I just bought a 1999 camry, 105k miles, 4 cyl. I removed the valve cover to take a look and am wondering if this is significant sludge. I plan to change the oil and put in synthetic to prolong the engine life. Any comments?
thats not to bad, ive seen much worse. run some seafoam through the oil and it will help break it down. unless it has been using synthetic, i woulkd check the seals and such for any leaks. synthetic is denser so it can seap through seals that have been broken down by regular dino oil.
If you want to try and clean it do a search for sludge on this forum and maybe the other generations. However, I'm with bigbird. It isn't that bad. Seafoam (maybe two or three times once before an oil change) and regular oil changes may clean it up.
From what I can see, that's not sludge at all. Sludge is a goopy, sticky, gel-like substance that builds up in the head and can circulate through the oil system. I don't see that at all. All I see is darkening of engine components by used engine oil over time and carbon deposits. That's normal. Though, this engine wasn't maintained as well as it could have been. You can tell the original owner went a little longer without changing the oil, or didn't change it as regularly as he/she should have.
My 1990 5SFE with over 200k miles was way darker than that, but still ran quite strong. I mean, literally, the camshafts were black from the amount of blow-by and other contaminants in the oil, but no sludge or sludge build up.
i was thinking the samething, there is no sludge, just engine oil stain, and little dirt mixed with oil from the worn gromet on the spark plug stem, i recalled my 5sfe is about the same color.
last time i saw the pict on the sludge engine, it look like black mud all over.
here is another link for the toyota famous 1MZ-FE sludge story
To me that looks bad. I would use Auto-rx application on this engine before you switch to synthetic oil. Check out there website it has plenty of good info pertaining to engine sludge. www.auto-rx.com. I have a 98 corolla that has been getting sludge and also burning oil. I am in my fisrt phase of using auto-rx and cant tell if it is working yet. But i can keep you updated if need be.