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usedRX300

Excessive Oil Consumption

41 posts in this topic

:huh: 3.0 V6 excessive oil consumption3.0 V6

I am a new owner of a used 2002 RX300. The first week I owned it I took it in for an oil change and it's 60000 mile maint. and after 2000 miles, when I hit the brakes, the oil indicator light came on. I immediately pulled into my mechanic's shop and it was down 3.5 quarts of oil. It appears that because of the three catalitic converters, no tell tale blue smoke billowed from the tail pipe, and upon closer inspection, all the spark plugs were "fowled" black as if it were an oil burner. Hum, only 60000 miles, and previous owner was at the Lexus dealer like clock work for every scheduled maint. so I know previous maint. was good as Lexus printed out a copy for me. Now I know that this engine was part of a 2007 class action law suit for sludge/gel problems, one syptom of which is oil consumption (it turns to gel and sits at the bottom of the pan and 'disappears'). Both my trusty mechanic and the Lexus dealer pulled the value covers and looked around and both said no sign of sludge/gel (too bad, that would be covered under said class action), so now driving around and back and forth to the dealer to determine the severity/presence of said excessive oil consumption. My posting/question is this: Anyone else out there with this problem and what could it be? Is the dreaded sludge/gel problem ruled out with a peek at under the valve cover? What could be the reason for the disappearing oil. It does not leak oil. I would appreciate any other experiences shared. I have been told I need a new engine and guess what, the extended warranty I purchased does not cover an oil burning preexisiting condition. It has taken me six years to save for this used RX300 and I do love it, but need some technical assistance with this particular issue. any help appreciated.

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It sounds like you have confirmed you don't have a sludge problem. I would do an immediate oil change and put in Mobil 1 high mileage 10W30 with a good filter and see what your oil consumption is like.

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Call me the doubting Thomas, but I would do an oil change (observing that they did, indeed, add the five quarts). Then I would go about my business, monitoring the oil level every other day or so.

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Call me the doubting Thomas, but I would do an oil change (observing that they did, indeed, add the five quarts). Then I would go about my business, monitoring the oil level every other day or so.

thanks for your responses. that is what i am doing now (well the dealer is having me drive around checking the oil to take it back to have them measure any needed adding of oil. i am wondering if they have added an heavier weight oil for the consumption test and if so, what harm would it do to the working parts of the engine to

run a heavier weight oil permantly if that takes care of it?

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Call me the doubting Thomas, but I would do an oil change (observing that they did, indeed, add the five quarts). Then I would go about my business, monitoring the oil level every other day or so.

thanks for your responses. that is what i am doing now (well the dealer is having me drive around checking the oil to take it back to have them measure any needed adding of oil. i am wondering if they have added an heavier weight oil for the consumption test and if so, what harm would it do to the working parts of the engine to

run a heavier weight oil permantly if that takes care of it?

Did you buy this from a Lexus dealer? Clearly there is a problem if they did fill with oil and you have used 3.5 qts. in 2k mi. It's a '02- I hope you got some kind of a warranty if you bought it from a dealer, new or used. A heavier oil- if the dealer is dishonest enough to use it for consumption testing, is not at all likely to stop that kind of consumption. You need to compression test and leak down test- this is not normal for a '02- unless it has been severely overheated and the rings damaged. Even then- that is an all aluminum engine and would likely have warped block and/ or heads if that severely overheated. you say the spark plugs were black- were they wet with oil or only black? Only black sounds like excess fuel- not oil. Good Luck- that is clearly not normal and not likely cured with heavier oil.

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I would document everything, dated, even your observations and those of others. the most likely scenario is the dealer did not check the work. they could have picked up a 4 quart container of oil thinking it was a five. could have switched techs midstream and one assumed something about the others work.

lots of things could happen.

if it really is burning instead of blowing out around the filter, your cats are probably ruined, and its amazing the o2' sensors are not giving errors.

the spark plugs should be replaced.

I would have the dealer, or maybe a different dealer, run a compression check on each cyl.

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Try Valvoline Maxlife 5w30 synthetic blend and see if it changes.(walmart) But do the oil change yourself so you know it was filled correctly. My guess is the tech did not put enough oil back in your engine. This happens once in a while when they hire the McDonalds french fry boy to do oil service.

