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Toyota Avalon Engine Questions

mazdamom1mazdamom1 Member Posts: 2
My mom took her 2000 Avalon in for 40,000 mile checkup and was told a pipe had melted onto the manifold and could not be removed. The entire manifold had to be replaced in order to pass GA emission testing. Two different kinds of metal were used in the original construction of the car and when the car was heated, the melting occurred. My parents are expected to replace at their own cost. Any other reports of similar instances and if so, how was it handled? Seems like Toyota should be responsible, doesn't it?


  • muru1muru1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 98 Avalon Resently and its engine light comes on, when I shut off the car for few minutes then I start every thing work ok and no engine light on.Also some times it quit the fan and outside temparature.I shut down then start every thing ok.I went to dealer for the engine light problem and they change the speed sensor but I these problems intermittant.Please help me in this matter.
  • jc217jc217 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Avalon with 22K miles. I have been running oil samples on this vehicle since the second oil change. Test results show 5 to 9 % fuel dilution in the motor oil as well as some dirt contamination. I have talked to my Toyota service manager. He has no clue as to why all the contamination. I asked about fuel mixture being too rich. He said it can't be changed since everything is electronic. I asked about some type of injection leak. He said it's not possible. I generally run vehicles to 150 - 200K, but am worried about the engine. Should I be worried?

    Any suggestions or ideas?
  • highlander7highlander7 Member Posts: 177
    I have no idea of why the fuel dilution. Do you know what percent is an acceptical level?


    How often do you change the oil and filter?

    Who changes your oil and filter, Dealer, Local Garage, Self...?

    What type driving do you do? Short Runs, Highway, City, How Severe?

    What viscosity and manufacturer of oil? 5/30? _________

    Do you use a Toyota oil filter?

    Where do you have your oil analyzed for contaminets? How large of a sample do you retain for analysis?

    How does the data you have on this engine compare with other vehicles you have driven?

    I understand that many short runs, mile or two, then the vehicle sits for hours before other short runs will cause condensation and other contamination in the oil.

    The fuel percentage may be troublesome. If this is an easy item to check, I would like to do this on occasion. Thank you for your information, hope you get a good answer.
  • jc217jc217 Member Posts: 4

    I change the oil and filter every 3 - 4,000 miles. All changes have been made at the local Toyota dealer. I assume Toyota filters. They do use Mobil 5w30 oil. Driving habits are primarily highway/rural road driving, minimum of 15 miles with about 75 to 100 miles per day. Less than 10 miles of city driving about three times per week.

    I use the Oil Analysis Labs out of Spokane WA. They provide a 1-2 oz. sample bottle. They provide test results on 27 factors such as the physical data of the oil, metal concentrations, additive and contaminant products. They can diagnose the fuel dilution to 0.5% I have no idea what the Toyota specs are. Apparently, my shop manager has no idea either. He photocopied my report to discuss with technician but I never heard back from them.

    I also have a 95 Geo Prizm which has the 4 cyl Toyota engine in it. It has 141K miles and its sample tested at 0% fuel dilution. In fact, it tested cleaner than the 2002 Avalon in most of the categories.
  • highlander7highlander7 Member Posts: 177
    Will Oil Analysis Labs comment on this level of fuel dilution?

    Until you get an answer, I will begin changing the oil on my wifes 03 Avalon every 2000 miles and submit samples for analysis. Before your posting, I was considering changing oil and filter every 2K miles, now with your dilution data I will do so. She only drives 6-8K a year so this will be easy to do. I always change oil at the first 1000 miles, then every 3000 after that. 2000 miles may be excessive but I want the car to last!! Also, I will begin submitting my 4Runner oil for same analysis so I will have a comparison

    If you left the oil in until 7500 miles, wonder if the fuel percentage would be greater? And what damage might this do?

    Does anyone out there have an answer for jc217 posting #17?
  • footiefootie Member Posts: 636

    Did you ever get an answer to your question about the pipe melting on the manifold?

    Did the 'check engine light' come on?

    What 'pipe' actually melted? Can you see it melted? I may be presumtuous here, but it sounds a lot like a dealer trying to find a way to do big $$ work.

    Did your Mom actually have any performance problems with her Avalon? If it was running ok, getting normal gas mileage...there's probably nothing under the hood that could melt that would impact emissions in GA or any other state.

