By on January 2, 2013

Yaw A. writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Long time fan of the blog. Sad that I have to ask this but the time has come. My mom bought a ’99 Lexus RX300 AWD a couple of years ago and has been having problems with it. She just came up on 135K miles and has been having oil lights come up + oil consumption problems. She got someone to look at it and the diagnosis is the dreaded 1MZ-FE sludge monster. The only logical repair seems to be to replace the engine; Lexus quoted her something crazy like $10K for a new engine and another $5K for labor.

My reflex answer when she asked was to find a junkyard replacement and get another shop to do the replacement. But thinking about it now, I’m not so sure. What if she does all that, only to find out the engine she replaced it with is sludged too? Plus the car is 13 years old, and I think she got a good 10 or so years out of it. Even if she went the junkyard route and it worked out fine, she’d be in a good couple thousand in a car retailing for not much more than $7000.

She is also looking to leave the country in the next 1-2 years, so a big new purchase is not necessary. I am thinking she should eat the loss and downgrade to something cheaper to run until she is ready to leave. What do you think?

Thanks,

Yaw A.

Sajeev answers:

My reflex answer is the same as yours. From what I see, it’s far too late for you to submit a claim for the sludge recall/settlement, so you got screwed.

About those junkyard motors: if you find one with low miles (around 50K) you’ll be fine.  Have the mechanic pull the oil pan, cam covers, etc and inspect the motor before installing.  Clean the oil pump’s pickup screen at the same time.  If the mechanic doesn’t like the motor given by the junkyard, he’ll get another one under their warranty. The warranty is often for a year, so there’s no problem here.

Most modern junkyards aren’t very junky, it’s more like a networked group of warehouses around the country that can get you damn near any part for any vehicle. And I’m pretty sure that $2000-2500 gets a perfectly good motor installed for a few years of perfect reliability, at the minimum.

And that’s all you really need. For those who don’t plan on leaving the country soon, a junkyard motor that passes muster with your mechanic, with new gaskets, clean oil pump, regular (synthetic) oil changes will almost ensure years and many tens of thousands of miles with zero problems.

It’s worth the cash outlay, especially considering the resale value of any Lexus…even one with a sludgy reputation. My tune would change if this was a Mitsubishi Galant.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

65 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Relentless Pursuit of…Sludge?...”


  • avatar
    Mud

    You have nothing to lose at this point – before you start talking about another engine, I suggest doing some reading on bobistheoilguy.com and also posting your situation for feedback on that site.
    Some oils in particular are very good at internal cleaning and there has been some success with a couple of additives, most notably Kreen. Look in the forums under passenger car oil and also under oil additives.
    I’m aware of the arguments for and against oil additives, but IMO if I was faced with possibility of engine replacement yet only needing the car for a limited period of time, it may be worth a shot to look into some cleaning possibilities. But be aware that all this will take some monitoring and mopre frequent oil/filter changes as well.
    It may be worth a shot.
    oh, one other thing, be sure that the PCV system is working properly, a clogged PCV valve can contribute to a sludge-prone engine.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      You beat me to the punch as I completely agree. There is nothing to lose at this point so I’d go with an internal cleaning attempt.

    • 0 avatar

      100% agreed. Maybe a bottle of engine flush (or diesel) and another oil change isn’t a bad idea.

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      Maybe a few more short 1000 mi oil changes with some 5W30 API SN conventional oil will help clear the engine out and restore pressure after the first flush. How much per quart is oil at Costco? Get some good Toyota filters too. :)

      I haven’t had any problems with Mom’s 2000 1MZ-FE sans VVT-i, but the oil was regularly changed every six months since new.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      I also agree. An engine change seems a little extreme for what amounts to little more than a dirty engine. Unless the sludging has resulted in some other permanent damage. I’d definitely try cleaning first. Maybe a good Seafoam treatment. . .???

