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·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
quart, same on the return.

Took it to the Toyota dealer and they said they would inspect it for the
famous "gel" problem, and if it was gelled, Toyota would rebuild or
replace the engine. They pulled the valve cover, found a small amount of
sludge, but determined it did not qualify for the "gel" program. However,
they did decide it needed an engine rebuild. Fortunately, I had a Toyota
extended care warranty, which covered that problem.

Toyota intitially approved a rebuild of the existing engine, but would not
approve a short block replacement. However, when the dealer got the
engine opened up, they decided a new (factory rebuilt) short block was
called for and convinced Toyota to cover it under the warranty.

The block was replaced, the head was rebuilt, timing belt, water pump,
plugs, etc. were all replaced and the car returned to me.

Should be fixed, right? Wrong! EXACTLY the same symptoms: smoke on
startup, used a quart of oil in less than 200 miles.

Puzzlement! What could still be wrong? Dealer thought perhaps bad short
block or bad head rebuild and suggested taking engine apart again. I
suggested that since the symptoms had not changed at all, it was more
likely something that had not be changed.

The only thing I could think of was something to do with the crankcase
ventilation system pumping oil into the intake manifold.

Did a search of various Toyota sites (including this group) and found that
Toyota had discovered a ventilation problem with the year 2000 era V-6
valve covers. Apparently the baffles would clog with sludge that couldn't
be cleaned out causing the symptoms I had observed. As a result Toyota
resigned the valve covers (replacement of the valve covers was considered
cheaper than cleaning and modifying the existing valve cover baffles).

I printed out all of the info I found on the internet and gave them to the
service manager. He called Toyota and they confirmed the issue with the
valve covers and agreed to replace them under my extended care warranty.

The bottom line is, the valve covers were replaced, and the problem was
finally fixed. The service manager is now wondering if he could have
gotten away with simply changing the valve covers in the first place and
not rebuilding the engine at all.

He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
engine, so I am happy it worked out the way it did. As it is, I now have
a 2000 Avalon with 72,000 miles on it, but with essentially a completely
new engine. And except for a few maintenance items I had to pay for, like
the timing belt and new iridium plugs, the new engine was fully covered by
the warranty (the warranty cost $1,000 on top of the price of the used
car, however).

I am finally a happy camper. Got to know the service manager and his
engine tech real well also. I think we all got an education. This is a
fairly small dealership in a small town out in the boonies, and they
rarely see a Toyota engine failure, so this was all new to them.

Merritt
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 +0000, Merritt Mullen wrote:

> He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
> solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
> engine, so I am happy it worked out the way it did. As it is, I now have
> a 2000 Avalon with 72,000 miles on it, but with essentially a completely
> new engine. And except for a few maintenance items I had to pay for, like
> the timing belt and new iridium plugs, the new engine was fully covered by
> the warranty (the warranty cost $1,000 on top of the price of the used
> car, however).
>
> I am finally a happy camper. Got to know the service manager and his
> engine tech real well also. I think we all got an education. This is a
> fairly small dealership in a small town out in the boonies, and they
> rarely see a Toyota engine failure, so this was all new to them.


WOW! Ray O would have NEVER approved all this work! ;)


--
Have your Virtual Pet spayed/neutered!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Merritt Mullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
> CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
> Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
> startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
> problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
> quart, same on the return.
>
> Took it to the Toyota dealer and they said they would inspect it for the
> famous "gel" problem, and if it was gelled, Toyota would rebuild or
> replace the engine.
> They pulled the valve cover, found a small amount of
> sludge, but determined it did not qualify for the "gel" program.


MAKE A NOTE: Small amout of sludge but not a detrimental amount.

snip
> The bottom line is, the valve covers were replaced, and the problem was
> finally fixed. The service manager is now wondering if he could have
> gotten away with simply changing the valve covers in the first place and
> not rebuilding the engine at all.
>
> He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
> solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
> engine,

snip
> Merritt


You stated at the top that the engine has only a little sludge. Now it's
worn and sludged.

