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Guest autoresearcher

Owner Survey

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Guest autoresearcher

I'd like to do a Toyota owner survey. Are there those who own a Corolla that have had either engine oil sludge confirmed OR unexplained engine failure at fairly low mileage?

 

If so, please indicate the following:

 

1) model and mileage at the time of diagnosis/failure

 

2) new or previously-owned vehicle

 

3) circumstances surrounding the failure

 

4) Toyota's response

 

5) Cost of engine repair

 

6) approximate oil change interval

 

7) steps you took to document

 

Thank you for your information.

 

Autoresearcher

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If you wish to participate, please reply here or send your information directly via e-mail to autoresearcher using the e-mail links provided.

 

Replies other that the information requested will be removed. Repeated off-topic postings will result in warnings and a possible account ban. If you do not wish to participate, then you are not required to reply to this topic.

 

Thank you.

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Guest Cruisin

Autoresearcher, I found the following discussion of a Corolla problem on the web site www.ripoffreport.com. You may be able to contact the owner from there.

 

Quote..........

We bought a 1999 toyota corolla on September 30, 2002 from an independent used car dealer. The car only had 19,509 miles on it when we bought it. The check-engine light came on the same day we bought the car and the corolla was still under the 5 year/60,000 mile warranty so we took it to the nearest Toyota dealership, Jay Toyota of Columbus, Georgia to have the engine inspected the day after we bought the car.

 

On our way to the dealership, we noticed excessive smoke from the tailpipe and "jerky" acceleration as if we were pumping the gas pedal. The service department told us that the engine was in poor condition due to sludge damage and even admitted that Toyota Company has been having problems with sludge buildup in toyota engines. However, the service department told us that Toyota manufacturer's warranty does not honor engine failure due to sludge damage. Their estimate for repair was $2500 to $5800 for repair.

 

The employees of the service department recommended that we not drive the corolla anymore than necessary before we have the engine repaired because they said the engine may fail due to the sludge. We did not have the engine repaired, but we did send an oil sample in for oil analysis. Although the oil we sent in only had 314 miles on it, the levels of fuel and iron in the oil were considered high. According to the analysis an oil sample from a gasoline engine should contain less than 2% fuel, our sample with only 314 miles on it already had fuel perecentage of 2.8. The universal average for iron is 9 parts per million, our oil had 34 parts per million of iron.

 

Other levels may have come up higher had we been able to put more miles on the oil without the possibility of the engine locking up. No engine with less than 20,000 miles should be in this poor of condition.Toyota Company has agreed to include in a Customer Assistance Program certain engine models with sludge damage which Toyota will repair/replace at no cost but it has excluded the corolla model from this program

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Guest Paul Cherubini

Cruisin, no one on this forum or any other forum has provided photos of service receipts showing sludge occured in a Toyota engine despite the fact the oil was changed on time. So we are left to conclude sludge occurred because the owner failed to change the engine oil changed on time or drove the car for a long time with the engine oil level dangerously low. In the past here on Corolland, for example, one owner with a failed engine admitted he never checked the engine oil level inbetween changes.

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Guest autoresearcher

Thank you, Cruisin, for posting this information. As it turns out, I am able to contact this owner for further details.

 

I'll post back with maintenance details. The cases of sludge in Corollas that I have heard about thus far all seem to have very low mileage, certainly below the powertrain warranty mileage. These owners report being told that they were blamed for a lack of maintenance even though the oil changes were better than recommended in the owner's manual.

 

The whole point is to gather preliminary owner accounts, get more details, and then report the findings. One can't argue with this process. There is no trial, court or otherwise, that must go on here, Mr. Cherubini. There are going to be no assumptions about the owners' maintenance. Let them speak for themselves.

 

Autoresearcher

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Guest Cruisin

Paul, I don't think I have seen anyone post service receipts for anything anywhere on the net or on any complaint or any discussion board that I have seen. I don't know why there would be an acception in this case unless someone was intimidiated to do so.

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Guest bfunkera

Let's just go through some of the information provided:

 

1.

We bought a 1999 toyota corolla on September 30, 2002 from an independent used car dealer. The car only had 19,509 miles on it when we bought it.
2.
No engine with less than 20,000 miles should be in this poor of condition.

 

 

The above post isn't a case of someone buying a NEW Corolla, changing the oil according to manufacturer specifications (with service receipts) and then complaining of sludge. This is an example of someone buying a used car (not from a Toyota dealer, but from an independent used-car dealer) without any prior maintenance history. I don't care how good the design of an engine is, how do you think it would look after 20,000 miles of stop-and-go driving (granted, we don't know the car's history, but we can assume that a 4yr-old car with only 20K miles was not primarily a "highway miles" car) without an oil change?

Edited by bfunkera

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Bfunkera - I think the incident provides information that autoresearcher is looking for: mileage, bought new or used, circumstances around the failure, etc. I don't think he is limiting research to only vehicles purchased new according to the initial posting.

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Perhaps some of you didn't read my post above, which explains the rule on this particular thread:

Replies other that the information requested will be removed. Repeated off-topic postings will result in warnings and a possible account ban. If you do not wish to participate, then you are not required to reply to this topic.

This is NOT the thread to confirm or dispute the validity of a sludge issue. This is the first warning.

 

Thank you.

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Jim, I hope this is not outside the guidelines. However, I wanted to point out that there are free Web survey programs available via sourcefourge - one of them has "ESP" in the title but I forget the rest - which are probably a far better way for autoresearcher and/or Charlene to collect information than requesting posts here. And what happened to the forum logo?

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Any suggestion on how to acquire data is fine for this thread.

 

And off-topic, the logo is right on the top of the page - see it? ;)

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Guest Cruisin

Autoresearcher

 

Try www.planetfeedback.com. I recall seeing some Corolla engine failures/sludged engines discussed there.

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Any suggestion on how to acquire data is fine for this thread.

 

And off-topic, the logo is right on the top of the page - see it? ;)

So can we put my suggestion back up there ??? ;) It seems to have disappeared.

 

Ok, just kidding, but sometimes I like to stir the pot. After all, these are Discussion Forums

 

TB

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Another site that has engine problems listed is the www.NHTSA.gov Consumer Complaints under Problems and Issues. Unfortunately, there is no contact information there so you won't get any more details than what is posted. There are some engine failures in 2000 Corolla reported there. I have not checked other years or makes.

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