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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I've been reading a lot recently that Toyota engines are prone to sludge problems. I found a few articles detailing this. Here are just a few of the links:

Car Bibles : The Engine Oil Bible
Toyota/Lexus Class Action Settlement-Official Court Website

I didn't know this when I purchased my 2005 Tacoma. Don't get me wrong I love my Tacoma but that would have weighed in my purchasing decision. I don't currently have a sludge problem with my Tacoma. I usually use Penzoil 5W-30 or the Toyota dealers grade(?). Since I try to change my oil myself as much as I can, I have taken to changing my oil myself every 2500 miles and every 5000 miles at the dealer at least while my vehicle is under the factory warranty.

My prior vehicle was a 99 Saturn SC2 with 60k with a major sludge problem. The car was maintained basically the same except oil was changed every 3000 miles instead of 2500 miles. It was driven the same basically the same also (slow starts, shift at 2250-3000, etc)

I've recently thought about switching to synthetic to help eliminate the possibility of sludge. But I've also read multiple sources that state synthentic (although superior in many ways) alone is not a good choice since it can lack vital motor protection (too thin to cling on cold starts). Some articles have even suggested a much thicker oil 5w-50 with a mix of synthetic. Let's face it, I'm not about to start experimenting on my vehicle.

But, I was thinking of running a split formulation. 2.5qts of Penzoil 5W-30 and 2.5wts of Mobile 1 5W-30. Of course, I know that brings up other major issues. Many people have stated sludge problems when mixing oil.

I'm not trying to play the devils advocate just looking for opinions and some truth out of all the mis-information. What do you all think? Any reputable sources? It's hard to believe what you read when it comes to motor oils.

One last unrelated question. I've looking to do the major checkups (25k, 30k, 50k,....) on my vehicle but I'm looking for a nice guide for the new Tacos that states what needs to be done with pictures, torque specs, and specifications. I want to leave things I'm not familair/comfortable with to a few good mechanic friends of mine. I just don't feel comfortable spitting up about $280 for 25k check up when I may be able to do most of it myself. Basically, I want to maintain this vehicle the best I can and not rely on a shop.

Sorry for the long post.

Thanks guys (and gals),
Kris
 

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Wow...where do you start...1) This lawsuit doesn't pertain to the Tacoma so I'm not sure why this would have affected your decision on buying one..at least not the info I read. 2) When I had my service center we always stayed far away from pennzoil oil as possible,due to the exact reasons you brought this all this up, we found pennzoil to be a huge "sludge contributor". I don't know, it been years since I've used it and maybe things have changed. 3) I can't say I've heard too many forum folks complaining of sludge even in the older Tacoma's. 4) It's never been a good idea to change brands of oil frequently and certainly not to mix different brands/viscosities. One of the quickest ways, besides not changing your oil at all, that I know of to build sludge in the engine.5) As far as synthetics; synthetic oils display excellent low temperature pumpability at cold start at never heard of it being 'too thin to cling' during cold starts. Most would agree the single, most imperative, most preventative measure you can take is change your oil at the manufactures recommend intervals or sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for you input.

I suppose I've always used Penzoil for a simple (and probably stupid) reason, my father always used it.

I suppose that brings me to my next question. What brand of oil do most Tacoma drivers use?

I use Mobile 1 in my tractor and snowblower but I'm hesitant to use it in my vehicles. 1) The expense 2) All the disputing evidence
 

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I use the manufacture's recommended oil. It's designed for the engine and also there's no ammo for Toyota trying to deny you a possible warranty claim down the road. I know of Toyota denying warranty claims on the old 22R engine due to 'do it yourselfers' using a domestic oil filter without the check valve built in, sometimes this would lead to a timing chain failure.
 

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It used to be that the base stock for Pennzoil had a high wax content which contributed to sludge. I have heard they changed base stocks since then but don't know that for a fact. Mobil one is the best IMHO, what "disputing evidence" do you have that makes you not trust it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Do mean oil that meets the factory specs or oil from the Toyota dealer? In that case, what does Toyota use? I'm sure it is branded as Toyota oil but it must be another oil re-branded. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just do a google search. You'll find every article out there about Amsoil, Mobil 1, etc all stating there's is best. If you dig further and try to find articles without branded sponsership you find more articles stating that synthetic alone can be bad... here is one for example:

Great Mileage Quickies (I'm guessing they're being paid by somebody)

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe everything I read...

...And like I said, I run Mobil 1 in my Tractor and Snowblower with no ill effects. I've done this for many years. In fact, when I switched to Mobil 1 I had little problems begining that year to start it my snowblower. I suppose part of it is I'm just not comfortable with the claims of synthetics only needing changing every 7k-15k. It's too expensive to change every 3k (IMO) but I'm not comfortable with longer intervals.
 

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Thats a good point and I'm glad you brought it up. I know a lot of dealer's who buy their oil from the vendor who will sell it to them the cheapest. This is normally because dealerships don't make money from oil changes alone. Call several dealerships and find out what there using. Ask Toyota tech's what they recommend. You can also check the Toyota service manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
lol, I'm in Maine! the closest Dealership is in Brewer about 20 minutes away. The next closest is in Augusta, about 2 hours away. :) I'm also reluctant to purchase the service manual for $100+. I'm sure it would be worth it but it is kind of pushing the budget. I'm looking for a good Haynes-type manual?
 