At any rate, the dealer really needs to review the diagnosing technician's
skill and knowledge to say nothing of the service department's
responsibility to keep its technicians advised of service bulletins as they
are published.

Yes, lucky you! :^)
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Hachiroku" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
> On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 +0000, Merritt Mullen wrote:
>
>> He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
>> solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
>> engine, so I am happy it worked out the way it did. As it is, I now have
>> a 2000 Avalon with 72,000 miles on it, but with essentially a completely
>> new engine. And except for a few maintenance items I had to pay for,
>> like
>> the timing belt and new iridium plugs, the new engine was fully covered
>> by
>> the warranty (the warranty cost $1,000 on top of the price of the used
>> car, however).
>>
>> I am finally a happy camper. Got to know the service manager and his
>> engine tech real well also. I think we all got an education. This is a
>> fairly small dealership in a small town out in the boonies, and they
>> rarely see a Toyota engine failure, so this was all new to them.

>
> WOW! Ray O would have NEVER approved all this work! ;)
>
>
> --
> Have your Virtual Pet spayed/neutered!!


I would not have had to get involved with this situation because it was an
ExtraCare transaction, not a warranty transaction. That said, as Philip
mentioned, the dealership does need to review service bulletins with the
technicians, preferably make copies for each tech and discuss at periodic
shop meetings so that the techs and service advisors are aware of new info.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 GMT, Merritt Mullen
<[email protected]> wrote:

>I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
>CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
>Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
>startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
>problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
>quart, same on the return.
>


For some reason....people that lease vehicles don't seem to give a
crap about them. They know they won't have to face the problems after
the end of lease.

Next car I buy....if it is used....I'll make damned sure the
maintenance was done....or I'm not buying it.

--

Scott in Florida
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"Merritt Mullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
> CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
> Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
> startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
> problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
> quart, same on the return.
>
> Took it to the Toyota dealer and they said they would inspect it for the
> famous "gel" problem, and if it was gelled, Toyota would rebuild or
> replace the engine. They pulled the valve cover, found a small amount of
> sludge, but determined it did not qualify for the "gel" program. However,
> they did decide it needed an engine rebuild. Fortunately, I had a Toyota
> extended care warranty, which covered that problem.
>
> Toyota intitially approved a rebuild of the existing engine, but would not
> approve a short block replacement. However, when the dealer got the
> engine opened up, they decided a new (factory rebuilt) short block was
> called for and convinced Toyota to cover it under the warranty.
>
> The block was replaced, the head was rebuilt, timing belt, water pump,
> plugs, etc. were all replaced and the car returned to me.
>
> Should be fixed, right? Wrong! EXACTLY the same symptoms: smoke on
> startup, used a quart of oil in less than 200 miles.
>
> Puzzlement! What could still be wrong? Dealer thought perhaps bad short
> block or bad head rebuild and suggested taking engine apart again. I
> suggested that since the symptoms had not changed at all, it was more
> likely something that had not be changed.
>
> The only thing I could think of was something to do with the crankcase
> ventilation system pumping oil into the intake manifold.
>
> Did a search of various Toyota sites (including this group) and found that
> Toyota had discovered a ventilation problem with the year 2000 era V-6
> valve covers. Apparently the baffles would clog with sludge that couldn't
> be cleaned out causing the symptoms I had observed. As a result Toyota
> resigned the valve covers (replacement of the valve covers was considered
> cheaper than cleaning and modifying the existing valve cover baffles).
>
> I printed out all of the info I found on the internet and gave them to the
> service manager. He called Toyota and they confirmed the issue with the
> valve covers and agreed to replace them under my extended care warranty.
>
> The bottom line is, the valve covers were replaced, and the problem was
> finally fixed. The service manager is now wondering if he could have
> gotten away with simply changing the valve covers in the first place and
> not rebuilding the engine at all.
>
> He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
> solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
> engine, so I am happy it worked out the way it did. As it is, I now have
> a 2000 Avalon with 72,000 miles on it, but with essentially a completely
> new engine. And except for a few maintenance items I had to pay for, like
> the timing belt and new iridium plugs, the new engine was fully covered by
> the warranty (the warranty cost $1,000 on top of the price of the used
> car, however).
>
> I am finally a happy camper. Got to know the service manager and his
> engine tech real well also. I think we all got an education. This is a
> fairly small dealership in a small town out in the boonies, and they
> rarely see a Toyota engine failure, so this was all new to them.
>
> Merritt
>>>>>>>>>>>>

