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Guest Veritas

Some Credible Information On Engine Sludge

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Guest Cruisin

Excuse me, but there is a sludge discussion section at the top of this board where all other sludge discussions have been banished. Shouldn't this be with the proper topic?

 

Regarding which engines are prone to sludge, I can't say, but Toyota offers the 8 year, unlimited mile warranty on the 4 cyl. AND V-6 found in the Camry, Solara, Celica, Highlander, Seinna, Avalon, Lexus RX300, and Lexus ES300. It is roughly for engines from 1997 - 2002, but there are some years not covered for some models. I think Celica is just for 1 or 2 of those years. Toyota says it is not an engine design problem, just a problem of people not changing oil, but I am not sure why these models have the problem of their owner not changing the oil if that is truly the problem.

 

Signs of sludge are smoke in exhaust, MIL illuminates, visible sludge on oil cap or dipstick, heavy use of oil. If you have these signs, Toyota will pull the valve cover and check for sludge. The repair is free for the above models and includes provision of a free loaner car. I have heard that repairs range from a simple engine cleaning up to getting a whole new engine. Owners must prove that they reasonably maintained their engines to qualify for the reimbursement. At one time they said this proof was one oil change receipt per year. I don't know what you need to show if you change your own oil.

 

An interesting series of postings on recent sludge problems in Toyotas can be found in the Toyota section of the website www.thecomplaintstation.com. There are 40 some odd pages mostly filled with Toyota sludge complaints culled from other sites over the past year or more.

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Guest Cruisin

One more note. Toyota oil change recommendations are for 7,500 miles for normal driving conditions and 5,000 miles if you primarily drive under very specific special conditions, like frequent stops and starts in freezing weather and driving on dirt roads. If these intervals aren't going to cut it in a Toyota then the manual should be changed.

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I take exception to the comment that Corolla's are not prone to sludge. I thought all cars could be prone to sludge with improper maintenance, so sludge prevention techniques should benefit all. There are some engines that do have a greater tendency to sludge, either intolerant of normal maintenance or possibly some quirk in the design. Cruisin listed the models that Toyota has indicated are more prone to sludge thus coverage under the sludge policy.

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Guest Bill  R

Oil is cheaper than parts . For short trips frequent oil changes are a must. It helps to take a good run once a week. We used to have a 86 K car which we had 12 yrs - never touched the engine and oil changed twice a year ( only about 5000 kil a yr - wifes grocery car) I checked the oil pressure hot and got 30psi idle and 60psi reved up with about 145,000 kil.( new spec) The car was taken for a good run every Sat - especially in winter which could get to -40C. I have been doing my own regular maintenance for almost 50 yrs and oil changes should not be skimped on. My daughters 2003 Corolla I do every 4000kil - recommended 8000kil or every 6 months. She drives moslty short trips but far enough to warm up.

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Many new cars use as much as a quart (sometimes more) every 1000 miles. People don't like it (I wouldn't) but the car manufacturers claim that it is normal usage.

 

Regarding oil level. The experts will tell you that maximum filtering is done when the oil level is full as the dirt particles are kept in suspension better when the full complement of oil is present.

 

The oil is also a major component in keeping the engine cool as much of the heat is dissipated through the oil.

 

Jay in MA

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Guest Veritas

Hey, great input from everyone of you!

Thanks for all of it.

If you get a chance,visit Cartrackers.com, The Complaint Station, or some of the other sites where a few disgruntled individuals are liberally trashing Toyota and misleading people with trumped up sludge stories, and deceptive hype about it.

Some of this objective and common sense advice you guys have come up with needs to be told at these trashfests.

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Yes, do visit those sites to read how Veritas is treating people who go there to post Toyota complaints. This isn't about telling people how to maintain their car. This is accusing owners of abuse with no evidence to the contrary. He calls them liars and accuses them of being people they are not. What better way to get angry Toyota owners more angry? Thanks Veritas! You are probably giving these people more incentive to join together in fighting this mess.

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Question for the site administrators - at one time there were several discussions about sludge in Toyota engines under this special heading and now there is only one. How can the other discussions be accessed?

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All the discussions are still here. The forum by default shows the last 30 days of posts. Chances are those other posts are older than 30 days.

 

You can use the drop-down menus to change that value.

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http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/reviews....1&src=VIP&tab=4

 

Description of sludge problem in Toyotas (click on the red boxes for engine):

 

"An occasional problem on this vehicle is failure of the Engine. Failure of the Engine is caused because the engine oil gels. Engine oil gelling will also cause excessive engine oil usage. When proper maintenance schedules for oil changes are followed, oil gelling should not occur. Toyota has issued an 8 year unlimited mileage goodwill repair for this condition. The cost to repair the Engine is estimated at $4,500.00 for parts and $1,384.50 for labor. All prices are estimates based on $65 per flat rate hour and do not include diagnostic time or any applicable sales tax."

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Guest Captain_Toyota

Im personally not a believer in the extended drain intervals.

I ran Amsoil in my Ford Ranger for about a year. I thought, " Wow this will be great, I wont have to change oil for a whole year."

Amsoil claims you can run their oil for 12 months or 25,000 miles. However, you have to change the oil filter and add a quart (to replace the oil the filter held) every 6 months. So I did just that. After the 12 months was up, I drained out the oil and I only got 4 quarts of oil out of it (I always used to get 5 out of it), so needless to say, I didnt use Amsoil anymore.

I change my oil every 3,000 miles and I will contunue to do so regardless of what ANYONE says. In my opinion, its cheap insurance. Also, when I change the oil I check the air filter and all the fluid levels (coolant, windshield washer, brake fluid, clutch fluid, the belts and the hoses).

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So because you used a quart of oil in six months, you think extended intervals are bad? First, that's not necessarily everyone's experience; many cars do not use that much oil. (The family 1995 Neon actually goes six months without consuming enough oil to show on the dipstick- it's on six month changes, 6,000-7,000 miles, as per the book.) Second, all you have to do is check the oil every couple of weeks and add as needed. Not checking the oil in six months = bad idea.

 

Synthetic tends to leak a bit easier because of its excellent viscosity characteristics - just like the "cure" for oil leaks is heavy weight oil. (This is a great cure if you really don't like your engine and want it to wear out quickly.)

 

Amsoil is rather overpriced for what you get - Mobil 1 is probably the most reputable.

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hello to all,

 

just a useful hint regarding engine sludge, pls visit this website www.yotarepairs.com. this guy really knows the inside /out of toyota vehicles.

 

happy reading.

 

rey t

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Guest rev_rock

As far as I know, the Mobil 1 oil filters are some of the best on the market.

 

I hope I don't offend anyone here, but I used to hang out with the local hotrodders, and one of them always used Pennzoil. When tearing his motors down, they were ALWAYS very nasty looking. After switching to Valvoline, he never had the problem again. This has been many years ago, and I've heard that Pennzoil has changed their formulation, but I was turned off by it way back then, and would never use it today.

 

I am convinced that synthetics are the way to go. Mobil 1 seems to do a good job, and stays pretty clean. My son uses it and thinks it's the best. I use Amsoil myself, since tests seem to indicate that it has better qualities than Mobil 1, or Castrol. I would highly recommend it, but to each his own.

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