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My 2012 TCH with 30K miles sat outside for 3 days, last night I moved it 6 feet forward to facilitate the expected snow overnight. This morning it was 2 degrees. I started it, got that 'death rattle' for about 10 seconds. Scared the crap out of me, I've never had this happen ever before in any vehicle. It felt and sounded like there was no oil pressure, and the lifters were clattering and the bottom end was knocking. By the time I panicked to hit the power button, it smoothed out. I agree, this can't be good for it. I'm going to tell the dealer when it goes in for the callback.

With oil pressure management for using the ICE in B mode etc, I'm thinking there was no oil pumping? I understand there's a 3 stage oil pump? Is it electrically driven also?
 

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I agree it sounds like a oiling problem. I do not know if the oil pump is electric. I read that some have had trbl with the VVT system and Toyota has replaced some valve train components. This sounds plausible to me as improper valve timing could cause a rattling or knock clatter. What bothers me is that it does not make the noise every time the car is started, it is only once in a great while.
 

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Low oil pressure warning/sludge

Low oil pressure light came on intermittently, but the oil level is not low. Mechanic said engine had sludge and recommended new engine. I'm traveling an need to get home (100 miles). Oil changed every 5000 miles since new. 2007 Camry hybrid. Should i drive it (not low on oil), or ???
 

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Or, the oil pressure senor may be bad or have corroded contacts.
When do you have to drive? If you have some time, buy 2 cans of Seafoam, pour into where the oil is, aka crankcase, and drive on it for about 15-20 miles. Then change oil and filter immediately. Seafoam will safely remove almost all sludge. When home, repeat treatment, with one can, and drive on it for about a week, then drain oil, refill with cheapest oil from Walmart in 5W20, drive for about 15 miles, drain and replace filter and oil.
You have fully cleaned and flushed engine.
New engine, right. Breeze into mechanics sail.
 

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what kind of oil have you been using? brand? synthetic? weight?

I've owned vehicles that were sludged when I bought them and no amount of crankcase cleaners and frequent oil changes, and additives, over many years, removed the varnish and heavy buildup of sludge. Some engines just don't want to come clean! :) Good luck...

read this: http://underthehood.mahleclevite.com/?p=435 and Google "sludge formation" for additional info.
 

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I used the Seafoam cleaner and had the oil changed and then drove home. I made it fine and the engine ran smooth the whole way, but the Low Oil Pressure light came on often at freeway speeds. I've been using standard oil (not synthetic) and usually have the oil changed at one of the local shops. Could it be a clogged filter on the oil pump inlet? Isn't there a screen?
 

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I used the Seafoam cleaner and had the oil changed and then drove home. I made it fine and the engine ran smooth the whole way, but the Low Oil Pressure light came on often at freeway speeds. I've been using standard oil (not synthetic) and usually have the oil changed at one of the local shops. Could it be a clogged filter on the oil pump inlet? Isn't there a screen?
Did you read the link and others? If you didn't personally do (or oversee) the oil changes, there's really no way to know exactly what was done and what products were used. check the link.

crankcase ventilation and slight coolant leaks are 2 culprits, amongst other factors. Some Toyota engines (I had one, but had no issues due to scrupulous service) have had sludging problems. google for details.
 

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OP, I'd look into your oil sensor.
If you have good oil level, and change oil regularly, and do not add any silly additives, your engine will NOT sludge. Nothing from.
For the heck of it, as it's not a major job, remove valve cover and look what's under. It should be nice, slightly brownish, surface. Sludge clearly deposits under valve cover, as there are multiple orifices for oil to squirt at rockers.
Oil pick up screen is easily accessible from the bottom up, removing oil pan. Also not a major job. But I seriously doubt you'll find any issues. Unless you have major blow by of exhaust gasses into crankcase, but that would have resulted in lack of power and very chitty mpg.
Should you have any of those symptoms, it's different story.
OIl pump is gear driven from the crankshaft I believe. But pumps do go bad, you know. Happens. Yet again, they are so simple, 2 gears, that to damage them takes basically a bad stock parts.
Any unusual oil consumption? Grey smokes outta tail pipe?
 

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The mechanic who said I had sludge changed the oil pressure switch, so I don't think it is the switch. I didn't oversee the oil changes and have now wondered exactly what was done, but usually the Camry doesn't use any oil between changes. The car has never smoked. When the Low Oil Pressure light first came on I added a quart of oil and drove to the mechanic. He said I was 1/2 a quart overfilled (a little over 3,000 miles since my last change).

The dealer changed the oil pan last December (said it was dented), but didn't make any comments about sludge and said everything looked fine.

My mileage has dropped off significantly over the past year or two. I used to always get over 40 mpg, but now it is closer to 35. I do have 157,000 miles on the car so I thought it was the batteries or maybe the fact I do less freeway driving now. I was really hoping to get 250,000 miles out of this car.
 