Great story. I'm glad it turned out well for you. I too have a 2000 Avalon
and now I'm wondering...
jor
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On Mon, 5 Dec 2005 06:53:20 -0700, "jor" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Great story. I'm glad it turned out well for you. I too have a 2000 Avalon
>and now I'm wondering...
>jor


If you have changed your oil at the prescribed times.....I'd guess you
have no problem!

If you maintain your cars like Charlene Blake...then you are in for
sludge...

--

Scott in Florida
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"jor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "Merritt Mullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>>I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
>> CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
>> Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
>> startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
>> problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about
>> 1
>> quart, same on the return.
>>
>> Took it to the Toyota dealer and they said they would inspect it for the
>> famous "gel" problem, and if it was gelled, Toyota would rebuild or
>> replace the engine. They pulled the valve cover, found a small amount of
>> sludge, but determined it did not qualify for the "gel" program.
>> However,
>> they did decide it needed an engine rebuild. Fortunately, I had a Toyota
>> extended care warranty, which covered that problem.
>>
>> Toyota intitially approved a rebuild of the existing engine, but would
>> not
>> approve a short block replacement. However, when the dealer got the
>> engine opened up, they decided a new (factory rebuilt) short block was
>> called for and convinced Toyota to cover it under the warranty.
>>
>> The block was replaced, the head was rebuilt, timing belt, water pump,
>> plugs, etc. were all replaced and the car returned to me.
>>
>> Should be fixed, right? Wrong! EXACTLY the same symptoms: smoke on
>> startup, used a quart of oil in less than 200 miles.
>>
>> Puzzlement! What could still be wrong? Dealer thought perhaps bad short
>> block or bad head rebuild and suggested taking engine apart again. I
>> suggested that since the symptoms had not changed at all, it was more
>> likely something that had not be changed.
>>
>> The only thing I could think of was something to do with the crankcase
>> ventilation system pumping oil into the intake manifold.
>>
>> Did a search of various Toyota sites (including this group) and found
>> that
>> Toyota had discovered a ventilation problem with the year 2000 era V-6
>> valve covers. Apparently the baffles would clog with sludge that
>> couldn't
>> be cleaned out causing the symptoms I had observed. As a result Toyota
>> resigned the valve covers (replacement of the valve covers was considered
>> cheaper than cleaning and modifying the existing valve cover baffles).
>>
>> I printed out all of the info I found on the internet and gave them to
>> the
>> service manager. He called Toyota and they confirmed the issue with the
>> valve covers and agreed to replace them under my extended care warranty.
>>
>> The bottom line is, the valve covers were replaced, and the problem was
>> finally fixed. The service manager is now wondering if he could have
>> gotten away with simply changing the valve covers in the first place and
>> not rebuilding the engine at all.
>>
>> He is probably correct that simply replacing the valve covers would have
>> solved my oil problem, but I would have been left with a worn, sludged
>> engine, so I am happy it worked out the way it did. As it is, I now have
>> a 2000 Avalon with 72,000 miles on it, but with essentially a completely
>> new engine. And except for a few maintenance items I had to pay for,
>> like
>> the timing belt and new iridium plugs, the new engine was fully covered
>> by
>> the warranty (the warranty cost $1,000 on top of the price of the used
>> car, however).
>>
>> I am finally a happy camper. Got to know the service manager and his
>> engine tech real well also. I think we all got an education. This is a
>> fairly small dealership in a small town out in the boonies, and they
>> rarely see a Toyota engine failure, so this was all new to them.
>>
>> Merritt
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

> Great story. I'm glad it turned out well for you. I too have a 2000 Avalon
> and now I'm wondering...
> jor


Are you wondering if your Avalon is really a Studebaker?

