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"Most post 1992 Camrys have sludge problem and will seize" rumor



  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    In my line of work (pharmaceutical), we scientists don't operate on making wild claims with insufficient data. Because if I do so carelessly, people die from it.

    Fxashun wants to claim that 5 reports = "most camry has sludge problem". Yet 20 reports of Accord transmission problem = "very few are affected". Is there such thing as basic logic?

    I have asked many times how he could dissprove the fact that Consumer Report (a much more reputable source than one man, Fxashun, I would think) states that more than 95% Camrys are running fine without engine proble. The answer -- not solid data, not varifiable proof, but the insult that "you need to get out more".

    Even Edmund's Townhall alone has 6950+ Camry owners. Only about 5 reported sludge problem. That's 0.0719%, which is consistant with Consumer Report's data of less than 5% problem even after 9 years.

    We scientists operate on facts. Not some wild claim or biased claim. We, I hope that's the vast majority of the human population don't consider 0.0719% or less than 5% to equate "most" or "a large percentage".

    I call on Fxashun to give us varifiable and solid data, not few individual or anecdotal cases. If someone is going to make wild claim that "most" camry engine has sludge problem, he/she must be prepared to show us that "most" actually do. Now does he or does he NOT have any data as strong enough to dissprove my Consumer Report data that proves his claim is wrong? Or am I just going to get another attempt to avoid the answer by saying "you need to get out more"?
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    BTW, I'm still interested to find out why sludge occurs in the affected camrys, either infrequent oil change is the culprit, bad oil (penzoil,quaker-state), bunch of cold start, or engine defect alltogether.
    So, anyone care to answer my question ? Its much better and more helpful than bickering about it.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Let's see here.
    1) Had sludge
    2) What's the active word here?. I guess some degree of sludge came loose with the new oil. Guess all the sludge was washed out at last. He didn't say he had sludge. He said he GUESSED he had sludge.
    3) Usually the grommet in the cover's metered hole gets plugged with sludge. A paper clip can clean it out. He's not talking about the entire engine but the PCV system.
    4) He was giving a diagnosis. He hadn't even looked at the engine in question. No one had actually told the guy he had sludge..
    5) Once again the guy said he ASSUMED the sludge was the culprit. That's not the same as a person taking their car to the dealer and getting told "your car has sludge".
    6) Sludge??? May be.

    Let's see there...2 out of 6..That's not bad.

    The first sludge mention on the 2.5 is also a diagnosis not a testimonial. And the second you used before. I'm sure if you found that many on the jeep you probably found the same ones I found on the Camry. Here are some actual Camry testimonials.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    said "most". I don't remember it. I thought I always said "a high percentage". Also I think I asked you a whole buncha question the Wenyue...Wanna talk about dodging.

    You don't seem to get it do you. There is no data on this. But that's why people come to Edmunds to find out about things that they may not normally find in "Consumer Reports". I know there are people looking under their oil caps because I've seen a few smudged oil caps on trade-ins now. People are tryin' to clean them off. There's more to it than that.

    But that's OK. I'm really not trying to convince you (Wenyue and Cyw0). You guys are too dense/stubborn for that. I have always said that anyone really interested in seeing if Camrys have sludge can go look for themselves. I'm just using you to keep "my" forum "hot". So you just keep on a posting and so will I.

    And Luifi I hope you don't think my reasons for disagreeing with your posts was petty. I think you see the differences in the ones I used and yours though.
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    Since most people are a bit "mechanically challenged" (not me, I'm totally clueless ^__^),
    I think it will be hard to find people that really
    think their car has sludge, without just relaying
    the answer they got from the mechanic from the shop/dealership.
    And what the percentage of those quote are truely honest and not just some way to squeeze some $$$ from the owner?? If you take this into the equation, it will be really hard to prove that a particular car has sludge in it (especially if the car runs fine without apparent problem, which looks like what will happen...unless the engine seizure and such...)

    So bottom line is..dont you think we just going around in circle here? ^__^
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    In Camry forum, you did say "most" and later on try to change to "high percentage". Unfortunately the host did delete many of your post there (you also deleted some of your own post to cover your track). But participants in the Camry forum will gladly back me up.

    Also, I'm not the one dodging. I have Consumer Report, a reputable, varifiable source, and contains solid and irrefutable data. You haven't got anything that can stand up to it, besides few isolated cases.

    Well, 4-5 individual cases among 3.2 million Camrys out there doesn't mean whole lot. There are probably 5 trouble free Kia's out there, does that mean most of Kia's are bullet proof? Th

    So until you have any thing as solid as Consumer Report, you have no ground to say "most" or "high percentage". SO keep looking. And good luck.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    I only posted those to show what I meant by a post of someone who actually said he had sludge. Only like 2 of your links actually said "I have sludge" the rest were diagnoses posted in replies. It's obvious you want to play dense too but that's OK. I do believe I was very clear in stating what I meant whan I said show me 4 posts showing an engine with sludge. Also in link 4 he clarified later by saying it was a 93 Camry.

    The pcv/Positive Crankcase Ventilation is the system that rids the crankcase of vaporized oil and blowby gasses.

