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Toyota Highlander oil sludge settlement



  • meke1meke1 Posts: 1
    Did you ever have any luck finding out how to get hold of the Edelbrock air breather for your Highlander? I have an 02 with the same problem. I bought it new and have been meticulous about oil changes and such. Very frustrating! I have also noticed much higher oil use on longer, highway speed drives.
  • yj151yj151 Posts: 1
    My 2001 Highlander is tha same as yours. I am the second owner of this suv.
    Current milage is about 166,000km. I found when I drive the speed over 120km/hr, need around 2 quarts engine oil for every 300 km. If the speed is less than 80 km/hr, the engine oil consumption is not apparent.

    I did talk to TOYOTA CANADA. Toyota asked me to send my viehicle to delership to get test. After communicating with dealership, they said I need to get the engine oil changed at their ficilate at first. And they will monitor the engine oil consumption. I was confuded for if I need to make a trip to approve my evidence. I gave up. I prepare some engine oil on my suv for a long trip.

    If I can get a conveninence and economic way to fix it, I defenetly go with it. I hope I can still drive this viehcle at least 5 more years.
  • shoffieshoffie Posts: 1
    I have an 02 higlander, 151,000 miles. it started using oil last fall. the oil light has never come on and i only found out when getting ready to go on a road trip, i checked the oil and there was none on the dip stick. I finally took it to the dealership who changed the pcv? valve, did a consumption test after 500 miles, and all checked out fine. I thought we solved it..
    I just went on a road trip this past weekend and checked the oil before i left. It was good. I drove to billings montana from denver and parked it. when i went to leave and started the car, the engine banged around and a puff of black smoke came out. i turned it off right away! that had never happened before..checked and again, no oil on the dip stick. put about 2 1/2 quarts in, and all was well. I put the other half in at wheatland, and now the oil level still looks good but i called the dealership and told them the pcv valve wasn't the answer obviously. I took it in and after looking at it, they told me they'd have to remove the top of the engine (or something like that) to check on a sludge issue that had been happening with these cars awhile back, and that would cost ME $450 alone. but... that if i kept up with the oil, the car will probably be fine for a long time.
    Other than the indications on the dip stick, there are no other "symptoms". Never any leaks on the ground, never any smoke coming out except what happened the other evening...they are not offering to pay for it AND i don't recall ever getting a letter re: a sludge issue. I am now and always have been on top of all the maintenance required....
  • I never did find out what Edelbrock air filter to use but it doesn't matter now because we are to the point of either replacing the vehicle or repairing the oil problem. I think we'll repair the engine, it's a better option for us than buying a newer vehicle right now. We did start using a synthetic blend oil (Trop Artic) which works a lot better than straight motor oil and very reasonably priced compared to other synthetic blends. We can definitely relate to your frustration of the oil problem and, unfortunately, AFTER buying our Highlander and finding out about the oil problem with it, we then did some homework on it and found out this is a common problem with the 2001, 2002 and then got better starting with the 2003 models. The funny thing is, after doing a lot of vehicle shopping the last few weeks I still like our '01 Highlander the best, still looks very good inside and outside for it's age and you can't beat the price tag even with the repair of the oil problem :)
  • I just picked up a 2001 highlander v6 70k miles, 3rd owner last year in summer of 2011. Now in 2012 around June, I started noticing the oil sludge problem. So I took it to a shop and the auto guy said I had carbon build-up because I take short trips or a lot of idling too much (what a liar never heard that one b4) cause of only 5k miles into it for a year and it needed motorvac, etc ..cost $450 for treatment. A month goes by and still the same thing oil consumption. 4 more months go by with the sludge and one cylinder misfires. So now my car is in a shop and an auto guy tears the engine block down to tell me that a piston valve broke, oil ring broke, needs new piston ring all due to oil sludge . I mean come on Im at only 80k. But anyways I want to know if I can still get the toyota sludge settlement even if the car is a 2001 and now its 2012 and the settlement only covers up to 8 years? Cause all these repairs is causing me a lot of money.
  • I originally posted in 2011. A few people asked what the breather was that we were using in lieu of the oil cover. We recently had to have the spark plugs changed because my ride was missing, but it is running like a dream once again now!! 169k and going strong!
    I am so, so sorry that I never received any of your replies via email!! I certainly would have replied. This cover is similar, if not the same one as I have on my Toyota. We did have to have new spark plugs installed this month because it was missing. Now it is running like a scalded dog once again!! =) We are at 169000 miles.
  • 13k on car ... it uses 1 quarter of oil every 1k miles. Dealership keeps keeps telling me this maybe normal. Wants me to keep bring it back every 1200 miles to check. This is getting a little laborious. Any suggestions?
  • We purchased a 2001 Toyota Highlander in August of 2010 and found out three months later that it was using oil like crazy. After doing a lot of homework on this vehicle we found out that a lot of the 2001, 2002 and some of the 2003 Highlanders had this problem. A class action law suit was brought against Toyota which resulted in the Company issuing an unlimited mileage repair of this problem to the original owners of the vehicle. Unfortunately, we were the second owners so it didn't do us any good. We just ended up with a real lemon dumped in our laps. We are going to sell it for parts and salvage, we aren't about to have someone else end up with it. I wouldn't think that a 2012 would have this problem and for your sake I truly hope this isn't the case. I wouldn't think a newer car using a quart of oil every 1k miles is "normal" for ANY vehicle, just saying. Good luck, hope it's still under warranty.
  • I have owned my 2001 highlander since 2005. We found out about the problem in 2008. I have driven it 70k since then. It helped a LOT when we figured out that if you leave the oil cap off, it burns less oil. We ended up putting an Edlebrock engine breather thing over it to keep the oil from blowing out on the engine. This works quite well for city driving, but Interstate, it still burns quite a bit of oil. With this being said, we have just had a tune up on it and replaced one of the coils. It is now becoming higher maint. that we care to deal with considering we are military and live 1000 miles from home. We will be trading in for a newer highlander...why? Because despite the defect in the engine, I still love this car. The way it handles, the performance over the years. Bottom line is that if I had gotten the oil changed every three thousand miles, it probably never would have had the issues that it does. 8 years next month...I will be sad to see my baby go.
  • cordieritemancordieriteman Posts: 2
    edited May 2013
    I am interested in the research you did on your Highlander to find the unlimited mileage repair for the original owner. I am an original owner of a 2001 and have found high oil consumption with my vehicle at approximately 165,000 miles. My Toyota dealership says nothing about any repair through Toyota. They say that they are only familiar with the "oil sludge" problem on other Highlanders. I am not sure this is related. I noticed this problem in January 2013. It would burn a quart of oil every 300-400 miles. This is not possible with simple oil leaks. I surmise there is a vacuum malfunction within the engine emissions control system in the exhaust gas re-circulation logic. I have seen some posts suggesting it is tied to the PCV valve, but I had mine changed and it did not improve much. This would also explain why use of a vented oil cap helps. In my experimentation with my vehicle the highest oil use is at highway speeds greater than 70 mph (1 quart per 300 miles). At 65 mph the oil use drops to less than a quart per 300 miles, while at less than 62 mph the oil consumption decreases to essentially zero! I see almost no oil consumption in around town driving. By the way, I have personally changed my own oil for all 165,000 miles on the vehicle every 3000 - 4000 miles. I also have always changed the filter with each oil change, only using Toyota filters. I would really appreciate any information you have gathered on Toyota offering the unlimited mileage repair to original owners. I would love to keep the vehicle. I like everything else about it, except this oil issue. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • If you key in "Toyota Oil Sludge Class Action Lawsuit" into your search engine you should find some information on the subject. The way I understood it when I read it was that the original owner had 8 years from the original date of purchase or lease to correct the problem so it has now expired. I found the same to be true on our Highlander, the faster you drove, the worse the oil consumption. I know what you mean about loving the Highlander, I really liked ours even though it had the oil problem.
  • I had the exact same issue of excessive oil usage w/ my 2002 highlander at highway speeds in excess of 70mph and no excessive oil usage at city driving. My threads on this issue were listed in #28 and #31 in these excessive oil usage threads on this site.
    In a nutshell, the oil sludge settlement was for 8 years and that has passed but the issue was not oil sludge. Toyota has made new valve covers for these earlier model vehicles that allow the proper oil circulation around the valves. I truly believe this will fix the issue but I don't know that 100% since the last thing they did on my engine was replace both heads and valve covers at the same time and I haven't had the problem since. But I do know for sure that they have new valve cover designs for the earlier highlander models.
  • I agree, I wouldn't call it "oil sludge" either, our Highlander simply burned a lot of oil, smoke out the back tailpipe and all. We no longer have the Toyota but it's good to know they now have a new valve cover design for those earlier models.
  • Yes our 2002 highlander 3.0 was using 1 liter for 200km of highway driving. After reading many internet sites and many posts i put these new valve covers on and the problem is now fixed its been 2 weeks since repair and have traveled over 1000km and oil level hasn't changed Thank you to the internet since i got no where with Toyota.
  • Hey tmmc,