Are you wondering if you were supposed to be changing your Avalon's oil on
occasion?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is my theory. Why do I have to do the major scheduled maintenance and
waste my money if I only intend to keep it for 5 years? That will be someone
else's problems. Of course, I never buy a used car.



"Scott in Florida" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 GMT, Merritt Mullen
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
>>CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
>>Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
>>startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
>>problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
>>quart, same on the return.
>>

>
> For some reason....people that lease vehicles don't seem to give a
> crap about them. They know they won't have to face the problems after
> the end of lease.
>
> Next car I buy....if it is used....I'll make damned sure the
> maintenance was done....or I'm not buying it.
>
> --
>
> Scott in Florida
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Philip wrote:

> At any rate, the dealer really needs to review the diagnosing technician's
> skill and knowledge


About ten years ago, I took my Ford into one of the highest rated Ford
dealers in the nation, Sanderson Ford of Glendale, Arizona, because of
a squealing sound from the front that varied with the speed of the car
but not the speed of the engine, and I mentioned this to them. I also
asked if the problem could be related to the speedometer (old style
with cable) or the brakes. I brought the car in with the wheel covers
removed, in case they had to remove the wheels to check the brakes.

An hour later, the dealer said that my problem was caused by loose
wheel covers. I reminded them that the car came in without wheel
covers and that it squealed when driven that way.

Another hour later, they said the squeal was due to a bad serpentine
belt tensioner. I asked how that could cause a noise that varied with
the speed of the car instead of the speed of the engine, but they only
gave me an indefinite answer. Right after I got on the road, the
squeal returned, so I went back to the dealer. This time they replaced
the speedo cable, and the noise disappeared.

What I don't understand is, why wasn't the speedo one of the first
things they checked, considering how simple it is to disconnect its
cable and do a test drive?
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In article <[email protected]>,
Scott in Florida <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 GMT, Merritt Mullen
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
> >CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
> >Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
> >startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
> >problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
> >quart, same on the return.
> >

>
> For some reason....people that lease vehicles don't seem to give a
> crap about them. They know they won't have to face the problems after
> the end of lease.


That is a FACT!! I know a couple of folks that lease and they drive the
crap out of them. Now rentals, I also know a couple of former
co-workers who drove the crap out of every rental car they rented. To
these people they are throw away.



>
> Next car I buy....if it is used....I'll make damned sure the
> maintenance was done....or I'm not buying it.

--
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
larry moe 'n curly wrote:

> About ten years ago, I took my Ford into one of the highest rated Ford
> dealers in the nation,


I wonder who actually rates these dealers so highly? The car makers
themselves? My father had a Grand Prix that he bought at a "highly rated"
GM dealer. But it took this dealer about 5 tries to get a power window
working again correctly. And it took 3 check engine light incidents and 2
oxygen sensor replacements to correct a problem that turned out to be
carbon build-up in the EGR system. Both of these problems were fairly
common on this particular model too.

I don't trust dealer awards. Word of mouth remains the best means of
knowing how good or bad a dealer or mechanic is.
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On Mon, 5 Dec 2005 00:08:14 -0600, "Ray O"
<[email protected]> wrote:

> the dealership does need to review service bulletins with the
>technicians, preferably make copies for each tech and discuss at periodic
>shop meetings so that the techs and service advisors are aware of new info.


This works in theory but fails in reality due to the sheer volume of
TSBs. In the OP's case (2000 model year) the TSB was probably
published four or five years ago. Apparently there is no efficient way
to search for TSBs relevant to a particular issue.

regards
A.G.
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"High Tech Misfit" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
> larry moe 'n curly wrote:
>
>> About ten years ago, I took my Ford into one of the highest rated Ford
>> dealers in the nation,

>
> I wonder who actually rates these dealers so highly? The car makers
> themselves? My father had a Grand Prix that he bought at a "highly rated"
> GM dealer. But it took this dealer about 5 tries to get a power window
> working again correctly. And it took 3 check engine light incidents and 2
> oxygen sensor replacements to correct a problem that turned out to be
> carbon build-up in the EGR system. Both of these problems were fairly
> common on this particular model too.
>
> I don't trust dealer awards. Word of mouth remains the best means of
> knowing how good or bad a dealer or mechanic is.


