Last post on May 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna, Fuel System, SUV
#19 of 45 '99 Toyota Avalon Oil Sludge allover Engine, Smoking
Oct 28, 2010 (4:38 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 45 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [sitiakab]
Aug 26, 2011 (3:31 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 45 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [vaofky]
Oct 04, 2011 (4:45 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 45 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [vaofky]
Oct 13, 2011 (9:17 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 45 Re: 2002 Highlander oil sludge - free engine rebuild [pcsperling]
Nov 20, 2011 (7:14 pm)
use of oil may be related to not replacing the pvc valve. see other thread on this board. change pcv first. rr70
Nov 25, 2011 (7:20 pm)
I am also having a problem with excess oil consuption. I need to add 1 quart of oil every 500 miles, I have a 2001 highlander with 110000 miles on it. It has NO leaks but it does have a sludge build up in the PCV area, oil passes through the PCV valve. I heard about the unusual sludge problem with these models so I called Toyota Financial (I bought this vehicle from the in September 2011). They said my VIN should it may be eligible for repair by toyota so now it is hoop jumping time. They told me t go to a dealer and have a teck check it out. I took it to Libertyville Toyota and they checked it out and they said the engine was clean. I asked about the PCV area and they said they would need $400 from me before they would check that. I asked about the excessive oil use and they said it is normal to use a quart every 1000 miles on a well maintained vehicle. I asked for that in writing but they gave me a piece of paper that said something about if a vehicle uses more than a quart of oil after 1250 miles, there is a problem. They said the sludge problem would be by the valve cover if it was going to be covered by toyota. I reminded them again that I just bought the vehicle from toyota financial, they should have disclosed this problem before I bought it. They said too bad, pay up.
I am waiting for a letter from Toyota to see how to proceed. Would like any feedback.
#25 of 45 Re: Highlander 24 [highlander24]
Nov 28, 2011 (12:53 pm)
We also have a 2001 highlander. They shot us down in a very ugly way with the same situation. We found this problem 40k miles ago! By accident we found that if you leave the oil cover off (where you put the oil in the engine) Then it will burn oil must less quickly. In order to keep the oil from spraying all over the engine, we have placed an edlebrock air breather over the opening. Still burns oil, just not nearly as quickly. My highlander is a mom car and my kids have been terribly rough on it, so we decided NOT to spend the 3k on the engine, but it is still going strong with this method. It is sad that Toyota wouldn't do the right thing. We were within the window and had all the reciepts for oil changes, but they said it wasn't engine sludge. That was 2 years ago. We are going strong. =)
#26 of 45 Excessive Oil Usage
Dec 12, 2011 (8:46 pm)
I have a 2002 Hylander that I purchased with 131,000 miles on it. Drove it off the dealer lot and seemed fine. After the first oil change, it has used as little as 1/2 quart over 300 miles of driving or as much as 4 quarts in 250 miles. I contacted the dealer and they tell me to bring it in and have engine disassembled for troubleshooting. Another mechanic I use thought it was oil rings. It doesn't add up. Does anyone know what the problem could be? I really like this vehicle, and own a newer Highlander as well. Maybe this was a bad chioce for a vehicle. Its getting old carrying around a 5 quart bottle of oil to make sure I do not damage the engine. Oil consumption is not even consistent. I have put 10,000 mikes on it and have added more than 20 quarts of oil between oil changes.
#27 of 45 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [ferris2]
Dec 13, 2011 (10:57 am)
The oil is either leaking out of the engine or being burned along with the gas. In either case at that level of oil consumption there should be obvious signs.
If there are no signs of leakage you most likely need a new or rebuilt engine.
#28 of 45 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [ferris2]
Dec 21, 2011 (1:44 am)
I own a 2002 toyota highlander that burned excessive oil only at highway speed driving (~70mph or greater). It was burning 3 quarts every 300 miles at these speeds. It did not burn this oil at city driving speeds. The lack of oil did eventually damage my block. My toyota highlander only had 53K miles at the time in 2009 when this happened. Toyota "assisted me in my repairs" since it was such a low mileage vehicle and I had good records of my oil changes. They paid for my parts (a new short block ~$4k) and I paid for the labor (~$1,900). However, that did not fix the issue. Later after many more test drives and the technician trying to figure it out, Toyota replaced the heads, valve covers and the PCV valve. Toyota paid for it since they didn't fix it right the first time with just the short block replacement (after pleading my case to the manager at the dealer and the regional Toyota engineer). I have not had excessive oil consumption since then. I have done some research and found that the earlier highlanders, including 2002, had a flaw in the oil circulation in the heads. Some say the new valve covers provide better oil flow in and around the valves in the heads. I have seen where others have claimed that a new PCV valve had resolved the issue. Based on my experience, all I can say is it was something in the new heads, valve covers, or PCV valve that fixed the problem since those were the last three items that they replaced. Best of luck to you. It is somewhat difficult to get Toyota to admit to any design flaws and to cover the costs!!!! I may have been one of the exceptions since it had such low mileage. I basically ended up with a complete new engine at my cost of labor ($1,900).