    Yes I do work for Carmax. And yes that's where I originally found out that this problem existed. The problem with anything you say about Carmax's policy on sludge is that when we receive a car with sludge we don't sell it on our lot. We sell it at an auction that we hold every other week. We put every known defect on the windshield so that any perspective buyer can see it. We aren't trying to hide anything from anyone. We aren't trying to lowball anyone. We have a no-haggle pricing policy that would preclude low-balling. If we low-ball a trade-in there is no haggling to try and save the deal. So why would we shoot ourselves in the foot like that.

    Isellhondas dealership may have sold that Camry but you would not find it on our front lot.

    A "high percentage" and "most" are different. While most of the Camrys I have checked in our wholesale lot have had sludge there are a few for sale on out front lot also. So maybe not most but the percentage is much higher than any other car out there...Hense a "high percentage".
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Only one (that I posted twice) said he went to Carmax. What about the others? How is one post now the rule that we measure them all by? Why is the Camry being singled out by so many? Must be a conspiracy.
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    I think you may have misinterpret what I say in post 125. I just stated that off all these
    "sludgy" camry,jeep,nissan,etc, How many of them really has sludge issue and not just has sludge because the dealer SAID they have sludge ? Since most ppl dont know much about car's engine, it will not be hard for wicked dealership or repair shop to try to squeeze some $$$ from them using the sludge issue. (again this can happen to any car).

    No, I didnt want to single out carmax or anything. It just because you work in carmax and that 1 person also been told by carmax about the sludge issue in his camry, that I asked whether this is a known problem only in Carmax ?(since I never heard any other major car-chain stating that). I also said that Carmax has good reason to try lowering the value of the car, which undoubtedly cast negative value (most people dont trust car dealership anyway...for good or bad), thats it, just reason, that particular Carmax may do it or not, we never know for sure.

    Thanks for the pcv explanation.

    And...noone seems able to spell my name :(, I guess i better change it to LFI, much easier to spell. :)
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Once again that's my point. No other car has the sludge reputation as the Camry. If you check our auction logs the Camry is listed for sludge at least half the time. As I said before, we list known defects on the windshield at the auction so we aren't trying to say a car has sludge just to give someone less for their car. Also it's known Carmaxwide about the sludge. Not at just one dealership. In addition...if someone wants to see the sludge we have no problem showing it to them.

    As far as dealership trying to gouge...that's when being an informed consumer comes into play. I mean if you pay $20,000 for a car you should at least go out and learn as much as you can about it. It's silly to just drive around and blindly take anyone's word to what's wrong. Try to learn more about your car...Buy the tech manual...Look under the hood and get familiar with it.

    When I was 16 I learned my lesson. I took my car in to have the brakes checked and the guy said I needed brakes. The ones he put on had the same lining thickness as the ones he took off. I got taken for $90. I learned how to do my own basic maintenance after that.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Please remember that the Town Hall Participant Agreement states in part: I agree to disagree in a civil manner should I take issue with the statements of another Town Hall participant or any, Inc. Editor or content contributor. I understand that civility and respect underlie the success of a group discussion such as the Town Hall.

    The disagreement going on here has at least challenged the definition of civil and respectful, in my view. It seems apparent that there is a fundamental difference of opinion existing among several of you that is not going to be changed. So maybe the time has come for everyone to agree to disagree and find something else to talk about? Someone wondered if the discussion here is just going in circles, and I have to say that from a neutral vantage point I could not agree more! :-)

    Some of you have used profanity in some recent posts. Those posts will likely be deleted by our host due to that fact. You should keep that in mind if you want your posts to stick around.

    Please consider my comments to be a friendly warning at this point. Let's just try to relax, remember to be respectful and clean it up a bit, okay?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • jnowskijnowski Posts: 96
    I was wandering around at PeP Boys yesterday, waiting for a freind to pick up their vehicle. Lo and behold, right there on the shelf,....

    Engine Flush
    Radiator Flush
    Transmission Flush
    Power Steering Flush

    Does anyone else in this forum think that "sludge" in automotive systems may be a normal occurence of vehicular operation. I mean, if it was only a problem with one particular model, would PeP Boys donate so much counter space to it? I seem to remember that some of these products were also sold in the 1960's, BEFORE the Camrys' being discussed here were in existence.

    "High Percentage" - Lets see, 1% is 5 times greater than 0.2%. Does this make 1% a "High Percentage"?

    Just food for thought.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Why does Toyota (the manufacturer) use it as a basis for denying warranty coverage?

    Why do some engines not seem to have this problem?

    Wouldn't you think automotive technology would have advanced beyond the 60's by now?

    If most cars sludge percentage is 5% and the Camrys is as low as %30(in my experience it's much greater in higher mileage Camrys)wouldn't you call that a high percentage?

    Also Pep Boys also have products that mask problems like smoking, squeaking and leaking. Are these normal occurrences that you would like to deal with?
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    We seems discussing this in a proper manners, so I hope Pat wont klined anyone of my post or your post that was addressing me.

    I think what most people here are arguing is the point you make that Camry has a reputation of being sludgy, which most people never heard of. Since you stated that its widely known in Carmax, yet most people never heard of it (hence the reputation is kinda doubtful?) I think you understand I'm aiming at the so called "most camry has sludge" reputation itself.