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I've run synthetics for nearly 30 years, started with SL-1 back in the late 70s. My first new car was a 78 VW Scirocco and ran synthetic from 10k miles on. When it had about 80k miles on it I put a turbo kit on it. At 110k miles it blew a head gasket from being overboosted (I got greedy and cranked down the waste gate). When I pulled the the head the inside was incredibly clean. No sludge and ZERO carmelization. The cam looked like new, the original machine marks were still visible on the cam lobes. Night and day difference between engines I had rebuilt that had run dino oil. That sold me for life. Mobil one has treated me well for 15-20 years. Not everything published online is trustworthy but I trust my personal experience with it. Don't expect you to take my word for it but if you build up some experience and work on your own engines you'll be a believer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
GreenMtnMan, how often do you change your oil in your vehicles/appliances that you run Mobil 1 in? I've heard numerous claims like yours about Mobil 1. I'm pretty much sold on it but still it is expensive! Like I said, I run it in my tractor and snowblower but 1 oil takes me through a season. I always change the oil before storing them in the off season.
 

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I change it every 5k miles with filter. Yes, it's more expensive than dino oil but it's worth it. Some of that you *might possibly* recover with a little better mileage. In pre-electronic days, when idle speed was controlled by adjusting screws, I've seen the idle speed increase 1-200 rpm by changing to synthetics. The only reason for that I can see is reduced friction. You won't see that in todays vehicles with cam/crank sensors and electronic engine controls.
 

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kmichaud,

By the way, is that your siberian husky in your profile? Looks just mine who I had to put down. GREAT DOGS...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, he is my Siberian. Funny you mention it, I "just" updated my profile with those pics. I always wanted a husky and two years ago my wife gave in! :)

I'm sorry you had to put yours down--I think it would really bother me if I had to. I know this sounds cheesy---but he's my best friend!

He is very stubborn and dominent but I think we're getting a handle on those. A few obdience classes has trained "us" on how to deal with him. We had a problem with him at the begining with our cats.

He's a momma boy though.... he is cool that way. We both have a very good relationship with him. He's also the biggest lap dog I've ever had AND amazingly he's an indoor door (seriously), he spends more time inside with us then outside AND he is conscious of his indoor environment. If he disrupts anything he comes up to us like "i'm sorry, I didn't mean too".

BUT best of all, he loves the Tacoma! :) He never cared for my Saturn--he would walk to the Buick instead. Now he heads straight for the truck. I swear there is something about the Tacoma's that is made for dogs... even the rear cup holders. We use that as a water bowl for him when we're trucking him around and he just loves the rear sliding window! :)

Anyways, sorry for being off topic. To sum it up, he is a great dog! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
GreenMtnMan, since you definitly seem to have experience with Mobil 1. I am thinking of switching my wife's 97 Buick Century with 140k to synthetic. It was her parents car and they didn't do anything more then oil changes. Since we got it at 110k I've change the Battery, Alternator, one wheel beering, ball joints, both outer tie-rod end, waterpump w/ coolant flush, tranny flush, new break lines due to rust, new shocks, new pcv valve, new spark plugs and wires, and a new gas fill receiver. It's a great car--it just wasn't maintained. Anyways, can I safely switch to Mobile 1 in this vehicle or should I be cautious since it has always run dino oil.
 

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GreenMtnMan, since you definitly seem to have experience with Mobil 1. I am thinking of switching my wife's 97 Buick Century with 140k to synthetic. It was her parents car and they didn't do anything more then oil changes. Since we got it at 110k I've change the Battery, Alternator, one wheel beering, ball joints, both outer tie-rod end, waterpump w/ coolant flush, tranny flush, new break lines due to rust, new shocks, new pcv valve, new spark plugs and wires, and a new gas fill receiver. It's a great car--it just wasn't maintained. Anyways, can I safely switch to Mobile 1 in this vehicle or should I be cautious since it has always run dino oil.
I wouldn't. Residue from dino oil has probably already built up and if that got cleaned out it might start leaking like a sieve.
 

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My opinion on oil sludge, Its the fault of the oils or lack of changing it and the hot little motors with tight passages.
Years ago Quaker state had a bad rap about gumming up the motor, I saw this first hand when I tore apart a 351 Cleveland motor that used Qoagulant state oil, it clung to everything like slime. go synthetic any synthetic! even group III oils are free of this wax.
 

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Actually I meant to mention QuakerState along with Pennzoil in my first response. Both had a reputation for sludge builders. Also, I agree with GreenMtnMan, I wouldn't swith to synthetic oil after all this time, why fix something thats not broken.
My opinion on oil sludge, Its the fault of the oils or lack of changing it and the hot little motors with tight passages.
Years ago Quaker state had a bad rap about gumming up the motor, I saw this first had when I tore apart a 351 Cleveland motor that used Qoagulant state oil, it clung to everything like lime. go synthetic any synthetic! even group III oils are free of this wax.
 

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Actually I meant to mention QuakerState allow with Pennzoil in my first response. Both had a reputation for sludge builders. Also, I agree with GreenMtnMan, I wouldn't swith to synthetic oil after all this time, why fix something thats not broken.
I agree not with 140k, although a thicker formula would do just fine and wouldnt clean out old sludge that could be preventing a seal leak, but why bother.
 
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