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New Sludge Articles



Here is your Toyota car information!

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thanks for posting these articles. I cant believe consumer reports didnt include the corolla in their sludge list. this even happens to people that change their oil regularly so we really need to watch out for this problem. I'll certainly be checking my oil more often for signs of sludging. default_wink

I'm using Mobil 1 5W 30. If I get oil sludge, I'll drive the damn car in to the dealaership and leave it there. My bank can repo it.

That first link with the Corolla looks more like a headgasket or moisture issue. Sludge doesn't look like that - can't pull it up with your hand, got to scrap it off with putty knife or similar.

Pretty funny - the third like has a photo of a Renault 4 engine - probably made from the 60s and 70s. Gotta love the media.

Supposedly the two cars I currently have "known" sludge related issues - used conventional in the Camry (OCI - 3K-5K) and synthetic in the Corolla (OCI 7K-10K) - no problems so far.

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.

Yeah - sludge term that everyone is slinging around may not be the best term for it - "Oil Gelation" sounds better.

But I only mentioned that it looks exactly like water/coolant in motor oil (mayonnaise like consistency, lighter color). Could be an issue with the PCV system that was used in certain years to meet emission regs. Why only some people were affected and not others with the same model years makes it a mystery for me.

Guest Cruisin

Consumer Reports homepage has a "Sludge Prone Engines" link now. Took them long enough to acknowledge the problem! Like 3 years or more.

Nice step forward tho.

Corolla isn't on their list.

http://www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp

regarding Corolla sludge, quite a few complaints of sludged Corollas on the Autosafety site at www.autosafety.org. Never understood why Toyota did not include all models under their sludge policy and why it was limited to certain years. You have to prove proper maintenance to be covered, so it is def. something Toyo should take care of when sludge occurs with proper oil changes.

I have a headache from reading about engine sludge on the Internet...maybe I have a brain tumor default_ohmy

^^^^That's what I think about this sludge issue.

I will take two Aspirins and follow these rules:

Oil changes within manufacturer's recommondations, beter a 100 miles before the interval than after

Keep all oil change receipts

Make sure oil receipts states car mileage, oil grade and fitler part no.

Check oil between oil changes regularly, more or less every gas tank, depending on oil consumption.

Toyota recommended 5000/7500 mile oil changes on older models depending on driving conditions (5000 on newer regardless of driving conditions). There have been reports that these intervals are too long for these engines and that 3,000 mile oil changes are more appropriate. So I would say DON'T follow Toyota's recommendations - use the tried and true 3000 mile interval to play it safe.

Guest corolla_owner

My ’98 Corolla sludged at 33K miles while it was within powertrain warranty despite regular maintenance within the specified time intervals. A Toyota dealership brought this to my attention, however didn’t explain to me the consequences and next course of action. I kept driving the car and continued with regular oil changes. The engine blew up at 50K miles possibly due to over consumption of oil. I spent 5K and had the engine replaced. The car was out of PT warranty by 12 days.

I sent in the oil change receipts and proof of maintenance history to Toyota and requested that Corolla should be included in the SPA program for reimbursement. They sent a letter saying that I should have properly “maintained” my car and offered me a 1K discount towards purchase of a new Toyota.

I have now bought a Honda CRV and was told that my first oil change was due at 10K miles.

I now find an increasing number of Corolla owners with this problem.

I hate to hear of toyota walking over people like that, I wish people would get lawyers or do whatever they had to do to fight harder against toyota instead of allowing themselves to be sluffed off. toyota isnt going to nicely ask to replace a sludged motor, theyre going to do everything possible to keep the penalty of paying for it in the owners lap and they will get away with it every time if the owner doesnt fight.

from the description it seems the oil was possibly changed every 3k miles, if so that wouldnt be neglegent maintanance yet it still sludged. I dont know that I would have paid $5k to replace the motor for a car that likely wasnt worth $5k by that time. if that was me though I would have atleast left a bbb complaint for toyota about that, if not talked to the news stations about it also.

Guest corolla_owner

I did everything I could do - complained to BBB, wrote to Toyota's CEO, posted my story on edmunds, complaint station etc, but didnt take a legal stand. Toyota's response was that I was out of PT warranty and they would do nothing about it. When I called them, I was told Corolla is not included in the SPA program since Corolla's have never had any problems. I guess I was the first one to be unlucky.

The authorized Toyota dealership that replaced my engine refused to admit that sludging was involved that blew the engine. My case was extensivley discussed in cartrackers.com. The link isnt working anymore though.