    I hope she shopped around for a 2nd opinion.

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Was it .5% or was it 5%.. Anything under 5(five) percent for me is okay due to more short trips. However, I change the oil every 7500 with synthetic. The ppm of the dirt was not provided. If there is minimal wear metals then the silicon (dirt so to speak) is coming from seals and gaskets, not dirt. The fuel, usually too short trips or excessive idling but if not the case for you it is interesting. However, if under 5% don't worry about it, especially if wear metals are looking good.
  • rmsachsrmsachs Member Posts: 6
    yes, another flush question. At my last oil change (which I do every 5k miles) My Toyota service manager tried to convince me I needed my engine flushed ($99 special), which I declined. Am I being hoodwinked? I have a 2000 Avalon XLS with 27k, and I don't see anything about this in the manual. I don't have any performance problems that I know of.
  • rmsachsrmsachs Member Posts: 6
    I get this letter from Toyota Motor Sales USA, assuring me that any Avalon oil gelling damage is covered for 8 years. It says nothing about engine flushing (see previous posting), just do regular maintenance. So what is oil gelling, and how do I know I have it?
  • footiefootie Member Posts: 636
    Hi RMsachs,

    You are right. If there is nothing in the manual then it isn't required. The only unusual service items that I remember from our 2000 Avalon manual have to do with being in 'high dust' environments and lots of short trips in winter.

    Call your dealer back and ask them what they actually do when they flush the engine. My guess they are talking about the cooling system.

    There's not much you can do that I am aware of to actually 'flush' an engine. That's what happens when you change the oil.

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    The Avalons use the same V6 (basically) as the Camry and it has been shown to have sludging problems if the oil change intervals are extended, especially beyond 5000 miles. these engines just beat up the oil and can sludge (brown gel or hard baked on gunk) which will ruin the engine. The sludge may not be seen on the dipstick or even inside the oil filler neck. You really have to pull the valve cover to see if you have sludge. Most V6 do not and will not if the oil is changed frequently enough. However, that is why Toyota has given the 8 year warranty.

    Highly recommend you keep oil change reciepts and change within 5000 miles. A flush is normally a waste of money especially if you have been changing the oil. Just a great moneymaker for the dealer and since you have the 8 year warranty I would definitely not have an engine flush.

    If the dealer suspects sludge them them pull the valve cover at their expense. Experience has shown that if sludge exists the flush will not help, it is too late
  • raylor4raylor4 Member Posts: 5
    '97 Avalon, 74,000 mi, regularly maintained...Engine light comes on and off every 4 days or so. Engine runs fine. Got the code read by a scanner...Wrote it down, but do not have access to it at this writing. Called Toyota dealer in Napa, CA. Said I have to wait 11 days for an appointment, "Especially for a Toyota" I'm quoting them. Yikes! Will re-post when I get the code and the thing fixed by an independent. Gas cap is OK.
  • raylor4raylor4 Member Posts: 5
    Took our 74,000 mile baby to an independent shop in Napa, CA. The scanner read code P1705. The software had no data on this code. Several phone calls later we came up with "direct drive clutch circuit" as the culprit. The tech explained to me that there are two RPM sensors outside the transmission and one is slightly out of parameter and gives no signal at idle.
    We should be out of the shop tomorrow with a bill substantially lower than any dealer would have presented.
    While I was there, I asked about throttle body cleaning, and the tech said they sometimes get sludged up from nearby PCV crankcase vapors. This makes more sense than the Toyota service writer that said they need to be cleaned because gas gets them gummed up.
    Does anyone have an annoying rattle that seems to be coming from the muffler area? Heat shields, clamps, brackets, all OK. I read on Car Talk that there is a "bypass valve" in the muffler. Any ideas?
  • carjunky1carjunky1 Member Posts: 3
    Although not guaranteed, fuel and sludge are related. Aside from octane, premium fuel is more "refined". It carries less impurities that end up being carried in the oil. If you don't need the octane (which slows the "flame front" of the igniting fuel in the cylinder thus eliminating "knock")just change your oil more frequently and use a better filter. It's either/or. Those EGR valves are collecting the same impurities from the exhaust. They combine with the moisture, that is a natural byproduct of combustion to corrode internal parts. Yes, premium is more expensive but if you use it consistently you will see a difference in reliability and oil cleanliness. I have 140000 on my '96 Avalon. At 5000 miles my oil is still transparent on the dipstick. I have always used premium. It is expensive, but I hope to get a lot of miles from my car. Shifting back in forth between premium and regular is a total waste of money. Flushing an engine is pouring kerosine into the engine after the oil is removed. You run the engine for about 5 minutes or until it reaches operating temperature. The kerosine thins out any sludge and carries it away. No guarantee that it got it all, in fact, you should change your oil again (100 miles) to get the flush out. This was popular when engines had no filters (pre fifties). You needed to do this to keep the valve stems lubricated. (that is where most of the sludge is). It was necessary because of paraffin based oils. Actually Toyota's are known for their clean engines on tear down. If a mechanic told me to flush a Toyota, I would probably never go back to him. If a service ticket writer told me to flush my Toyota I would suspect they are running a special!
  • randykiddrandykidd Member Posts: 2
    I drive a 2001 Avalon XLS and notice a good bit of wind noise. Anyone have trouble with this in their Avalon? Otherwise I love the car! It drives so smoothly and is easy on the gas. I notice something recently that is a little annoying: when idling I notice the engine seems to run a little roughly--can feel it jerking. What would case this? I use regular gas always. That is the type gas that the dealer told me to use? Would a tank or two of Premium take care of this rough running engine? I have the oil and filter changed every 3,000 miles either at the dealer or a Pennzoil Center. Help me out folks. Thanks.
  • highlander7highlander7 Member Posts: 177
    Before my wife purchased her 03 Avalon in June, we were not aware of the Oil SLUDGE problem. I understand that the Avalon/Camry/RX300 3.0L engine will receive modifications to prevent this problem. Has this been corrected?

