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drewtaylor

Determining If You Suffer From Oil Sludge

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I have a 99 RX300 that was purchased two years ago as a certified pre-owned Lexus. At the time the car had 30,000 miles on it, it now has 60,000 and because of the oil gelling problem I have had the oil changed by the Lexus dealer every 5,000 miles.

We are purchasing a new car (not a Lexus) and the dealer has offered us a reduced trade-in value because they claim the engine has evidence of oil sludge buildup. They claim they were able to determine this by just removing the oil filler cap and looking at the dip-stick. I don't know if this dealer is just saying this based on the known problem or if there really is an indication of a probem.

Is it possible to determine this problem as this other dealer has stated? Looking at the dipstick there are some thick brown deposits above the full line which I've never really noticed on any other car, would this be evidence of oil sludge? The car is still under Lexus warranty. If I take the car back to Lexus what would be the recommended service if there were an oil problem, how would I know if there really is a problem or not?

Thanks to anyone who can give me any advice with this.

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