Toyota dealer service awards are based on a number of criteria, including
customer responses to factory surveys; having master techs, having all
special service tools, factory service manuals, and service bulletins;
having shop equipment like brake lathes, wheel balancers, etc; having
trained service managers and service advisors; having a parts inventory that
results in minimal down time for warranty repairs; and having a facility
large enough to handle their average daily service load; and controlling
warranty expenses.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"Registered User" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Mon, 5 Dec 2005 00:08:14 -0600, "Ray O"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> the dealership does need to review service bulletins with the
>>technicians, preferably make copies for each tech and discuss at periodic
>>shop meetings so that the techs and service advisors are aware of new
>>info.

>
> This works in theory but fails in reality due to the sheer volume of
> TSBs. In the OP's case (2000 model year) the TSB was probably
> published four or five years ago. Apparently there is no efficient way
> to search for TSBs relevant to a particular issue.
>
> regards
> A.G.


I don't know what the current volume of TSB's are, but Toyota used to
publish about 10 a month. For and GM used to publish around 100. I read
every one that came across my desk and even if I didn't remember the details
of the TSB, I did remember that one was issued for a particular condition.
Toyota publishes indexes of the TSB's s by subject and affected series so a
quick scan of the index can tell you if one has been issued for a particular
condition. I have not checked lately, but I'm sure there is a computerized
database of TSB's that could quickly tell a service advisor or tech about a
particular condition.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"larry moe 'n curly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> Philip wrote:
>
>> At any rate, the dealer really needs to review the diagnosing
>> technician's
>> skill and knowledge

>
> About ten years ago, I took my Ford into one of the highest rated Ford
> dealers in the nation, Sanderson Ford of Glendale, Arizona, because of
> a squealing sound from the front that varied with the speed of the car
> but not the speed of the engine, and I mentioned this to them. I also
> asked if the problem could be related to the speedometer (old style
> with cable) or the brakes. I brought the car in with the wheel covers
> removed, in case they had to remove the wheels to check the brakes.
>
> An hour later, the dealer said that my problem was caused by loose
> wheel covers. I reminded them that the car came in without wheel
> covers and that it squealed when driven that way.
>
> Another hour later, they said the squeal was due to a bad serpentine
> belt tensioner. I asked how that could cause a noise that varied with
> the speed of the car instead of the speed of the engine, but they only
> gave me an indefinite answer. Right after I got on the road, the
> squeal returned, so I went back to the dealer. This time they replaced
> the speedo cable, and the noise disappeared.
>
> What I don't understand is, why wasn't the speedo one of the first
> things they checked, considering how simple it is to disconnect its
> cable and do a test drive?
>


That dealer didn't get that big by paying well for mechanics. Parts
Changers come much cheaper.
--

- Philip
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In article <[email protected]>,
"Philip" <[email protected]> wrote:


> You stated at the top that the engine has only a little sludge. Now it's
> worn and sludged.


Initially, only the front valve cover was pulled. I was called on the
phone to come down and look at the engine. The tech said there was no
gel. I asked what he called the black mud near the timing belt end and he
said "sludge", but "sludge" is not "gel". He said that gel had the
appearance of gelatin and would plug the oil passages, but that they were
clear and thus the engine did not qualify for the "gel" replacement
program. The rest of the valve area had the typical golden color and
looked pretty clean. One valve did "tick" at idle, but that probably
could have been fixed with adjustment.

Because of the high oil consumption, Toyota agreed to do a ring job under
the extended care agreement, but would not agree to replacing the short
block. When the tech pulled the heads (and maybe the pan, I don't know
for sure), he said the engine was worn beyond a simple ring job, and said
a new block was needed. After further discussion with Toyota, they agreed
to replace the short block and rebuild the head under the extended care
agreement.