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Don’t use the engine flush stuff. Most are basically kerosene and will damage your seals resulting in needed major engine work anyway. I would have someone drop the oil pan, and clean the pickup. Put about 1/3 ATF and 2/3 oil in with a fresh filter. Go drive the hell out of it. Repeat a couple of times if need be. The detergents in the ATF are stronger than in motor oil. It should work must of the sludge out. Then a couple of high frequency, 1000 mile synthetic oil changes, and the engine might be saved. It’s worth the attempt.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Not true about ATF. Transmissions don’t see the carbon from combustion, don’t need the detergents that engines do.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Anybody ever try running some diesel through the engine? Here me out;

    Cat C7 engines have a common problem of the injector cups cracking, leaking fuel into the oil system. One truck was so bad it came into the shop with a oil/diesel (mostly diesel) mix coming out of the fill tube. The injector cups were fixed, oil/filter changed, and the truck sent on it’s way.

    Sometime later the same truck came back for some work. The engine was found to be far cleaner then normal during the tear-down.

    I’ve never done this on any of my newer cars, although one of our other mechanics does on a Chevy Aveo when his valves start to tick. Now, on my order vehicles, before I change the oil I run a quart or two of diesel through it.

    Hey, if the engine is junk already, why not give it a try? Just make sure it’s diesel fuel; detergent and lubricating properties not found in gasoline. Pour a few quarts down into the crankcase and run it a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      AMC_CJ – some people on brickboard recommend using diesel to clean engine as well.

      http://www.brickboard.com/RWD/index.htm?id=1416492&show_all=1

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        If you look at the 5th and 6th post at that brickboard link, people on BITOG recommend Auto-Rx. That + a shopvac as stated on brickboard are probably a good lead, plus doing more frequent oil changes after you do that because you will loosen the sludge, and the filter will clog.

        Diesel could do weird things to the engine, but then again, maybe we don’t care because the car only needs to run for a bit longer.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ve never tried diesel in the crankcase, but I’ve mixed in a quart of ATF to clean out gummed out lifter passages with some success.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Diesel and kerosene were used to thin the oil for winter use back in the days of single-grade oils!

      I’d consider going with a quart of diesel and the rest 15W-40 diesel oil (for the cleaning and particle suspension properties) for a couple of short intervals if it looks sludgy under the valve covers but runs okay otherwise.

      I hope that Lexus monitors actual oil level, or she should also be checking the oil level more often. It should never be allowed to get down to anywhere near the point where the oil pressure light comes on.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    A close friend is facing the same thing with a 2001 V6 Galant with 150k mi(just emailed Sajeev/Steve with an urgent question).

    My initial advice was to consider repair, but Sajeev’s last sentence worries me! Is there something super-terrible about the Galant that we should just start looking for good used Vulcan Tauri/ 3.8L GM W-Bodies for the cost of repair?

    • 0 avatar

      Depends on the repair. My slam against the Galant was more about its resale and desirability, not that replacing a major component isn’t worth it if someone really likes the car and needs it functional.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        Thanks Sajeev. Two reputable shops have told her the engine is done and will require replacement at a cost >$2,500. The current engine apparently is making a hideous knocking sound that started suddenly (I’ve only heard it through a phone). I’m starting to re-consider my advice to repair and soldier on with the devil she knows. And apologies for hijacking this piston slap.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        That hideous knocking noise is likely a spun rod bearing. The engine will need replacing. I agree with Sajeev; if the car has good resale value, it’s worth putting the money into it.

  • avatar
    jaje

    This was Toyota’s quick answer to increasing emissions and the race with Honda for ULEV and SULEV bragging rights. Honda did an engine head redesign which safely allowed them to run hotter and not sludge up – as the hotter the engine runs the better the emissions. Toyota simply turned up the thermostat on their engines and called it a day and blamed the owners when things went bad. Not to be outdone Honda gave us the disposable v6 transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Owners also complained that it was a hassle to have to change their oil every 3k miles, so Toyota bumped the oil change intervals to 10k miles in some instances, and customers would go well past that.

      These engines, even on regular dino oil with routine oil changes had less sludging, and none with synthetic done at reasonable intervals.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        I think it was more about J D power than owners. Cost of ownership, how much service (time in the shop) etc.

        A lot of manufacturers went to 10,000 miles at that time.

        Not a good thing even with synthetic oil IMHO. Our RX300 gets 5000mile synthetic changes.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Prolonged oil change intervals are pretty much the norm nowadays. I still change mine every 3-5000k. Cheap insurance IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        My boss’s 38,000 mile ML350 engine had some mild sludge sticking to a few places with 8,000 mile synthetic oil change intervals. I think 5-6,000 should be the maximum. These 10K intervals are trouble, especially since it’s the far extreme of the tolerance, and than people think it’s no big deal to go a couple thousand over since it’s only a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      …and generally speaking both companies got a pass from their customers and for the most part the automotive media at the time IIRC.

