2000 Camry LE - sudden noise under the hood, loss of oil, then it died. Quick question.

I was pulling out of my parking space at work today and noticed a very unusual sound in the engine. I left the motor idling, looked under the
hood and it sounded as if it was coming from the left side (passenger side) somewhere. I pulled out of my parking space and noticed a fresh puddle of oil. I drove about 200 ft and the car died on me. I had no warning lights or anything. Anyway I had to have it towed to the dealership but will not know until tomorrow what the damage is.
My question is this. First of all, I bought the car new in Oct. 2000. Sometime, maybe in 2003, I received a letter from Toyota claiming that certain Toyota's that qualified for free repair because of.........and this is where I am forgetful. I kept that letter for several years but cannot find it now.
I remember the letter stating something about "oil" and to qualify you must be able to provide proof you had your scheduled oil changes. I've tried researching this to no avail.
Does anyone know what I am talking about? This wasn't a recall, but rather something that was supposedly defective that could possibly cause engine failure even if you changed your oil regularly.
I am at a loss for the exact terminology used in this letter. Can someone enlighten me?
Thanks, KenR
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On Aug 1, 9:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Gee, this is the first time I've replied to my own post, LOL. Anyway, I found the letter. It was basically an acknowledgment from Toyota that there is an "engine sludge" problem in certain Toyota's that can cause the engine to lock up. The good news, they will pay for all expenses including rental cars. Now, I just hope this was my problem. Sure seems like from what happened.
KenR
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KeRu60 wrote:

Did it say how engine sludge can lock up an engine? Thanks!
david - 99 Camry
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On Aug 1, 9:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, Ken, there is a MAJOR engine oil sludge problem in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Please first check my online petition called "Toyota Owners Online Unite for Resolution: Engine Oil Sludge" at http://www.petitiononline.com/TMC2003/petition.html . This petition was started ONE YEAR AFTER Toyota initiated the "Customer Support Program for Engine Oil Gelation" back in April of 2002. The reason I started the petition is because some Toyota and Lexus owners began to notify me that Toyota was NOT HONORING its own program. I felt more data was needed as to the incidence of lack of follow-through by Toyota.
Ken, just as you noted, the information about the CSP is VERY HARD TO FIND...many Toyota owners tell me that it can't be found with ease even on Toyota's own web site! I'd like to know if it can be found at all there! You were lucky that you got the letter from Toyota. Many Toyota owners reveal that they NEVER GOT THE LETTER promised by Toyota. Bruce Ertmann, then a CEO with Toyota in customer service, said that the letters were mailed in batches at intervals. He also revealed the the SPA (Special Policy Adjustment) letters were STOPPED prior to the CSP letters being mailed out. Some 3.3 MILLION Toyota owners were supposed to get these letters. Still, many did not receive either letter though they are the ORIGINAL OWNERS and at the same address! You can just guess what might be the case for previously-owned Toyota owners!
Engine oil sludge is a complex matter. It presents in many different ways, and apparently, Toyota is capitalizing on this fact. Engine rods are being thrown through the engine block, but Toyota won't honor this as "sludge" in most cases. It doesn't matter if this happens at very low mileage and in the presence of proper maintenance, Toyota just shrugs its shoulders at these owners.
The engine oil sludge problem goes beyond black gunk accumulating beneath the valve cover. Engine oil analysis done by some Toyota owners reveals that the engine oil deterioration is being hastened...even with as little as 2,500 miles on the oil! Some owners have noted metal fragments within the oil and fuel contamination of the oil as well. Early sludge victims reported glycol contamination...especially in the Lexus RX300.
I hope, Ken, that you will inform us here what Toyota says about your engine failure. Please let us know what your mileage was at the time of failure. Also, please let us know your aapproximate oil change intervals. Do you have the 4 cylinder vehicle or the six cylinder one? Recently, I have had contact with some 4 cylinder Camry owners (circa 1999) who have experienced spontaneous combustion (TOYOTA ENGINE FIRE!) in their engines which have resulted in near injury (potential death) at highway speeds.
The question becomes how many of these sludge-prone Toyotas are throwing rods through the engine? What has Toyotas response been when these owners contact Toyota? What is happenging within these engines to cause this violent reaction?
I can tell you that in the case of the engine fires, Toyota has been stone-cold toward the vehicle owners! One owner was told by his Toyota dealership that he maintained his vehicle well. This 4cylinder Camry did not make it to 100,000 miles before it caught on fire and burned fully! One universal statement made by all the engine fire victims is, "I didn't expect a Toyota to do this!" These victims are shaking their heads in disbelief that their vehicles could be so UNSAFE!
The same is true for those sludge victims whose vehicles suddenly died at highway speeds. Many got no warning as in your case. Others noted complete loss of the engine oil after loud noises developed in the engine.
Ken, I would recommend that you send Toyota a CERTIFIED letter to formally notify it about this matter. See if you can get an oil sample for analysis (if you have any oil left!). Remove the valve cover and take pictures. Do the same with the oil pan, too. Document fully before you speak to Toyota.
Also, file online reports with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Center for Auto Safety. You are FAR FROM ALONE as you will see when you examine the reports of other Toyota owners there. Contact ConsumerAffairs.com and tell it your story and ask for your story to be published on the web site. Once you contact Toyota and get its response, file your story on RipOffReport.com so that other Toyota owners can benefit. File reports on the car survey sites.
