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Ack...sludge! Is This Double Trouble?


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1995 ES, 224,000 miles, runs and sounds great, oil changes every 4-5K miles by Lexus/Toyota since new, uses less than a pint between changes, gas mileage better now than when young. After recently reading several places (2003 topic here) about checking under the oil filler cap, last night I did and...there was this brown, loose and gritty feeling deposit on the baffle beneath the cap. Couldn't see beyond the baffle but the stuff seemed to thin out where the oil runs off it.

I then moved over to the 2000 Sienna and peered down the filler opening. Deposits! Nearly black, baked hard onto the baffle surface, about 1/16" thick. I could scratch it off with a fingernail, but it was not loose like in the Lexus. 98,000 miles, Toyota-maintained throughout, including an oil change just 2 weeks ago, uses almost no oil between changes, gas mileage same as always.

Questions...First, are these solid deposits what is referred to as sludge (Toyota uses the term "gelling")?

Second, is this under-the-cap inspection a reliable indicator of sludging or deposits in the engine itself? That baffle I mentioned is a near-horizontal surface and I'm pretty sure not in the oil circulation pathway, so any oil there would tend to stay there. Also, this part gets very hot, so could the deposit just be baked-on oil that never made it into the crankcase?

Third, what should I do? Does the problem sound serious enough to require immediate attention? The Lexus is way beyond the recall period and wouldn't be worth much fixing. The Sienna is still under the extended warranty, but do you think I can get Toyota to inspect/fix when it really hasn't failed yet?

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This has been covered many times, do a search. Nothing new with toyo engines here. Also the dealer (with your service is using dino oil). This hard material is carbon and dinos do that (nature of dinos). It also is very hard to remove with other fluids (not engine oil).

So far, I like using Lc20 to remove carbon, varnish etc from my engine. Plus the more heat the better LC20 works.

Here is what I posted on. (one for example).

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...opic=29485&st=0

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This has been covered many times, do a search. Nothing new with toyo engines here. Also the dealer (with your service is using dino oil). This hard material is carbon and dinos do that (nature of dinos). It also is very hard to remove with other fluids (not engine oil).

So far, I like using Lc20 to remove carbon, varnish etc from my engine. Plus the more heat the better LC20 works.

Here is what I posted on. (one for example).

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...opic=29485&st=0

Well...I did do a search (back past 2003, in fact, although I missed the recent referenced one on What Flushing Stuff To Use, and none of which answered any of my questions). I was hoping SK or Toys or someone else who has seen the oil-cap deposits and then investigated further would respond. I really would like opinions on whether this problem, as described, needs to be addressed. Many dollars, or much time, is at risk. TIA.

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The stuff you have just needs to be cleaned and the items you could use is in the link I posted on. I had the oil cap desposits and carbon and they are now gone; just like the carbon in the fill hole. I would not worry about it since it is normal. Just clean it out and keep driving.

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It's sign that PCV needs to change.

I am driving with 192500, Changing oil every 4000 with Castrol Synth. Blend 5W30.

Changing PCV, Air filter and Trans.fluid every 15,000.

Hope that helps.

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Since I am pro oil analysis, I would say spend the $20 for a test or maybe

pull the cover and see what is up. 100 to 1 it is nothing since I had the

same thing on my 98; slight, very slight brown crud on my oil fill cap and lots of carbon on my baffle. It was due to heat the engine puts out and other engine

variables.

If you have carbon / sludge you will see the elevated areas on the tests.

Or just clean the EGR and replace the PCV and hope it does not come back.

Up to you and let us know what happens.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna see what Toyota says next time I take the van in (A/C needs to be looked at anyway). As for the Lexus, I think I will wait til the next oil change to decide what to do. It might be time to start thinking about a new(er) one, although I for one like the looks of the '95 better than any of the more recent, humped-up-rear-end iterations.

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