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Camry_owner
2003 Camry LE 2.4L
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 camry had black oil when I bought the car. I flushed the engine with motor flush two times. Very dark oil came out both times. But when I did third time oil was clear.

I do not have any oil pan or valve cover leak. Can anybody tell me if I need to drop the oil pan to clean the gunk if there any?Do I have to clean the oil pick up also?

If the oil is dirty and black does it mean gunk built up in oil pan and oil pick up strainer?


I peeped through the valve cover but I did not see any gunk in the cylinder head.
 

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Camry_owner
2003 Camry LE 2.4L
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What engine?

Just change your oil and filter every 3000 miles or 3 months, and the new oil will clean the engine. Use a synthetic.

I will have peace of mind if I drop the oil pan and check the condition.But worried about sealing it properly. I don't know if it would be hard to seal again perfectly. There is no oil leak now.
 

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Top TN contributor
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3,461 Posts
My 2003 camry had black oil when I bought the car.
I peeped through the valve cover but I did not see any gunk in the cylinder head.
There is a mid-road path between dropping the oil pan and fill-hole peeping...

Remove/replace the valve cover gasket....a 2003 likely needs it anyway and it'll give you a good view of the top end of the engine....
 

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AutoBravado
1999 Chevrolet Prizm
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1,553 Posts
If the oil had been left in there too long, sure, the strainer could be clogged. My brother wasn't changing his oil for a while and when I had to change his oil pan gasket (surprise, not changing oil helps that be needed) I discovered a thick filthy mess.

15 hours later (I'm experienced at junk removal now, but I still think it'd take me a few hours), an oil pan and above it all cleaned up, and a strainer that was nearly choked later, his car had tons more power!

So really, the car was new to you, but does the engine feel "soft" in how it drives, gentle, but no zip? To me, that'd say pull it off, clean it out and while it's hard to line it up, the job for adding an oil pan gasket really isn't that bad.

If the car feels a lot better than my worst scenario, just have a shorter oil change interval for a while like others are suggesting.
 

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AutoBravado
1999 Chevrolet Prizm
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1,553 Posts
If it's a six, vs. a 4 cylinder

If it's a 4 cylinder it's certainly easier to pull a valve cover gasket, but while the parts my be filmed up from oil coking, as long as the oil running through the engine is clean, there's not much to do.

Up there, I worry more about trying to do a clean up, as anything you do gets down in the engine. Break away one piece of gunk and it gets into the oil passages and you can cause damage.

From under the car, it makes a mess of you to clean it up, but gravity is literally on your side helping you not break any of that junk off where it'll hurt the engine.
 

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AutoBravado
1999 Chevrolet Prizm
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1,553 Posts
There is a mid-road path between dropping the oil pan and fill-hole peeping...

Remove/replace the valve cover gasket....a 2003 likely needs it anyway and it'll give you a good view of the top end of the engine....
Certainly the easier way to see if it's gunked up on a I4 engine, but there's less I'm comfortable doing about. On the V6 you have to pull the intake too...well, not really, if there's no valve cover gasket leak, but you only needed to check one side and it looked good, your done.
 

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Camry_owner
2003 Camry LE 2.4L
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Certainly the easier way to see if it's gunked up on a I4 engine, but there's less I'm comfortable doing about. On the V6 you have to pull the intake too...well, not really, if there's no valve cover gasket leak, but you only needed to check one side and it looked good, your done.

So if I find gunk in the cylinder head when I take the valve cover off, there is a good change there is gunk in the oil pan also? or vise versa?


which side should i check first? valve cover or oil pan?
 

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Camry_owner
2003 Camry LE 2.4L
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Certainly the easier way to see if it's gunked up on a I4 engine, but there's less I'm comfortable doing about. On the V6 you have to pull the intake too...well, not really, if there's no valve cover gasket leak, but you only needed to check one side and it looked good, your done.
I have bought valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket both.I agree with you its easy to take off oil pan and valve cover on I4 engine. But I was concerned about not being able to seal the gasket properly.That is the only hesitation I have.

My valve cover gasket rubber made.

Oil pan gasket made of composite material. Also came with three tubes gasket maker (Fel-Pro)
 

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Registered
2015 Toyota Camry
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699 Posts

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Camry_owner
2003 Camry LE 2.4L
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Registered
2015 Toyota Camry
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699 Posts
I dont have a DIY for the oil pan gasket. Like others mentioned, its not necessary unless you have a visible leak from the oil pan. Youve already done two engine flushes and 3 oil changes, enough. You're paranoid about nothing. Do the valve gasket and enjoy your Camry.
 
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