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Subject: Re: Oil Gelling in Toyotas

Date: 07/12/02 at 3:29 PM
Posted by: Joe
E-mail: joe.barrows@acterna.com
Message Posted:

In Reply to: Re: Oil Gelling in Toyotas posted by Tracey on 07/06/02 at 8:44 PM:

I saw your message on your car smoking when you start it and on oil gelling.
I just received my letter from Toyota since I own a 1997 Camry 4 cylinder. I have almost
80K miles on my car and I have noticed a smoke when I start the car first thing in the
morning for the last 10 or 12K miles or so. I too am concerned that this may be due to
this gelling issue.

I bought my car used as a former lease car at the dealership. I never received a
maintenance schedule. I change my oil every 7,500 miles or less. That is what I have
always done for all of my cars and their maintenance schedules have always called for this
(except for "severe driving conditions", where it is usually 5,000 miles). I'm too tight to do
oil changes every 3,000 miles.

The letter I received from Toyota says specifically "Engines with oil damage will usually
experience blue smoke from the tailpipe and/or excessive oil consumption." I feel that
Toyota wouldn't have mentioned the smoke in their "official", lawyer-approved letter if it
wasn't indicative of the problem, so I am very suspicious that is may point to a problem.

I have not experienced what I would call excessive oil consumption with my car.

I did not see where anyone replied to your email from 7/1. If you get a valuable reply,
please pass the information on to me. Also, can you let me know what car you drive,
specifically, and what the maintenance schedule calls for on your oil changes? Have you
adhered to it (perfectly)?

The letter is open-ended enough. It allows for reimbursement from Toyota for repairs up
to eight years, unlimited mileage from the date of first sale or lease of the vehicle. I do not
know what "first sale" means - that is, whether it is eight years from the new car sale or my
purchase date. Either way, I probably have until 2005 to deal with any issues.

I also don't know what they would repair. I saw an email where someone apparently took
their car in expecting to have Toyota repair something and Toyota demanded proof of a
problem first. Makes sense to me. I wonder if Toyota might flush out the engine to
remove any old, sludging oil before damage occurs?

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