15th Jun 2003, 23:10

It's funny how people know exactly how many letters were supposed to be sent out to owners, yet do not know how often to do an oil change. Were you to ask any dealership, and they would tell you every 3000-4000 miles depending on driving conditions, but not much more. It also amazes me how people do not research more on how to care for a $30000 investment such as a car or minivan, but as soon as they are asked to buy an engine for it because they used the wrong oil or did not change it often enough, they are searching every internet portal for legal arbitration methods and other angry owners to complain with. My Camry now has over 200000 miles on it, and I asked the dealer how often oil should be changed before taking any chances. They told me every 3750, and I have not gone over that yet. And strangely enough, I haven't had a sludge problem. Imagine that.

16th Jul 2003, 00:11

Point taken about mechanics wanting to make money and sell everything possible on vehicles that come through the shop, but most Toyota mechanics (and any mechanic, for that matter) cringe when sludge vehicles need overhaul work. It is safe to say that any mechanic would rather maintain a vehicle that repair it. Sludge causes impossible buildup on some internal components which makes it hard to disassemble and requires additional time to clean thoroughly. Furthermore, when sludge occurs, it is mostly on vehicles that are not taken care of regularly; therefore, some parts may be rusted together and other factors may come into play which make it harder to work on. To top that off, Toyota is taking care of these repairs under warranty (contrary to other comments on this site, but if they read the policy and set dealers straight, it will be) which means that mechanics are only being paid warranty times instead of flat rate time. There, three good reasons why Toyota mechanics do not encourage ignorance when it comes to maintenance. Listen to your mechanics, people; they work on cars all day, every day and they know best. The maintenance guide is for people who forget when and why to do oil changes and other services. Please, do oil changes every 3750 and tire rotations every other time. You will not be disappointed if you follow this schedule. Thank you.

20th Aug 2003, 22:00

Very true; it is shameful how mechanics do not want to own up to verifiable sludge problems, simply because it puts less money in their pocket. But by calling the Toyota customer service center at (800) 334-4334, you can report dealers that are being stingy with the SPA on the affected vehicles. But please, keep up on maintenance and save your local mechanic the pain of working on a sludge victim. He or she will be glad you did.

28th Dec 2003, 23:03

Does anyone know how to tell if an engine is developing sludge without drain the oil out?

We own a 01 sienna, had oil changed every 5000Miles at Toyota dealer, and not yet heard anything wrong.

Should there be symptoms?

Such as: slow at start up? warming up too slowly?

We also smell slight gasoline starting up cold. My MKIs did it, and other old cars, but I didn't really expect a 2000+ car to do this. ( they have like multi- injecting.. stuff right? )

7th Jan 2004, 19:39

We had our engine rapaired for the sludge problem in July of 2002. We changed the oil religiously. Two weeks ago the engine started to make a terrible noise. Toyota tells us our engine is shot and we need to pay 5,000 in repairs!

12th Jan 2004, 10:48

Signs of sludge:

1. Using a lot of oil.

2. Smoke, usually described as blue, from exhaust on start-up.

3. Check engine light.

4. Signs of sludge on oil cap or dipstick. Signs are black goo, or black dried chunks.

17th Feb 2004, 06:30

Toyota should be compensating ALL Toyota owners with problems. They get a lot of money from the millions who buy their cars and we get this in return. They should take of all costs and Toyota mechanics should shut up and fix. It was all because of Toyota that we're facing this problem.

Toyota services have been somewhat poor. Our dealer kept delaying us because of delayed parts. I'm hoping that the newer 3.3L V6 available in some newer Toyota/Lexus and the existing 3.0L V6 in the Avalon, Camry LE V6, Camry XLE V6, and various others will be fixed.

19th Mar 2004, 13:43

Our Sienna had the sludge problem fixed about 2000 miles ago. I am concerned if this will be a recurring problem or if Toyota is able to permanently fix the problem. Anybody know? Has anyone had this happen several times to the same car?

14th Apr 2004, 07:44

I have found several posts about people having their Toyota sludge more than once. Supposedly, you are covered under the sludge policy for the full 8 years from original purchase, but have heard about people being told it is just a one-time deal.

Toyota has generally just cleaned the sludged engines, so whatever caused the sludging in the first place is still there. I heard that Toyota redesigned the PCV and engine head and puts that on some of the cleaned/repaired sludged engines. You may want to check and see if your repair included these components.

29th Jul 2004, 09:32

My brother-in-law had his 98 Sienna engine overhauled by Toyota due to the sludge damage. I have suggested that he use synthetic oil after about 20,000 miles on the rebuilt engine, as well as service more often than recommended. Has anyone tried using synthetic to avoid this problem?

23rd Aug 2004, 07:06

Go to www.autosafety.org and look up complaints for Toyota. There is a recent complaint of a 2003 Sienna run on synthetic oil that ended up with sludge (complaint posted around 8/20/04).

8th Apr 2005, 21:39

Hello, we are debating buying a 2001 Toyota Sienna this week ourselves from a Toyota dealership. They took the sienna in on a trade but the thing I am getting at is, they are completely redoing the motor with better parts to correct the sludge problem on it. And it had like 114,000 miles on it. When we purchase it it will have all new parts inside the motor the shell is the only thing that will be the same on the motor. Toyota should repair any sludge problem, nothing else call the Toyota board of directors and if needs be go over there heads. My hubby has had like 3 Toyota's and this will be our 4th one. Toyota has great performance and very reliable, but like anything that is made and sold regardless the price, there are lemons within them. Toyota will make good I hope for you all. Hope this helped out. Cause the Sienna is highly rated through the consumer reports and many others. But we have not yet tested out the Sienna van yet, but will before the purchase is complete, just waiting for them to finish correcting the sludge problem and completely redo all in the motor.

9th Oct 2006, 18:20

I am looking for a Toyota van. I won't consider anything else. What is the cause of sludge? Is it town driving, The exhaust is so close to the motor, I think the oil gets too hot and cooks. I live in rural Midwest with long drives to town. More info on Toyota's at yotarepair.com. I think synthetic oil is the way to go. My father runs that in his Saab, and has no sludge problems. Keep an eye on the oil...