Guest corolla_owner

To Happy MOM:

Learning from my experience is that always go to Toyota dealerships for oil change and hang on to the receipts like your dear life - forever.

I was personally called by Toyota and told that since I switched from Toyota dealerships to regular ones for oil changes, they dont know what has been done. Basically washed their hands off my case. A receipt from these UN-authorized dealerships dont really matter.

I wish they could state in their instruction manual to go dealerships for everything.

I wish they knew how to make motors that werent prone to sludge instead of blaming it on you because you went to other dealers. if I was running the world and idiots like this wouldnt own up to their mistakes and right their wrongs then they'd promptly get thrown in prison working hard labor and sleeping with big tyrone at night to keep them company. there's no excellence or integrity now, its all flushed down the crapper for the worshipped almightly dollar.

My ’98 Corolla sludged at 33K miles while it was within powertrain warranty despite regular maintenance within the specified time intervals. A Toyota dealership brought this to my attention, however didn’t explain to me the consequences and next course of action. I kept driving the car and continued with regular oil changes. The engine blew up at 50K miles possibly due to over consumption of oil. I spent 5K and had the engine replaced. The car was out of PT warranty by 12 days.

When I read this, it should be under the PT warranty, because the sludge was there and diagnosed by Toyota within the PT warranty. The Toyota dealership failed to repair the engine the knowingly new was defective and under warranty. I'm no legal expert, but if you have this in writting from Toyota, it's worth a shot.

 

and what's all this BS:

I was personally called by Toyota and told that since I switched from Toyota dealerships to regular ones for oil changes, they dont know what has been done. Basically washed their hands off my case. A receipt from these UN-authorized dealerships dont really matter.

You need a PhD from a Toyota university to change the **** oil?? I could understand they may question someone who changes it themselves, but goign to Midas, JiffyLube, Canadian Tire , ...come on!

I agree 100% with the last part of 01LoadedLE's statement. Although the first part is probably the ugly by-product of progress, i.e. squeasing more hp and torque from smaller, lighter, more efficient engines.

I still think that statistically my Corolla is as likely to sludge as me having a brain tumor, so I won't sweat it. And between the two, I'll take the sludged engine any day.

I apologise for the long post

Guest corolla_owner

Unfortunately I moved four states after this happened. It was way back in 2000 when sludge was detected. I guess it was unbelievable for Toyota quality at that time. Even the dealership was surprised. I was naïve too, didn’t know the gravity of the situation, so I didn’t follow-up.

The sludge was detected in MI, the engine blew up in MN and then I moved to NJ, Now I am in CT. Legal advice was that I will have to follow this up at MI which meant traveling back and forth couple of times.

When I posted my story, there were many spin docs that stood up for Toyota and made me feel like a criminal. They said that a Corolla breaking down is like the moon falling on the earth. For a while I thought I was indeed the culprit. Now I am surprised to learn that there are a growing number of Corolla owners with this problem. I hope Toyota takes note of this and includes Corolla in the SPA program.

If you have a possible prone sludge engine, then run Mobil 1 or at least 10W30 and change the oil often (every 3K miles).

I wasn't too surprized when Dodge and even VW had sludge problems, but it sucks that Toyota isn't taking care of the problem. I suspect the wrong oil and or long oil change intervels to be the problem tho. Not so much engine design.

To get better gas milage and have good power, you gotta run as lean as possible and things run hotter. New cars are probably running hotter then cars 5 years ago and 5W30 probably isn't the oil for the job.

Mobil 1 at Sams club doesn't break the bank so bad. Under $4 a quart, or you can get 4 quart jugs at Wally World cheaper then the parts store. If anyone can get Mobil 1 to sludge in a engine, I'd be impressed. I don't think it could be done unless it never gets changed.

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 http://experts.about.com/q/832/3557065.htm)

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.

Toyota's sludge policy is for those who have changed their oil at the recommended intervals and still developed engine sludge. Toyota will provide free repair and loaner car if you can prove you did the proper maintenance. I was able to benefit from this policy by showing that I had changed my oil properly and still developed sludge. It was like pulling teeth to get Toyota to compensate me. They are not very eager to honor the policy.

I tried to get an answer to this question in another thread without success. Is it true that when an engine begins to get the sludge problem that the dipstick shows the oil is low? (I would think that it would read low if gobs of oil were sitting at various places in the engine and not getting back to the oil pan.)