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Call me the doubting Thomas, but I would do an oil change (observing that they did, indeed, add the five quarts). Then I would go about my business, monitoring the oil level every other day or so.

This would be my guess as well. One reason I now do my own oil service.

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Call me the doubting Thomas, but I would do an oil change (observing that they did, indeed, add the five quarts). Then I would go about my business, monitoring the oil level every other day or so.

This would be my guess as well. One reason I now do my own oil service.

i appreciate your sharing your knowledge with me. it was suggested that i may have a warped head which might let oil past to be burned, but might be temporarily solved with an oil additive. i don't know what the spark plugs looked like as i have not seen them myself yet, but i am leaning toward the possibility that the oil change may have been done hurriedly and not enough added, except that does not explain why the plugs reportedly looked oil soaked. on the other hand, before i bought it, it appears to have sat on various lots for several months. i wonder if it was only driven for short test runs during that time would change the normal look of spark plugs. i do my own oil changes on my pick up and on my jeep, but because i have an extended warranty covering the lexus, i have been paranoid about a recognizable paper trail for regular oil changes and i know next to nothing about the new technology (my other rides are about twenty years old). i have heard that switching from regular oil to or from synthetic can be problematic, but i have no idea what to do there either and don't know what the previous owners used either, other than they did get serviced at an east coast lexus dealer, according to the my local dealer's computer records based on the VIN number in their records. i am now checking the oil almost daily, it has been about 300 miles so far and no sign of decreasing oil levels. thanks to all with an interest.

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If you do your own oil service just get a spiral notebook and keep all of your recipts and dates & mileage of each change for warranty.

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If you do your own oil service just get a spiral notebook and keep all of your recipts and dates & mileage of each change for warranty.

thanks. have a great day. i will update with any new info when and if it comes. so far, it is running great and dip stick shows its still full. its been about 500 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. i am hopefully optimistic that there may not be anything wrong with the engine afterall.

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I'm actually going through this same problem right now. I have a 2001 RX 300 and in fact, it is at the dealer being checked/fixed right now. I couldn't imagine where my oil was going. I knew it didn't have anything to do with the people changing my oil because it's been happening for awhile now. I never owned a car where I was so paranoid about checking my oil. I would look at my garage floor everyday to see if there was a leak and there was nothing. It was like the oil is just disappearing. I would put 3 quarts of oil in one day and 2 weeks later it was gone!

Anyway, the service guy at the dealer suspected the oil gel issue right away, given the year of my car and what I was describing. I am covered under the class action settlement, assuming that when they drop the engine, it is indeed the problem.

I will let you know the outcome.

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Just an afterthought. Replace your PCV valve when you get a chance. It only takes 5 minutes and with the RX300 sludge issue it was partially blamed on the PCV system being too small for the engine displacement. So you want it working at it's full capacity.

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Just an afterthought. Replace your PCV valve when you get a chance. It only takes 5 minutes and with the RX300 sludge issue it was partially blamed on the PCV system being too small for the engine displacement. So you want it working at it's full capacity.

Also do the PVC seal too (if it has one).

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update, of sorts. it has now been about 2000 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. my original mechanic swears he did the oil change himself and checked the levels and did not short the amount of oil by mistake and that when he pulled the plugs (first three in front only for ease) they were indicative of burning oil in the combustion chamber. i asked him if the fact that the RX sat for almost a year on various car lots could have anything to do with the condition of the plugs, or the mysterious loss of oil (burning?, because there are no leaks). he didn't know, but said maybe the oil rings were stuck somehow from sitting so long and now with driving they are unstuck? hum...i have no idea what the probable issues are here, but maybe a stuck PVC and it is now unstuck? anyother hypothesis would be welcome as i am curious by nature, and i too am now obsessive about checking my dipstick, but so far no problem. will keep checking back for any info from this posting and will update if anything new occurs on this end. i do love this ride though. maybe a miricle, it has somehow healed itself? God probably drives an RX.

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If you do your own oil service just get a spiral notebook and keep all of your recipts and dates & mileage of each change for warranty.

All good advice above. I would also pull the suspect plugs myself to have a look at them. This would resolve any suspicions about your mechanic. One word of caution about your warranty. Many policies require oil changes to be done by a licenced shop and will void coverage for diy drains, even with receipts. Carefully read your policy's maintenance requirements, especially the fine print.

