Detroit auto makers try some new tricks

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"Steve" ...


And so did Toyota, or people who don't change their oil would have the same problem in later models.
You've conveniently snipped out my question of why later model cars don't sludge. Damages your credibility.
Natalie
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Later models do not have the same head. According to the notice we received when Toyota extended the warranty on the effected engines Toyota changed the head and basically went back to the previous head design, on all engines built after October of 2003, to eliminate the "gelling" problem caused by the new head that was designed to produce less pollution.
The problem is the warranty extension authorizing the dealers to "clean, repair or replace any engine indicating gelling." By cleaning the engines and NOT switching to synthetic oil they are simply passing on the problem to a later date.
mike

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Wickeddoll® wrote:

So what was the engineering change for Toyota? Chrysler re-worked the PCV system, changed materials in the timing chain tensioner system, and increased oil flow in certain areas to reduce peak oil temperatures. I have heard/read NO similar detailed explanations of the alleged changes Toyota made. Prove me wrong and find descriptions of the changes in detail and I'll stop questioning the status of the fix.

No, I didn't snip it out, my response is still quoted above: Its not proven to be fixed yet, as I still see reports of it in the newsgroups and still hear references to it as a possible problem on car talk-shows.
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"Steve" ..

I'm no engineer - like yourself, I can only go by anectodal evidence. You haven't shown *me* anything to prove the problem hasn't been resolved. So there we are.

Where? And I don't mean the usual sludge whiners. Show me one from within the last five years.
Natalie
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Wickeddoll® wrote:

Well, I *AM* an engineer.....
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"Steve" ...

And your proof? Without it, your comments are anecdotal as well.
Natalie
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Wickeddoll® wrote:

Its actually been well documented, reported by owners who have noted the changes, by Chrysler service techs who post here, and by folks on the forums dedicated to the 300/LH cars like the ones Bill Putney posts links to regularly. Raising the hood and noting that a 2005 has a different PCV system from a 1999 is hardly "anecdotal." Noting the different part number (and reading TSBs) for parts is not "anecdotal."
I've seen none of that for Toyotas, and yes its true that I haven't *looked* because I don't care, I would at least expect that those who own the vehicles would be able to post more than, "Oh that's fixed." Show me the revised systems and parts, please! I want to know exactly HOW it was "fixed."
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"Bill Putney" ...

You are correct. I'm still waiting for other-than-anecdotal proof from this fellow. Even if the great Ray O says something, we're just taking him at his word (never mind that he's always right... :-))
Natalie
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Well Toyota sure picked up on it quickly. There are some things Toyota would be better off not copying.
Interestingly, I was listening to Car Talk on NPR this past weekend - the "Tappet Brothers" even mentioned sludge prone engines when diagnosing a Toyota that smoked on start-up (I thought they all did that - at least the ones owned by my neighbors all do - I thought it was a Toyota feature).
When I look out of my apartment window, I see the space where one of my former neighbors used to park his Camry. He is gone but the oil slick that POS left is still with us. Just another reminder that Toyotas aren't the perfect vehicles that some people seem to think they are. On the other hand, my SO's 2007 RAV4 is approaching it's one year anniversary and it has been perfect - it doesn't even smoke on start-up (but then my 10 month old Fusion which has more miles on the odometer has been just as perfect).
Ed
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"C. E. White"...

And I *still* haven't seen any proof from the sludge whiners that Toyota kept producing cars that did that when the owners neglected changing their oil. I live in the *now* - sludge whiners should do the same.

How long ago was that?

Again, I have never seen anyone who says Toyotas are perfect; they have just said that any problems are easily fixed by either (usually) Toyota themselves, or the individual.
Big difference from the "service" domestic makers provide.
If they don't do an about-face on their customer service, they'll go belly-up forever.
Natalie
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It seems you'd like to forget Toyota's past problems. Can you do the same for Domestic brands? It seems to me that Toyota apologist are always comparing new Toyotas to domestic cars from the 60's and 70's. I agree that "new" Toyotas don't have the same sludge problem as was alleged for certain past engines (Toyota/Lexus 3.0L V-6 1997-2001 and Toyota 2.2L I-4 1996-2001). Also, I am quite willing to believe that the people who had problems with sludge did not change there oil every 3000 or 5000 miles. It should be noted that in the past Toyota specified longer drain intervals (I know they were as long as 10,000 miles in the 80's). Before you completely discount the "sludge whiners," you, and other Toyota owners, should consider why it seems certain Toyotas have sludge problems more than other brands (or even Toyotas from different years and/or with different engines). You should also consider how harshly Toyota initially treated the "sludge whiners." Toyotas has repeatedly emphasized the reliability of Toyota vehicles. Surely you can see why some people might whine when their supposedly bullet-proof Toyota failed becasue of sludge when it was treated the same as some old domestic iron. Some Chryslers and VWs shared the problem, but by and large it was a Toyota-centric problem. Do you think the people who bought the allegedly sludge prone Toyotas were especially stupid, or much less likely to do routine maintenance, than people that bought other cars, or who bought Toyotas from other periods? Even Toyota Reports...err I mean Consumer Reports, acknowledged that there was a problem. I'll make you a deal - I won't mention Toyota and Sludge together in any reply to you, if you don't bring up any problems with Doemstic products from more than 5 years ago in any discussions with me.