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Another thought on my Camry. I'm an engineer with little car experience since working on my '67 Mustang, but it seems to me that oil pump inlet is being starved of oil at higher RPMs. The oil pump should have a flooded suction inlet so low oil pressure means low oil level and the suction runs dry. Since my oil isn't low, either something else is blocking the oil pump inlet (plugged screen) or the oil isn't draining back to the oil pan. As I said, I have little recent automotive experience, but has anyone heard of this?
 

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The mechanic who said I had sludge changed the oil pressure switch, so I don't think it is the switch. I didn't oversee the oil changes and have now wondered exactly what was done, but usually the Camry doesn't use any oil between changes. The car has never smoked. When the Low Oil Pressure light first came on I added a quart of oil and drove to the mechanic. He said I was 1/2 a quart overfilled (a little over 3,000 miles since my last change).

The dealer changed the oil pan last December (said it was dented), but didn't make any comments about sludge and said everything looked fine.

My mileage has dropped off significantly over the past year or two. I used to always get over 40 mpg, but now it is closer to 35. I do have 157,000 miles on the car so I thought it was the batteries or maybe the fact I do less freeway driving now. I was really hoping to get 250,000 miles out of this car.
With a history of a dented oil pan, I'd take a close look at the oil pickup, and make sure it's not crushed and/or displaced to the point of allowing air to be sucked up. Could also be the pump got a problem / damage from the event. Pop the sump and take a look - could be something as simple as a pickup tube that's not quite right.

And if the oil is truly reading low - don't drive the car, as you WILL trash the engine with inadequate oil circulation.
 

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A clogged pickup will result in lower oil pressure at higher rpm. I had this happen once on an '88 ford aerostar van. I saw the stock pressure gauge drop when I revved it, and I disregarded that, thinking it was a bad sending unit. I realized the readings had been correct when the engine locked up on me in front of wal mart. Sure enough, plugged pickup. Like someone else said, PUT A GAUGE ON IT temporarily and see what the hell it's actually doing. If that shows low pressure, I'd probably drop the pan next and have a close look at the pickup. A cracked pickup could suck air as mentioned already. It is possible that your oil pump is going bad. That's pretty unlikely as far as I know, but if you have low pressure and can't find any other reason for it, I'd imagine the pump is easy to replace while the pan is off the motor. I don't know much about the architecture of these engines, so forgive me for being vague about exactly how to replace the pump.

Another cheap thing you could do is take a sample of the oil and have it analyzed. Until the results come back I would also stop driving the car, but if you do in fact have low pressure and have beaten the hell out of the bearings because of it, the test will tell you that.
 

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TCH XLE
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-2 degrees, got that death rattle last night.

I see this topic quieted down, is it still the consensus that the shudder/death rattle is drained down lifters? I tried 3 times last night to clear it up, finally gave up and started driving. It took 3 blocks to finally smooth out.

When driving it felt like it was running on 2 of the 4 cylinders.

Anything I missed in the year that I haven't been on this forum?

Thanks.
 

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She does not have lifters. It's tappets. beyond discussion, I know 150%.
They simply do this. Best you can do is to let her run and permit ECM to smooth out engine. I would rather NOT be driving, till it smooths out. I don't think it takes long to do so.
As you can tell, folks have it happen. I had it happen few times. I simply take it as is. Great car. Hiccups once in a while. Who doesn't.
 

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yes ours did once. And it was because the day before I'd moved it like 6ft and shut off. When I pushed the button next day it felt like all engine mounts were not there or had several inches to move around.

My wife drives it like half mile and then park for an hour or so that too sometimes when outside temperature is 5F - has never done that. So at least for us only if you run it cold for seconds and shut off.
 

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I also had this happen on multiple occasions took it to the dealer they took it for a few days and in typical dealer fashion they "couldn't reproduce the issue" this really makes me question the integrity of the engine for sure
 

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My vehicle (2009 SE 4cyl) is getting worst with about 3qt burned at 5000miles. Even at this rate, it will pass the oil consumption test. That is crazy because to fail the oil consumption test on these engine for 5000 mile oil change interval, you'll be driving the engine dry (about negative 0.1qt) causing the engine to lock-up if consumer don't pay attention to it periodically.

1qt to 1200mile is such an arbitrary number considering the mere fact that the user manual says that 1.1 qt per 600 miles is acceptable. They can't see to get it right: 1qt/1200mile (2011 tsb) or 1.1qt/600mile (user manual) - which one is it? SOMEBODY IS NOT THINKING HERE OR THERE'S POLITIC (POLICY) INVOLVED.

If you run it with one qt of oil, you'll probably wear down your engine fast because there's not enough fluid to cool to properly lubricate vital parts.

ALSO, WHAT IS "Check the oil level on a regular basis" (2009 CAMRY USER MANUAL)? To me that's checking oil every 2-3 months. However, Toyota's lawyers may say every 2-3 days. SO CONFUSING TO CONSUMERS!!!!
 
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