Toyota Oil Sludge Prevention

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There's alot of talk of oil sludge problems in the 3.0 v6 and 2.2 i4 Toyotas. I own a 99 Avalon and received a letter last year about the new policy. I had been using Mobil 1 10w-30 and changing on the recommended 7.5K normal interval since after the first 1500 mile break-in on factory oil. After the letter and research I became quite concerned. I have currently switched to Amsoil Series 2000 0w-30 and plan to change every 5k. I plan to do an oil analysis next oil change. I also noticed the PCV was rather small and plastic and seemed somewhat prone to clogging, though mine was still functioning. I replaced it also , and plan to do so on a schedule of every 10k. Right now it runs great and the oil stays very clean. Bottom line is I need this car to make it to 10 years and 150K at least. My dad has an 82 Cressida that still runs great and I had expected similar performance from the Avalon. Will what I'm doing 100% guarantee I never get oil sludge, or do I need to do more like start doing analysis periodically or pulling a valve cover every year?
 
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Just use something otehr than the weak 5w-30's recommended by Toyota. You can prevent your sludging one of 2 ways Thicker oils are less likely to sludge, so you can use something thikcer like a 10w-40 from a good brand. Or switch to synthetics. And not a 5w-30 syn but maybe a 10w-30 syn or a even a 40 weight syn. this should result in the end of any potential sludge problem. Fred... [Smile]
 
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I'd also add running a 3oz maintenance dose of Auto-RX. You could stay with Mobil 1 10w-30. It might not have the amount of esters as Amsoil, but it will stay in grade better then 0w-30 IMO. Terry wrote awhile back that this oil's suppliers changed and there formula and it's not what it used to be. Although there was a great report recently of it. I'd go to 8k with it and take a sample. S2000 is overpriced oil IMO. It's decent, but too expensive for what it says it can do. I'ts also too expensive to use for only 5k intervals. But thats just my opinion. Delvac 1 would be a good choice. Hard to find though. I figured the small spread between the 10w-30 would be good. [ May 12, 2003, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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Russell - as an Amsoil guy - I recommend you save yourself some cash and go with Amsoil 10W-30 for the 5K mile oil changes. It will hold up just as good as the 0W-30. Next oil change = Go ahead and bite the bullet and do an a Auto-Rx ($25) treatment with Chevron Supreme 10W-30 for 500-800 miles. From what I've figured the Auto-Rx works good with the "iso-syn" Chevron and since it's a short run use a good inexpensive oil such as the Supreme.
 

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quote:
Originally posted by palmerwmd: Just use something otehr than the weak 5w-30's recommended by Toyota. You can prevent your sludging one of 2 ways Thicker oils are less likely to sludge, so you can use something thikcer like a 10w-40 from a good brand.
10w40 uses more VII, therefore it's MORE LIKELY to cause sludge. These engines need a 5w oil anyways, to get the oil up to the top end quicker.
 
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I have a 99 Lexus RX300 AWD with 59K. If I am not mistaken your engine and mine are based on the same 3.0 frame. I have also received that letter you are referring to. I know the clown who owned the car before hardly took in for service. I used a product called Restore while down here in Mexico, and I could feel an immediate different. I am sure Auto-RX will do you one better, but not available here. I use at 15W-50 Mobil 1 due to the elevation and the faster consumption of oil. I have had Toyota check out my engine for signs of the evil sludge, and none to be found. Recently, Toyota had an American client down here who started to show signs of sludge on her aging Camry. We use Restore and some Techron and switched her over to the 15W-50 Mobil 1, and a week later that has done the trick.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Pablo: Russell - as an Amsoil guy - I recommend you save yourself some cash and go with Amsoil 10W-30 for the 5K mile oil changes. It will hold up just as good as the 0W-30.
Having used both I agree, the 10w protects as well as the 0W with the primary difference being the 10W does not hold up over the long haul as well as the 0W. For 5000 miles changes no problem. Over 7500 you would need UOA. My 92 V6 Camry is about 7500 on the 10W30 at whihc point the TBN gets failry low.
 
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Interesting discussion the other day with a very well qualified engineer, from a company that implements maintenance programmes for the power industry. His best mate (same company) had a Camry v-6 that in spite of maintenance at the dealer in accordance with the manual, and using the dealer supplied oil died of bearing failure. Strip down showed sludge everywhere, and restricted oil flow to the bearings. Toyota charged him $6,500 for a remanufactured engine. (I pointed them here, and to the various links on Toyota sludging, and they are now endowed with renewed vigour to go have a little chat with the service manager)
 
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The service manager needs a "blanket party" for charging the fellow for the engine in the first place considering the issues with the engines and the lower quality oil Toyota markets.
 

