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Guest rnayar

Corolla Sludge

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I have read the accounts for servicing and I am confused. Shouldn't this have been covered under warranty? Don't 1998 Corolla's have the 5 year/60k mile warranty on the drive train?

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Guest chrisxxx39
I have read the accounts for servicing and I am confused. Shouldn't this have been covered under warranty? Don't 1998 Corolla's have the 5 year/60k mile warranty on the drive train?

I was told I am out of warranty by Suburban. I am not aware of any 60K warranty.

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Guest Paul Cherubini

Yes, DB the 1998 Corolla had a 5 year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

However, no car maker in the world, of course, will warranty engine

damage caused by owner neglect to maintain the

engine oil level between the LOW and FULL marks on the

engine oil dipstick.

 

Rahul admitted he did not check his engine oil level inbetween

oil changes and at 33,564 miles a Toyota dealer discovered he was driving around

with as little as 1/2 of a quart of oil in his engine, causing oil

overheating, sludge formation and mechanical damage to the engine

due to oil starvation.

 

The 1998 Corolla owners manual states:

 

"It is normal that an engine should consume some engine oil

during normal operation. One of the most important points

in proper vehicle maintenance is to keep the engine oil at

the optimum level. Therefore it is essential that the oil

level be checked regularly. Toyota recommends that the oil

level be checked every time you refuel the vehicle." Then,

in BOLD print, the owners manual says: FAILURE TO CHECK

THE OIL LEVEL REGULARLY COULD LEAD TO SERIOUS ENGINE

TROUBLE DUE TO INSUFFICIENT OIL."

 

Also in BOLD print, the owners manual says: AVOID

OVERFILLING OR THE ENGINE COULD BE DAMAGED."

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Guest chrisxxx39

PC,

Pl excuse my ignorance. what is powertrain warranty? what doeis it include and exclude?

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The powertrain warranty normally covers the "drive" parts of the car. That is, what makes the car move. This always includes engine and transmission and normally covers all drivelines.

 

I think I still have the list if you're really interested, but the most important thing is that the warranty length on the engine is 5 years or 60000 miles.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

Regular Joe

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How many people really check the oil level between changes?

If the oil light only goes on when the engine is already damaged, isn't that a bad design?

Should a Corolla be using more than one quart between oil changes?

 

Most important...

 

If you saw this thread on a Neon board discussing Neons, wouldn't you assume that it was the Neon's fault because all Neons are crap, in your opinion (Paul, at least), even though Neons have not had this problem in general?

 

Also, what's with the assumption that because a problem is not widespread, that it doesn't exist? That there can be no manufacturer defect unless everyone has it? Doesn't pass muster...

 

And 27,000 to 33,000 miles is 6,000 miles which is within Toyota's recommended intervals. If you follow Toyota's recommended maintenance, not some mystical crap that passes around on the Internet, your engine should NOT fail like this. Especially without any kind of visible oil leak or blue exhaust plumes. And if you're losing THAT much oil, you SHOULD notice it on the ground or in the air behind you...unless it all came out at once while driving as the result of some sort of catastrophic engine failure. (Like when my wife shifted from drive to reverse in my 1989 Caravan at 65 mph by accident, blowing a seal in the transmission which lost us a BUNCH of fluid all at once, noticeable mainly because it landed on the exhaust! ... hence massive blue smoke plume which wouldn't be noticeable otherwise. Oh, yes, and I KNOW if it had been a Toyota it wouldn't have leaked at all :rolleyes: but sorry, no 1989 turbocharged Toyota minivans available.)

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PS> Ford has, according to acquaintances, often weaseled out of their drivetrain warranty by claiming problems were cause by the oil pump which I do not think they cover. ... so powertrain warranty is sometimes only as good as the automaker who gives it.

 

Sometimes it's better for the company to pay even when the claim is dubious simply to retain a customer...it costs a lot to gain a new customer, and dissatisfied ones often turn off others...Toyota's well-deserved reputation for quality is worth hundreds of millions to the company each year. If Toyota had an average rep, they'd have some real problems selling in their current volumes!

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Guest Paul Cherubini

Charlene Blake (Autoresearcher) started this sludge thread when she wrote "This is a Corolla owner with sludge. Since he has proper maintenance, does anyone know why Toyota would refuse to cover the repairs?" Well we now know why Toyota refused to cover the repairs - the owner drove the car with the oil pressure light on and with only 1/2 quart of oil in the car...which caused the sludge to form. Therefore the car was not properly maintained. So we can still say no legitimate case of sludge has ever been reported by a Corolla owner to Corolland.

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How many people really check the oil level between changes?

If the oil light only goes on when the engine is already damaged, isn't that a bad design?

Should a Corolla be using more than one quart between oil changes?

 

Most important...

 

If you saw this thread on a Neon board discussing Neons, wouldn't you assume that it was the Neon's fault because all Neons are crap, in your opinion (Paul, at least), even though Neons have not had this problem in general?

 

Also, what's with the assumption that because a problem is not widespread, that it doesn't exist? That there can be no manufacturer defect unless everyone has it? Doesn't pass muster...

