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Everything posted by Ellis

  1. The article also supports Dave's statement "I for one, by the way, am willing to believe General Motors' research on oil depletion and not live according to some old fish tales about 3,000 mile oil changes. Technology has moved since 1950." The article states that there are very few makes or models with 3000 mile oil change intervals and that 5000/7500 mile oil changes are not considered extended drain intervals (the article defines extended drain as 10,000 miles). It goes into discussion on the improvements in motor oils that allow for these longer drains. It also covers the environmental importance of longer drains as Dave also pointed out. The article states: "Vehicular environmental impact is also a topic with which the automobile manufacturer must contend. The European Union views used motor oil as a form of pollution and has since 1974 issued directives on its proper disposal and use. The EU legal basis and objective concerning waste and pollution is to “avoiding waste by promoting environmentally-friendly and less waste-intensive technologies.” Critically important is the emphasis on the reduction of waste production, rather than simply looking at ways to deal with pollution that is produced. Working within these guidelines, the ACEA would be obliged to set sequences that allow for extended drain intervals." I agree that 3000 mile drains may be necessary to avoid sludge, but they really shouldn't be needed. Particularly when manufacturers like Toyota are touting these longer drains.
  2. Here is an interesting discussion on oil change intervals.
  3. Thanks Toyotatruthseeker and Dave. I was just providing some information that I thought would be of help. There have been plenty of other problems with makes/models of cars that have not affected the entire population of that make or model and took a certain set of conditions to occur. A popular example would be rollover accidents in Ford Explorers with Firestone tires. All Explorers with Firestones weren't rolling over, but there was an increased potential, possibly when combined with hazardous road conditions and other conditions.
  4. "urconscience", I don't understand where you are coming from or what your point is. I agree with the importance of maintaining your car properly, doing proper oil changes to extend the life, etc., etc. I also agree that sludge is not just a Toyota phenomenon. I know you are trying to pull me into some sort of pointless argument with you but it isn't going to happen. I have posted what I think is beneficial information to people who ALREADY have/had sludge so they know about the problem and where to turn to for assistance. Also, anyone buying a used one of the listed models should be aware of the problem and should know to check the engine for sludge and request all maintenance records before buying one. Regardless of what you say, Toyota really DOES have a sludge policy to cover the repairs for those who have this problem in specific vehicles over specific years if they have reasonably maintained their car. Kudos to Toyota for having this sludge policy because it is actually better than some other manufacturers are doing with their models that have a propensity to develop sludge, Chrysler for example. Where I think Toyota has fallen short is that they have limited it to very specific models and model years. One of the things I question Toyota on is why isn't a Corolla owner who has reasonably maintained their vehicle and can prove it and who develops sludge also covered? I don't expect you to answer this because only someone inside Toyota would be able to do anything other than speculate.
  5. Found this on another website. Not sure if all the links are still active... Here you can find announcement of sludge program, copy of the letter that was to be sent to 3.3 million owners, and acknowledgement by Toyota that this is just an issue with two specific Toyota engine designs. Toyota says it is not a design problem, but an owner maintenance issue, yet limits the policy to two specific engines over a given range of time. The information on this site is not readily available except to mechanics, however, one of their announcements addresses the problem. In this announcement they discuss the problem of sludge in properly maintained engines (something that Toyota says is an impossibility). This government-run web site includes owners’ report of sludge engine failures by year and by auto make and model. Search under “Problems and Issues” heading. NHTSA opened an investigation into the sludge problem in 2002 but closed the investigation in a matter of a few months because of Toyota’s announcement of the sludge policy. MSN Autos site: The above link is for the Avalon, but all the models covered by the sludge policy are reported to have significant engine problems. These ratings are based on reports from independent garages (not ones that are manufacturer affiliated) so they give an unbiased picture of problems that these garages see in vehicles. A former Toyota mechanic acknowledges the problem. (this site dedicated to Toyota’s even has a “Sludge Zone” AutoNews and several other publications included the announcement of the sludge problem in February and April 2002. Several publications had subsequent announcements. See complaints (all since AFTER the announcement of the sludge policy) on Toyota engines. Also has link to Auto News article As of this writing, over 375 signatures of owners who have experienced sludge and are dissatisfied with Toyotas response to their problem. Do a web search for “Toyota Engine Sludge” and you find numerous reports of engine sludge in Toyota’s. View from a garage that specializes in Toyotas. See discussion of engine sludge on this forum, including one by Toyota rep (tmsusa1). Includes discussion of sludge problem. Numerous other websites with sludge reports include: Toyota Owners Unite for Resolution web site