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:huh: 3.0 V6 excessive oil consumption3.0 V6

I am a new owner of a used 2002 RX300. The first week I owned it I took it in for an oil change and it's 60000 mile maint. and after 2000 miles, when I hit the brakes, the oil indicator light came on. I immediately pulled into my mechanic's shop and it was down 3.5 quarts of oil. It appears that because of the three catalitic converters, no tell tale blue smoke billowed from the tail pipe, and upon closer inspection, all the spark plugs were "fowled" black as if it were an oil burner. Hum, only 60000 miles, and previous owner was at the Lexus dealer like clock work for every scheduled maint. so I know previous maint. was good as Lexus printed out a copy for me. Now I know that this engine was part of a 2007 class action law suit for sludge/gel problems, one syptom of which is oil consumption (it turns to gel and sits at the bottom of the pan and 'disappears'). Both my trusty mechanic and the Lexus dealer pulled the value covers and looked around and both said no sign of sludge/gel (too bad, that would be covered under said class action), so now driving around and back and forth to the dealer to determine the severity/presence of said excessive oil consumption. My posting/question is this: Anyone else out there with this problem and what could it be? Is the dreaded sludge/gel problem ruled out with a peek at under the valve cover? What could be the reason for the disappearing oil. It does not leak oil. I would appreciate any other experiences shared. I have been told I need a new engine and guess what, the extended warranty I purchased does not cover an oil burning preexisiting condition. It has taken me six years to save for this used RX300 and I do love it, but need some technical assistance with this particular issue. any help appreciated.

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I just bought a 05 with 17k miles that may have the same problem. I checked the oil after one tank of gas and a qt low. It was changed when I picked it up. I have a blue "puff" upon cold start. The blue puff seems like its gradually dimishing as I drive. With the extreme low miles, the car may have been previously driven all short trip and never warmed up. The converters may be eating the blue smoke when running as 10 or 12 blue puffs (at cold start) don't equal a qt of oil. I'm watching the oil level carefully and waiting to take it to the dealer until I have a better handle on the problem. There's a chance that the change at pickup was not topped up.

Rings not seated after 17k is impossible? Rings gummed up maybe?

Is there any history of valve guide seal failure on these engines? (This would give one puff)

I've got 9 months of bumper to bumper left.

Nice car, first Lexus, enjoying it.

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update, of sorts. it has now been about 2000 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. my original mechanic swears he did the oil change himself and checked the levels and did not short the amount of oil by mistake and that when he pulled the plugs (first three in front only for ease) they were indicative of burning oil in the combustion chamber. i asked him if the fact that the RX sat for almost a year on various car lots could have anything to do with the condition of the plugs, or the mysterious loss of oil (burning?, because there are no leaks). he didn't know, but said maybe the oil rings were stuck somehow from sitting so long and now with driving they are unstuck? hum...i have no idea what the probable issues are here, but maybe a stuck PVC and it is now unstuck? anyother hypothesis would be welcome as i am curious by nature, and i too am now obsessive about checking my dipstick, but so far no problem. will keep checking back for any info from this posting and will update if anything new occurs on this end. i do love this ride though. maybe a miricle, it has somehow healed itself? God probably drives an RX.

after an oil and oil filter change, dip stick shows full and then after 500 miles of higher speed interstate driving, it has used a about a quart of oil. not so good. i read in the manual that it can consume oil at higher driving speeds that would not show in shorter trips and that under short trips, the moisture/gas that collects in the engine for that kind of driving might replace oil volume so it would not be as apparent on the dipstick that some oil consumption has taken place. conversely, on high speed longer trips, this moisture does not form and therefore it appears more oil is missing/used, plus under high speed driving and de-excelleration, oil can be pulled into the combustion chamber where it is burned. holy buckets! anyway it looks like it is using about a quart every 500 miles of high speed longer trip driving, but it did not appear with 2000 miles of driving around town, 25 mile trips here and there!! does this make any sense to anyone? i do not travel that much, and as i said before, it runs great and gets about 22-23 miles per gallon. BUT, on longer trips where the oil is disappearing (again, NO leaks), am i damaging my catalytic converters or anything else? and so it goes...

