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Toyota Camry, Engine, Oil
#116 of 137 Both Dealer and Toyota said no
Jul 05, 2000 (2:43 am)
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.
Jul 05, 2000 (5:00 am)
"Sludge" has little to do with "automotive technology". It is more an issue of "Oil/Lubricant technology" and type of servuce/maintenance.
#118 of 137 fxashun - Almost forgot....
Jul 05, 2000 (5:05 am)
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.
Jul 05, 2000 (5:25 am)
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.
#120 of 137 liufei - Valve cover gasket
Jul 05, 2000 (2:31 pm)
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.
#121 of 137 What did you expect the dealer to say?
Jul 05, 2000 (3:08 pm)
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.
#122 of 137 re:fxashun
Jul 05, 2000 (3:51 pm)
Well, call me naive, but I expect a honest answer whenever I ask a question. A service manager with good integrity and reputation should admit and let the customer knows if there's really a problem
with a particular car, strictly my imho though.
The only reason the Accord and Camry is not the top seller pre-1997 because Ford dumped soo many Taurus to Avis,Hertz,etc (dont have exact number, but maybe 30%+ ?).. I think they still doing it in 1997+, but the sales gap between those 2 and the Taurus has been widen enough (also Toyota did dump like 10% Camry to the rental industry), but I digress here....
The only thing I did is question the validity of the "most camry has sludge" stated in the topic issue. I dont remember ever blaming/accusing you for anything.
What we have right now is several post and 3 (or 4?) owner complaints about sludge, plus your experience about those camrys that has sludge. To contradict you, we also have several camry owner and some people experience that said they dont have sludge....seems like deadlock to me.
BTW you said those sludgy Camrys that got auctioned has logs. Do you have their service history (particularly regarding oil change) as well in the logs? That may help shed more light of the cause of the sludge.
#123 of 137 More food for thought
Jul 05, 2000 (4:15 pm)
1. History lesson: In the early 70's Chevy, I don't remember if other GM's were affected, had a broken V8 motor mount problem. Millions of vehicles from the previous 5 or so years were affected. This was a serious problem as it caused accidents to happen. The "fix" was a cheap and simple wire retaining strap. At first the "fix" was quietly installed whenever a customer brought a car in for service, (without the customers knowlege). Then as it became public knowlege, a recall was issued. The point being that a widespread problem CAN exist without the publics knowlege.
2. Demographics: What type of driver trades in their car at this particular Carmax? First owners, second owners, city drivers, urban drivers, good/bad maintenance habits? Are these people who were refused at a car deakership? Etc,. etc. These and other factors may very well skew the quality of the trade-ins at this Carmax towards the less desireable vehicles, (condition, not brand).
3. All cars "sludge" to some degree or other depending on driving conditions. If the sludge doesn't cause any ACTUAL relability issues, then what is the problem? And yes, statistics based on a large consumer survey as provided by "Consumer Reports" and other publications DO provide ACTUAL reliability information. Anyone with a shred of real world logic would understand this.
#124 of 137 liufei
Jul 05, 2000 (5:53 pm)
Don't get confused by fxashun's word. When he said he found 50+ sludged Camrys, he just checked it by looking at the oil filler cap. But anyone with car knowledge knows if you want to determine the sludge problem, at least you got to pull out the valve cover to see it. And it has been said repeatly in Camry topics.
It's just funny to see how he tried to rebut your finding. In your case, if sludge goes to PVC and clogged over there, then it can't be counted. However, if sludge goes to oil filler cap and get caught there, then it's a sludged engine. Just take a look at where the PVC valve is, you will know what I mean.
#125 of 137 wenyue
Jul 05, 2000 (5:59 pm)
Since now fxashun doesn't dare to say or support "most 92+ Camrys have sludge problem" anymore and since he is the only one tried to do that, that means this discussion can be ended. And the conclusion of this topic will be "Yes, it's just a rumor.".