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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 V6 that is using above average amounts of oil. I am considering trading in for a 2006 HL (call me crazy, but the wife likes HLs).

Can anyone tell me if there are noted problem items with the 2006 to be aware of? Also, is the 2006 V6 the same engine I'm having trouble with in my 2002?

Any pros vs. cons on the 4 cyl vs. the 6 cyl. The 4 cyl is more in my price range.

Thanks in advance to all.
 

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We have a 2006 Highlander limited AWD, 6cyl. No problems after 70K. Mileage varies from 21-25. We live in the boonies so most driving is on two lane hilly roads. The car has a couple of cons IMO. The seats are uncomfortable for 8-10 hour drives and the nav system sucks big time. My wife swiped my Garmin Nuvi 660 two years ago and never turns on the factory system. She loves the 06 Highlander-tried to talk her into a 2009-too big. We had a 03 Sequoia limited that she traded on the 06 Highlander. The Sequoia was really comfortable, but it did like gas (16-18mpg) and she hated the poor visibility. How anyone could prefer the Highlander to a loaded Sequoia is beyond me, but such are the vagaries of the female mind.
 

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V6 is a new design, so no problems there. I have an I4, and like you I purchased it mostly for the lower initial price. I only do about 23-24 city 25 highway which isn't much better than the V6es. But I'd probably buy another one compared to a CRV or Rav4, which aren't much ligher or smaller but don't have the same quality feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply bepperb. A private mechanic confirmed this weekend that my 02 V6 is not sludged by removing the valve cover. He did say that the spark plugs are fouled. So now I'm trying to decide whether to get it fixed and sell it; or trade it in on an 06 HL. Would you know about the cost of replacing the valve stem seals?
Also from your previous post you indicate that the 2006 V6 is a new design. Does not mean Toyota addressed the excessive oil use? I changed the oil at the dealer, on average every 4K miles and my engine isn't sludged but it's using excessive oil and has blue/white smoke at start up. Do you think an 06 either V6 or I4 would be less likely to also have this condition as they age.
thanks.
 

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Do not screw with changing valve stem seals. If you're blowing blue smoke from a Toyota at only 7yrs of age in a 6cyl then something is really wrong with the engine. I unloaded my 16yr old camry with 225,000 mi and never had an oil usage problem. Leaks yes, burning no. You might have problem on trade in value, however. Especially if you live in a state that does smog checks. Right now, here in NV you'd fail smog. I vote for praying a lot and running not walking to trade in. I replaced my 93 camry wagon with 06HH V6 2WD and haven't looked back even though bought used and coming off three year lease.

Chuck
 

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Valve stem seals on a I4 aren't a big deal, it's probably a sub-1000 dollar job. On the V6, the rear bank would be really difficult I imagine, and probably 2000 dollars. Maybe less at a private mechanic.

It's impossible to say if you'd pass emissions now. I actually think you would, if you only smoke on cold startup and burn less than a quart every 1000 miles. Lots of cars burn and pass.

If it were me, I'd get the sparks replaced and drive your current ride for a few more years. How does your mechanic feel about all this? Does he think you were burning so much oil that the plugs fouled, or were the original to the car and worn out? What does he think about the seals, more of a cosmetic issue or does he think you'll need them to pass emissions? How much oil are you burning?
 
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