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Hey Used RX300,

I had the exact exact exact same problem. I bought my 2002 RX300 3 months ago. I changed EVERY fluid in the car. Then around 3000 miles a week before I was ready for an oil change, my oil light came on. I was down 4 quarts of oil!!! I looked at the oil cap and it looked caked on with burnt oil as was the top of the oil case. I assumed the previous owner let it run low and it turned to sludge since I've never seen such sludgey oil.

Just last night, I changed the oil myself but first added GUNK oil case cleaner with the engine running for 5 minutes as per directions. Then once the drain plug was open and all the dirty oil was out, I ran brake cleaner through to clean it up. I'm not recommending this necessarily, but I did it anyway. I then rinsed the brake cleaner out with fresh oil and allowed that into the bucket. Once everything was well rinsed with oil, I reinstalled the drain plug and put in 5 litres of fresh "high mileage" Valvoline. I'll be monitoring it closely.

Perhaps running a slightly thicker oil like a 10w40 instead of 5w30 might help. I might even try some compression treatments like STP, but normally I NEVER add any oil products since they often cause more trouble then they fix. I'll be watching this forum carefully

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update, of sorts. it has now been about 2000 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. my original mechanic swears he did the oil change himself and checked the levels and did not short the amount of oil by mistake and that when he pulled the plugs (first three in front only for ease) they were indicative of burning oil in the combustion chamber. i asked him if the fact that the RX sat for almost a year on various car lots could have anything to do with the condition of the plugs, or the mysterious loss of oil (burning?, because there are no leaks). he didn't know, but said maybe the oil rings were stuck somehow from sitting so long and now with driving they are unstuck? hum...i have no idea what the probable issues are here, but maybe a stuck PVC and it is now unstuck? anyother hypothesis would be welcome as i am curious by nature, and i too am now obsessive about checking my dipstick, but so far no problem. will keep checking back for any info from this posting and will update if anything new occurs on this end. i do love this ride though. maybe a miricle, it has somehow healed itself? God probably drives an RX.

I have a 2002 RX300. Bought it with 29k miles in Nov05, and had dealer examine to verify no sludge. Since then, Mobil-1 only, every 7k miles. I drive 40k hwy miles/yr. At 140k miles now, I discovered (sudden brake caused oil light to come on) that I am losing 1qt every 2-3k miles. Absolutely no leaks. Had dealer ck for sludge. Engine clean. (not checked plugs) They "researched" Lexus info, and declared that my usage is within acceptable range. They reasoned that on the highway there could be more usage than around town. Car rides fine. I figure a qt every 2-3k is cheaper than any mechanical repair. Performance is good.

I did purchase a 2001 RX before this one, which was sludged. Broker took it back, and found this 2002 (proud he stood behind the sale!!). The sludged '01 consumed oil and also had "engine ping" when accelerating up a hill.

I'd monitor yours and obtain an accurate measure of oil usage.

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update, of sorts. it has now been about 2000 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. my original mechanic swears he did the oil change himself and checked the levels and did not short the amount of oil by mistake and that when he pulled the plugs (first three in front only for ease) they were indicative of burning oil in the combustion chamber. i asked him if the fact that the RX sat for almost a year on various car lots could have anything to do with the condition of the plugs, or the mysterious loss of oil (burning?, because there are no leaks). he didn't know, but said maybe the oil rings were stuck somehow from sitting so long and now with driving they are unstuck? hum...i have no idea what the probable issues are here, but maybe a stuck PVC and it is now unstuck? anyother hypothesis would be welcome as i am curious by nature, and i too am now obsessive about checking my dipstick, but so far no problem. will keep checking back for any info from this posting and will update if anything new occurs on this end. i do love this ride though. maybe a miricle, it has somehow healed itself? God probably drives an RX.

I have a 2002 RX300. Bought it with 29k miles in Nov05, and had dealer examine to verify no sludge. Since then, Mobil-1 only, every 7k miles. I drive 40k hwy miles/yr. At 140k miles now, I discovered (sudden brake caused oil light to come on) that I am losing 1qt every 2-3k miles. Absolutely no leaks. Had dealer ck for sludge. Engine clean. (not checked plugs) They "researched" Lexus info, and declared that my usage is within acceptable range. They reasoned that on the highway there could be more usage than around town. Car rides fine. I figure a qt every 2-3k is cheaper than any mechanical repair. Performance is good.

I did purchase a 2001 RX before this one, which was sludged. Broker took it back, and found this 2002 (proud he stood behind the sale!!). The sludged '01 consumed oil and also had "engine ping" when accelerating up a hill.

