oil while other times the same trip will virtually wipe out all of the oil in my tank. Does anybody know if high-mileage oil helps? Any help would be appreciated!

- , Cranberry Twp., PA, USA

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