September 15, 2007. Listen at http://www.cartalk.com/Radio/Show/04.smil . The call was not for a new Toyota.
.....

As far as I can tell Toyotas are not significantly diffrerent than other brands. Toyota apologist often discount horror stories about Toyotas as either over blown or the Customers fault. Similar horror stories about domestic brands are often treated as proof that domestic cars are horrible, There is a clear double standard at work. Hundreds of thousands of Toyota trucks were recalled becasue of ball joint failure that have killed at least 7 people and no one notices. Less that 1000 Focus SVTs are recalled becasue the cruise control cable can detach and the Toyota crowds considers this is proof that domestic cars are junk. It is my opinion that Toyota does everything it can to deny problems. When that doesn't work they try to blame the owners. And when all else fails, they work to divert attention. Try to get a list of Toyota TSBs for your car - it is not easy. Try it for a Chevrolet - no problem.

Toyota dealers are rated as having Customer service similar to Ford and Chevrolet dealers (actually a little worse). The Toyota sales departments around Raleigh are on my "do not consider list." The nearest Toyota dealer I will talk to is in Henderson (40 miles away).
http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID 07112

As far as I can tell, Toyota is doing well despite their horrible Customer service. I still shudder when I remember my last visit to one of the local Toyota delaers to buy a part (admittedly a long time ago now). If they had pulled a gun on me, it would not have been much worse.
Ed
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"C. E. White" ...

You make great points - really, you do, but at least speaking for myself, I believe that people were misled on how long they could go without changing their oil, hence the sludge thing. I remember seeing stuff on it online. TEN years ago.
However, I have seen much more recent complaints about small to mid-size domestic vehicles. Not *all* of them, mind you, but it makes you wary when they talk about how harshly they are being treated *now*. Toyota certainly dropped the ball with customer service with the first sludge cases, I'll grant you - but they appear to have cleaned up that act. BIG difference. That, at least is why *I'm* willing to continue with them.

Whatever type of file that was, I couldn't open it, so I haven't listened to it, but you already said it wasn't a *new* Toyota. That's my point. Was the caller saying Toyota wouldn't help them with a later model car?

Actually, I *have* heard horror stories about Toyota trucks, and some not-so-nice stories about the Avalon, but not their small cars. I disagree about the overall quality of Toyota cars, further, I think Toyota is better at rectifying the mistakes they *do* make. Again, you and I will have to agree to disagree on that, Ed.

Rick Hendrick is pretty good in the Fayetteville area. And JD Power is even more subjective than Consumer Reports, so you'll have to show me more proof than that. Having said this, though, I have had bad experiences with a couple of Toyota service/collision places, but they were isolated, and were not the only game in town, so I went elsewhere. The corporation can't be expected to micromanage down to the mechanic, for f*ck's sake. Same goes for domestic dealerships. It's a crap shoot.

You have my sympathy, but not my agreement with your view.
Natalie
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OTOH, I had a '76 Datsun B-210 which, when coming to a stop at lights or stop signs, stalled out on me repeatedly after a few years. Took it to a repair shop which specialized in foreign cars (not many foreign cars around here yet at that point in time - that was to change drastically in the next few years, & I had basically mistrusted the Chrysler dealership where I had taken my '72 Duster for servicing, so was temporarily scared off re: dealership service centers) & wound up with 3 filters in the fuel line, but that little Datsun still stalled out on a regular basis. The good news was that it always started again, immediately - was basically a PITA sort of deal rather than a major problem (it never stranded me). Other than that I liked the car & kept it for 8 years, but because of that one problem I switched over to Toyota in '84. My sister & BIL had already purchased a Tercel & loved it - no probs. A Tercel was a little too small for me, so I bought an '84 Corolla. And have had 3 more Corollas since then, all with engines which have displayed no problems; great cars, in general.
Cathy
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Seems hardly a week goes by that I'm not replacing an evaporative emissions canister assembly on a late model Toyota, hell my sister in laws 2000 Camry is on its third one in 120K miles. This is a common failure and has been going on for 6-7-8 ??years now. When do you suppose we can expect this 'good job of fixing the problem thing to manifest itself?
Not bashing Toyota (I've owned three in the last 20 years), just pointing out that your views may not be totally grounded in reality.
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"aarcuda69062"

Well, can we agree that we've had very different experiences with our Toyotas? We simply have not had the problems some have mentioned.
Natalie
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On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 01:15:41 GMT, aarcuda69062

Do you keep topping the tank off, to the tippy, tippy top when you fuel the car?
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wrote:

I don't pump other people's gas.
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On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 02:56:57 GMT, aarcuda69062

I didn't ask that. She may do the same, or you may live in a full service gas area where attendants keep restarting the pump.
So, do you keep topping off after the second auto-stop?
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wrote:

No, on the 99 Camry that practice can lead to codes, such as P441 being activated.
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wrote:

Absolutely. The practice also ruins evaporator canisters,
The company I work for owns 120,000+ vehicles, including zero Toyotas. We go through lots of canisters, because people like to squeeze every last drop of gas into the tank so they don't have to refuel as often.
This dosen't at all mean that Toyota canisters might not stink, only that overfilling tanks on a regular basis will ruin them, regardless of the brand of car.
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