I'd monitor yours and obtain an accurate measure of oil usage.

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update, of sorts. it has now been about 2000 miles since the beginning of the oil consumption test. my original mechanic swears he did the oil change himself and checked the levels and did not short the amount of oil by mistake and that when he pulled the plugs (first three in front only for ease) they were indicative of burning oil in the combustion chamber. i asked him if the fact that the RX sat for almost a year on various car lots could have anything to do with the condition of the plugs, or the mysterious loss of oil (burning?, because there are no leaks). he didn't know, but said maybe the oil rings were stuck somehow from sitting so long and now with driving they are unstuck? hum...i have no idea what the probable issues are here, but maybe a stuck PVC and it is now unstuck? anyother hypothesis would be welcome as i am curious by nature, and i too am now obsessive about checking my dipstick, but so far no problem. will keep checking back for any info from this posting and will update if anything new occurs on this end. i do love this ride though. maybe a miricle, it has somehow healed itself? God probably drives an RX.

I have a 2002 RX300. Bought it with 29k miles in Nov05, and had dealer examine to verify no sludge. Since then, Mobil-1 only, every 7k miles. I drive 40k hwy miles/yr. At 140k miles now, I discovered (sudden brake caused oil light to come on) that I am losing 1qt every 2-3k miles. Absolutely no leaks. Had dealer ck for sludge. Engine clean. (not checked plugs) They "researched" Lexus info, and declared that my usage is within acceptable range. They reasoned that on the highway there could be more usage than around town. Car rides fine. I figure a qt every 2-3k is cheaper than any mechanical repair. Performance is good.

I did purchase a 2001 RX before this one, which was sludged. Broker took it back, and found this 2002 (proud he stood behind the sale!!). The sludged '01 consumed oil and also had "engine ping" when accelerating up a hill.

I'd monitor yours and obtain an accurate measure of oil usage.

new development: i drove 400 miles at around 75 miles an hour and it appeared to burn a quart. this just after a new oil change, at the dealer, using vavoline 5W-30. again, this engine has been inspected by lexus and an independent mech. and declared to be sludge free. also previous owners took to lexus religiously for every oil change and detail. not a neglected engine. i have an extended warranty that would probably frown on your additive interventions, so i will pass on that for now, but i do appreciate your thoughts on this topic. SO...on the way back from my 400 mile trip, i decided to keep the rpms down, under 3000, so i didn't go over 67 mph. got back, checked the oil, and only down a little less than half a quart! so there appears to be a correlation between sustained high rpms and oil consumption. having googled my issue to near death, i am now wondering about the pcv system, but do not even know where to begin, but also suspect something called oil ring flutter, which can result in oil consumption, but only at high/sustained rpms. does anyone know anything about this? i rarely drive over 55 with my daily commute, but it's a concern on longer trips. i can't have every bucket of bolts passing me mile after mile!!

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I purchased a 2002 RX300 in 2005 with 31,000 miles from Carmax. After a month or so the engine oil light came on and I found that I was about 3 quarts low. I added oil and started checking the oil at 1000 mile intervals. It was using 1.5 quarts of oil. There were no oil leaks. I did notice that after the car sat overnight when I started it a large cloud of blue smoke came out of the exhaust. It would clear up very quickly. I received the engine jell notice and took it to the dealer. I explained to them that the oil consumption was excessive that is why I brought it in for the Jell inspection. They caled me back and said the car did not have the jell problem and they were surprised by how clean the oil was on the dip stick. I asked then what is causing the oil consumption and they basicly blew me off with a "we have no idea" rsponse. I have continued to check the oil every time we purchase gas. I changed to Valvoline 20w50 which seem to slow the usage. I feel like I am driving an old junker checking the oil every time! I took it in to a local repair facility to have them inspect it for the problem. They found some sludge or jell and said they belive that it has the problem and it was also effecting the PVC system. Does anyone know what may be causing this problem since I have noticed other owners are having the same problem. Is Lexus investigating this problem?

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I have a 2002 RX300. 2WD. 148k miles. I use Mobil 1 and chg every 7k miles. I use 2qts during that time. Had dealer chk engine recently. No sludge. They contend that this is within normal usage guidelines from Lexus, and that it can consume more oil when run on the hwy like I do.

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