Problem Description and Possible Solution
Sludge can build up in the engine because Lexus did not recommend frequent enough oil changes. Lexus will sometimes offer a discount on cleaning the engine if necessary. Owners who changed their oil every 3,000 miles did not experience these problems. This sludge build up can lead to excessive oil consumption.
Average mileage: 137,447 (74,556–279,000)
Engine affected: 3.0L V6
12 model years affected: 1992
, more1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
30 people reported this problem
My Lexus problem resulted from a buildup of sludge in the engine. I had followed all the oilchange guidelines but still had a sludge buildup. Lexus agreed to install a new engine in my car even though it was older. They were very agreeable and I have always been treated with courtesy and respect as a Lexus owner. My car now runs like a new Lexus!
Engine sludge is not do to infrequent changes. But it is due failure in the valve and camshaft cover area. Toyota is not willing to mitte to this problem because would make them liable for design and engine replacement. Normally all engines oil under pressure is pushed up into the top of the heads to lubricate camshaft and rocker arms. When the engine is shut down the oil will drain down by passages back to the oil pan. Toyota design shut off drain by applying a passages block electric solenoid that will hold the oil in place in the valve and camshaft cover area in the top of engine heads. When the block solenoid fails to open electrically the oil will remain the valve cover area with no way out it will whip the oil like beating eggs whites. Resulting low oil level due the oil trapped in the valve cover area. The owner would naturally add more oil giving a misconception of large oil consumption. Note that the Valve cover area can hold up to two and half quarts of oil. Engine design Engineers have little mechanical knowledge the automotive industry is alway pushing for new complicated ways to keep the automotive repairman market off balance to encourage the owner to return back to the dealerships for repairs. Manufactures should leave the repair industry to the mechanic. You can try to fool some but not all, my thirty years as a mechanic and mean years of education plus knowing the basics puts me way ahead of your greedy minded with little understanding what the consumers can do to your industry should they unite against you.
vehicle does great in city but when I get on the highway, the next time I start the car up I get a cloud of white smoke that last about 10 seconds. oil consumption goes way up on the highway. quart every 1500 miles
Took to Dealship (Toyota) when I noticed large oil spot on garage floor looked underhood oil around motor. Problem came on suddenly no slow steady leak or anything like that. They said it needed seals, etc and it was due to normal wear and tear the cost $2500.00. They fixed and I drove 239 miles when the oil light came on and engine started making real loud racket and died as I pulled to shoulder. Had it towed back to dealership, they said the motor was total loss and offered to replace it with used motor for an additional $4000.00. While the dealership and I worked out a resolution that did not require a kidney. I was in shop several times and saw the actual "sludge" build up, sludge is an understatement it is more like wet concrete or cement at best a very thick paste, "sludge" sounds like a thick liquid, this stuff is not liquid It was 3 inches thick and 1.75" round in several areas and it did not move by itself.
just bought 2003 Lexus es500 (75k miles) last week and noticed white smoke coming out of tail pipe at startup. I took car to Lexus Dealership today and found out that it has sludged engine and would cost me 12k to replace engine. I have put a call into Lexus customer relations in hope of getting this repair fixed.