Cleaning engine oil sludge/gel out of engine - Page 2 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (1995-1999) Specific discussion of the first generation Toyota Avalon

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#16 Old 09-04-2008, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by new echo owner View Post
Unless you remove all four camshaft, you won't be able to get to the buckets or the valve springs......
Isn't the O.P. doing that? Wait, to the O.P., how far do you want to strip the engine down?
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#17 Old 09-04-2008, 10:50 AM
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Taking the oil pan off is real easy. You'll see it when you're under the car, it's unobstructed and lined with 10mm bolts. Remove the bolts and knock it with a mallet a few times to loosen the sealant, and you'll be able to pry it off.

The only other thing here that I would strongly recommend is replacing the valve covers. Toyota redesigned the PCV and baffles as a response to this sludge problem, so it would make sense to put a new set on.

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#18 Old 09-05-2008, 02:30 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I probably won't pull the head off. I really don't want to unless I absolutely have to. I scrubbed the front valve cover and camshafts and got them pretty clean. I'm probably just going to try and do the back the same. And I'm gonna pull the oil pan. I might need some questions answered this weekend.

Few more questions.

Where is a good toyota parts store (online/in person) where I can get the new valve covers for a cheap price?

Since I've had the car, if I step on the gas to get on it, it sounds like there are marbles rattling around in my engine/cat converter area. What is that?
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#19 Old 09-05-2008, 10:24 PM
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Sometimes the ceramic catalyst will break apart and rattle around, but this will also produce a P0420 code. Otherwise, you probably have a loose heatshield somewhere.

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#20 Old 09-07-2008, 06:13 AM
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future solution

When you get done with this project, you might also just think of sticking to one brand of oil. incompatibilities may add up over the life of the vehicle. Castrol GTX is my suggestion... I've used it ever since I've owned imports 14 years ago...
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#21 Old 09-07-2008, 06:16 AM
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Does anyone use Valvoline XLD, or is Castrol GTX the go? Only asking as the service manual for the 2nd gen 3S-FE camry recommends XLD, while most people around here use GTX for the same car.
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#22 Old 09-07-2008, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
When you get done with this project, you might also just think of sticking to one brand of oil. incompatibilities may add up over the life of the vehicle.
I strongly disagree. I would argue that using a half dozen or so different brands exposes the engine to many different detergent packages, resulting in a cleaner motor. Here's what my '92's 3VZ-FE looked like under the valve cover at 273K miles a few months ago. And I use whatever oil is on sale when I walk in the door. I change it every 3K miles.


1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#23 Old 09-07-2008, 01:50 PM
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I'm so jealous.
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#24 Old 09-07-2008, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BMR View Post
I strongly disagree. I would argue that using a half dozen or so different brands exposes the engine to many different detergent packages, resulting in a cleaner motor. Here's what my '92's 3VZ-FE looked like under the valve cover at 273K miles a few months ago. And I use whatever oil is on sale when I walk in the door. I change it every 3K miles.
Hats off to you buddy, that's one clean motor, but not everyone will have the same luck as you and me, don't forget the vast majority of people don't have the time or inclanation to change their own oil, especially every 3,000 miles, so the very least they can do is be consistent with a particular brand. This way if there is a problem with gelling or sludging, at least they'll have one less unknown factor to eliminate. And given the overall current crisis in oil refining these days, it's better to go with a reputable brand. You never know which corporate suits are making decisions on oil formulas that might save them a few nickels per quart to manufacture, which adds up to millions of savings for them, but possibly more friction and wear to your motor or not enough lubrication where you need it. Also most people entrust other individuals to do it for them, which leaves little control over what these individuals might be doing (or not doing) under the hood of their car. Just my 2 cents.
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#25 Old 09-07-2008, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
...it's better to go with a reputable brand.
That's just it; which brands are reputable?... which ones aren't? How can anybody know???

Why isn't it good enough to use an oil that meets the manufacturer's recommended viscosity and API grade, be it SJ, SL, SM, or whatever?

I believe it doesn't matter in the slightest what brand is used. Changing it at the manufacturer's recommended intervals is far, far more important. My Camry owner's manual recommends oil changes at 3750 mile intervals for severe duty, and twice that for normal duty. I recently switched to 5k intervals.