RussellA

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I have no problem paying extra for the S2000 if it changes phrases like "should be fine" to "will be fine". I picked this oil because three main suspects of the Toyota oil sludge problem are 1) high temps in the heads with high temp differential between head and block, 2)Heavy sheering of the oil because of the messing gear design of the cams, and 3) contamination of oil from PCV problems or condensation. It seems at least in the area of temperature stability and sheering the 0w-30 out performed the 10w30. I think I read one account (which may be fiction) of someone using Mobil 1 changing every 5k and got sludge. This really scares me. I also surprisingly got about a 10% boost with the amsoil 0w30 in what was already very good gas mileage, so I think I'll stick with the 0w-30 I may try a full treatment of the Auto-RX but since this car has always used group IV basestock oils (mobil 1 and amsoil) I don't want to save a buck buy running a group III oil for the clean out for the sake of seals expanding and contracting back when I switch back. I may try this with Mobil 1 however. But right now I see no sign of a sludge problem yet. I have an email from an amsoil rep saying the amsoil guarantee would stand even with extended drains in these problem Toyotas. I really don't want to run a maintenance 3oz of Auto-RX and void my amsoil warranty also. This brings up what my real beef is with Toyota even though my car has to date been absolutely perfect. I think everyone has to agree their prescribed maintenance schedule for normal use of dino oil every 7.5k will kill these engines. Even heavy use is still 5k with dino oil. I would like to see Toyota come clean with what the real problem is, and the new maintenance schedule required to keep these cars running or engine modifications required. I assume fear of a class action suit by owners requiring compensation for additional maintenance costs or cost of modifications prevents them from admitting anything.
 
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quote:
Russell - as an Amsoil guy - I recommend you save yourself some cash and go with Amsoil 10W-30 for the 5K mile oil changes. It will hold up just as good as the 0W-30.
Terry, awhile back you said you don't like the 0w-30 now as much as you once did because the material suppliers to Amsoil changed something. Does this still hold true? No offense to the AMsoil guys but I think it's ridiculous they claim this oil can go 35k miles. Not to beat that subject into the ground but c'mon...lets get real here.
 
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Dose anyone know of a documented case of engine sludge induced damage in a Toyota with ANY synthetic oil changed out at 7.5K or less.
 

RussellA

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quote:
Dose anyone know of a documented case of engine sludge induced damage in a Toyota with ANY synthetic oil changed out at 7.5K or less.
Well I found a message on carsurvey.org
quote:
2000 Avalon with 35,000 miles, got smoke from the tail pipe on start up, took it to the dealer - sludge he points out! Offered to break down the engine at a cost of $3,500 to me! Yes, I change my oil properly! Use Mobil I, used it for 15 years! In a 72 Nova hot rod, 88 Bonneville, 84 Cavalier, 92 Honda Accord, 92 Geo, and 96 Neon all over 100,000 miles, NO SLUDGE!!! But the Avalon sludges and it's "MY" not changing the oil they tell me!
Doesn't say mileage, claims to change oil "properly". I take posts like this with a BIG grain of salt though.
 
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Buster, IMHO, the solvency of Amsoil relied for years on the fuels residue to help keep it in grade and control oxidation. Fuels were reformed and 4 years ago I begin noticing extended drains UOA coming in worse than before. They have attempted adjusting but I haven't seen it work like it should. I should note at one time I was an Amsoil dealer, brother still is. The oils just aren't holding up like they used to. LC will help if added properly and backed up with periodic UOA. We had a 2001 Avalon 3.0L V6 that my wife drove that was eating M1 after 10,500 miles . Used Auto-RX to clean it up with Havoline 5w-30 for 500 miles. Then ran Schaeffers 7000 Blend 5w-30 for 15,385 no change. It was NOx'd pretty well in that time as was the M1. PCV valves do gum with ANY oil and must be cleaned periodically. Hope that sheds more light on the subject.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by RussellA: Bottom line is I need this car to make it to 10 years and 150K at least. My dad has an 82 Cressida that still runs great and I had expected similar performance from the Avalon. Will what I'm doing 100% guarantee I never get oil sludge, or do I need to do more like start doing analysis periodically or pulling a valve cover every year?
I have a 1999 Toyota Sienna with the problem-child sludge-baby V6. Recently, I posted here to get some ideas on what to do...AutoRX? Schaeffer's Neutra? I tried Neutra due to price--6 bottles delivered to my door for less than $30. I couldn't be happier with my purchase! To start with, I changed the oil with Chevron 10W-30 and a fresh Toyota filter. I let the old oil drain about 20 minutes. I couldn't believe how much CRAP was on the bottom of the pan...small metallic pieces, small red "crumbs"--probably dislodged sludge--I have some pictures, but need to get them to digital format so everyone can see how much crap is in the pan of a Toytota V6! After chaning the oil, I added the 5oz of Neutra, drove about 250 miles. Was the oil DIRTY! Changed the oil and filter, again with Chevron 10W-30 and a fresh Toyota filter. After 1000 miles, the oil is clean---the cleanest I've ever seen in this motor. Total miles on this vehicle: 39K. I don't doubt for a minute this engine produces sludge very early in it's life. My $.02: Change your dino oil often, use AutoRX or Neutra every so often....I doubt you'll need those chemicals every 3K, maybe every 10K. A good full synthetic will extend drain intervals. However, with this engine, I wouln't extend any drain interval beyond 5K since the engine chews oil way too fast. Hope this helps... [Cheers!]
 
