Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Toyota Engine Sludge Problem



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Over the weekend in another topic, I was asked about recurring problems on Toyotas. I was asked if there were any beyond sticking power doors. I responded with information about the 90 to 97 truck engines.

    Upon further reflection, I made another post talking about engine sludge. Yes, I have seen a large number of Camrys with sludged engines. There is a catch to this though and the problem is rapidly disappearing.

    You see, every one I saw go through the shop was a three year old car. Every one was at the end of its lease. The retail trade-ins never seemed to have this issue. It seems, lease customers didn't care enough about their cars to bother with pesky things like oil changes.

    Starting in '96 and continuing through the '98 model year, Toyota had some unbelievable lease deals. The residuals were very high and therefore, payments were very low. You would have been a fool to buy one rather than lease it at the time. Our leasing penetration ran over 40% on all units and this was much higher on Camrys. All those leases ended between '99 and '01.

    In the '99 model year, Toyota realized that it was in trouble on these leases. They were loosing millions at auction and they dramatically lowered residual values which made leasing far less attractive. Leasing penetration has dropped to less than 20% overall and even lower on the Camry. About the only people leasing are those like myself that know they are too impatient to keep a car until it is paid off or those who can write it off as a business expense.

    With fewer "off lease" cars coming in to the dealer, the sludge issue seems to have resolved itself. Back in '00, the lease contract was amended to include strong statements that maintenance is still required on a leased vehicle and Toyota will charge the customer if they don't.

    I know this doesn't answer the concerns of some people here, but it does show that Toyota is very cognizant of how and when engine sludge occurs.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    We've been out of the country for the past 8 weeks and just getting caught up on the ongoing "saga of sludge" here. First post we see is yours, and it makes sense.
    It appears not much has changed--still a great big question mark as to whether or not we're seeing reality, or just a whole lot of creative fiction. (I tend toward the latter!)
    Your observation certainly has merit, and I offer another observation
    re other makes with sludged engines:--One of my former employees told me about his leased 99 Voyager self destructing due to a badly gunked up engine. He was quite honest about it and admitted that he neglected to change oil for 12K. He didn't have the heart to try for warranty and paid full up for the repairs. Apparently the engine was full of gunky/gritty crud, and the engine finally just seized solid.
    Furthermore,I'm convinced the reason we don't hear too much about other makes is because the Toyota thing is continually spammed all over the net by a small group of energetic folks with a major "mad". If the same amount of energetic spamming occurred with a competitive make, the same thing would happen.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    the sludged engines of people who have reciepts, own thier car, and got no warranty coverage. No one ever said that it didn't occur in other makes, just that it occurs most often in the two engines mentioned here. In addition there are great lease deals on many diferent makes, heck the Accord LX lease deals have been awesome, but no trail of sludge.
    By the way the Accord is the number one selling car this year. And no sludge.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I never said it did. Read the title and text of my post.

    Also, Honda never did lease like Camry did.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    A couple of posts earlier I noted that after a long absence nothing much seems to be changed here.
    Logic, common sense, and civility apparently have no place in this forum, and trying to utilize those attributes would appear to be a lost cause.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Nice to see you back. There have been some changes. New posters have come-expressed their all too familiar sludgist incantations and then dissapear into etherspace. Happy Halloween.

  • catgemcatgem Posts: 246
    I hope you have been somewhere safe....I am still here,(and I might add,I am nowhere else on the Net),as are JJ,Cholowicki,and Gimpy....I am still mad,but am busy looking for a job. I would have felt less ripped off if Toyota had been kinder. I will never forget the DSM telling me that he did not "have to look" at my records and receipts. Even if you conclude that all the sludge is due to owner neglect,shouldn't Toyota treat their customers a bit better??
  • seeligseelig Posts: 590
    i do not own a toyota anymore, i still follow toyota related topics. partly due to when my pappy was still around, and worked for a toyota dealer. they never treated customers the way i'm reading about in here, and a couple of other threads i follow. what's up with them anyways? i always thought it was the american manufacturers job to treat customers like dirt.....LOL even though i believe that proper maintenance is important to keeping a warranty valid, it doesn't excuse the fact that toyota has built some real stinko's, and the way they are dodgin the bullet should be a crime.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    And welcome back, Pilot13. I thought you had deserted us for good.