    If not, When will this modification be done?

    To prevent possible sludging, should I use a synthetic oil like Mobil 1? I am scheduling oil changes every 2000 miles because of the fear of sludge. With Mobil 1 maybe I could go to 5000 miles.

    Appreciate comments and suggestions.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    all the 3.0 engines with the previous sludge problem were modified in their PCV systems to fix this "problem". If you are not sure if your Avalon received this fix before you bought it, your dealer where you bought it will certainly know, and if it was not, they will do it now.

    While all those things said about the coolant system were technically true, usually the level in the overflow tank should stay roughly the same - if the siphon hose to the radiator is leaking, it can be replaced. Evaporation out the top usually does not occur because the cap of the expansion tank has a rubber gasket. However, if you get the car really hot sometime, and the system was already very full, it could expand enough to actually discharge a little out of the expansion tank on to the ground.

    Bottom line: 2 inches a year is not a sign of a major problem, although it is a little puzzling once the level has been adjusted appropriately. Just keep topping it off. if it were a major problem, you would be losing a lot more than that.

    randykidd: at idle when the car is in gear, you may feel a little jerking as the A/C compressor cycles on and off - the idle raises a little when it kicks in, in order to provide more cooling. So if the A/C is on, or the defrost, that is normal.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kenneths1kenneths1 Member Posts: 2
    2003 Avalon with a engine whine, the dealer said it is a charastic of he car, the 2000 did no do this. Any suggestions.
  • footiefootie Member Posts: 636
    Go start any others on another lot. If they don't sound like your car, take yours in and ask for the service manager.

    It's the same engine as the Camry V6, the Sienna, The Solara V6 and the Lexus ES300.

    Do they any of them whine? I don't think so.
  • rattlecagerattlecage Member Posts: 32
    I've always done 7500 mile oil changes, and have had some 150k+ mileage cars, and have never had a serious engine problem. Most mechanics I've talked to say that modern oil can handle 7500miles no problem.

    Ok so now I own a 2000 Avalon and am reading all these "sludge" posts about 2000 mile oil changes, etc.

    So are there a bunch of extremely careful people on this website, or are Avalons really THAT hard on oil that it turn it to "Gel" ? Even modern oils? What about the "Synthetic Blend" oils or the "pure Synthetic" oils. Can I get 7500 miles out of them??

    Or can I just use regular good oil like Castrol or Valvoline and dilligently change it between 4k and 5k?

