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I recently purchased a high mileage 94 4Runner 4x4 (more suv than offroad vehicle) and drove it from Philly up to upstate NY. It is a really fit, lively, well taken care of vehicle.

While on my visit, my parents and I drove up to VT, 6 miles shy of the Canadian border. This type of trip involved driving on regular roads (55mph with some curves and hills), through the Green Mountains, and then interstate driving (but through the mountains in VT) driving 65 or so.

After touring 8 hours with not much stop, I was in the Rutland area, coming over the mountain for Killington on Rte. 4. I arrive in Rutland in the rain at the stoplights with NO OIL PRESSURE! I pull in under the floodlights of a flat parking lot and check the oil...NO OIL. I put in one quart and still nothing. I drive to a gas station and buy 3 and put them in and finally there is oil in the pan. I drive to mom's and the car rests for 24 hours .

I look at the dipstick at the end of the 24 hours and it is 3 quarts OVER!!!!!!! I take it to LIA TOYOTA in Colonie for an oil change and they change the filter and put in one quart of oil.

The oil gage still is kinda funny...bounces from normal to low depending on what the TOY is doing.

First question: Was that a technical oil change? When we change our oil at home, we replace the oil and filter with new. Is this a new procedure for oil changes? What would you do if Toyota wrote you to ask how the service was?
<<It has!!>>

Second question: Does anyone have any clue what is going on with the oil pressure? We are here scratching our head and reading/rereading the service manual to figure out what is going on.

ANY SUGGESTIONS??!?
 

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Maybe time for a new oil pressure sending unit. Oil pressure will vary according to oil temperature and engine rpm. Attaching a regular manual oil pressure gauge can help determine if the sending unit is bad. I'm wondering where your engine oil is going(valve stem seals or oil control rings) and why did the dealer change the filter but only add 1 quart of oil?
 

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But if it were the valve stem seals or the oil control rings, wouldn't the oil be burned up and be gone? Why does the oil end up in the pan later? Where the friggin heck is that oil hiding in the mean time????

The one quart for oil change is all that shows up on the receipt we received from the dealer.
 

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After you shut off the vehicle, how long did you wait before checking the oil? Sometimes a good 10-20 min wait is needed to get an accurate check on the stick, however.....if it was low on oil before you began the trip then you might have a totally different oil loss issue. Possibly oil pan gasket, oil dipstick tube o-ring, etc,etc. Sometimes a quick check right after the vehicle is shut off will show a film on the stick but it wont give an accurate representation of what is still located....say on top of the cylinder head. I agree that there should be some oil in the pan and 3 quarts shouldnt be "hiding", maybe 1 to 1 1/2 quarts but not 3 quarts......thats quite a bit of oil.
 

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I have been 'trained' from owning older vehicles that especially before a long or more demanding trip, the vehicle is to be gone over to make sure that you don't do any harm to it purposely. That means check oil, rad fluid, wiper fluid, tire pressure, wiper blades, light bulbs, etc. and windows/lights are clean and ready to go. There has been no oil drip marks in the parking lot in my space or at home in the driveway, and the engine is very clean....not like the Fords we have had that did have leaks from faulty gaskets.

As to checking after 15 minutes...I didn't have 15 minutes to wait. I had no clue if any gas station would be open to help me in the hinter land of Vermont at 12:15 am, and with pouring rain and 60+ miles to go and two parents wanting to be home hours ago, well, I just put in more oil and drove. (Just shut up and drive, daughter! You got us into this mess...)

It was the next afternoon when I got it on dry, flat ground again to see if I had enough oil...and that's when it was a good 1.5-1.75 inch above the full mark on the dipstick. And I thought that bringing it to an authorized dealer for an oil change would help me so I would not drive home to PA with too much oil.

I check the oil when I fill with gas, too (habit from the other Fords) so can see that this car is a great improvement for me in oil consumption, but that danged gage keeps moving from OK down to low (even travelling on the interstate on the flats) and I'm confused...
 
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