Last post on Dec 02, 2013 at 7:41 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna, Fuel System, SUV
#14 of 52 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild
Feb 08, 2009 (2:57 am)
I have a 2002 Highlander six cylinder with 180,000 miles. I purchased it brand new, and I have always done my own maintenence, including regular oil changes. It had never used any oil between changes. However, starting at about 160,000 miles, I started to have to add a quart every 2000 miles, and then it got worse and I was having to add a quart every 1000 miles. It was not leaking, and there was no smoke, even when first started up. I did research and found about the oil sludge issue. I called my local dealer and they offered to check it out to see if this was the problem. I did not have high hopes, due to my research showing many dealers not wanting to deal with this, or only a small percentage of engines actually having the issue. I was surprised when my dealer said "yes, you have oil sludge" and gave me the good news that Toyota would basically give me a brand new "short block" (block, pistons, rings, etc) and have the top valve end re-worked, and other misc parts, for "free". They also told me that when they do this repair job, they suggest other reapairs at the same time that are not covered under the oild sludge deal such as timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, belts, etc. I also had a differential seal leak which they suggested I fix, and I had a partially stripped oil pan female thread so they suggested a new oil pan. Of course, it did make sense to replace these items while the engine was being rebuilt, even witt the high cost of dealer parts and labor, and I OK'd the additional repairs. My grand total cost including taxes was $790, and $200 of that was for the oil pan... so the cost for a brand new lower short block, and top end re-do, with misc parts that are routinely replaced, was $600. I was never asked to produce any type of receipts or proof that I routinely changed oil, etc. Neeedless to say, I am very happy with this "settlement deal" as I have what amounts to a brand new engine for under $600.
Feb 08, 2009 (10:35 am)
You are one lucky customer. Many people had to fight tooth and nail to get Toyota to do anything, often with less than 80,000 miles for the sludge issue.
#16 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [sitiakab]
Jun 09, 2009 (7:46 pm)
Hi, I have the exact same situation. what dealer did you bring this to? Where? What city? I have the same vehicle with only 53k miles and it has excessive oil loss at highway speeds. Like 3 quarts every 300 miles. Thanks!
#17 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [steves_toyo]
Jul 14, 2009 (8:23 am)
I have a very similiar situation to steve, 53k miles and sometimes I've got white smoke on startup that lasts about 30 seconds. Sometimes there seems to be a large cloud other times not much of a cloud at all. It doesn;t seem to be related to how long it sits but more to the amount driven before parking it. I checked the oil and it was down below the first hole on the dip stick. I called my dealer ( who performs all service on this vehicle ), and their service manager indicated that it wasn't unusual for the valve seals to dry out and allow oil in while it sits. He said he didn't think it was unusual to need to add a quart of oil every 1000 miles. His assessment was - if it's just burning a little oil no worries - just keep adding oil. ( 10w30 or 10w40 he said add either ) . I think that is ridiculous. A) I should have to worry about adding oil to a car with 50k miles on it. B) I look like a dirtbag when I start the thing up and a giant cloud comes out. C) Is this guy giving me the run around? I would think the dealership would be more than happy to do the rebuild if Toyota is paying for it. What should I do next?
#18 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [sitiakab]
Apr 25, 2010 (1:52 am)
I listed a post regarding a dealer that DID provide me with a new short block engine - under name "sitiakab"... for those that asked which dealer, this was done by Lewis Toyota in Topeka KS
#19 of 52 '99 Toyota Avalon Oil Sludge allover Engine, Smoking
Oct 28, 2010 (3:38 pm)
I have a 1999 Toyota Avalon 6 cil. I have noticed that it hasoil build up sludge like all across engine, car smells like its overheating although temp gauge does not go over half way. Oil recently changed and fluids topped off, no problem with oil pan noted. There is an oil leak on ground under car. I took back to place where oil change was done and tech suggested that I take it to a good mechanic and have checked out but he thought that it could be the head gasket needing replaced, expensive and might not fix the problem, engine on last leg, could blow, don't let overheat and dont overwork it. ?????? has always had regular maintenance done, and oil changes, been well taken care of. I wondered if this is the "Sludge" problem that I've been reading about?
#20 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [sitiakab]
Aug 26, 2011 (2:31 pm)
I'm glad to have come across this post today. I have been meticulous about my 2002 Toyota Highlander. Everything has been done at the dealer according to the book. After the last oil change at 102,000 my oil light came on at 104,000. I checked the oil and had to add 4.5 qts of oil. My local Toyota dealer could not figure out why I had no oil as there were no leaks and it did not appear to be burning oil. At 106,000 I had to take it back in after putting 5 quarts of oil in. I was told that they would have to tear the engine apart "to figure out the problem" though the lead mechanic thinks he knows what the problem is without doing so. He thinks I need to replace the block to the tune of $4000. No one mentioned of the oil sludge issue common to these vehicles. The dealership did tell me after the first oil change that if something happened "Toyota would take care of it" I'd say because of the known oil sludge problem. I'll keep you posted.
#21 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [vaofky]
Oct 04, 2011 (3:45 pm)
If I calculated it correct, the engine replacement was done within the time frame allowed in the settlement of the Class Action Lawsuit which was 8 years and 120 days from date of purchase.
I have a 2002 which was purchsaed new and it just started having an oil consumption issue - 4 quarts in less than 3,000 miles. I have been meticulous with oil changes and maintenance and I have all my records which my mechanic has duplicates of as well.
Also, from what I have been reading ~ letters were supposed to have been sent..... I haven't moved, have the same address I did when I purchased the car..... Toyota is just f'd up!
#22 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [vaofky]
Oct 13, 2011 (8:17 pm)
Ways around the oil sludging issues... Simply, just run full synthetic oil. There are no issues with the sludging issue if you run full synthetic. Your issue does not sound like a sludging issue. The sludging issue could cause burning, could cause over heating, could cause sluggish acceleration, typically causes an engine code and check engine light to pop up as well. generally it does not cause disappearing oil.. that sounds like a bad head gasket. I would suggest changing your own oil, or going to a different mechanic and see if he can check for coolant in your oil, or have your coolant flushed and changed, then have him check to see if your coolant has oil in it.. because either it is leaking out, "bad grommet on your oil plug?" or your head gasket is leaking.
#23 of 52 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [pcsperling]
Nov 20, 2011 (6:14 pm)
use of oil may be related to not replacing the pvc valve. see other thread on this board. change pcv first. rr70