usedRX300

Excessive Oil Consumption

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I have a 99 RX owned since new, used synthetic blend until 100k miles and have 154k miles presently. Use full synthetic Castrol Oil 0-30w now.. Mine uses no oil between changes (3k to 4K) Most japanese engines use little or no oil between changes. Either the rings werent seated properly or engine has bad valve stem seals. This can be hard to determine as the Catalytic converter is so hot it can burn the oil residue off for a long time before it fails....I would say the engines are sludged and the dealers are lying...

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I would try Mobil 1 10W30 high mileage for an oil change interval; pretty impressive specs and it might help with consumption.

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...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.

It is quite possible that some component in your PVC or breather system got gummed up from an occasional start to show to a prospective customer and then became "self-healing" when driven regularly. I know that my BMW will exhibit signs of low oil if all I do is short, stop and go, errands. Once on the road for more than 20 minutes, the moisture in the oil is evaporated and the oil level reads normally. Fwiw, my BMW does not have a dipstick, relying on a sensing level in the oil pan to measure the level. I prefer dipsticks since they are fool proof.

Keep checking and start stretching out your checking interval. Glad things are working out.

Gary

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...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.

It is quite possible that some component in your PVC or breather system got gummed up from an occasional start to show to a prospective customer and then became "self-healing" when driven regularly. I know that my BMW will exhibit signs of low oil if all I do is short, stop and go, errands. Once on the road for more than 20 minutes, the moisture in the oil is evaporated and the oil level reads normally. Fwiw, my BMW does not have a dipstick, relying on a sensing level in the oil pan to measure the level. I prefer dipsticks since they are fool proof.

Keep checking and start stretching out your checking interval. Glad things are working out.

Gary

after driving across country this summer, i found that it is now burning about a quart of oil every 200 miles. also there is the gray smoke out of the tail pipe momentarily when first started. i was not towing a trailer or anything out of the ordinary, other than driving 75 miles an hour rather than the 30-50mph around home and work. i am now beyond the 60000 mile lexus engine warranty. i am taking it to a toyota dealer as the same engine was used in the highlander and their hourly labor charge is 25.oo less an hour. very frustrating. anyone know what diagnositic tests could determine valve guides verses oil ring problem? i think my extended warranty should cover this, but i have to pay for the diagnositic work. i did run mobile 1 last oil change, no difference. hot weather and higher speeds and it was drinking the oil. thanks for all the ideas. i have no idea how to verify whether or not it is a sludge engine myself, i am at their mercy it seems.

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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?

i have been having the same kind of problem (engine has about 65000 miles on it and regular oil changes)

, also told not a sludge engine, now burning oil on high speed highway driving about a quart every 200 miles. could be worn valve guides, or any number of another dozen things. i will keep you posted.

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My guess is that you both have sludge engines. Use the search function here and find some owners who have had this repaired. Your engine is using oil because it is turning to sludge.

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There are a few things that could be causing everyone's issues:

1) stuck rings and your getting blow-by and burning oil

2) valve stem seals are not sealing and you are burning oil that way

3) clogged PVC valve is creating too much pressure in crank case and causing the issue

4) you've got a leak somewhere, and something like a clogged PCV valve can be antagonizing it.

It's hard to find out exactly what's going on... so you can do a few things:

1) change out the PCV valve

2) pressure wash the engine and look for any external leaks (oil could be hitting exhaust and burning off, but that would give a definite smell).

2) dump in some Bardahl's No-Smoke in the crankcase and see if it helps your problem. If it does, then your getting oil into your combustion chamber, nearly guaranteed.

3) If you are sure you are getting blow-by into the combustion chamber, then I wouldn't even waste the time trying to 'repair' the engine by getting in there and trying to have the valve stems replaced, or having the rings worked on... waaaay too many miles on most of these vehicles and waaaay too much time and energy spend going after a repair on an engine with over 100K on the ticker (most of these vehicles). The better way to go is to get a low-mileage replacement engine and just swap out engines. We had this done on our ES300 (which share the same 1MZFE engine with the RX300, which is VERY common and available now). Our shop sourced about 4 engines and picked the nicest one for about $800. It was about $800 in labor to do the swap, too (they keep your intake system and bolt-ons, so essentially it's a long block that they replace and put your existing peripherals onto). So, for the price of a valve seal replacement (about $1300-$1600), you can have all your issues resolved and a lower mileage engine. You may want to have the timing belt replaced at the same time, too, just to be sure since it'll be a different engine).