Do you think that it is no accident that information about Toyota engine oil sludge is so hard to find? You might find it interesting to know that back in late 2000, over 6,000 postings resulted when this matter was discussed online in Edmund's Town Hall (now known as CarSpace.com)! After that, over 10,000 postings resulted on the now defunct (interesting demise of an excellent consumer resource!!) "The Complaint Station for Toyota." Why at the Complaint Station, the "Toyota" forum was the NUMBER ONE visited complaint site among the hundreds listed!! Then, there is Cartrackers.com where postings continued about Toyota sludge until August 2004...the same time that TCS went down...when it went down mysteriously. The timing is fascinating! It seems that Toyota-protectors are following Toyota owner postings very closely and personally attacking those with information that would benefit other Toyota owners online!
Oh, no, the issue of Toyota engine oil sludge is alive and well. Though the online petition has been a target, more and more Toyota owners are coming forward. Seems that the Toyota engine oil sludge did not stop in 2002 when the CSP was initiated. What will these sludge victims hear from Toyota? Only time will tell I guess.
Ken, we look forward to following your case online. It is important for other Toyota owners to see what is happening behind the scenes. According to those signing my petition, Toyota is making owners jump through hoops to get relief under the CSP. More often than not, the Toyota owners are reporting that they have been DENIED COVERAGE for one reason or another. Though Toyota spokespeople said that the oil receipts weren't that important and that only one per year was needed, Toyota dealerships have openly stated that EVERY RECEIPT is needed.
Well, you can imagine what the previously-owned Toyota owners are going through! Anyone who has one of these sludge-prone vehicles that was not purchased new may well be rejected by Toyota. Wouldn't this make would-be used/previously-owned Toyota owners think twice before the purchase? Based on Toyota owner documentation, it may be a risk that will certainly result in financial hardship down the road.
So far, Toyota seems to be saying that the thrown engine rods and engine fires are not related to the engine oil sludge matter. In some cases, Toyota dealerships are telling owners that there is no sludge when there is. Let's say hypothetically that they aren't related...what is Toyota saying is the CAUSE of these violent engine reactions? Is it just hoping that all of these affected Toyota owners will just go away quietly...you know...like it originally did in the Toyota engine oil sludge debacle?
Toyota owners need to speak up online to show what is happening behind the scenes. Document fully with the appropriate agencies. Formally notify Toyota in writing as it doesn't seem to count your case unless you do. Toyota would be happy, no doubt, if you simply traded in and went away without any documentation of the problem.
IF you have had a Toyota engine fire with no reasonable cause determined, contact the NHTSA and ask it to open a FULL INVESTIGATION into the matter. Your request should serve as a PETITION to this agency to investigate the safety defect. The agency must respond to you in a timely fashion if you so petition it. Take the time to do this. Think about a older woman who was burned over a large % of her body in a Sienna fire. Her two show dogs were KILLED in this fire! The vehicle was conservatively driven and properly maintained but it still erupted in fire on the highway and there was little the woman could do. She has been recovering for the past several years thanks to the support of her daughter.
Charlene Blake snipped-for-privacy@erols.com Toyota Owners Online Unite for Resolution: Engine Oil Sludge http://www.petitiononline.com/TMC2003/petition.html
Toyota Camry, Avalon, Solara, Celica, Sienna, Highlander, Tacoma, Tundra, Matrix, Rav4, 4Runner Lexus RX300, Lexus RX330, Lexus ES300
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I disappointed that while you say that information on this is hard to find, you've not supplied much info on the problem either. I'd be very interested in finding out more. Do you have a web site? At the very least, reprint Toyota's CSP letter. Thanks!
david
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On Aug 2, 2:46 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Well, my problem turned out to be a water pump. Apparently a seal broke, I lost all the fluid causing it to lock up. Even though I told the service manager I left a puddle and trail of oil, he claims they could not find any oil leaks. He's trying to tell me that maybe the oil was left from another car. Well, I was in that parking spot all day. This is the point where the consumer, myself, feel powerless. I went ahead and had the water pump replaced, timing belt and head gaskets replaced too for $580. In a way, I am glad it wasn't the engine sludge. Seems like too much trouble to prove. I am still concerned about the sludge issue though. Keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else happens in the near future.
KenR
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Yeah, Toyotas have problems with engine sludge that in 2004 they reduced the oil change interval from 7500 miles down to 5000 miles! This is when GM and Honda were pushing towards 12,000 mile intervals. Toyota sure don't make them like they used to.
I'd change out the timing belt every 5-year/60K miles (and not the 6/90 schedule). The belt typically starts to stretch by then, especially the less expensive Bando and Mitsuboshi belts Toyota uses than the best-in-class Gates. I use the following except I buy the Airtex pump from the local NAPA store. IMO a better pump than Aisin.
(earlier www.rockauto.com prices for 3/5SFE) GATES TCK199 (kit of timing belt with two pulleys and instruction) $84.79 GATES Part # K030295 PS belt $4.32 GATES Part # K050435 Alt/AC $12.12 FEL-PRO TCS45641 Cam seal $4.11 FEL-PRO TCS45920 Crank seal $6.04 BCA Part # 221820 Oil pump seal $2.71 AISIN (Toyota #16110-79185) water pump $58.79 FEL-PRO VS50304R valve cover gasket set $13.94
On Aug 1, 6:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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On Aug 1, 9:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hi, I just found your posting today. We have an exact problem that you have with your 2000 Camry. It happened 2 years ago. But no-one I mean really no-one want to take the responsibility. And today I found several other people in the net claiming about the same problem. No lawyer willing to represent my case up until yesterday. But as my finding today I wonder if we can actually team up with several other people that I found on the net. One of them even got their house burned down because of the fire that started from this 2000 Camry. And the judge still grant Toyota for that. I can't believe that. Sorry, I am still emotional whenever I'm talking about this problem. Could you please reply to me , I'm really want to hear from you. Thank you.
Anita my email adress snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com I live in state Virginia.
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