      Making a minor change (such as adjusting the factory thermostat) and blaming the customers for problems is a GM-level fail.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        I’m not letting anybody off the hook. Coming up with crazy high oil change intervals to appease customers was just asking for trouble, which Toyota obviously got.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        IIRC at that time a major selling point was also the maintenance intervals of cars such as the Achieva which had longer oil change intervals and no timing belt. Maybe Toyota was jumping on that bandwagon as well claiming lower maintenance costs which in turn leads to less maintenance and more problems.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @grzydj

        I agree, call a spade a spade.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I believe the root issue is small oil return passages from the heads back to the block. They can get clogged easy. The thermostat is typical 192F on the 1MZ-FE. The emissions improvement likely came from VVT-i.

      I don’t think Toyota got a pass, they replaced engines. There are still many 1MZ-FE Toyotas running up to 200,300,400+k miles despite the sludge issue. You do need to check a used model out, removing the valve cover is the best way to be sure. My ES has about 100k miles and it is fine.

      Lexus specificed 5k mile oil changes, compared to 7.5k+ typical schedules today. No 10k recommendations in sight.

      The internet is funny, people just make stuff up if they don’t like a particular car company. The worst are the whole “TTAC loves Toyota and hates GM” brigade you people are the worst fibbers. I don’t really care either way, not a Toyota lover but my 12 year old ES is really solid for its age and well built, no trouble so far, especially compared to our turbo Subaru ha.

      But do stay away from the early 5-spd auto Hondas I passed on a TL Type-S i think I dodged a bullet.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Power6: Up until the pedal entrapment issue, Toyota DID get a pass on the sludging issue. For a very long time, they stole a page from the old D3 playbook and blamed the customer for an engineering issue. Yes, they ultimately replaced engines, but not until lawsuits reared their ugly heads, and there were still many people who believed it really was their fault. My FIL was one.

        Much of the griping by non-Toyota fans is because of the fawning attitudes assigned to the cars and the company. Many act as if the company were some large philanthropic association that happens to build cars, and are shocked, shocked! to find out (after situations like the sludge and the pedal entrapment) that they’re a business with regular business objectives.

        It’s the same “blinders-on” attitude that certain fans get when speaking about their cars. It doesn’t matter what manufacturer; you’re mention about the Subaru head gaskets and the Honda transmissions aren’t exactly news. But these same folks often criticize other car owners who celebrate their cars achieving some milestone, with pithy remarks like: “My Subahondishiyota would go 500,000 miles with no fuel or oil UNDERWATER and never cost me a cent”.

        Sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        That’s interesting, I don’t think I have ever encountered anyone who really believed a maintenance issue blamed on them was their fault! Really all you need to do is change the oil these days and if the thing blows up under warranty it is almost always some design issue.

        This reliability stuff is just so hard to quantify we are down to opinion most of the time, even TrueDelta couldn’t tell us is Subaru head gasekts or Toyota V6 sludge are a bigger problem. My gut feel is that the sludge problem was overblown, there are more threads about “just hit 300k miles” than there are about sludge-blown engines on relevant forums, though at the age of the cars it is more accepted and not a warranty concern any more. Go log on to a 2nd Gen TL forum, swet jeebus there should be at least 3 blown trans threads on the first page. Completely anecodtal of course.

        We have an XT Outback, the turbos actually don’t have head gasket issues, we have clogged oil screens, worn control arm bushings, both front axles toasted. Subaru lovers (and I love Subarus) will tell you this is normal every car needs those thing. This is at about 100k miles, my ES is about there and 4 years older and it shows no signs of needing any of that, plus the hood has not one paint chip, light grey leather is in fantastic shape etc. it is just a better built car. In fairness the Lexus is dead simple, FWD V6 4-speed auto, with strut suspension all around is like the most basic Japanese recipe there is, hard to get it wrong.

        I’ve no illusions that Toyota was doing anything for our benefit. I just don’t think sludge or no sludge damns them to building shoddy cars all around. No doubt it was an engineering issue, it just doesn’t seem to have been widespread issue.