    Thanks for any responses :)
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    extreme maintenance schedule for your car lists oil changes at 5K miles, and if I were you, I would not bother to change it more frequently than that. Just use regular "dino" oil - no need for synthetic unless you prefer to use it.

    Toyota has warranted your engine against sludging out to eight years from the date it first went into service, regardless of mileage, so you do not need to worry much until 2008 anyway.

    The sludge problem was overblown. They still have less than 400 engines out of more than 1 million that needed replacement.

    By contrast Honda has already had several thousand fail out of the 1.2 million automatic transmissions they recalled this year.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • rattlecagerattlecage Member Posts: 32
    Thanks for the response, I'm glad that problem is overblown, i will just use good regular oil and change it every 5k. Its a great car, the bench seat setup is refreshing and nostalgic (for me).

    I have the stock stereo, and have since replaced the back and front speakers with Infinity 6.5 inch coaxials in the back, and these amazing Alpine 6.5 inch seperates (SPR-176A) in the front. The total cost of the upgrade was less than 300 dollars, and the sound improvement is incredible.

    I will add an amp and some kind of woofer/subwoofer system next, any ideas anyone?
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    I have read a few posts in the forum recently regarding the timing belt replacement. I was informed by my dealer at the last oil change (66,000 miles) that I was overdue for timing belt replacement. I took them for their word and scheduled an appointment. I then did the plug change and pcv valve services myself due to cost savings. I then consulted the owners manual in regards to proper maintenance schedules, the manual says 90,000 miles is appropriate for timing belt change. I then cancelled my timing belt appointment, and will have it done next year at this time, which is when I will be around 85,000 or so. The 90,000 mile interval is more consistant with previous cars I have owned. Although I must be honest here, this toyota and all the sludge rumors have me a bit scared about maintenance. I have never had major mechanical problems of any kind in the past with other vehicles I have owned. What is the general consensus here among other avalon owners? I have been having all my oil changes done at the dealer I purchased the car from, and doing so at 3,000 mile intervals. This for me is my peace of mind in regards to any possible sludge issues. How could toyota claim improper maintenance when they are the ones turning the wrench on oil changes? The reason I am worried about sludge is in regards to an issue I had upon purchasing this car. It was experiencing smoke on startup, and the dealer overhauled the valve train to resolve the problem under warranty. They never indicated a sludge problem at that time, even when I specifically asked about it. How does this correlate with other avalons?
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    overhauled the valve train could be they did a slight rebuild or replaced valve seals or perhaps they did a flush of the system. Maybe you need to inquire further to see what service was performed during the purchase of the vehicle. Id do an oil analysis on the vehicle to determine the cleanliness of the motor internally
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18

    this a photo from when I started my car this morning. This is actually a lot less smoke than it made over the previous few morning. it slowly declines over about 5 minutes till it is gone. the smoke smells strongly of burnt oil. I got out my receipts of the work performed under warranty approximately 1 year ago, and it shows they replaced all the valve stem seals. since this has happened again in only 1 year, with oil changes and maintenance being done always on time, and always by the dealer, what should be done to fix this once and for all? should they use the new redesigned valve covers and completely redo the top end of the engine? or should I insist they replace the engine completely.....
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Member Posts: 256
    How much oil are you losing on the dipstick.

    Its a shame to see that kind of smoke on such a shining looking unit.
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    It was down over 1/2 quart after only 1000 miles since the last oil change by the dealer. Its in the shop now torn down, dealer is trying to figure out what is causing this. they pulled the front valve cover today to see, and they said it didnt have sludge on the front side, tomorrow morning they are pulling the rear cover, and will proceed as needed. They assured me whatever is wrong is fully covered, since they repaired this same issue last year under warranty. the car only has 67,000 miles on it since new, and only 22k since the last repair for smoke on startup.
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    Just an update on my earlier situation. I received my car back from the dealer yesterday afternoon. They state there is no sludge in my engine of any kind, although they would not let me see my engine when the valve covers were removed. They say they performed "Induction service" at no cost to me. This is the same service they tried to sell me last month for $150. He said that some white smoke at startup is normal and nothing to worry about. Time will tell, and If I start it up today after sitting all night, and it smokes and the smoke smells of oil, well I dont know what to do at that point. I must point out that the car does run flawlessy and is very smooth and quiet.
  • lorainemax2lorainemax2 Member Posts: 35
    Some white smoke is normal...especially this time of year....but oil usage is not. Have a 2000 XLS with nearly 50,000 miles and this car has been flawless.....not even as much as a drop of oil has been used and at 3000 miles when the oil is changed it is as clear and clean as the day I changed it last.