    I was treated very well by Toyota, but of course, I didn't have sludge.

    Cliffy, very interesting about the lease returns. How many of these Camrys had sludge -- 10, 100, or 1,000? What was the mix of 4-cylinders vs. V6 engines? And last, can it be true that some were NEVER serviced during the lease term (that is, no oil changes)?
  • Where does this sludge build up at? Im a little curious as I have never seen it before. Do the people with the sludge problems use quality filters?

    I have a 1995 Toyota Pickup, and it just recently hit 360,000 miles, no major repairs. Never seen any sludge at all, the truck still runs strong. Amsoil replacement every 5 grand. What is it that causes this stuff?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Every 5000 miles. Overkill, your jobber must love you!
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    We spent half the time in Australia, and the other half in New Zealand---both great spots, but still happy to be back.
    Incidentally, the shock and revulsion there about 9/11 is every bit as deep as it is here.
    When we left, this thread had around 800 entries, and on return it's over 2000. Wow!!! Must have appeared in the Top 10 once or twice!
    However, a quick perusal of entries over the past 2 months shows thread content has been predominantly discussion (about 99.9% of the time), and very little about actual incidents.
    I checked a few of the other popular cartalk sites, and it's about the same there too.
    At risk of encouraging more of those "one hit wonders", it appears that actual reports are few and far between.
    Did some reading while away (mostly aviation mags), and came across a good article on engine oils--specifically the multi viscosity types. Seems that the wide spectrum multi viscosity oils tend to oxidize more quickly at prolonged high temperatures than originally foreseen. And while they provide excellent lubricating properties at lower viscocities, lubrication effectiveness really drops at the higher viscocities.
    Curious--a question for the really knowledgeable folks who drop in here occasionally--any comment on this?
  • jj35jj35 Posts: 283
    That was a short 8 wks! Or perhaps you had computer access while you were away? You posted on September 30 on the Toyota Problems discussion (post #1233).
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I don't know the number, but I do recall seeing an inordinate number of cars in the shop for exactly the same thing. Most were 4 bangers but that is due to the fact that 80-85% of the Camrys sold have this engine.

    Again, these were cars that our used car manager bought at a Toyota auction. Those auctions are for lease returns and repossessions and nothing else. We didn't see anything like it from retail owners in our shop, nor did we see it on our regular trade in cars.
  • I previously posted that my last oil change receipt showed that the tech used 10W30. Someone else posted that they thought something must be wrong since they believed the recommended oil was 5W30.

    I wanted everyone to know that I called the service department and asked them what was the recommended oil. I did not tell them beforehand the reason for my question.

    I was told that for the Echo, they use Castrol 10W30.
  • I want to know if anyone who has had only Toyota performed oil changes (and did the oil changes according to Toyota's "recommendations") ended up suffering from sludge?

    If they did, did Toyota give them any problems for getting the engine repaired/replaced under warranty?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    majorthom: you wrote that "the service department" told you 10W30. Is that the dealer's service dept (vs. Toyota HQ)?
    What does your manual state?
  • I noticed that Gimp has been scarce since he announced that the bill for his engine was being picked up by the manufacturer.

    Do you think the new engine came with a gag order? ; )
  • The DEALER's service department.

