2001 Toyota Avalon - 1MZ-FE engine......"cleaning oil"

Messages
1,406
Yeah, that's not true. At all.

I don't personally know who "Imp4" is above but listen to him, too.

It IS true that if you run excessively long OCI's w/dino oil on them, you can sludge the oil as the rear bank does run hot, and oil pools in the head around cylinder 1 on the low side near the highest heat area. This was back in the day when people literally said, "It's a Toyota, I don't ever change the oil." I know that sounds crazy but I knew people who did that and that's where most of the myth arose. I have been to cocktail parties in Cambridge, MA where people boasted about not changing the oil in their Toyotas after 30k miles. It was a badge of honor.

I have a 2002 ES300 with 325k on it. Same car. I have run 7,500mile OCI's on it for the last 200k miles, using Mobil 1 10w30 HM. Oil consumption is 16 ozs every 7,500k and it was that at 100k and it is the exact same at 325k. I have also added some Lubegard Biotech to the oil for the last 100k miles, the ester base in that + additives really work.

If you want to take care of the engine, run an oil appropriate to your climate. That's likely 10w-30 unless you live in Alaska. NJ needs nothing weaker than 10w-30. If you want to do some feel-good stuff, run some Mobil 0w-40 like Trav and others said with 10 to 15 ozs of Lubegard Biotech for 5k. Then switch to the 10w-30 HM and additive and go 7.5k and you're fine. I run the Fram Ultra for 3x OCI's. 22.5k miles. Filter changes on these engines are annoying and messy so that's a gift from Fram; take it. I have cut-open past Ultra's I have run 15k and 22k and they were solid - have posted about this in years past w/pics. So run the ultra and feel good to run it to 20k miles or such.

This oil issue is really a red-herring. What you need to be thinking about with that car is to flush the fragile PS system - it runs hot and eats high pressure hoses and pumps. You also need to think about if the belt was done - likely not. The timing belt tensioners on these can fail, a thorough timing belt job is WAY more important on a 1999 Avalon with 100k than a Jesuitical debate about oil choice. Another thing to keep in mind is the 99 avalon was built in Kentucky and not Japan. While that's my home state and I say that with pride, you can't equate Japan-built Lexotas with US built ones; there is a long-term difference IME. Maintain this car and it will last forever, but don't neglect it.

I've worked on and serviced a lot of these cars, been a moderator at ToyotaNation in the Camry/Solara/Avalon sub-forums (a nightmare I don't want to repeat, btw), and also avid at clubLexus. I say that not to boast but to establish that I have not only my personal knowledge about them but also years of forum activity/moderation where I surveyed user/owner experiences and developed a deeper understanding of the issues and how they arose. I strongly suggest you not over-fret about the oil issue and look at the other long-term maintenance issues.

I do not at all intend to sound like I am talking down to you. That you did some research and came and asked means you care and that's great. Just trying to spread the experience I've paid for and learned, as I have benefited my whole life from others doing the same.
I’m kind of surprised after reading through all this that you let your oil filter go for 3 oil changes and 22,500 miles. Some people around here think the oil filter is more important than the oil itself (I personally do not).

But good read. I frequent clublexus and Toyota nation, as well. In fact, the only reason why I’ve ever heard of issues with the 3.0 is from clublexus...some guy tried doing 20,000 mile oil change intervals, while swearing about the greatness of Amsoil...and blew his engine.

But good advice from you, seems reasonable (although the filter thing does blow my mind a little bit). I’ll have to check out that Lubeguard stuff. Usually not a fan of additives to oil but it does sound interesting.

And I agree 100%...the bad reputation this engine gets is overblown, there are 100’s of thousands of these things still driving around with 300,000 plus miles on them, with little to no engine problems.
 
Messages
11,922
Location
USA
I had a 2003 Camry with the 1MZ-FE
Yeah, that's not true. At all.
-snip-
I have a 2002 ES300 with 325k on it. Same car.

Those are the 5th gen Camry.

The OP has a 4th gen Camry. These were the worst. The oil passages were too small. They could've fixed this for the 5th gen.

The 3rd gen Camry also got the 1MZ from 94-96, and it didn't have sludge problems. Toyota started getting cheap, and one of the things they did was shrink the oil passages for the 4th gen in 97.

Even without the sludge, the 1MZ is one of the most difficult engines to work on even for a transverse V6.
 