    My dealer tells me the only sludge issue they have seen was in a Sienna mini-van and the oil had not been changed in over 35,000 miles and when it was changed before that the person did not change the filter.
  • buckeyedonbuckeyedon Member Posts: 46
    In February I had engine warning light go "on" on my '96 Avalon. (52K miles). Concurrently, I had to take Avalon in for 2-year smog certification for California re-registration.

    Avalon failed smog check because of "malfunction of vacuum valve in emissions system". Took car to Toyota Carlsbad: vacuum valve replaced @ $207; smog certification @ $58.

    A week or so later Toyota Hdqrs sent warranty letter to me saying several emissions control functions in Avalon were subject to a new, extended warranty. One such was "vacuum valve".

    Yesterday received a check for $257 from Toyota after I submitted claim under "new, extended" warranty. I'm a happy camper. Good on Toyota!!!
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    It has been approximately 1500 miles since my last oil change. I checked the oil when I got to work yesterday, and it was completely off the stick! I added 2 quarts and drove it home. The smoke is getting MUCH worse. I guess I need to drop it off at the dealer and let them know in no uncertain words that I am not very happy with them, and this is their last opportunity before things start getting nasty. It is not acceptable that a vehicle smokes like a fiend at such low mileage and runs through 2 quarts of oil that quickly. it is most definitely NOT water vapor. When I started the car yesterday morning it smoked so badly that it left a haze that filled my neighborhood!
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    that car has a big problem - accept nothing less than a complete fix. Start documenting everything, and be ready to contact the regional rep as soon as the next dealership visit does not fix the problem.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    My situation with the smoke and oil usage continues to get worse. It is now consuming more than 1 quart of oil at every gas fillup. I had it in to the dealer yet again for this problem today. They are now "testing oil consumption" I am supposed to bring it back for them to check again in 500 miles or less depending on how quickly it drops. I explained my disappointment in the car and their service. It is very annoying to have to check the oil twice a day to be sure it doesnt run down so low to burn it up. I explained to the service manager had I been the typical consumer who didnt maintain their car properly it would have been towed in long ago for engine seizure. Why should the average person who doesnt care get a new engine without all this trouble, while the conscientious customer who takes care of their car gets the run around? Toyota is losing ground quickly in my eyes. This type of situation should be dealt with much more quickly, and not blamed on customers. While I understand the dealer's need to document things properly to get coverage from toyota warranty repair, what point is enough? This is fast crossing the line to "blowing the customer off until it is out of factory warranty." I for one, will not tolerate this type of treatment. Toyota needs to fess up, redesign the engines properly, and quickly recall and replace the affected engines.

    Come on toyota! where do you want to be in a few years? stand up and do the right thing. Stand behind your reputation, repair the cars. Do this and people will continue to buy your products. Sitting on your hands and blaming the customers for irresponsible engine designs will only propel other companies to the head of the charts in sales. Take a good look at Hyundai, they may just give you more trouble than you can imagine.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    120K mi on my '95 Avalon. Bought new and have had no mechanical problems. Started smelling oil while driving and noticed oil around the top of the engine around the ?valve cover. Haven't noticed any leak on the garage floor and the dipstick shows full. Toyota service says this seal should solve the problem --- about $315.
    Does this seem reasonable? Has anyone reached 200K mi on a Avalon?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    should do the trick - that is what is leaking the oil around the valve cover and causing the burning oil smell. It would not leak enough oil for you to notice it on the dipstick or the ground, but it does make an oily mess and smell can even create a minor fire risk if it is left a really long time.

