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#4632823 - 01/12/18 06:52 PM Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6
coastsider Offline


Registered: 08/06/17
Posts: 1
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Longtime lurker. Often have my questions answered via the enormously informative BITOG archives. Finding myself still at a loss as to what to do in this new situation.

An '06 Toyota Highlander has come to us via family. 90K miles. It's been regularly serviced its whole life by either Yota dealers, or, for the last 3 changes, by Iffy-Lube outfits. Engine currently has a belly full of Pennzoil of correct weight and an Iffy Lube e-core filter. Appears via dipstick to be clean and full at 2500 mi, but I'd like to get it changed out pronto.

Filters I think I have squared away. My general habit is to run Wix, and oversized Wix where possible, and the 51515 should fit this application. There's an even bigger Wix, 51773, the Godzilla-sized original Land Cruiser filter, but it doesn't have a great micron rating per Wix.

This engine, the 3MZ-FE V6, is a few years on from the Toyota motors with strong sludging propensities. It should incorporate engineering refinements. I had hoped it would be clean inside. Opened the oil fill cap to find a black ugly mess. Holy cannoli! Is that the valvetrain? I rushed to research this. Apparently this engine has a baffle under the fill cap. Some commenters reference it having a black crackle finish. I went back and prodded it gently with a fingernail, and felt it start to crumble under light pressure. Looked at what came up under my fingernail. Checked to see if it would dissolve in a suitable solvent. And... this stuff is cooked, baked-on oil. Awesome.

At this point I have no idea how much muck might be elsewhere in the motor. I do wonder if I should just take the vehicle out of service at once to pull the pan and the top end covers, to inspect and clean directly. That's hard to do at the moment.

I've seen remarkable successes at cleaning out neglected engines before using certain synthetics, diesel HDEOs, or best of all, synth diesel HDEOs. We have a quite mild climate here -- practically never freezes, rarely over 90F. I have run dino Delo 15w-40 in modern Asian engines before and had really good outcomes other than a modest hit to fuel economy.

That said, this motor is a decade newer than anything I've previously treated to a diet of conventional HDEO.

And, given that it has a meticulously documented service record, I think I'd like to stick strictly to Toyota's spec for oil weight, in the event that the engine does suddenly cough a rod in the next few thousand miles. I've seen the Yota zone managers authorize overhauls out of warranty for customers with good service receipts and long buying histories. (Lots of cars bought from them by this family going back to the 1970s.)

The spec is 5w-30, which is what's in it now with conventional Pennz. Honestly what I think I'd like to try would be one of the new 5w-30 synthetic HDEOs in Delo or Rotella flavors, but it seems impossible to find either of those at local retail.

What I do have lots of: 15w-40 dino Delo HDEO, 5w-40 synth Delo (and Rotella) HDEO, and 5w-30 Havoline synth. I am perplexed that the 40w flavors may be too heavy for an engine with possibly extant internal residue narrowing the flow paths. Go with the 5w-30 synth instead, in Havoline or some other make? Pony up to order pricey 5w-30 synth HDEO over the Net? As Sherlock Holmes used to say, "Quite the three-pipe problem, Watson."

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#4632833 - 01/12/18 07:02 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
maxdustington Online   content


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 893
Loc: Toronna
If it has been on dino since new, I would be concerned about putting a syn in there and then getting external oil leaks. I would just do a bunch of OCIs with the cheapest dino/HDEO you can get, as I think 90% of people on this forum would recommend.
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#4632836 - 01/12/18 07:04 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4632
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Something like this?

Delo 271210470 400 LE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 Gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M1Y2B0K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_BRvwAbG4XZ8VY
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#4632838 - 01/12/18 07:04 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: maxdustington]
Insertcoolname Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 163
Loc: South Texas
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
If it has been on dino since new, I would be concerned about putting a syn in there and then getting external oil leaks. I would just do a bunch of OCIs with the cheapest dino/HDEO you can get, as I think 90% of people on this forum would recommend.
+1
I agree. You are already running a decent cleansing oil.
Perhaps try chevron supreme via walmart.com for cheaper with shorter OCI
You can stick with 5w30 and get cheap syn blend for cheap conventional price
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#4632866 - 01/12/18 07:27 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: maxdustington]
dave1251 Offline


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 8698
Loc: Maricopa, AZ
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
If it has been on dino since new, I would be concerned about putting a syn in there and then getting external oil leaks. I would just do a bunch of OCIs with the cheapest dino/HDEO you can get, as I think 90% of people on this forum would recommend.


