cause found for engine sludge problem?

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 04:49 pm   #1 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default cause found for engine sludge problem?

>From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

"Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason Toyota
redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6
cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess
that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe
quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and
start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is
formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault
by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers
having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a
habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to
affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0
engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the responsibility.
As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a
hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for
more information."


>From http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html


"The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's
crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the
engine. When these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows
deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough deposits
are present "Sludge" is formed. In my opinion the reduced flow of the
PCV is related to the vehicle emissions. This presents a problem since
to correct it may require Toyota to recertify the engines, come up with
a solution acceptable to the EPA and then they still have to repair or
assist in repairing the affected engines. The costs would be staggering
but ignoring the problem, in so many of their best selling vehicles,
may be worse in the long run. In the various articles I've listed
below, if you want, you will learn more about the cause an effect."


Any comments?

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:06 pm   #2 (permalink)
badgolferman
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?

onehappymadman@yahoo.com, 1/30/2006,5:49:07 PM, wrote:

> > From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

>
> "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> cause or major contributing factor is now known.

[snipped]

Boy, you're really looking for a flame war on this aren't you? This
has been rehashed over and over and over again. Perhaps a Google
Groups search on this topic would be in order.
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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:13 pm   #3 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?


badgolferman wrote:
> onehappymadman@yahoo.com, 1/30/2006,5:49:07 PM, wrote:
>
> > > From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

> >
> > "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> > engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> > cause or major contributing factor is now known.

> [snipped]
>
> Boy, you're really looking for a flame war on this aren't you? This
> has been rehashed over and over and over again. Perhaps a Google
> Groups search on this topic would be in order.



It is not my intent to start a flame war over this, believe me.

I found the yotarepair.com site while looking for more information
(actually, found it while looking for "the correct way" to clean the
idle air control valve), but apparently I've only touched the tip of
the iceberg of the engine sludge problem.

My dad has a 2001 camry, bought it in June 2001, hasn't had any engine
sludge problems, hoping it stays that way.

So, are you saying the yotarepair.com article is incorrect?

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:14 pm   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?


<onehappymadman@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1138661347.294346.159890@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> >From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

>
> "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason Toyota
> redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6
> cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess
> that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe
> quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and
> start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is
> formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault
> by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers
> having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a
> habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to
> affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0
> engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the responsibility.
> As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a
> hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for
> more information."
>
>
> >From http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html

>
> "The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's
> crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the
> engine. When these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows
> deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough deposits
> are present "Sludge" is formed. In my opinion the reduced flow of the
> PCV is related to the vehicle emissions. This presents a problem since
> to correct it may require Toyota to recertify the engines, come up with
> a solution acceptable to the EPA and then they still have to repair or
> assist in repairing the affected engines. The costs would be staggering
> but ignoring the problem, in so many of their best selling vehicles,
> may be worse in the long run. In the various articles I've listed
> below, if you want, you will learn more about the cause an effect."
>
>
> Any comments?


I dug these comments out too about 2 yrs ago from the same mechanic's site.
The salient point appears to be: if the engine oil is changed at the
specified intervals or less,..the deposits dont occur anywhere near enough
to stuff the engine. I note he says he is seeing engines with problems that
have been serviced properly,..I can only wonder why.

I bought a '96 -155,000ks with tar and sludge in the engine (I found later).
Since owning it (21/2 yrs) I have put 20,000ks on it and there is no
increase in the deposits,..why? because I dont allow the oil to get so
filthy that it leaves black, carbon particle-loaded deposits in the
engine,..it is that simple. Your dip-stick tells you when your oil needs
changing.

Now I concede there maybe a PCV loss of function in this saga,..and that
situation maybe making the engines less tolerant of lack of
oil-changes,..but the proof is in the eating. Keep the oil in good condition
and there's no problem.

Jason



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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:21 pm   #5 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?