  6. Link to Dec. 2005
  7. Various links with information on the sludge problem to help cut through the hype. (check out the comments on this posting -- George Jones = TheSource???? (sludged Corolla)
  8. another interesting article.
  10. I think Toyota is doing something about it. They have their 8 year unlimited mile policy for some of their models. They do seem to fall short, though. Like, why not include the Corolla? Why not extend the model years covered to include 2002 and newer? Here is an interesting report i found on the internet. This guy was told about the policy and is getting it fixed (yea!). What is interesting is the response from someone who is obviously a mechanic (Toyota?) who just fixed three last week! Do the math. That is pretty scary if you think how many of these could be failing! (link is Expert:paul p. Date:5/21/2004 Subject:I'm having my camry engine sludge repaired and have a question Question I have been drove crazy with my 97 camry since the day I bought it 2 years ago (used) It has had head gaskets replaced, valve seals changed, timing belt, camseal replaced, PCV replaced, and I don't even know the names of everything thats been fixed. I took into my dealer today for diagnostics because I have had a loss of power and once again smokeing, and my ind. mech. wanted a print out to see what it was this time. Toyota tells me that it engine sludge and I qualify for the SPA and reappointed me for next week. I'm thrilled my car will be fixed but I'm afraid, me being a women, they may not replace everything that was truly affected by the sludge. What things should I make sure they have checked or replaced? A little knowledge goes a long way when you a female in a dealership service dept. and any knowledge you could pass along would definately help me out. I know I only have a one shot deal at this and if something goes wrong with my engine down the road I won't have the money to fix it or buy another car!Thanks so much! Answer OK I HEAR YA. I WILL HELP YOU. I JUST DID 3 OF THEM LAST WEEK.!!!! THIS IS WHAT WILL BE DONE. ALL DEALERS HAVE TO TURN IN OLD PARTS TO GET PAID ON THE S.P.A. SO THEY HAVE TO DO THE JOB RIGHT OR IT WILL COMEBACK AND THE DEALER WILL LOOSE MONEY PLUS LOOSE THE REPUTATION AS A TOYOTA DEALER. THEY WILL REPLACE THE FOLLOWING; PISTON RINGS,(POSSIBLY PISTONS), ALL C-ROD BEARINGS,MAIN BEARINGS,OIL PUMP AND PICK-UP,ALL ENGINE SEALS INC. HEAD GASKET. THEY SHOULD LAP THE VALVES AND REPLACE THE VALVE SEALS.ALSO THEY SHOULD REPLACE THE VALVE COVER. THIS IS ALL ASSUMING THAT THE BLOCK IS IN GOOD SHAPE. IF NOT THEY WILL GIVE YOU A BRAND NEW SHORT BLOCK. NOW THAT IS WHAT TOYOTA WILL COVER!!!! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PLUGS,AND A TIMING BELT AND OTHER NONE WARRENTY PARTS.. BUT IF U SCREAM ENOUGH THEY MAY DO IT FOR NOTHING. HOPE I HELPED. PAUL P.
  11. Actually, the Toyota sludge is as described in the article. Toyota initially called it "gel" when they first announced their policy because of the consistency being jelly-like.
  12. Here are a few more. The first one is about a Corolla that sludged.
  13. Thought some recent articles on sludge may be of interest:
  14. Officially, Toyota says a quart per 1000 miles is "normal". It is a little much to me. You really need to keep an eye on oil level at every gas fill up regardless of current consumption rates.
  15. Have you monitored oil consumption? Sometimes it can be a problem in Corollas.
  16. I was told that it is best to turn the AC system off of recirculate when you stop the car so that fresh outside air can get in. Toyota will clean it for you if it is troublesome ($50).
  17. To my knowledge, there never was anything that documented the number of cases. When the sludge policy was announced in 2002, Toyota said at that time that they received somewhere around 3,000 "complaints" of sludge. Is it possible that someone inappropriately translated this number into an occurence rate?
  18. LOL Looks like Toyota lacked common sense when they wrote their manual.
  19. I don't know if I would go so far to say don't buy one of those models. I would just say if you are going to buy one, have the valve cover pulled to check for sludge, find out if it has already had a sludge-fix, check all maintenance records and make sure you get all the maintenance receipts so you can get the policy honored if the engine fails. I would also want to first verify with a dealership that the policy will cover you if you are not the original owner. I have seen varying accounts on whether or not it is just for the original owners. After that, I would go with a synthetic oil or blend and get all oil changes between 3,000 and 5,000 miles.
  20. No Sludge!