Zack1978

Thread starter
Messages
84
Location
NJ
Yeah, that's not true. At all.

I don't personally know who "Imp4" is above but listen to him, too.

It IS true that if you run excessively long OCI's w/dino oil on them, you can sludge the oil as the rear bank does run hot, and oil pools in the head around cylinder 1 on the low side near the highest heat area. This was back in the day when people literally said, "It's a Toyota, I don't ever change the oil." I know that sounds crazy but I knew people who did that and that's where most of the myth arose. I have been to cocktail parties in Cambridge, MA where people boasted about not changing the oil in their Toyotas after 30k miles. It was a badge of honor.

I have a 2002 ES300 with 325k on it. Same car. I have run 7,500mile OCI's on it for the last 200k miles, using Mobil 1 10w30 HM. Oil consumption is 16 ozs every 7,500k and it was that at 100k and it is the exact same at 325k. I have also added some Lubegard Biotech to the oil for the last 100k miles, the ester base in that + additives really work.

If you want to take care of the engine, run an oil appropriate to your climate. That's likely 10w-30 unless you live in Alaska. NJ needs nothing weaker than 10w-30. If you want to do some feel-good stuff, run some Mobil 0w-40 like Trav and others said with 10 to 15 ozs of Lubegard Biotech for 5k. Then switch to the 10w-30 HM and additive and go 7.5k and you're fine. I run the Fram Ultra for 3x OCI's. 22.5k miles. Filter changes on these engines are annoying and messy so that's a gift from Fram; take it. I have cut-open past Ultra's I have run 15k and 22k and they were solid - have posted about this in years past w/pics. So run the ultra and feel good to run it to 20k miles or such.

This oil issue is really a red-herring. What you need to be thinking about with that car is to flush the fragile PS system - it runs hot and eats high pressure hoses and pumps. You also need to think about if the belt was done - likely not. The timing belt tensioners on these can fail, a thorough timing belt job is WAY more important on a 1999 Avalon with 100k than a Jesuitical debate about oil choice. Another thing to keep in mind is the 99 avalon was built in Kentucky and not Japan. While that's my home state and I say that with pride, you can't equate Japan-built Lexotas with US built ones; there is a long-term difference IME. Maintain this car and it will last forever, but don't neglect it.

I've worked on and serviced a lot of these cars, been a moderator at ToyotaNation in the Camry/Solara/Avalon sub-forums (a nightmare I don't want to repeat, btw), and also avid at clubLexus. I say that not to boast but to establish that I have not only my personal knowledge about them but also years of forum activity/moderation where I surveyed user/owner experiences and developed a deeper understanding of the issues and how they arose. I strongly suggest you not over-fret about the oil issue and look at the other long-term maintenance issues.

I do not at all intend to sound like I am talking down to you. That you did some research and came and asked means you care and that's great. Just trying to spread the experience I've paid for and learned, as I have benefited my whole life from others doing the same.
Great ! Thank you for the information. Ironically I just "changed" the PS fluid with a turkey baster and refilled it with Amsoil. I will drive it around a bit an do another fluid change. The PS reservoir holds a surprising amount of fluid.
 

Zack1978

Thread starter
Messages
84
Location
NJ
A few people noted to try M1 0W40. Is everyone referring to the Mobil 1 Euro 0W40 oil? I saw the Euro 0W40 on sale today in Costco for $27.00 for a six pack. Would that oil be good to use?
 
Messages
1,869
Location
Richmond, VA area
I vote that if you are that concerned about getting a thorough drain (call it a "flush") why not just use a product made for this purpose? Using short intervals of various oils that are not intended to clean is unproven anywhere I can find.


55vkq4.jpg
 

Zack1978

Thread starter
Messages
84
Location
NJ
A few people noted to try M1 0W40. Is everyone referring to the Mobil 1 Euro 0W40 oil? I saw the Euro 0W40 on sale today in Costco for $27.00 for a six pack. Would that oil be good to use?
Yes. But at a consumption rate of 1 quart per 500 miles you have a bigger problem to fix. At that rate I'm not sure I'd really care what oil I used.
That’s not me, someone else has that issue.
 
Messages
18,142
Location
Upper Midwest
A few people noted to try M1 0W40. Is everyone referring to the Mobil 1 Euro 0W40 oil? I saw the Euro 0W40 on sale today in Costco for $27.00 for a six pack. Would that oil be good to use?