        My ES was serviced since new by Lexus of Watertown and now I service it independent still change the oil every 5k. We’ll see if I get the sludge so far so good. At least a used 1mzfe is pretty cheap in the yards there is a good supply.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Don’t forget that people often ignore the time limit given for an oil change interval. You can’t base it on mileage if you do a lot of cold starts and short trips. I wouldn’t be afraid to put 10k highway miles on any decent conventional oil in any somewhat modern vehicle, but I wouldn’t want to go past six months on synthetic for a daily driver with multiple cold starts a day even if it only had 1000 miles on the interval.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        Toyota did Heisman much of their customers when the sludge issues started showing up. Toyota knew this issue was coming from internal testing but still went ahead with the design and the longer oil change intervals. They are not devoid of acting like an 800 lb gorilla (look into the demise of CART and Toyota’s brute force in destroying that series) like GM or Honda or even Porsche. Research the 911 IMS and RMS failures on their 996/997 & 986/987 engines (ironically former Toyota people were brought in at Porsche to help with production efficiency / parts sharing at that same time). To fix it costs $3k to the customer for parts / labor. Porsche simply let engines break and fix when only under warranty (3 years) or $15k for a new engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        The “don’t fix the root problem just let the warranty fix the symptom” strategy is the worst. Subaru does this. Great for the people who happened to have blown up under warranty, screws a whole generation of customers that take great care of their cars only to have the same problem out of warranty. At least Honda and Toyota acknowledged problems and extended warranties, I guess they can’t cover a design flaw forever.

        What were the longer oil change intervals we keep harping on? The 1MZFE vehicles all had 5k oil changes specified AFAIK.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Toyota still recommends 5K intervals, I believe, so I’m not sure where these 10K claims are coming from. I haven’t looked up what the BITOG guys recommend, but Toyota says you could do 10K with Toyota-approved synthetic:

        http://www.toyota.com/owners/web/pages/resources/maintenance/synthetic-motor-oil

        The first reality is that a lot of people don’t follow maintenance schedules. The second reality is that even people who kinda sorta follow the maintenance schedules often take it to SpeedyLubeJob where who knows what those idiots pour into you car. I’ve heard so many stories about those places topping off cars with the wrong fluids (for example, the wrong color coolant) and claiming they used synthetic when they used low quality dino.

  • avatar
    packard

    AMC’s idea is not bad- this is the opportunity for research. We used to run ATF in an engine to clean noisy lifters. Fill crankcase with ATF and run (do not drive) the engine for 15 min. Stop engine for 1 hour. Repeat cycle.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I would do what Sajeev suggested and stay out of the dealership. Most independent shops can handle a complete engine replacement for far cheaper. It’s actually a pretty simple job in most cases.

  • avatar
    conswirloo

    Highlander motor. ’01 through whenever they stopped using the 3.0 liter. Same motor, you just don’t have the fancy L on the engine cover.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I have done the diesel bit and it seemed to work. Ford 302 and prior owner never changed the oil.

    I don’t think I have had the problem since I started using synthetic oil on everything years ago.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Rebuild with 3 year 100K warranty is $3600. Or less

    Used Lexus badged engines are plentiful in the $1500-$2300 bracket.
    Same engine is in the Avalon, though the ancillaries may be different. Those engines one can buy used at $800 per all day long.

    Install is usually about a grand depending on who does it and what part of the country you are in.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Check out autorx. It should clean your sludge out. Also as suggested the pcv system should be checked to see that its in good working order.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      What he said. It’s very popular with the VAG 1.8T crowd (another awesome sludge and turbo-coke monster).

      Whether or not it actually works, it’s cheap enough to be worth a try before dropping thousands of dollars on an engine swap.

      http://www.auto-rx.com/

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      The AutoRx treatment plus short oil change interval regimen looks promising without the fear of loosening too much gunk too quickly.

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    Fill it with gear oil and drive it the nearest dealer and trade it in

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Yaw,

    For posterity’s sake, please do an engine flush (seems like everyone is voting diesel) before you spend the money on a junkyard engine.

    Also please let us know the results. This is good information to know for the future.

  • avatar
    markholli

    “Lexus quoted her something crazy like $10K for a new engine and another $5K for labor.”

    Holy wow…$15,000 for an engine. Did the dealer’s service writer say it with a straight face?