Unfortunately, if you are having these problems and a replacement of the PCV valve doesn't clear up the issue, then it's not going to be a cheap fix. You can run No-Smoke in there for some time and it should really help the problem, but it's just a Band-Aid and eventually you'll want to address the issue... which will be no less than ~$1600 to repair. That sure beats $7000 for a new short block, then tons in labor to reassemble.

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Just got on this post. My 2001 RX300 has the same problem. Toyota mechanic says it needs new short block @ $7000.00. Car has 150,000 miles.

Your car is still under the 8 years 120day warranty.....

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Just registered and joined this forum. Today I took my 2001 RX300 into the Lexus dealer because I seem to have burned 3.5 quarts of oil in about 2 months for 2.1K miles of city use. Intermittent morning blue smoke. Bought this vehicle new, and I've had it just over 8 years. I don't know anything about the class action sludge/gel suit. Never got a notice. I change the oil and filter myself... I use Toyota filters and Castrol GTX 5W30 oil. 5 quarts per change. No mistakes. Normal habit is to start it up and run it after the change, then shut it off and check the oil level. Only then, is the job done. All recorded in a spiral book with date and mileage and work done. Because I don't get much highway use on this anymore, I tried to clean out the engine by topping the tank with premium gas running it for 100+ miles of 70+mph highway. Ran like a top. But blue smoke the next morning, however not the two mornings after that. I suspected valve seal failures. Today the Lexus mechanic said the engine was obviously well maintained by how clean it was, including under the #2-4-6 valve cover. He said that he thinks the #2 piston rings are "sticky" and that is where I am burning my oil. Cannot be sure without a tear down. I refused the complete tear down job and the $5.5-6K it would cost, and I am looking for the best additives and procedures I can try to clean those "sticky rings." Haven't changed the PCV valve yet. That's next, too. By the way, the dash warning light is a low oil pressure light, not a low oil level light. Seems that it only flashes on when the oil gets so low that when you go around a corner and slosh what is left, the oil pump gets starved...low pressure.

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Just registered and joined this forum. Today I took my 2001 RX300 into the Lexus dealer because I seem to have burned 3.5 quarts of oil in about 2 months for 2.1K miles of city use. Intermittent morning blue smoke. Bought this vehicle new, and I've had it just over 8 years. I don't know anything about the class action sludge/gel suit. Never got a notice. I change the oil and filter myself... I use Toyota filters and Castrol GTX 5W30 oil. 5 quarts per change. No mistakes. Normal habit is to start it up and run it after the change, then shut it off and check the oil level. Only then, is the job done. All recorded in a spiral book with date and mileage and work done. Because I don't get much highway use on this anymore, I tried to clean out the engine by topping the tank with premium gas running it for 100+ miles of 70+mph highway. Ran like a top. But blue smoke the next morning, however not the two mornings after that. I suspected valve seal failures. Today the Lexus mechanic said the engine was obviously well maintained by how clean it was, including under the #2-4-6 valve cover. He said that he thinks the #2 piston rings are "sticky" and that is where I am burning my oil. Cannot be sure without a tear down. I refused the complete tear down job and the $5.5-6K it would cost, and I am looking for the best additives and procedures I can try to clean those "sticky rings." Haven't changed the PCV valve yet. That's next, too. By the way, the dash warning light is a low oil pressure light, not a low oil level light. Seems that it only flashes on when the oil gets so low that when you go around a corner and slosh what is left, the oil pump gets starved...low pressure.

Try Auto-RX, Don't believe all the hype on their site, but it is an excellent product and will clean the inside of the engine up, including rings. Not cheap, but a lot cheaper than the alternatives. Use it for a couple of oil changes. Do a search on the Lexus forums and see with pictures what it has done in cleaning gunked up engines.