    Toyota does not recommend synthetic oil in their manuals, but they do recommend 5W30. What puzzles me is that the dealership I was using would put in 10W30 instead of the 5W as recommended. Could my warranty be voided when the dealership uses a different grade of oil than what was recommended? I must point out that I live in the south where the thinner oil is not as critical as in the north, so that could be why they were using the 10W30. But I switched dealers (for other reasons) and they new ones are using the recommended oil.
  21. No Sludge!

    "Sludgemongers tactics manual"? I have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe it is best that we do not talk to each other further, Veritas. Before that though, do you think man really walked on the moon, or was that just a conspiracy, too? bwringer, Regarding the high engine temperature theory, excellent theory. It is mentioned in the Automotive News article in the above link and I have seen it repeated by a number of experts familiar with the problem.
  22. No Sludge!

    I didn't mean to imply that the engine was specifically redesigned BECAUSE of the sludge problem, but for heavens sake, I hope they addressed it! Wouldn't you expect Toyota to try to make these engines less "sludge prone" while they are in the process of modifying, "significant" or not, the engine design? I will say (and I think I can find proof) that tweaks to the engine were made in some of the 2002 models with the V-6 to make them less prone to sludge. I think I remember those words being used and it was implied that the 2002 4 cylinder already had this taken care of. I am not convinced that that the tweaking was enough to correct the problem because there are still reports on the internet of 2002 and 2003 models having sludge. I haven't yet read anything about a 2004 with the problem, but the jury is still out on those. There are countless resources on the internet that document this problem in the Toyota engines and I am not going to rehash them here. Just do a google on Toyota Engine Sludge and the proof is there. Back to Corollas, I really think that the problems you read about with sludge in Corollas is linked to a high oil consumption rate. The volume of oil these engines holds is so small, that it doesn't take much of a loss of oil before you have a major problem on your hands. I know most people do not think they need to regulary check the oil in a brand new Toyota, but believe me, it will be worth every minute you spend doing it if it helps to avoid engine failure down the road. ********************* I am editing my post to add a link to the Automotive News article that talks of a design change in 2002 in response to the sludge problem. Go to
  23. No Sludge!

    98corolla, I don't think the sludge problem has been as prevalent in the Corolla as in the other models. It is the Sienna, Highlander, Camry, Solara, Celica and Avalon that have the Sludge Policy. Also Lexus RX and ES300s. The years covered vary by model, but generally 1997 - 2001 (4-cyl) or 2002 (6 cyl). I don't think Toyota significantly changed the engine design on the V-6 until 2004, so for what its worth, the 2003's are probably susceptible, too. (4 cyl. engine redesigned with 2002 models). That said, I have heard of sludge in Corollas and have seen it reported on this site. There will certainly be cases where the owners were negiligent in their maintenance and are at fault, but this was not the case with many of the Sludge Policy models.
  24. 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.
  25. Corolla Sludge

    You know what? I check my oil regularly, occasionally add some, but if someone were to ask me how much I added 15,000 miles ago between oil changes I could not tell them a thing. So I guess if you are going to come to these forums and be given the riot act or go to Toyota and told no warranty coverage because we don't think you really checked your oil, then a log book is a little extra insurance. I agree it is ridiculous and you shouldn't have to do it, but look what happened to Raul.