Last post on Dec 02, 2013 at 7:41 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna, Fuel System, SUV
#1 of 52 Highlander oil sludge settlement
Jan 19, 2008 (8:48 am)
2001 sole owner of Highlander, 104,000 miles, NEVER a problem until check engine light started coming on, dealer said"bad sensor", no problem with engine. Then light started flashing, then blue smoke from tail pipe, sluggish to drive like it was losing power, dealer said 5000.00 to replace engine, traded and lost $$$$, then fOUND out about OIL SLUDGE class action settlement that would have replaced the engine or repaired it. What now?
#2 of 52 Re: Highlander oil sludge settlement [bice]
Jan 19, 2008 (12:26 pm)
Looks like you lost some money there. There was a notice that was sent out to owners of 1997-2001 Toyota s with a potential sludge problem. I don't think there's anything you can do now since you traded the car.
#3 of 52 2000 Sienna 95k with sludge
Jan 24, 2008 (9:37 am)
I just had my oil changed at 95k which was only 1500 miles since the last but 5 months of city driving had passed. The prolube man showed me the sludge build up below the oil cap on the engine. He said I should have a flush next time and switched me to geriatric auto-oil. I have been consistent 4k oilchange person since I first read of the oil sludge problem five years ago. Does this first evidence of sludging indicate the beginning of the end for my engine? I think the extended sludge warrenty is to 100k so I wonder if I need to take it in to the dealer now? I wonder if I should trade it to a dealer to avoid an inevitable engine job?
#5 of 52 Re: 2000 Sienna 95k with sludge [steve_]
Jan 26, 2008 (10:00 am)
The extended warrenty is good for 8yrs. with no mileage restriction and I am getting very close to that. I am going to have the dealer look at the engine just in case there is any problem. It has been a very reliable vehicle which I hope to keep for many more years. Is the gelling problem showing up in any of the newer siennas,camrys or lexis vehicles.
#6 of 52 Re: 2000 Sienna 95k with sludge [jsambo]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jan 26, 2008 (12:48 pm)
I don't think the gel/sludge problem is much of a big deal anymore for Toyota.
We kept asking for recent examples over in the Toyota Engine Sludge discussion, but the last 1,000 posts were mostly just ones bashing Toyota, so we finally shut it down. I haven't checked on the Sienna or Camry discussions though.
#7 of 52 Re: 2000 Sienna 95k with sludge [jsambo]
Jan 29, 2008 (4:43 pm)
The dealer looked at my engine and could not see any sluge or gelling under the valve covers. They did notice some smoke (blue)in the exhaust and offered to do valve guides for free. I also had the trans. fluid changed and injectors cleaned. He just called to say that the car was ready. The bill to Toyota is supposedly $1800. I never believed the owners manual guidelines for oil changes.
#9 of 52 The "big sludge"
Apr 23, 2008 (2:00 pm)
Years ago while having my 2000 Sienna oil changed at the dealer (always at ~ 3000 miles) I read an internal memo (I think it was internal - dealers name on top of page - and I'm reading it upside down on his desk - did that to my boss too...) that service counselors strongly urge owners of '99 - '01 Sienna's to have the engine flushed every 30,000 miles regardless of oil change intervals.
I'm not totally sure of the year range but definitely the 2000 Sienna was there.
Of course at the same time I'm reading & they were telling me that there is no sludge problem and blaming it on the owners.
Yeah, they knew - hence, the extended warranty.
I still have the Toyota, it's been a good van. They just got caught with their pants down back then - and yeah, I had the engine flushed.
#10 of 52 sludge
Apr 24, 2008 (5:19 pm)
blue smoke is NOT always a sign of sludge, just that it is burning a bit of oil. Valve stem seals are a very common source of leakage on toyotas, you will notice it more as a puff when you take off from a light. A bit of valve stem seal leakage is of no big concern, many cars have been driven for 100k+ with a bit of leakage. The only concerns would be that the spark plugs may foul more often, and you need to make sure you aren't loosing too much between oil changes. Sometimes moving to a 10w40 can slow it down, it did for me. Some oils have "seal conditioners" I think they are worth a try.
Continuous smoke as you drive is different and probably more serious, but again, not necessarily a sign of sludging.
Originally this engine was scheduled for much longer oil change intervals (10k, iirc). After the sludging issue came to light, the interval was changed to 7500. Regardless, most of the documented cases I have heard of (from friends at dealers) involve much, much longer oil change intervals, some up to 20k! No wonder they've sludged! Many engines could actually go 20k between changes and NOT sludge, this one was designed to run a bit hotter, so that probably contributed to the problem. The configuration on the Seinna was a bit hotter yet, so it seems most of the sludged engines were in Seinnas.
I'm not saying that all cases are due to neglect (because they're not!), but the data I've seen says they are extremely rare. In any case, Toyota extended the warranty to 100k for all affected engines, even the 4 cylinder. Mine (v6) already had 150k when the warranty was extended!
My 97 camry (with this engine) now has 220k miles and uses very little oil between 5k oil changes. Our 02 Highlander with the same engine has 90k and, while not subject to the sludgng issue in theory, it still uses no oil between 5k changes.
Neither has ever been flushed, I had never heard of this being suggested. It certainly can't hurt, altho I don't think it is a cure-all as sludge tends to collect in places that a flush won't purge. Regular oil AND FILTER changes with quality oil will always be the best preventative in any case.
checking under the oil fill cap is NOT a good way to determine sludge. this engine (and many Toyota engines) have a 'splash guard" right under the cap. It is a rough finish metal part, and just looking at it will convince you that you DO have sludge on a brand new engine! It isn't!
You MUST pull the valve covers (or pan) to verify any sludge. Looking under the cap is not a good way to tell.