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Just registered and joined this forum. Today I took my 2001 RX300 into the Lexus dealer because I seem to have burned 3.5 quarts of oil in about 2 months for 2.1K miles of city use. Intermittent morning blue smoke. Bought this vehicle new, and I've had it just over 8 years. I don't know anything about the class action sludge/gel suit. Never got a notice. I change the oil and filter myself... I use Toyota filters and Castrol GTX 5W30 oil. 5 quarts per change. No mistakes. Normal habit is to start it up and run it after the change, then shut it off and check the oil level. Only then, is the job done. All recorded in a spiral book with date and mileage and work done. Because I don't get much highway use on this anymore, I tried to clean out the engine by topping the tank with premium gas running it for 100+ miles of 70+mph highway. Ran like a top. But blue smoke the next morning, however not the two mornings after that. I suspected valve seal failures. Today the Lexus mechanic said the engine was obviously well maintained by how clean it was, including under the #2-4-6 valve cover. He said that he thinks the #2 piston rings are "sticky" and that is where I am burning my oil. Cannot be sure without a tear down. I refused the complete tear down job and the $5.5-6K it would cost, and I am looking for the best additives and procedures I can try to clean those "sticky rings." Haven't changed the PCV valve yet. That's next, too. By the way, the dash warning light is a low oil pressure light, not a low oil level light. Seems that it only flashes on when the oil gets so low that when you go around a corner and slosh what is left, the oil pump gets starved...low pressure.

Try Auto-RX, Don't believe all the hype on their site, but it is an excellent product and will clean the inside of the engine up, including rings. Not cheap, but a lot cheaper than the alternatives. Use it for a couple of oil changes. Do a search on the Lexus forums and see with pictures what it has done in cleaning gunked up engines.

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Thanks code58. I will look into Auto-RX. Everyone has hype. That's what makes finding a solution so difficult. I just purchased a a container of 3M complete fuel system cleaner. Can't hurt, even if it doesn't help. It's all naphthelenes.

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There is a TSB issued for oil leak from the cam shaft, I do not know if this is of any help, And i unable to post this TSB as it is huge file of 3MB. I can post it to the admistrators who inturn can post it for the RX330/ 350 members

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I had the same progression of symptoms with my 2002 RX300 as usedRX300 did. At 106,000 miles the oil pressure light came on and I discovered it was almost 5 quarts low. The vehicle had been faithfully serviced according to schedule at the Lexus dealer. Thought maybe the dealer had failed to refill the oil when it was last in for service. Occasionally a large plume of whitish smoke would come out the tailpipe in the morning when starting it cold, making it seem like it might be antifreeze leaking through the head gasket. Continued to monitor and after a few weeks started noticing it was losing a quart after 175 miles of around town driving. Took it on a highway trip and it used 3 1/2 quarts after driving 225 miles at 80-85mph (OK I have a lead foot). Had the rear valve cover and PVC valve replaced which fixed the problem. (thank you blk_on_blk for suggesting it could be a PVC related problem). Valve cover and the baffles within it, that are designed for keeping the oil out of the PVC valve, were gunked up. PVC valve was a bit oily (not clogged) indicating it had been sucking oil out with the air. Rear spark plugs were corroded compared to the front set. Replaced all 6 of those. Cost around $667 with my mechanic (didn't do this one at the dealer) and was relieved as I thought it was going to need a new long block for $6K-7K as discussed in some other posts.

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I had the same progression of symptoms with my 2002 RX300 as usedRX300 did. At 106,000 miles the oil pressure light came on and I discovered it was almost 5 quarts low. The vehicle had been faithfully serviced according to schedule at the Lexus dealer. Thought maybe the dealer had failed to refill the oil when it was last in for service. Occasionally a large plume of whitish smoke would come out the tailpipe in the morning when starting it cold, making it seem like it might be antifreeze leaking through the head gasket. Continued to monitor and after a few weeks started noticing it was losing a quart after 175 miles of around town driving. Took it on a highway trip and it used 3 1/2 quarts after driving 225 miles at 80-85mph (OK I have a lead foot). Had the rear valve cover and PVC valve replaced which fixed the problem. (thank you blk_on_blk for suggesting it could be a PVC related problem). Valve cover and the baffles within it, that are designed for keeping the oil out of the PVC valve, were gunked up (sludge related??). PVC valve was a bit oily (not clogged) indicating it had been sucking oil out with the air. Rear spark plugs were corroded compared to the front set. Replaced all 6 of those. Cost around $667 with my mechanic (didn't do this one at the dealer) and was relieved as I thought it was going to need a new long block for $6K-7K as discussed in some other posts.