    $315 seems a little much to replace it though...check a couple of independent places to find out their price.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    if you are literally putting in a quart at every fill-up and it actually takes a quart at that point, you should just leave it with the dealership. Tell them to lend it to a salesman to drive home in the evening so thay can put a few miles on it, that way you don't have to futz around with it. If you drive it 500 miles, you will be driving at least a couple of hundred down more than a quart of oil right? That is no good.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    Well, I got my car back from the dealer today after 11 days. As I had mentioned in earlier messages, the dealer was swearing up and down I did not have any sludge in my engine. When they tore the engine down they told me it had broken rings which was causing the smoking and loss of gas mileage. Upon recieving the car back yesterday. The invoice said "Goodwill repair sludge" It also listed several parts and at the bottom stated "This is a one time goodwill gesture for repairs towards an oil gel concern. On behalf of toyota we would like to thank you for purchasing a toyota product. It is very important to know that oil sludge is not a defect in product or workmanship but, to a less forgiving to excessive time or mileage between oil changes on certain engines. For example: 5,000 miles or /4 months is the recommended interval. It is very important that this scheduled maintenance be followed by or before your owners manual recommended time. By servicing your vehicle with toyota you can rest assured that we will take great care of you and your car"

    I find it extremely interesting that since I had all my maintenance done at 3,000 mile intervals, and done by the toyota dealer themselves, that I could have a maintenance problem that was not due to design or workmanship. If sludge is caused by stupid owners, or quick lube joints, what happened to my car and why did they fix it?
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    From my previous message you know that I just had my car repaired for "sludge" upon attempting to go to the park to get in a little inline skating, I found a large pool of oil on the garage floor. oil all over the engine compartment. and very little oil still inside the engine. This was after driving it to work 1 time since the repair. needless to say, I was more than a little firm with the dealer over the phone. We will see what they do now. I was skeptical of the messages around the net I had seen about sludge and toyota automobiles before I purchased this car. Now I can understand the situation from their point of view. disappointed doesnt even begin to cover my experience so far with this avalon. pointers are welcome from the group at this point. What should I do?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    the problem is referred to as "sludging" is because the oil sludges up the inside of the engine. Sludging does not cause pools of oil on the floor, nor does it cause oil spraying around your engine compartment. There is very likely a different problem with your vehicle.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    I understand that oil on the floor and around the engine compartment are not sludge. But it WAS caused by improper/ineffectual repair of the engine. The engine was sludged and they performed the sludge repair as toyota has outlined under their SPA letter from last year. My point is if they cant even reassemble the engine properly so that it doesnt leak, how confident could anyone feel in the quality of workmanship of the rest of the repair. Do you get where I am coming from on this?
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    I received the car back from the dealer again today. I realize that the words toyota and sludge in the same sentence raises the ire of many people on the internet. Now, my engine is supposedly repaired for a problem attributed from sludge, due to poor maintenance. I puchased this vehicle as a "toyota certified used car" last year with 44,000 miles on the odometer. Now the engine has been repaired twice in one year for this same problem. ALL my oil and filter changes are done at the toyota dealer. Now, if sludge is due to poor maintenance, but I have done all proper maintenance on time as required what is the problem then. I can only reasonably assume that the original owner of the car was negligent. but that covered the first repair I endured. There is a lot to be said here, and it doesnt look good for the dealer or toyota. Shame on the original owner for not keeping due diligence in the maintenance of the car. Double shame on the dealer for not spotting this during the "certification" process. So what we have here is a string of bad circumstances that affected me directly. Even though I maintained the car properly, I was the one blamed, once they found out it was their fault, they still wouldnt admit it. Then, to top it all off, they needed 2 more attempts to fix it. Now I have a car that is supposedly fixed, but I have lost all confidence in the dealership, the service department, and toyota the corporation. So what happens now, will this finally be the end of my horrible experience, or will the engine fail yet again?... I have to say it is my belief at this point that toyota made bad design choices, be it by market pressure, or from government regulations, rather than admit they had problems they just conjured up this mess. YES, failure to maintain proper oil change intervals can cause sludge, but so can PCV system design. I am leaning towards believing the PCV system is at fault, but due to emmissions regulations they cant fix the problem without recertifying the engines with the government again, this is the real reason everything is still being swept under the carpet. Rather than face the feds, the consumers bear the brunt of just plain bad decision making on toyota's part. All I can say at this point, is god help anyone who buys a used toyota with these engines in them. Talk about a crap shoot. We will know when their book values drop like a rock.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    I am a Toyota fan in general, so my bias will show through a little on here, but out of the more than 1 million engines manufactured of the types affected by the sludge TSB, Toyota never did more than 500 or so sludge repairs, which leaves me wondering "could it really be a maintenance issue rather than a design issue?"