That is why I said it was "worn and sludged." I have a feeling that the
dealership preferred to replace the block rather that actually rebuild the
engine, as the service manager said that they were not really set up for
complete engine overhauls (although he said the tech was qualified to do
the overhaul--turns out the tech is an old drag racing buddy of my son--he
with a Corvette, my son with a Dodge Challenger). So the service manager
may have exaggerated the problem to Toyota in order to get the short block
and to avoid rebuilding in the shop (just speculation on my part).

> At any rate, the dealer really needs to review the diagnosing technician's
> skill and knowledge to say nothing of the service department's
> responsibility to keep its technicians advised of service bulletins as they
> are published.


The service manager did know about the Gel program and initially suggested
that the work might be done under that. He gave me a printout of the
bulletin. He apparently did not know about the valve cover
baffle/ventilation issue until I advised him and he confirmed it with
Toyota.

This dealer, by the way, is also a Chevy/Buick dealer and there service
department is much more experienced repairing those cars. The service
manager said that they do a fair amount of Toyota transmission work, but
almost never have to repair the engine itself (other than routine
maintenance--valves, belts, water pumps, etc.). I think he said they have
seen only two Toyota engine failures over the past ten years.

Merritt
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In article <[email protected]>,
Scott in Florida <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 04:03:59 GMT, Merritt Mullen
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >I bought a used 2000 Avalon XL last April (2005) with 70,022 miles on it.
> >CarFax showed it has one previous owner (a private lease) in the Los
> >Angeles area. Shortly after I had it, I noticed blue/grey smoke on
> >startup, but only occassionally. The Toyota dealer could not repeat the
> >problem. A highway trip of about 170 miles revealed oil useage of about 1
> >quart, same on the return.
> >

>
> For some reason....people that lease vehicles don't seem to give a
> crap about them. They know they won't have to face the problems after
> the end of lease.


Well, if it is an obvious problem, they have to pay for it at the end of
the lease. But something like high oil consumption isn't going to be
noticed by the leasing company, unless the car is obviously smoking
excessively.

> Next car I buy....if it is used....I'll make damned sure the
> maintenance was done....or I'm not buying it.


After this experience, I certainly agree with that.

Merritt
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In article <[email protected]>,
"Philip" <[email protected]> wrote:

> "jor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]


> > Great story. I'm glad it turned out well for you. I too have a 2000 Avalon
> > and now I'm wondering...
> > jor

>
> Are you wondering if your Avalon is really a Studebaker?
>
> Are you wondering if you were supposed to be changing your Avalon's oil on
> occasion?


He is probably wondering if the faulty baffle/ventilation design of the
valve covers is going to cause him a problem.

Merritt
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On Mon, 5 Dec 2005 16:41:08 -0600, "Ray O"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>I don't know what the current volume of TSB's are, but Toyota used to
>publish about 10 a month. For and GM used to publish around 100. I read
>every one that came across my desk and even if I didn't remember the details
>of the TSB, I did remember that one was issued for a particular condition.

Remembering a TSB was issued on a specific topic is possible.To expect
every tech and service rep to do so is a bit much to expect.
Familiarity with recent or 'popular' TSBs yes but not ones from four
or five years ago. How far back do you realistically think you could
go.

>Toyota publishes indexes of the TSB's s by subject and affected series so a
>quick scan of the index can tell you if one has been issued for a particular
>condition.

The indexes are periodic so finding the correct index could be
problematic especially if the recollection begins with 'a few years
ago....' An additional issue is the subject is not always fully
descriptive of the content's relationship to the desired topic. For
example the Avalon's valve cover TSB subject probably did not include
something similar to "symptoms similar to those of gelling in the
bottom end".

>I have not checked lately, but I'm sure there is a computerized
>database of TSB's that could quickly tell a service advisor or tech about a
>particular condition.

Ah that would be nice but keyword indexing volumes of data is not a
trivial task. The size of the indexes can easily exceed the size of
the data. Even with perfect indexing the size of the resultset depends
upon the client's keyword selection. If no results are found does it
mean bad keywords were used or no TSB was ever issued?

As of two years ago there was no rational electronic keyword search of
Toyota TSBs, subject or number were only the ways to go.

regards
A.G.
 
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