Toyota obviously has a problem with that motor that makes it prone to sludging up. If I had one, I'd change it at the "severe duty" interval regardless of how it's driven.

And that's my 2 cents.

1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#26 Old 09-08-2008, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BMR View Post
Toyota obviously has a problem with that motor
that motor is a solid motor, most people participating in the class action suit chose to follow the owners manual for their car which said to change at 7,000 miles, instead of the norm of 3,000 - 3,000 miles. Sluding is bound to occur if you wait that long.

Sir, I am not disagreeing with you on your point of different oils. Maybe there are just two different schools of thought on this matter of oil. My point is this, how can you say for certain that everyone will fare the same as you using all different kinds of oil. Maybe your block will stay clean, but how can you say for certain that every car or truck will run for 200,000 or so miles without also suffering from seals and gaskets swelling or cracking as a result of using different kinds of oil which may differ slightly in their formulas? There is simply no way to tell because 150,000 miles never happens in controlled environment. Again, sticking with one brand of oil offers consistency, and like it or not, there is intrinsic value associated with that. A Furthermore, people who have had to pay out of pocket for all the repair costs are less likely to be convinced to use multiple different brands of oil. You can beat that drum as loud as you want, you won't convince those people.

BTW, you said in your earlier post that you change your oil at 3k then you say you recently switched to 5k intervals, I think your last post invalidates your argument on the first post.

Last edited by Jagalag; 09-08-2008 at 08:59 AM.
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#27 Old 09-08-2008, 09:44 AM
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Oh come on. Let's not get into the neverending argument of oils. I swear on auto message boards, no one can share their personal views on religion, politics, or oils because it just snowballs.

Should I just go to Napa or Advance to get the valve covers and plugs? Or is there a quality online site?
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#28 Old 09-08-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
that motor is a solid motor, most people participating in the class action suit chose to follow the owners manual for their car which said to change at 7,000 miles, instead of the norm of 3,000 - 3,000 miles. Sluding is bound to occur if you wait that long.
Then Toyota should not be recommending change intervals that far apart.

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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
My point is this, how can you say for certain that everyone will fare the same as you using all different kinds of oil.
I can't, of course. And it can't be said for certain that using only one brand of oil will prevent sludging. THAT is all I was trying to say.

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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
Maybe your block will stay clean, but how can you say for certain that every car or truck will run for 200,000 or so miles without also suffering from seals and gaskets swelling or cracking as a result of using different kinds of oil which may differ slightly in their formulas?
Please cite a reputable source for this assertion. I've never heard of seal or gasket problems caused by using different brands of oil. I've always figured when an engine gets 200k miles on it, it's bound to have problems of that sort regardless of maintenance practices.

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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
Again, sticking with one brand of oil offers consistency, and like it or not, there is intrinsic value associated with that.
But again, what if a guy picks the wrong brand???... what are some bad brands? You didn't answer my previous questions.

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Originally Posted by Jagalag View Post
BTW, you said in your earlier post that you change your oil at 3k then you say you recently switched to 5k intervals, I think your last post invalidates your argument on the first post.
No it doesn't. I changed my practices VERY recently, as in; my latest oil change last weekend was the first time I intentionally went 5k miles. The pic I posted was from a few months ago.

As most oil threads end up, we'll just have to agree to disagree, because neither of us is going to change the other's mind. Do whatever makes you feel good. I hope I haven't offended you, as that was certainly not my intent.

Sorry for the thread jacking wirebaugh, I'll shutup now.

1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#29 Old 09-08-2008, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wirebaugh View Post
Oh come on. Let's not get into the neverending argument of oils. I swear on auto message boards, no one can share their personal views on religion, politics, or oils because it just snowballs.

Should I just go to Napa or Advance to get the valve covers and plugs? Or is there a quality online site?
Seriously. Just put some oil in your engine, for christsakes.

For the valve covers, I would really recommend factory, simply because toyota redesigned the baffles and pcv breather to help counter the sludge issue. As for online sources, I dunno. Call the dealer, get the part # for the updated covers, then google the part #.

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#30 Old 09-08-2008, 06:35 PM
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Good point Q. Probably best to go with dealer specs on this one.
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