    When I was in high school I worked at a body shop that would give very high quotes on jobs they didn’t want. For example, a guy wanted his classic Benz convertible stripped down to the frame and repainted. I wonder if this dealer was doing the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Lexus dealer service rates are ridiculous. But you drive into a heated drop off area and get a free loaner, nice waiting room with goof coffee etc. Also Toyota really jacks up their parts prices on older vehicles.

      I think a timing belt job is close to $2k with everything at the Lexus dealer currently.

    • 0 avatar
      iantm

      Funny you mention this. About eight years ago, I had a Ford Contour v6 and the alternator failed. Since I wasn’t a tech at the time, I called around various shops and the local Ford dealer for quotes on replacing the alternator. The independents quoted me around $700-$900 to do it while the local Ford dealer quoted me $450 to do it. I went to the Ford dealer and ended up trading my car in on a focus while I was waiting for it to be done. Years later, I started working as a tech and understood completely what happened when I had a Contour V6 come in with a blown alternator… Needless to say, after looking at what Alldata said was involved, we quoted the guy a high price and he ended up going to the Ford dealer… Sometimes the dealer’s strict adherence to flat rate labor quotes isn’t a bad thing…

      • 0 avatar
        sastexan

        +1 I had a similar issue with my Contour SVT. The shift cable ends on the transmission are plastic – they snap – and did. Limped the car in 3rd gear to my mechanic, who, despite me telling him it most likely was ONLY the cable ends, looked on Alldata and saw the only repair Ford listed is to replace the entire cable assembly. Screwed it up, adjusted it twice, another mechanic tried to correct it twice. Called Ford dealer; their flat rate to replace the assembly was a lot lower – but talking to the dealer’s mechanic, it would take him 2 hours beyond the shop hours, even though he had done nearly 50 replacements. He did a very good job; I gave him a gift card as a tip.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    Seafoam, one can in the gas, one can in the oil, take the last can an let it get sucked in through a vacuum tube. Then shut down engine, let it sit for an hour, start it up and let it run, if there is sludge you will produce a white cloud that can be seen from space. Drive car vigorously for an hour or so drain crank case. Repeat until the white smoke goes away.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Been a while since I sent this- she’s been driving it for a couple of months now without incident and claims her independent mechanic can fix it for $800. I am curious to see what exactly he plans to do

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Sorry to reminisce, but I remember years ago pulling the valve cover off a Fiat 124 sedan and you could just barely see the rocker arms and the sludge had made an almost perfect casting of the valve cover.kerosene,a brush and at least two oil changes got everything right for another 30k!
    Maybe new motors cant take it????
    Me thinks this sludge racket may be a little overblown……..
    Just my 2 cents

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I was sucked into the hell of changing out a motor in a 2000 or 2001 Ford Econoline van a friend bought at a police auction about 10 years ago. It ran, barely, he thought it just needed a tuneup, LOL. He was able to drive it home before it spun a rod bearing. The van itself was in great shape, customized inside and cost a pretty big chunk of change, since the bill of sale was in the glovebox. Along with it was a little book with all the service info written down. He had changed the oil every 5000 miles, as the “book” said. We had to take a mallet to get the valve covers off (there was something different about the PVC or something on the new motor, so we had to use the old valve covers), the amount of hardened sludge was amazing. I call it hell for a couple reasons, first was I tore my right thumbnail off before we even really got started, then near the end, just before we finished up, I got a cut that required stitches in my right thumb. It was weeks before my hand was worth a damn. The van is all rusted up now, but the junkyard motor in it, with 3Kmile oil changes, is sludge free and running great. My thumb has “trigger finger”, and hurts most of the time now. I blame the van for about 1% of the damage I’ve done to my hands. I would say it’s a 50/50 split between working on cars and the fights I had when I was a bouncer. Punching through a wall is probably the cause of a lot of my left hand issues alone. My shoulder hurt a lot more than my hand did though. My left shoulder is now my “good” shoulder now, for 20+ years, it was the “bad” one.

  • avatar
    blppt

    Reminds me of the oft-mentioned Chrysler 2.7 debacle. I wonder how bad it actually was with that motor….I’m always hearing conflicting info (i.e. it was fixed as early as 2000, or that as late as 2007 people were still having the same problem with the next-gen cars like Chargers, Magnums, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      or the Northstars, they were supposedly fixed several different times.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      I worked at a supplier when the auto press was hyping how ChryCo went from first CAD model to full production on the 2.7 in like 18 months.
      I asked a couple ChryCo engrs who were visiting about how they did it and they just shook their heads.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I love all the comments .