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There is no need for a 5w- in a syn, even a 10w flows plenty well, for all but the harshest of northern winters. As for extra VII"S,hmm conventional wisdom always holds that VII's decompose into varnish not sludge. The toyota engines (and the question) are about sludge not varnish. Also I always learned that unlike varnish, sludge is generally caused by decomposing base oils. Am I off base here? Fred.... (sorry Fred, I tried replying to your post and accidentally edited it, so I put it back in with no changes) [ May 14, 2003, 05:02 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 

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Terry, your post point to one of my concerns about the PCV on these engines. I was surprised it was plastic , so no cleaning. Most things might desolve it. It was pretty small. Hose side was about 1/4" and the opening on the valve cover side was only about 3mm. But it WAS easy to replace. In comparison my Nissan has a steel PCV, about a 3/8" hose and about a 6mm opening. I pulled mine out at about 30k and could blow thru it, but it didn't rattle as free as I thought it should. Replacement PCV was about 7 bucks from Toyota. New one did rattle more freely.
 

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quote:
Originally posted by palmerwmd: There is no need for a 5w- in a syn, even a 10w flows plenty well, for all but the harshest of northern winters.
I used to think that too but look at the differences in cold cranking specs for 5w30 vs the 10w30 from the same brand. And even in the summer the 5w30 will still get the oil up to the top and flow faster if it's viscosity at 40c is 10cst less than the corresponding 10w30's viscosity at 40c. I used to hate 5w30, but more and more I believe it to be a great viscosity, as long as you run a 5w30 which doesn't thin out (such as Schaeffer Oil, Redline, Amsoil, etc.) When you first start your engine and the oil is thick, that's when wear is at it's highest, so by having the thinner viscosity at that point, you're reducing your wear more.
 
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I have a'99 V-6 Camry @ 50k.Did the recommended 2 runs with Auto-Rx.I finally ordered Neutra and #132 Moly.I just changed the oil last weekend MobilDC.Was going to do a 1k flush.Would it be good to give it a Nuetra treatment?Then go back to Castrol?Which it always had.I also want to use 132 but I have to do some reading here.I still have some ARX but wanted to use later or other engines. These are dirty engines!My wifes drives this car in rush hour,has a remote start.The oil has never been over 3k.The oil always "looks"trashed.At the end of the ARX that oil was dark black not the usual grey/black.Had a tuneup at 41k.Throttle body was [email protected] this was very dirty.My 4.7 was much cleaner,but I don't let it idle. I'm hoping to make this one last.My daughter will get it in 2 years. Thanks for any suggestions. RichR [ May 14, 2003, 07:55 AM: Message edited by: RichR ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by RichR: I have a'99 V-6 Camry @ 50k.Did the recommended 2 runs with Auto-Rx.I finally ordered Neutra and #132 Moly.I just changed the oil last weekend MobilDC.Was going to do a 1k flush.Would it be good to give it a Nuetra treatment?Then go back to Castrol?Which it always had.I also want to use 132 but I have to do some reading here.I still have some ARX but wanted to use later or other engines. These are dirty engines!My wifes drives this car in rush hour,has a remote start.The oil has never been over 3k.The oil always "looks"trashed.At the end of the ARX that oil was dark black not the usual grey/black.Had a tuneup at 41k.Throttle body was [email protected] this was very dirty.My 4.7 was much cleaner,but I don't let it idle. I'm hoping to make this one last.My daughter will get it in 2 years. Thanks for any suggestions. RichR
With your oil never having a lifespan of over 3K, I believe you're doing the right thing with flushing the oil. With 3K changes, using Castrol or M1 or Chevron probably won't make much difference, but as you've noted, keeping the engine sludge free will be your greatest challenge. I had success just using Neutra alone after one treatment, but I don't plan to use it every 3K. I just don't see the need to use ARX or Neutra at the end of every 3K drain. Maybe I should use it more often, but I just don't see the advantages of doing so. Of course, at only $3 a bottle, using it every 3K won't break the bank, either. [Cheers!]
 
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