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Excessive Oil Consumption


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#1 usedRX300

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:27 PM

: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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#2 newtoncd

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 04:19 PM

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.

#3 Grumpa72

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 06:35 PM

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.

#4 usedRX300

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 09:21 AM

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?

#5 code58

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:08 AM

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.

#6 ZAPP

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:33 AM

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.

#7 KBRX330

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 12:41 PM

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.

#8 KBRX330

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 12:43 PM

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.

#9 usedRX300

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:45 AM

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.

#10 KBRX330

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:44 PM

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.

#11 usedRX300

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 12:05 PM

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.

#12 MBTwist

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:21 PM

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.

#13 KBRX330

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 10:32 PM

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.

#14 mburnickas

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 06:17 AM

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).

#15 usedRX300

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:40 AM

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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