Last post on Nov 01, 2012 at 9:05 PM
You are in the Toyota Corolla
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Corolla, Sedan
May 14, 2003 (9:37 am)
I have heard many explanations for the sludging in newer Toyotas (primarily the big I4 and V6 used in Camry/Sienna/Avalon etc). It was caused by a design flaw but I understand that there are almost no examples from well maintained (read dealer serviced)normally driven cars. The Corolla cases are extremely rare and only affected a few 1998 models from what I have heard.
My family has owned all Toyota car models (Tercel, Corolla, Camry and Avalon)over a number of model years with no real problems. My brother's car did consume a lot of oil after 120,000 km but I think he did not baby the car either.
Keep the oil changed at 3000miles/5000 km at a Toyota dealer, and check your oil levels regularly and you should not have any problems. Is there anyone on this board who works for Toyota that can shed some light on this subject?
May 14, 2003 (2:47 pm)
Our car had its oil changed at the selling dealership at 7.5k mile intervals as the manual stated. At 80k miles, a dealership closer to home told me I had sludge in the engine. I never understood why the dealership that did every oil change on the car failed to see or notify me of this problem. I dumped the car 2 weeks later because of the sludge issue, but I wish Toyota i.e., the 1st dealership, had been more honest with me. After all, I followed Toyota's manual and let their people do the work!
May 14, 2003 (4:08 pm)
no corolla ever had sludge issues. The only engines affected were 2.2L 4-cyls and 3.0L 6-cyls.
This sludge thing is part of the reason people think Toyota's 7500-mile, and now Honda's new 10,000-mile, oil change interval is way too long, and go with 5000 or less instead.
May 14, 2003 (5:21 pm)
Toyota also claimed not to have ANY issues with sludge with Camry's and Sienna's until the publicity was so OVERWHELMING that they had indeed had MAJOR problems that they decided to "FIX" the problems as a "courtesy" to the millions involved. They still deny ANY responsibility for those 2 vehicles being designed poorly and blame the car owner instead... This company may for the most build very high quality cars, but their service and denial of problems with their vehicles leave a LOT to be desired...If the 5000 and 7500 mile oil changes cause sludge, why doesn't Toyota change that in their owners manual to a more conservative and lower oil change interval?
May 14, 2003 (5:26 pm)
The 96 owners manual listed a 7500 mile oil change interval? I thought our 97 was the first that listed this.
#2984 of 4027 nippononly and sandman
May 15, 2003 (4:38 am)
I have actually heard of someone who had a sludgy Corolla here in the Toronto area, a 1998 model actually (same generation as my 2002) and he was told by the mechanic that he is not the first. Toyota would not help him since it was just out of warrantee, he bought second hand and did not have maintenance records.
The sludging in the Corolla is extremely rare unlike the one affecting the larger engines as nippononly said. Sludging happens on other cars (non Toyotas) as well but like the Corolla examples, it is rare.
Sandman, shame about your sludging problems. Toyota should really not tell people to change their oil at 7500 mile intervals because most people do not check their oil between oil changes.
Many years ago GM (I think)came out with oil consumption guidelines and 1 quart of oil usage per 1000 miles is within the range of what is normal. Unfortunately most of these smaller engines only take 4-5 quarts of oil so you could potentially use up all your oil between changes and not know.
My brother's Tercel had major oil consumption problems after 120,000 km and Toyota could never find the problem. They re-did the valve stems and seals etc with no change. The car did run well however and compression was always good but he spent a fortune trying to get this fixed without resolution. He now drives something else.
Nippononly are you a Toyota techy? - could you shed some more light on this.
#2985 of 4027 I am as sure as can be
May 15, 2003 (6:51 am)
without actually seeing the car that the oil leakage is around the rings. I have seen other tercels with the same problem.
Lots of oil loss would usually not be caused by bad valve seals or stems - I am surprised they did this expensive work, unless there was another reason for it. Plus, you would know about bad seals because of smoking at start-up.
Basically, repairing the piston rings is not cost-effective usually for tercels, most of which are not worth very much, which may be why I have seen a few with this problem. Until you are blowing a big smoke cloud whenever the engine gets hot, I would just keep driving a car like this and remember to keep the oil topped up.
boilerman: "Millions of engines" (2 million or so, actually) WERE affected by the sludge TSB, but Toyota never repaired more than several hundred under this program. The problem was probably one of design (although I do not know why the manufacturers recommend such long oil change intervals), yet relatively few actual repairs were required. It got slightly overblown, mainly because Toyota let the first few owners with this problem stew while it waited to see if there was a systemic problem.
#2986 of 4027 thanks nippononly
May 15, 2003 (7:20 am)
What you said makes sense about the Tercel. My brother's car always started and ran well and even gas mileage was OK. No smoke either.
Actually the few people I know who have had problems with Toyotas, have mostly had Tercels. My guess is that the cars are generally so reliable, some Toyota techs may not see many of these often enough to really understand and recognize common problems with certain vehicles, especially outside of high-volume metro areas.
In your opinion/experience which has the better/more durable motor the Toyota Corolla, the Honda Civic or something else?
May 15, 2003 (12:00 pm)
Well, like I said I've never had a problem. The last vehicle I used synthetic in was my 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee, got it at 49k, flushed the engine and changed to amsoil. Went 12,500 miles, changed the filter, topped the oil off and went another 12,500 before draining the oil. The truck burned 1/2 qt of oil in 25k, was a really good truck too, I miss it. Darn repo man anyway.
I plan on doing the same with my Corolla, although I'm seeing already its using oil, have to keep an eye on it. Of course Toyota's dipstick leaves a lot to be desired, guess I'm just used to american cars.
Only problem I've had with my Corolla in the 2 weeks and 1300 miles I've had it (it now has 45,350 miles on it) is the clutch is weird. Maybe its just a Toyota thing or maybe its just this car, but really have to push the clutch in all the way to get it to shift after its been driven for a while. It doesn't like 3rd gear very much.
Ah well, I'll take the quirks, love the 40 mpg!!
May 16, 2003 (7:10 am)
Through the 80s and the early 90s, I would give the edge to corolla engines, which could take more abuse, although corolla and civic engines are both extremely durable.
Since the late 90s, I think all engines are built to much tighter tolerances and therefore can stand less abuse in general, so that may have equalized the long-term reliability of this pair.
One place there is more of a disparity is transmissions: corolla automatics are significantly more durable long-term than Civics' - some of the Honda ones fail in less than 100K miles (which I call inexcusable barring severe abuse). I think in general Honda has trouble building a really good auto trans, as the recent enormous auto trans recall (Accord, TL, Odyssey, 1.3 million in all I believe) may also indicate.
However, for long-term durability in the manual trans, I would go the other way: Honda builds superb manual transmissions that last forever.