    And either 10W30 or 5W30 can be used according to the manual although 5W30 is "preferred."
  • jj35jj35 Posts: 283
    When I click on your profile (it will show the last 5 or so posts you made on Edmunds), I see that you posted Sept. 30 (Toyota Problems), October 19 (Toyota Problems) and then the recent posts here. Does not appear to be an 8 wk vacation gap. Also, I tried to refresh my memory on the circumstances of your disappearance from this site -- went back to August when we took an informal vote on whether or not to keep this discussion going. I think you voted to not keep it going, and when it was decided by the host to keep it, you said that you were leaving. But those posts have disappeared - did Mr. Shiftright delete them? I can find Catgem saying goodbye to you in French (I am impressed Catgem -- I am unfortunately a one-language person), but can't find your post, Pilot13. Can you refresh our memory regarding your departure and why you decided to come back?
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    What did that post have to do with sludge JJ35?
  • catgemcatgem Posts: 246
    Inquiring minds want to know!!Thank you, JJ my French is from high school....
  • it's all about credibility. When Pilot13 attacks others claims regarding, basically calling them liars, then he had better be prepared to defend himself.

    I am neither a sludge/Toyota proponent or opponent, but I do read these boards regularly to gather valuable information about the 4 vehicles that I own and I've seen a lot of bashing of owners who claimed sludge on their Toyota vehicles.

    I for one do not know for sure who is right or wrong but for others to attack these folks without any facts or knowledge of what happened is absolutely wrong. I would give every body the benefit of the doubt, Toyota or the sludgists, and see what happens down the road.

    One of my car is a Camry and we just love it but I still worry a little.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    People complain about sludge and then are attacked by others, hmmm. Where IS the conspiracy?

    Posted by Sienna Owner on October 16, 01 at 00:06:42:

    In Reply to: Re: sienna sludge posted by JJ on August 30, 01 at 03:41:10:

    There you i know, you want to get free money from Toyota Motor thing you try to get from other Company through another Arbitration.
    So you lazy couch potato just try to make money from one Arbitration to another Arbitration.

    >: When you go to Arbitration, Toyota makes you sign >an agreement that you will not discuss it >afterwards. That is probably why no one posts the >results. I am not at that step yet.
    >: By the way, thank you for responding to my e-mail.
  • seeligseelig Posts: 590
    who think extended service intervals are ok, check this site out, and pay attention to the last 2 paragraphs at the bottom of the page;

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    for his extended service practices. As far as I was concerned his recourse was with Amsoil. Interesting that (apparently) Toyota finally accomodated him.

    Catgem and Cholowicki appear to me to be the grieved parties in this drama, however. Not Toyota.

    There are plenty of others out there all over the web, who are suffering the same complaint while being stiffed by Toyota, and they're not all abusing the service intervals.
  • I ran across one bulletin board, which I did not bookmark (sorry), but it seemed to be that when someone said anything that might even be remotely considered a defense of Toyota, others attacked them for the view. Also on that board, someone from Toyota posted and was subjected to some posts laced with profanity in return.

    I don't know if people think I was attacking Gimp on this board, but I really don't care. I think he was wrong in many of his assertions and that is why I responded the way I did.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    JJ35, you obviously feel you have some issues with me personally which appear to be troubling you. I'm not sure that these are real or imagined, but really, this forum is not the place to vent personal feelings or concerns about individuals. That has been made very clear by Edmunds, and I suggest you might be wise to revisit those rules.
    To Bruinhorn. I don't attack those who claim to have sludge. I've said it many times that sludge can occur in any make or model under the right conditions. Unfortunately, those conditions usually point to an owner not changing oil often enough. I take issue only with those who blame the manufacturer. I don't think that's right, and the fact that we're only hearing one side of the story reinforces my belief.
    To Seelig. The article you reference underscores my question earlier about broad spectrum multi grade oils. It's worth reading, and thanks for finding it.
  • I clicked on the link and there were like nine posts and there was one attack post. I don't think that proves evidence of a conspiracy against the people who claim sludge problems.

    Also, I find it ludicrous that Toyota has people whose job it is to surf the web, find bulletin boards dealing with sludge complaints, and post attack responses.

    I don't think it would have the effect they intend if they did such a thing and it would be cost prohibitive.

    Now about arbitration and not being able to disclose what happens, many people on this board posted they had sludge problems, did not indicate they were at the arbitration stage, and were never heard from again. Why? Surely, they did not get into arbitration the minute after posting their original claim.
Sign In or Register to comment.