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Subject: Re: Lexus (1996) excessive oil usage/smoke
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Date: 03/16/03 at 11:14 AM
Posted by: Kallye O.
In Reply to: Lexus (1996) excessive oil usage/smoke posted by Seth Pillsbury on 03/12/03 at 8:46 PM:
Read the Oil Gelling in Toyota discussion below. Excessive oil consumption and smoke emitting from the exhaust are both signs of engine sludge (or gel). The only way to find out for sure, is to pull the valve cover on the engine. Also, you may want to closely inspect your oil dip stick to check for any black tar-like globs that are also indicative of sludge.The problem is common enough that Toyota/Lexus issued a special policy last year to address engine sludge/gelling in certain model Toyotas and Lexus'. The models are 1997 - 2002Avalon, Camry, Celica, Highlander, Sienna, Solara, RX-300, LS-300. Toyota claims that the problems are a result of improper oil changes. Some owners insist that they have maintained their vehicles in accordance with their owners manuals. Toyota states that it is not an engine design problem, yet they state that there were no significant design changes in these engines beginning in 1997 (the first year the policy covers) and they have not explained why the policy is specific to just two engines in these listed models if it really isn't a design issue. Regardless, you are not covered under the policy since you own a 1996. Which model Lexus do you own? If you own the RX300 or LS300, I suggest you do some internet research, let your dealership know that you are aware of this problem and see what they will do for you. A good place for you to research this at the website Edmunds.com. You can do a seach for the topic "sludge" on their owner's forums and find extensive discussion of the sludge problem there. You can also do a google.com web search using the key words "Toyota Engine Sludge" and you will run across quite a bit of info.
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