Jason James wrote:
> <onehappymadman@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1138661347.294346.159890@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> > >From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

> >
> > "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> > engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> > cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason Toyota
> > redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6
> > cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess
> > that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe
> > quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and
> > start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is
> > formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault
> > by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers
> > having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a
> > habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to
> > affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0
> > engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the responsibility.
> > As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a
> > hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for
> > more information."
> >
> >
> > >From http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html

> >
> > "The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's
> > crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the
> > engine. When these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows
> > deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough deposits
> > are present "Sludge" is formed. In my opinion the reduced flow of the
> > PCV is related to the vehicle emissions. This presents a problem since
> > to correct it may require Toyota to recertify the engines, come up with
> > a solution acceptable to the EPA and then they still have to repair or
> > assist in repairing the affected engines. The costs would be staggering
> > but ignoring the problem, in so many of their best selling vehicles,
> > may be worse in the long run. In the various articles I've listed
> > below, if you want, you will learn more about the cause an effect."
> >
> >
> > Any comments?

>
> I dug these comments out too about 2 yrs ago from the same mechanic's site.
> The salient point appears to be: if the engine oil is changed at the
> specified intervals or less,..the deposits dont occur anywhere near enough
> to stuff the engine. I note he says he is seeing engines with problems that
> have been serviced properly,..I can only wonder why.
>
> I bought a '96 -155,000ks with tar and sludge in the engine (I found later).
> Since owning it (21/2 yrs) I have put 20,000ks on it and there is no
> increase in the deposits,..why? because I dont allow the oil to get so
> filthy that it leaves black, carbon particle-loaded deposits in the
> engine,..it is that simple. Your dip-stick tells you when your oil needs
> changing.
>
> Now I concede there maybe a PCV loss of function in this saga,..and that
> situation maybe making the engines less tolerant of lack of
> oil-changes,..but the proof is in the eating. Keep the oil in good condition
> and there's no problem.
>
> Jason



Would a more frequent oil changeout (every 3000 miles, say, instead of
the 5000 to 6000 miles) help to remove any sludge which has already
built up?

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:23 pm   #6 (permalink)
qslim
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?

Here we go.....

The PCV breathing system is absolutely to blame - that is why replacing
the valve covers on the sludge repairs is mandatory.
One point that I usually bring up here is that I have been dealing
with Toyotas sludge problem since the first 1MZs first started coming in
with goo in the valve train, and I nor the dealer I work for has seen one
case of sludge in any vehicle accompanied by a consistent service history
of 7500 mile (or less) oil changes.
Not to say that Toyota isn't to blame at all, it's just that it seems
to me that those that followed the service recommendations don't have this
problem. So, my conclusion is that these engines have a much lower
threshold for neglect than others, a situation easily avoided if proper
maintenace is performed.

For those idiots out there that always pile on me for this observation,
relax. It's only that; an observation. Don't worry, I'm not a mole for
Toyota spreading propaganda and pushing their evil agenda, so save it.
It's only my opinion. Just happens to be one with more direct experience
than the 'theorists' out there.

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 05:45 pm   #7 (permalink)
Merritt Mullen
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?

In article <1138661347.294346.159890@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups .com>,
onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:

> >From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

>
> "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> cause or major contributing factor is now known.


<snip>

> Any comments?


The crankcase ventilation system is what the problem turned out to be in
my 2000 Avalon (bought used at 70,000 miles). That said, I suspect the
direct cause of my problem (sludge clogging the baffles in the valve
covers) was lack of routine oil changes by the previous "owner", who was
actually leasing. That coupled with a crankcase ventilation system not
tolerant of poor maintenance is what caused the sludge, that clogged the
baffles, that forced oil into the intake manifold, causing high oil
consumption (about one quart every 150 miles) and smoke from the exhaust.

In my case, the dealer (under warranty) replaced the block with a Toyota
rebuild, rebuilt the heads, but used the original valve covers.

Amazingly, the oil consumption problem was exactly the same after the
rebuild as it was before!

After reading posts on this group, I learned about the valve cover baffle
problem, told the dealer, he checked with Toyota, and they said to replace
the valve covers with the redesigned ones. They did that, and that is
what cured the problem.

I suspect they could have simply replaced the valve covers, without
replacing the block and rebuilding the head, and solved the problem, but
since all the work was done under a Toyota extended care warranty, I am
happy to have a completely new engine.

Now, about that whine in the transmission...

Merritt
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Old 30 Jan 2006, 06:33 pm   #8 (permalink)
qslim
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?