    Is it Toyota's policy to refuse warranty service just because there's sludge in the engine? Or is it that particular dealership itself thats not credible enough ? Maybe cliffy1 can help on this matter (either that or call the Toyota Service #).

    I can offer a reasons why Toyota refused service due to sludge:
    Since I think we both agreed that improper maintenance could cause engine seizure, which one of the characteristic is sludge, it is possible that the owner did neglect maintenance to the car
    which give Toyota the right to deny servicing it.
    (I think this is an acceptable condition)
    Note that in no means that this can be used for them to escape their responsibility if the car has been maintained well (like arbtree's car). Then again, for the 94&95 camry, they are out of the warranty, so it is within Toyota's right to refuse them service.
    Is this good bussiness? I dont know about the financial matters .... but it definitely doesnt help their reputation (or that of the particular dealer).

    Lastly, imo, the most and high percentage concept itself is up to grab. You definitely think so, while ppl like Wenyue totally against it. I tend to believe if its really as widespread, then more
    complaint would be apparent, afterall there's just too many Camrys out there. But as you said, the sludge might not even cause any problem with the engine, who knows ? Until we split open a large enough sample, there's not exactly a good way to prove it...

    And I cant agree more with you regarding the car
    knowledge, but then again, not all people are comfortable with tickering with car's engine (myself included).
  • aquaticaquatic Posts: 12
    Both the dealer and Toyota themselves said no to me because they said sludge was caused by lack of maintanance. Yes I did not know that short driving would have such a severe impact on the 1994 Camry that an oil change every 5,500 miles or 6 months would not be enough. In fact the dealer themselves had changed the oil a few months before and never said a word. The technician said it is because they did not look for sludge when they changed the oil before but when they were replacing the valve cover gasket they saw it. As far as him lying about sludge I doubt it. I thought he was lying to my wife when he told her the engine was sludged and we needed a soft rebuild for $3,600. After talking to him I think he was telling the truth as he was willing to put it in writing. So I guess I contributed to it by not having the oil changed every 3,000 miles under the severe driving conditions of short drives but it still seems like it sludged a little too easy. I guess in the future I will change the oil every three months on short drives and stop using Penzoil or start using synthetic oil that does not sludge and change that every 5,000 miles.
  • jnowskijnowski Posts: 96
    "Sludge" has little to do with "automotive technology". It is more an issue of "Oil/Lubricant technology" and type of servuce/maintenance.
  • jnowskijnowski Posts: 96
    Smoking, squeaking and leaking ARE natural consequences of wear and tear on an automobile. Drive a car enough miles, or don't maintain that car properly and you will get "smoking, squeaking, and leaking" problems.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    You took the words right out of my mouth. If 30% of the Camrys engine suffers from sludge problem, we would be seeing litterally millions of reports. There is the likely (very few Camrys are affected), and there is the unreasonable (30%+ are affected). And if problem rate is 30+%, we wouldn't be seeing Consumer Report, Edmund's and just about every reliability rating lists Camry being extremely reliable and problem free.

    Until he can actually come up with some real result instead of few isolated cases from the entire net, I think it's pretty obvious that the claim is unwarranted at best. If a few reports of problem is all it needs to make a claim that "most" are affected, all hell would break lose in every brand's forum.

    I'm scientist, and I have high standards. But I guess I can't expect everyone to follow it.

    And I think this subject is indeed going in circles. And since the only information on % of engine problem is mine -- consumer report, showing less than 5% engine problem after 9 years, I hope everyone sees how that would come into comflict if, not invalidate, a wild claim made by any one man.
  • jnowskijnowski Posts: 96
    The most common reason for valve cover gasket replacement is a leaking gasket. Gaskets eventually deteriorate and leak and will have to be replaced. This is true not only for cars, but many other products as well.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Sure them darn Camrys sludge right on up. If you worked at a Toyota dealer and said that over the phone and then a customer came back and quoted you, how long would you be working as a service manager?

    Carmax buys cars whether you buy one from us or not. There aren't many dealers that do that. Our warranty company does not allow us to sell cars with known sludge. So we kick cars with it to the wholesale auction. We keep a log of all the cars we auction and why they are there. Over 50% of the higher mileage Camrys that get kicked to the auction are there because of sludge. There is no other car in our log that has that distinction. Just as there is no other car on here that has as many owner complaints of sludge.
    And the Camry wasn't even a top seller until 1997 so the "popular car" theory is addressed in that there are SUV's and other car models that were as popular back then. They don't have the problem.

    You guys act like I have something against Toyota or something. If that were the case my mom and sister wouldn't have them. I've owned 8 of them. Heck FXASHUN refers to a Corrolla FX-16. The only reason I don't have one now is that they don't make the same cars they used to. They lost their "heart" and started making commuter specials after they created Lexus. I have personal experience in over 60 Camrys the best I've heard here is "Consumer Reports" says"". Well Consumer Reports can only report problem owners know about...Every time someone has reported their sludge they had no idea what was going on.
This discussion has been closed.