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
Nov 25, 2011 (6:20 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 52 Re: Highlander 24 [highlander24]
Nov 28, 2011 (11:53 am)
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 52 Excessive Oil Usage
Dec 12, 2011 (7:46 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 52 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [ferris2]
Dec 13, 2011 (9:57 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 52 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [ferris2]
Dec 21, 2011 (12:44 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).
#29 of 52 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [steves_toyo]
Dec 21, 2011 (1:58 am)
The description of the high oil usage at high speed points clearly to a problem with the PCV valve in any engine. I'd guess that was more logical starting point
#30 of 52 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [grahampeters]
Jan 02, 2012 (9:11 pm)
I own a 2002 Highlander V6 with 112,000 miles on the clock and also experience oil consumption issues. It's mostly used for short hilly urban stop start commuting in Vancouver, Canada, and uses about 1 quart every 3000mi - pretty reasonable to me. However, when used for longer high speed freeway trips, it starts eating oil like there is no tomorrow.
I did a 4500mi road trip from Canada to Southern California last summer, where, at times, I was going through two quarts every time I filled up (about 300miles). It appeared to be directly related to how fast I was driving - at a steady 75mph I used a quart every 300miles; two quarts were required during 85mph legs in Montana. Under 65mph oil consumption is negligible, even when hauling a trailer.
I've learned to live with it, and given the big repair cost of PCV valves, I'm not going to fix it, unless it gets worse. I now use one of our other vehicles for long distance trips in future, and keep the Highlander for around town commuting.
Sucks though. I backpacked around Australia a few years back in a 1984 Toyota Corona. 405,000 kilometres on the clock when I purchased it and 421,000km when I sold it 7 months later. It didn't use any oil between changes, and it was often driven at 100mph plus in the then speed limit free Northern Territory.
Somehow I don't think my 2002 Highlander is going to get to 400,000km.
#31 of 52 Re: Excessive Oil Usage [dave402]
Jan 02, 2012 (11:38 pm)
If the solution really is just the PCV valve, it is only ~ $10 item. PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system siphons the vapors from the crankcase and routes them into the intake manifold so they can be reburned in the engine. It's just a little black valve that attaches to the valve cover. Some have claimed this has worked for them (this valve needs to open up at high speeds). I'm not convinced but I think it would be worth the $10 to try it. If that doesn't work, then yes it appears that your repair will involve either the new valve covers that they have made for the older highlanders or the actual heads with new valves. Best of luck. If you do choose to replace the PCV valve and it works, I'd be interested your results.
#32 of 52 Re: Highlander 24 [poynorwife9819]
Feb 02, 2012 (5:08 pm)
We also own a 2001 Toyota Highlander that has the same problem of using a lot of oil. I was very interested in your solution regarding leaving the oil cap off and replacing it with an Edlebrock air breather. May I ask what the part # is for the air breather? I would like to try this solution, thank you.
#33 of 52 Re: Highlander 24 [heartlandhome]
Apr 23, 2012 (5:01 pm)
Did you ever have any luck finding out how to get hold of the Edelbrock air breather for your Highlander? I have an 02 with the same problem. I bought it new and have been meticulous about oil changes and such. Very frustrating! I have also noticed much higher oil use on longer, highway speed drives.