<<<<<Would a more frequent oil changeout (every 3000 miles, say, instead
of
the 5000 to 6000 miles) help to remove any sludge which has already
built up?>>>>>


It depends on the amound of gel present in the engine. I've sent more
than a few people on thier way with instructions to change their oil 5
times in the next 10k miles, but only those with no excessive oil
consumption, and only after inspecting the valve train area and looking in
the oil pan (either with a boroscope or removal) to confirm that gel build
up does not warrant a teardown. Inspection after that period showed a
drastic reduction in accumulation. I've also heard (though never observed
myself) that BG MOA is particularly good at disolving some light get build
up as well.

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Old 30 Jan 2006, 07:15 pm   #9 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?

The PCV system really hasn't changed over the years. Some say it's the
increased termperature to meet the newer ULEV certification that's
killing the oil. And vaporized oil overwhelms the older PCV system. I'd
agree that nothing significant was done because Toyota will lose the
certification (and go back to pre-96 series engines).

onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> >From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html

>
> "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason Toyota
> redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6
> cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess
> that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe
> quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and
> start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is
> formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault
> by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers
> having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a
> habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to
> affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0
> engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the responsibility.
> As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a
> hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for
> more information."
>
>
> >From http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html

>
> "The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's
> crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the
> engine. When these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows
> deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough deposits
> are present "Sludge" is formed. In my opinion the reduced flow of the
> PCV is related to the vehicle emissions. This presents a problem since
> to correct it may require Toyota to recertify the engines, come up with
> a solution acceptable to the EPA and then they still have to repair or
> assist in repairing the affected engines. The costs would be staggering
> but ignoring the problem, in so many of their best selling vehicles,
> may be worse in the long run. In the various articles I've listed
> below, if you want, you will learn more about the cause an effect."
>
>
> Any comments?


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Old 30 Jan 2006, 09:41 pm   #10 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: cause found for engine sludge problem?


<onehappymadman@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1138663285.575079.280570@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
>
> Jason James wrote:
> > <onehappymadman@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > news:1138661347.294346.159890@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> > > >From http://www.yotarepair.com/breakingnews.html
> > >
> > > "Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna
> > > engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the
> > > cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason

Toyota
> > > redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6
> > > cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess
> > > that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe
> > > quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and
> > > start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is
> > > formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault
> > > by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers
> > > having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a
> > > habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to
> > > affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0
> > > engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the

responsibility.
> > > As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a
> > > hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for
> > > more information."
> > >
> > >
> > > >From http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html
> > >
> > > "The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's
> > > crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the
> > > engine. When these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows
> > > deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough

deposits
> > > are present "Sludge" is formed. In my opinion the reduced flow of the
> > > PCV is related to the vehicle emissions. This presents a problem since
> > > to correct it may require Toyota to recertify the engines, come up

with
> > > a solution acceptable to the EPA and then they still have to repair or
> > > assist in repairing the affected engines. The costs would be

staggering
> > > but ignoring the problem, in so many of their best selling vehicles,
> > > may be worse in the long run. In the various articles I've listed
> > > below, if you want, you will learn more about the cause an effect."
> > >
> > >
> > > Any comments?

> >
> > I dug these comments out too about 2 yrs ago from the same mechanic's

site.
> > The salient point appears to be: if the engine oil is changed at the
> > specified intervals or less,..the deposits dont occur anywhere near

enough
> > to stuff the engine. I note he says he is seeing engines with problems

that
> > have been serviced properly,..I can only wonder why.
> >
> > I bought a '96 -155,000ks with tar and sludge in the engine (I found

later).
> > Since owning it (21/2 yrs) I have put 20,000ks on it and there is no
> > increase in the deposits,..why? because I dont allow the oil to get so
> > filthy that it leaves black, carbon particle-loaded deposits in the
> > engine,..it is that simple. Your dip-stick tells you when your oil needs
> > changing.
> >
> > Now I concede there maybe a PCV loss of function in this saga,..and that
> > situation maybe making the engines less tolerant of lack of
> > oil-changes,..but the proof is in the eating. Keep the oil in good

condition
> > and there's no problem.
> >
> > Jason

>
>
> Would a more frequent oil changeout (every 3000 miles, say, instead of
> the 5000 to 6000 miles) help to remove any sludge which has already
> built up?


No it would halt it IMO.

In my engine's case,.I change the oil every 2000 miles ($20 for oil and
filter) because it does urban driving most of the time and by 2000 miles the
oil has started going black. The engine is not probably in the greatest of
condition,..but it had good power and economy.

Jason


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