That’s not me, someone else has that issue.
Sorry, I had you confused with the other 1MZ-FE poster.

I get the desire to "add something" to the oil to "clean" it out, but you still don't know if it needs cleaning, right? Until you do that, how will you know if the cleaner did anything? I'm not a fan of treating and chasing problems I'm not even sure exist but some people on this board love to dump stuff in the oil regardless of whether they know it needs it or not. Typically this is because they have blind faith in a brand.
 
Messages
16,496
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Flushes are so 1954.

If that car has HLA I would not go near one. Even if it doesn't have HLA I wouldn't go near one**.

You dpnt want to "loose the hounds of hades" and have gunk overload moving around everywhere it shouldn't be.
If you want to be "special" or a " cognoscenti trickster" about it, run a nice detergent Monograde Conventional if it is warm enough for one. run 500 miles then proceed with a good Synthetic of the appropriate grade.

** solvent or alcohol based
 

Zack1978

Thread starter
Messages
84
Location
NJ
Flushes are so 1954.

If that car has HLA I would not go near one. Even if it doesn't have HLA I wouldn't go near one**.

You dpnt want to "loose the hounds of hades" and have gunk overload moving around everywhere it shouldn't be.
If you want to be "special" or a " cognoscenti trickster" about it, run a nice detergent Monograde Conventional if it is warm enough for one. run 500 miles then proceed with a good Synthetic of the appropriate grade.

** solvent or alcohol based
HLA?
 
Messages
75
Location
Orange County CA
Hi everyone,
I was recently given a 2001 Toyota Avalon with 99,100 miles. I don't know that much about the maintenance history on the car, other than it was "dealer" serviced. The Toyota 1MZ-FE is a known sludge engine, and as such truly requires a 3,000 mile OCI. I don't know if this car had 3,000 OCI's, but I do know that it was left outside and not driven for the better part of three to four years. At this point the car seems to run well with a good amount of power, but I don't know if there are any sludge issues.
I am looking to do some "cleaning" oil changes on the car to "baseline" the engine and hopefully clean it up a bit.
I know the oil was changed in October of 2020 by Pep Boys and they used an unknown oil and a cheap Purolator filter. I changed the oil on Saturday and the oil in the car came oil very black, with a few hundred miles on it.
When I changed the oil on Saturday, I used a Fram Ultra oil filter and Kirkland 5w30 oil. I don't how long I will keep that oil/filter in the car, but I will probably change it much sooner than 3,000 miles.
Does anyone have a recommendation for an oil that has very good cleaning/detergent properties? How would you rate the Kirkland oil in terms of it's cleaning prowess? What do you think of my filter choice? Should I stick with the Ultra or go with an OEM Toyota oil filter? Would a good "high" speed/RPM run down the highway help expedite the cleaning process?


Thank you in advance!
Pretty much you have to start from scratch with a full service on the thing. A bunch of little stuff. GreasyMechTech above pointed out something. I would add drop the oil pan and change the filter and those spark plugs.
I have the same engine in my 2002 Sienna now with 215,000 on it. I shoot to change the oil somewhere between 4500-5000 (many times flipping over that 5000 mark) and have used Castrol, occasionally Valvoline, high mileage synthetic blend since I got the car with a hundred and 136k miles on it. So I would say that kind of oil or "better". But I did that major service of all the fluids and tune up and looking under the valve covers when I first got it.
I'll sell your filter is fine. I did overkill with my car when I first got it and was running up the Royal Purple, are other similar top quality synthetic material, filter. Now I've been using that Fram synthetic about the last 2ish years/15k miles.

But as so many have said above, get those valve covers off and take a look. Do that and the full fluid and tune up service and you're good to go changing the oil every 5000ish miles with a synthetic blend or better.
 
I had a 2001 Camry Solara, same engine. NEVER had any sludge issues...although I remember a Technical bulletin from Toyota at the time, which indicated something like that if owner's neglect oil changes there was a potential of sludge residue in the head areas.

Always did changes at 3500 to 5000 mile intervals, with either Valvoline DuraBlend semi and Mobil1 FullSyn. Great engine and great car. Only replaced tires, fluids, belt and brakes. Sold it at 100,000 miles, all original.
 
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