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I recently noticed my 2001 Lexus es300 was using a quart of oil per 120 miles, but only during highway driving ... I replaced the PCV valve, changed the oil and filter using Pennzoil 5w-30, replaced the spark plugs and cleaned the oil control valve screen located on the driver side of the front head ... Just took a 120 mile highway trip today and the car used zero oil ... After the trip the oil level was exactly where it was when I started the trip ... Not sure exactly what cured the problem, but I am guessing it was replacing the PCV valve that had the most effect, a $5 part ... As I did these things myself, total repair cost was less than $60 ...

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I am happy for you, remember that engine had particular sludge problems and using high quality synthetic oil, and keeping up the maintenance will give you long life. 

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I am full aware of the reported problems with this engine ... I recently purchased this vehicle from auction, so I have no idea of it's maintenance history ... I was simply writing to let people know that the excessive oil consumption issue related to these engines may be able to be resolved by a few simple repairs ... Regardless of what mechanics might say, it is not always as serious of an issue as they may be claiming ... One must remember they are in business to make money ... Many of them would much rather you have a bill in the thousands rather than you spend $60 correcting the problem yourself ... This is just a fact ... Also, I have been taking care of my own vehicles for over 40 years and never once have I used any synthetic oil ... I use a good oil of the proper weight, change the oil and filter regularly and if any engine problems occur it is unlikely to have anything to do with the oil that is being used ... Synthetic oil, in my opinion, is just another way to get more money out of your pocket into the pockets of others ... Synthetics often lead to gasket leaks that otherwise would not have occurred, in turn leading to other repairs ... I just wanted to recommend to those who are experiencing a lot of oil usage from these engines to first try a few simple repairs before jumping to take the advice of a mechanic and possibly spending thousands of dollars ... The problem just may be able to be fixed rather inexpensively as was the case with this vehicle ... PCV valve, oil change, plugs, cleaning oil control valve screen ... If that doesn't work then one could dig deeper ... I wish everyone good luck in having their vehicle repaired at the lowest cost possible ...

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Agree totally, except on synthetic, The question of leaks has shown to not be a problem.  You can also stretch changes to 7k with no issues, and purchase at Walmart cheap.  I Fully support use of synthetic for better lubrication and its ability to reduce sludge.  Thank you for the great advice, I hope to see you share more, we all benefit from our knowledge base.

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Your information that synthetic oils do not sometimes cause leaks is simply false ... They certainly can and do cause leaks ... I have worked on cars for over 40 years, I know several mechanics and our family has owned and operated a licensed dealership for more than 20 years ... I happen to know it is true that synthetic oils do sometimes lead to gasket failure and leaks, but people on this forum can choose to believe you Lenore instead if they wish ... It is all up to them what they will believe ... I simply have told what I know to be true ...

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-reason-that-synthetic-oil-causes-leaks

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I am on four different sites, two Lexus, one Toyota, and one Ford.  Your question about causing leaks is asked in every forum, Yup could be,  but after wrenching on Cars for over 50 years I more than suspect that the leaks were there before, and the switch to synthetic just accented it.  But I will give you this one, but friend I am not here to fight, just to provide info just as you did.  But welcome to our forums, and may I suggest the Club Lexus forums also.  You will find a wealth of knowledge between these two sites on the Lexus.  We come on these forums to help people as well as get help from a data of owners that have experienced these problems and have come up with solutions.  Hope you have a great weekend.

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I'm not here to fight either, just trying to help some folks ... You have a good weekend as well ...

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