    De sludging engines is easily done but beware of driving them much , or fast when the cleaning agent is in the crankcase ! .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    On the Saturn S series 4 bangers which sludged up the oil rings (because drainback holes had been omitted from the pistons) we had great success using a particular variety of Castrol oil. 5W30 Syntec manufactured in Germany – - it was difficult to find but sold at some AutoZone stores. The USA stuff didn’t have the same esters in it and didn’t work similarly. Not sure if it is still available today.

    They would go from a quart every 500 mi to 2500 or 3000.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I have one of those, I may owe you a drink and thank you sir if this oil works as you say.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      German Castrol is often highly recommended on BITOG for various cars, including many German ones. It is different from US Castrol synthetic and is actually fully synthetic (PAO as opposed to Group III). It is widely available in the US, and here’s an FAQ on it from BITOG:

      http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=718643

  • avatar
    nikita

    I know this engine has a bad reputation, but our 1999 V-6 Camry was bought new by dad, passed on to be after he couldnt drive anymore and now my kid has it with over 250,000 miles. The only oil loss is from external leakage, about a pint every 1000 miles, no big deal. It still passes smog with flying colors and runs smooth. Dino oil is all that it has ever seen. I did switch from the recommended 10W-30 to 15W-40 at the 200k mark, but cold starting is not a challenge in San Diego.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    Geeze Louise… This is a NO BRAINER… Marvels Mystery Oil has been around for how long? Something like 75 years??
    And its always been used for situations just like this. My god, where has common sense gone?
    Just run 5-30 in it and a qt of MMO. Change it every week if you do aot of driving, once a month if you don’t. A long 1,000 mile drive a couple times in a row wouldnt hurt either. Then change it and add MMO and a new filter 4 or 5 tims… and guess what? It will be fine!
    My neighbor in DAVIS cALIF… A TYPICAL uNIV TOWN… NEVER CHANGED HIS OIL ONCE IN HIS 2000 nISSAN PICKUP… YES HE ADDED OIL WHEN NEEDED, BUT i SWEAR HE NEVER CHANGED IT ONCE IN 122,000 MILES.
    damn…sorry about the caps…
    Anyway… we changed his oil 4 times in 3 weeks, then the car went in for the CA smog test and it passed with flying colors… and its at 235,000 miles now and its fine. It stopped using oil… so what if it sludges up? BFD! It will clean up just fine.
    Seriously… within 1,000 miles and 4 or 5 oil changes with Marvels Mystery Oil or ANY similar solvent mixed with the 5-30 oil… it will be fine. My friend with an old Chrysler K car had gummed up rings… with oil burning and high oil consumption as well… within 1,000 miles and only two oil changes with a decent solvent additive (and NOOOO it wont ruin the engine), the car was back to normal.
    Geeze! Why get excited? It will be fine. Its a machine already. Its not made of paper machet.
    All this excitment about a gummed up engine… with this level of concern over such a minor issue… I swear we will never win a war again, common sense has left us all. Its a machine…it will clean up just fine with very little damage…my god already: it isnt brain surgery.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Re: Marvel Mystery Oil – stopped oil consumption in a 100,000+ mile 307 Olds V8 that I had. 4 quarts oil, 1 quart Marvel. Never heard of it cleaning up sludge but I’d be inclined to try it for that.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        MMO has long been used to free up gummed up piston rings , especially useful in older Diesel engines , you remove the injectors and fill the cylinders , allow to soak overnight , then clear the cylinders by cranking sans injectors , button it back up and run it to burn off the residue , the compression usually goes back up quite a bit and blowby is sharply reduced .
        -Nate

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    I’ve run MMO in all of my old Harleys for the last 40+ years.That is a good product and will clean up the sludge.Frequent oil & filter changes for about 1k miles,should do the trick,then run full synth.As for diesel to clean the inside of the engine.THAT is really old school,but works.The trick is to add about a qt.of oil to a gallon of diesel.Diesel by itself will clean TOO MUCH of the lube off bearing surfaces.Add some oil just to be safe on the bearings.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India