2003 gelling (sludge) I4 Camry

I do not own a Toyota at this time so I have not been following this very closely. However my mother has a 2003 4cyl Camry with 12,000 miles. She puts on 4000 a year in mostly suburban driving and changes oil every six
momths. Is this sludge an issue I should be concerned about or basically have her just keep doing the oil changes as they are using non-synthetic.
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Contrary to popularity, a Camry is not a GM vehicle;>)
Nonetheless, yes,there have been engine failures in the Toyotas of about that age due to slugging of the oil. Mostly, the problems were in the V6 engines.
There is considerable dispute about what caused it, Toyota following the line that most failures were seen in vehicles that had not been properly maintained (i.e., oil not changed frequently enough).
They amended their oil change schedule to a more frequent interval after this rash of failures.
Some knowledgeable people have said that the real cause had to do with engine design and deployment issues, particularly in the PCV system.
At any rate, a little money spent on service is not a bad idea.
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I supose it would depend on how long she may want to keep the vehicle. Generally low annual mileage is indicative of short trips and stop and go driving. That is one of the worse conditions under which a vehicle is operated. If it were me I would change to synthetic as well as replacing it every six months, because the product of combustion can accumulate rather rapidly in engine that are not run for at least 25 miles or 25 minutes. That is what I do with my collector cars.
mike

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