    How has the new valve covers been working. I am thinking of purchasing a 2002 Highlander with 3.0L V6 that has a blown #2 valve... The mechanic that worked on the vehicle says it was common for these early year models....
    I can get the Limited edition for $1,500 or maybe less and put a rebuilt in for $3,000. I'm curious to know where I can get the new valve cover designed covers? Do you have a part number...? I see it has been a month and a half already... Still good?
    Thank you for your time.
    Curious to know if anyone else has tried this?
  • My 2002 Toyota Highlander 3.0L V6 has also experienced high oil usage lately. It only has 70,000 miles and Toyota wants to put a short block engine in for the tune of $6000. After reading what others have experienced, it sounds like new valve covers might solve my problem. My non-Toyota mechanic says he noticed I have lost some compression on two out of six valves which really concerns me. My check engine light stays on and the engine idles a bit rough but runs fine when driving. Around town my oil use is normal. When traveling on the highway at speeds of 65mph or more, oil use really goes up. At least a quart every 500 miles. Any advice?
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    well I would not put 6k of my money in an 11 year old car-think its time to trade it in
  • See my post from May 2013. I indicated that my 2001 V6 Highlander uses about a quart of oil every 300 miles, but if I keep the speed no faster than 62 miles and hour then my oil use become negligible so I do not need to add any oil between changes. You might try that first. I also had my PCV valve changed as this can cause a vacuum if it gets stuck open at highway speeds that can draw oil into the combustion chamber. I would not change the engine, but I would try low cost ways to improve the oil consumption. I have also gone to a 10W40 weight oil which at the higher high temperature viscosity may also reduce oil consumption. I hope this helps.
  • We have over 400,000 miles on our 2003 Toyota Highlander. Love our car!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Wow, I thought I was doing good to hit 200k on my last van.
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