Last post on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:23 PM
You are in the Toyota Camry
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Toyota Camry, Engine, Sedan
#91 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [haefr]
Feb 21, 2006 (9:05 pm)
I believe Toyota extended their policy to even second or third, etc., owners, but the trick is, you have to prove that the car has received "reasonable" maintenance. Kind of tough to do unless the car was maintained by Toyota or the previous owners kept and passed on all maintenance records.
I did not realize the problem extended back to 1994. The sludge policy/warranty started with the 1997 MY. It did end with 2001 for the 4 cyl., but I believe on the V-6, it extended part way into 2002, until Toyota implemented the design modifications.
Another sign of sludge would be smoke in the exhaust.
#92 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [scoti1]
Feb 22, 2006 (10:37 am)
Yes, the policy started with the 1997 model year. I had such a Camry (4-cylinder) with no sludge problems. I sold it at 111K miles in 2004. I gave the buyer a printout of my service records as well as a copy of the extended warranty for sludge.
#93 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [210delray]
Feb 22, 2006 (9:04 pm)
Thanks for all your comments.
#94 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [haefr]
Feb 23, 2006 (12:59 pm)
Not sure if you intended it, but your post seems to suggest that sludging was Toyota's fault--that they had problem engines.
That was not at all the case, nor is it why the SPA (Special Policy Announcement) came out in 2002. It was a public relations decision because of wrongful negative publicity, not an extended warranty for engine problems.
The cause of sludged engines was found to be a direct result of lack of reasonable maintenance--specifically lack of or insufficient oil and filter changes.
Many such occurrences were because owners had done no oil changes at all, and others had only done them sporadically--not frequently enough to avoid sludge development.
The issue became a cause celebre for a few self anointed activists who blanketed the internet with anti Toyota rhetoric about it for several months.(They actually got banned from Edmunds and a couple of other car sites because of their disruptive tactics) The issue died as quickly as it began, a few years ago.
In response to the bad publicity campaign by the vocal ones, Toyota decided to indemnify anyone with a sludge problem regardless of what cause was invoved--free repairs provided proof of only one oil change per year.
It is now no longer an issue, but a few of the badly neglected vehicles are probably still around.
Before buying any used vehicle(Toyota or otherwise), buyers should try to get a maintenance history, and/or get a thorough pre buy inspection before laying cash on the line.
With the more recent advent of leased vehicles, more and more fairly new but neglected vehicles are showing up in the used car marketplace. So it's buyer beware.
#95 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [hylyner]
Feb 23, 2006 (6:01 pm)
Toyota only offers warranty coverage for sludge if the owner can prove that they provided prescribed maintenance, thereby it appears it is the engines inability to meet the maintenance conditions set by Toyota rather than owners not properly maintaining. Toyota implemented changes in the engine design and decreased the maintenance schedule (from 7500 miles under normal conditions to 5000 miles under all conditions) as a result of this problem.
#96 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [scoti1]
Feb 23, 2006 (7:24 pm)
Sorry Scoti1, but speculative inferences being made about sludge are completely at odds with reality. That's a fact.
It is wrong to suggest the SPA was a 'warranty' of any sort. It was a special policy, clearly and publicly identified as such, issued as a goodwill gesture to show that Toyota stood behind its products. Nothing was ever said about warranty. That's a fact too.
It is wrong to suggest that sludge was caused only by engine design, and completely ignore any influence of inadequate maintenance, and that inadequate maintenance was found to be by far the most prevailent cause of sludge.
It is wrong to suggest Toyota made changes in engine design as a result of any problem, or to correct a problem with their engines.
Toyota clearly stated that a minor change was made to the PCV system so that engines to provide 'greater tolerance to haphazard owner maintenance'. That's another fact.
It is also true that Toyota publicly announced a reduced mileage interval to focus more attention on the need for regular oil changes, mainly because owners were exceeding the old mileage interval and causing damage to engines.
All of the above is clearly documented in any number of public announcements by Toyota officials on this subject.
Most folks would tend to accept statements by those making these public announcements over alarmist claims by anonymous posters dealing in rhetoric and spin, and who have obviously attempted to place blame where it doesn't belong.
I would advise any newcomer to this issue to bear in mind that there are individuals around who are bent on painting a misleading picture of the sludge controversy.
One can only wonder what the motive for doing that might be.
#97 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [hylyner]
Feb 23, 2006 (8:47 pm)
Another thing Toyota did was add the "maintenance required" warning light, which blinks on startup after 4500 miles since the last reset (hopefully when the oil was last changed) and then stays on continuously after 5000 miles. The Camry got the warning light starting with 2004 models.
#98 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [210delray]
Feb 24, 2006 (5:20 am)
You're right, and I had forgotten that.
It was another method Toyota adopted for oil change reminders. They wanted proper maintenance to be an "idiot proof" function, so tried to make it as "no brainer" as possible for owners.
Here's a a typical sludge story FYI.
The other day I took our new HL in for its first service, and the service manager showed me an '03 Sienna in the shop.
It had 46000 miles on it and the engine was toast-completely siezed up. They were taking pictures of it when I was there.
They had opened up both top and bottom ends of the engine. The entire centre section was packed with black jelly-like and well cooked crud. Valve train on each bank of cylinders was the same.
The original oil filter was still on, and packed solid with crud. Oil pan had about 1/2 quart of black liquid (oil?) and was full of crud. There was no evidence of oil ever being changed since the van was new. Oil sump drain plug had the original factory crush washer on it.
Service manager said it was like a few others they had seen over the years. People just didn't bother changing oil, then insisted there was something wrong with the engine and demanded warranty. Typical scenario, and really sums up the sludge fiasco.
The service manager just shook his head and said he couldn't understand why some people never learn.
#99 of 317 Re: 96 Camry engine life [hylyner]
Feb 25, 2006 (6:51 pm)
Regarding your sludge story, another thing I've heard (haven't verified it) is that Toyota uses a slightly longer oil filter during engine assembly at the factory, at least for 4-cylinder Camrys. The replacement Toyota filter is shorter.
This way, if you cry "Sludge!" at 20K miles or more, the dealer can readily determine if the original factory filter is still on the car.
Pretty clever, if true.
#100 of 317 99 Camry blue emission occurs only during start
May 02, 2006 (6:31 am)
I just purchased a 99 used camry with 37000 miles on it (Evans, Georgia). When i start the car in the morning, I get a blue colored emission from tail pipe that lasts a 5 seconds after which it is colorless. What could be the problem ?