 

And 27,000 to 33,000 miles is 6,000 miles which is within Toyota's recommended intervals. If you follow Toyota's recommended maintenance, not some mystical crap that passes around on the Internet, your engine should NOT fail like this. Especially without any kind of visible oil leak or blue exhaust plumes. And if you're losing THAT much oil, you SHOULD notice it on the ground or in the air behind you...unless it all came out at once while driving as the result of some sort of catastrophic engine failure. (Like when my wife shifted from drive to reverse in my 1989 Caravan at 65 mph by accident, blowing a seal in the transmission which lost us a BUNCH of fluid all at once, noticeable mainly because it landed on the exhaust! ... hence massive blue smoke plume which wouldn't be noticeable otherwise. Oh, yes, and I KNOW if it had been a Toyota it wouldn't have leaked at all  :rolleyes:  but sorry, no 1989 turbocharged Toyota minivans available.)

 

Dave,

 

No one would be happy about a car that burns one quart every 1000 miles, but many car makers claim this is within specifications.

 

It may not make an owner happy, but if there is a spec that is followed, you don't have much of a legal leg to stand on if that spec is enforced and pretty close to industry norms.

 

Let's just extrapolate and say there was 1/2 quart of oil in the vehicle. If over 6000 miles three quarts were burned, that is a quart every 2000 miles, if over 4500 miles that is a quart every 1500 miles.

 

You are right, you probably wouldn't notice that out the tail pipe, nor would you see spark plugs rapidly fouling.

 

But you would notice it had you checked the oil sometime in the middle of the 6000 miles.

 

I contend that if you are burning at a slow rate, the only way you will notice it is by checking the dipstick.

 

If you are burning at a fast rate, you would have fouled spark plugs and other such drivability problems until you get to the "Mother of all Drivability Problems" which is a connecting rod or two hanging out the side of your engine block.

 

I've asked the guy about the CEL's he had and he says they were for the gas cap or evaporative emissions codes and nothing to worry about. I also asked about leaks, and he said there were no great puddles found under the car, and it doesn't seem like the underside is covered thick with oil.

 

So it is not illogical to conclude that the oil was not checked frequently enough.

 

He also admitted that he didn't followup on the 100 mile checkup. That is what kills his case, he was given a recommendation by the dealer and didn't follow up, didn't even open a complaint that the Oil Warning Light he complained about three weeks ago was on again.

 

If he were rapidly losing oil, wouldn't that light come on again in short order? Wouldn't you go complain that the light was on again if you brought it to their attention before?

 

I feel sorry for the guy, but I don't think Toyota owes him a new engine.

 

TB

Edited by tboner

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Guest Cruisin

I don't think that the fact (if it is a fact) that Rahul did not get back to Suburban Toyota at exactly 100 miles is relevant. It was Suburban Toyota where Rahul was told that he had sludge and he was back at Suburban Toyota within 400 - 500 miles. Not 100, so slap his hand, but don't deny him warranty coverage because he took a little longer. It took another 18,000 miles before there was any significant damage and maybe it could have been averted if something had been done earlier.

 

It would be nearly impossible for me to get my car in by 100 miles after a service visit. I would just have to leave it with Toyota or something. My work involves too much travel and it could be 5 or 7 days before I could get back. If that 100 miles is so critical, it would have been best if Suburban had offered to keep his car for observation rather than request that he get back so quickly.

 

We can go through a bunch of "could have, would have, should have's" on this situation. It does not erase that Rahul was strapped with a hefty repair bill on a vehicle that was barely (? not sure of this) out of warranty. I am surprised that Toyota did not try to do a little more for him.

 

As for Rahul, it seems to me that the 51,000 mile failure could be linked to the 33,000 mile discovery of sludge. You would have been definitely still under your drivetrain warranty at 33,000 miles, something else in your favour.

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Crusin,

 

I have the e-mail from him where he says he did not follow up with the recommendation. So I'm not arguing the mileage.

 

You might make a case that the dealer should have mentioned it, but you have to make the very same case that he should have

brought it up three weeks and 400 or so miles later.

 

That, combined with the car arriving at the 33K service with a reported 1/2 quart of oil in the pan, and a flashing oil warning light, and

no additional complaint about the same or even similar problem until the engine fails at 51K, makes me skeptical.

 

TB

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While I hate to agree with PC, an overzealous Toyota defender, he is probably right on this one. The 1998 Corolla are notorious for oil loss (as discussed frequently on the old forum). However, the owner here blew it by not checking oil.

This should be a warning for people not monitoring oil as well as people bying used 1998 Corolla.

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Guest chrisxxx39

Oh god, I wrote this and lost it 9sight...rewrting - My response to the followup issue is:

 

when I got my next oil change at FOX, I asked them if they found anything wrong? they said "nothing wrong" keep changing your oil every 3K miles" which I did. In all my subsequent visits, no one told me of any problem they noticed to the same question. Now I dont have that in writing, but I will not know whats going on inside a car till someone who looks into it.

 

I did not have any evidence that I was running low on oil or the engine was wearing out and my oil change frequency has to be doubled etc. When I go to a service station ,my expectation is that any problem noticed needs to be brought to my attention.

 

My subsequent visit to Suburban after 400 miles was met with no concern. So what should I do? I am an unsuspecting owner to any problem which is looming large INSIDE my car to which I have no access. A person who has access, should let me know.

 

Also if the problem was so grave, how come it did not catch anyones attention in all my subsequent visits to the service stations? Each time I got an answer "nothing wrong".

 

What surprises me is that sludging took place at 33K miles. My car was perfectly maintained till then, why did this happen to a perfectly built car? I could get the service details from FOX and answer TB questions. But whatever it might have been - it was not my fault, since I had entrsuted the car to the service station.

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