Ha it's been serviced with SM or better PCMO's at or before the recommended OCI. Upon tear down that engine will be clean.
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#4632869 - 01/12/18 07:31 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: Insertcoolname]
ammolab Offline


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 1003
Loc: Ruidoso, NM USA
Originally Posted By: Insertcoolname
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
If it has been on dino since new, I would be concerned about putting a syn in there and then getting external oil leaks. I would just do a bunch of OCIs with the cheapest dino/HDEO you can get, as I think 90% of people on this forum would recommend.
+1
I agree. You are already running a decent cleansing oil.
Perhaps try chevron supreme via walmart.com for cheaper with shorter OCI
You can stick with 5w30 and get cheap syn blend for cheap conventional price


If his current oil is decent at cleaning?.....why does the oil look "clean at 2500 miles"?
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#4632877 - 01/12/18 07:36 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
I agree with shorter OCI's (~3,000 miles) but add some Marvel Mystery oil (10%?) to the oil a few hundred miles before dumping it.
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#4632890 - 01/12/18 07:43 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
Charlie2015 Offline


Registered: 04/24/15
Posts: 262
Loc: Georgia
The rest of the motor will be clean. It is only the filler neck that looks like garbage.
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#4632893 - 01/12/18 07:48 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
FlyNavyP3 Offline


Registered: 07/04/16
Posts: 1431
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
It likely isn't sludged up at all. My 2004 ES330 Lexus has the same junk in the oil baffle under the cap yet returns single digit wear numbers on UOAs, were talking 1-3 ppm for both Aluminum and Iron over 5-10k OCI on everything from top shelf Synthetic to a basic as it gets with SAE30. Check the UOA section for comparison of the same engine in a car. I think you'll be surprised.

I vote leave it alone and just run any SN oil for 5k and carry on.

Link to ES330 3MZ-FE UOA results


Edited by FlyNavyP3 (01/12/18 07:51 PM)
Edit Reason: Add link
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#4632896 - 01/12/18 07:51 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19319
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
That engine has a crusty looking black baffle under the fill cap. If you want to know how it really looks pull a valve cover (no need to pull both just the easiest one) then you will know if you are dealing with any sort of buildup or a clean engine.
I wouldn't go much more than 3-4K OCI on these bad boys though depending on their use.
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#4632897 - 01/12/18 07:51 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
barkingspider Offline


Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 2064
Loc: socal
I don’t thInk there is a need for HDEO oils in your case. Just do short OCIs (3k) with PYB or (5k) with full syn in 5w30. I would do a motor medic 5 min flush on the next oci. Wix is a good filter. Cut open the iffy lube filter after removal and see what’s in there. I have a feeling it won’t be as bad as you think
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#4632902 - 01/12/18 07:53 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: Trav]
FlyNavyP3 Offline


Registered: 07/04/16
Posts: 1431
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Originally Posted By: Trav
That engine has a crusty looking black baffle under the fill cap. If you want to know how it really looks pull a valve cover (no need to pull both just the easiest one) then you will know if you are dealing with any sort of buildup or a clean engine.
I wouldn't go much more than 3-4K OCI on these bad boys though depending on their use.


Concur with the baffle but disagree with the OCI length, I've had 1-3 ppm iron and aluminum as far out as 10,000 miles on UOA in the exact same engine. Everything from conventional to top shelf Synthetic, no difference, everything from 5w20 to SAE 30 to 20w50 no change. This engine isn't hard on oil in my experience.
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P-3C and P-8A Maritime Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Instructor Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander

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#4632906 - 01/12/18 07:55 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: coastsider]
double vanos Offline


Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 1914
Loc: 5600 feet elevation, Arizona
welcome to bitog!
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#4632927 - 01/12/18 08:09 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: ammolab]
Insertcoolname Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 163
Loc: South Texas
If you follow maintenance long term there wont be much sludge to clean maybe?
“given that it has a meticulously documented service record...”
Ive run QSUD 5k and it was gold and clear but i thought color doesnt tell you much

I also thought pennzoils gimmick was that their products clean out sludge
I could be wrong though..
Its quite possible this engine is very clean on the inside and as mentioned
Very easy on the conventional pennzoil

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#4632951 - 01/12/18 08:24 PM Re: Sludge remediation regimen: Toyota 3MZ-FE V6 [Re: Insertcoolname]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5441
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
~7,000 mi. per year. Suburban chariot, perhaps. Maintained, you say. Drive it.
Do 3 detergent dinos and scope the bores.
At 100K do a leak down test. Then, if the stem seals are doing their thing, you're there!

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