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Discussion Starter #1
I have some vehicles I am religious about checking my oil level on. The 4Runner is not one of them. It is my wife's vehicle and unless we are going on a long trip, I have a fill it and forget it attitude towards it. Part of the reason I bought it was it should be able to handle that kind of ownership (abuse? o_O).

On today's oil change, I only drained about 3 quarts out. I have been using full synthetic since I bought it. 7-8k mile intervals, roughly 2x a year. I don't remember how much oil I have drained out of it in the past, but I would like to say I would have noticed if it was this bad. I have never seen any oil on the ground or in the engine bay. It runs like a dream, and I have never seen/smelled it burning any oil. I dumped in 5qts and the oil level is just a touch below full, which makes sense.

The way I see it, I am either burning off 3 quarts without noticing, or I have 3 quarts of sludge in the heads. I didn't think there was much worry for sludge since the early MZ's. Is sludge something I should be concerned about with the 1GR? Any recommendations for desludgeing this beast?
 

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Unless the 3 quarts that you drained out was black, I doubt it formed into sludge. Much more likely that it burned. 2 quarts over 8K miles, or 1 quart over 4K miles, is probably not too much to worry about. Keep an eye on it and see if it gets better. Could be a bad PCV valve, or maybe just an old engine. I think a lot of manufacturers claim 1 quart of burned oil over 4-5K miles is "normal" on their new cars, even.

Alternatively, it could be leaking oil? I usually park on the street and I didn't realize my car was leaking until I parked it in the driveway for a few days.
 

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Unless the 3 quarts that you drained out was black, I doubt it formed into sludge. Much more likely that it burned. 2 quarts over 8K miles, or 1 quart over 4K miles, is probably not too much to worry about. Keep an eye on it and see if it gets better. Could be a bad PCV valve, or maybe just an old engine. I think a lot of manufacturers claim 1 quart of burned oil over 4-5K miles is "normal" on their new cars, even.

Alternatively, it could be leaking oil? I usually park on the street and I didn't realize my car was leaking until I parked it in the driveway for a few days.
The oil was definitely pretty black. I only put 4k or less on my oil so I'm not sure what I should expect 8k mi oil to look like. I didn't think it looked lumpy or anything though.

PCV valve is a good call though. 115k on the truck.
 

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If you are concerned about sludge due to the black oil, I'd try shortening the OCI to 4K with fully synthetic oil for a few times and see if the color of the oil improves with each oil change. You might even want to be aggressive and do one or two changes at a 2-3K interval to see if the oil does come out really dark. Oil changes would be pretty cheap since you're doing them yourself.
 
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