    BUT some people posted here at Edmunds that didn't sound like the ranting sort, that had engines maintained perfectly and still affected by sludge, so that pushes me back to leaning toward "poor design".

    Either way, one thing is for sure - people who lease cars very rarely maintain them by the book. They know they will be turning them in in a year or two, and they just do enough not to get dinged with charges when they go to turn it in. That is why "fresh off lease" in the advertisement has never been much of an incentive to me personally to go see a car.

    But for you wmunn, one thing is definitely in your favor: between the certified extended warranty and the special sludge warranty, you are well and truly covered for some time to come!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    another big puddle of oil on the garage floor. Another trip to the dealer, another rental car.

    Is it just me? I have been very patient, and the comedy of errors continues. What do I need to tell the service manager to inspire them to get their act together and resolve the leaky seals? There is no lemon law in florida for used cars, however maybe I should speak with an attorney anyways. I don't know what if anything could be done legally....... I really don't want it to come to that. Both for my sake as well as the dealer's. I have never been an unreasonable person, however, I feel at this point I am being backed into a corner. Are there any qualified mechanics here that could explain what I should insist be done at this point? I have had a valvetrain overhaul, and a SPA sludge repair , and now the seals around the heads keep blowing out. It sure seems to me the only thing left would be a complete engine replacement, although the service manager insists he can fix the problem. sugesstions on what to do are welcome. I have lost all patience at this point.
  • eskolapeskolap Member Posts: 1
    In some prior posts, an 8 yr warranty on 'sludge' was mentioned. Does anyone have more details on this?
  • wmmunnwmmunn Member Posts: 18
    I just got my car back again, and have been able to drive it for a couple of days. It seems to be running properly now, and doesnt leak oil anymore. No smoke on startup and it is getting the proper gas mileage again. This last time they tore it down and redid all the seals, including the oil pan. Evidently, the post rebuild problems were due to poor assembly by the mechanic. While I can understand human error, it can be very irritating. I just hope for my sake that things continue to go well at this point. I am also considering changing over to synthetic oil once I get 1000 or so miles on it. I really dont want this to happen again.
  • twobrownstwobrowns Member Posts: 52
    I have a 2002 avalon which I purchased in March 2002. I received a letter from Toyota dated Sept. 2002 which states in part"For eight years from the date of sale or lease of your new toyota, with no milage limitation, we will cover the cost of repairs to the engine in your vehicle against damage caused by oil gelling." Also the letter asks that you regularly change oil at recommended intervals and keep receipts.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358
    I got a letter from Toyota to extend warranty on my 97 Avalon engine to 8 years, unlimited mileage due to potential oil gelling or sludge. I haven't had any problem with my 97 Avalon with 104k miles on it. Shall I bring my car in to have dealer taken care this problem? My question is What will dealer do to fix this oil sludge problem?
    Has anyone done it?

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    it you'd know it - your engine would have stopped by now! Don't worry about it, just make sure to keep changing your oil at very regular intervals, and keep the letter in mind if you have a problem with the engine specifically in the next two years. At 104K I would say it is unlikely you will have this problem at this point...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • arslanarslan Member Posts: 36
    I've got 110,000 miles on my 97 Avalon and haven't had sludge problems, although my car's exhaust does blow a lot of white smoke infrequently (more so during the winter season) and the engine will sound like a jackhammer for about 10 seconds upon ignition, if the car isn't driven for several days. Otherwise, the engine runs smoothly and efficiently. Suprisingly, I've never had to add a quart of oil to the engine.
  • matthew525matthew525 Member Posts: 52
    OK, Just took the wife's Avy in for its 7500 mile LOF last Friday. Saturday morning: noticed I had a nice pool of oil. Trip to the dealer who replaced the "oil plug gasket" and topped off the oil. Sunday morning: a smaller pool of oil on the driveway. Checked for myself -- sure is dripping from the plug onto the cardboard box I flattened. Can only stand so many oil stains on the driveway.

    So what's up? Did the $6.95 oil clerk strip the plug, did they not getting it tight enough, or do all Avys leak oil?

    What type of restitution should I get from the dealer Monday morning? I consider Saturday to be an abnormality - Monday is going to be a pain in my bumper.
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