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Low oil pressure.


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This issue relates to my 493,000 km series 20 V6 Camry however I am sure it may apply to any similar engine.  I got a low oil pressure warning light on the car and went through the following steps.  I first (of course) checked the oil level and it was correct.  The warning light would only come on after about 5 to 10 minutes.  I thought perhaps that the oil pressure sensor might be faulty as perhaps it was the original one and maybe just worn out.  Car is  20 years old.  That job turned out to be much longer than I thought.  I needed a 24 mm deep sock which I did  not have.  I purchased the socket and also a new oil pressure sensor. When I went to remove the old one I could not get the socket to fit on.  Turned out the socket was a little rounded on the nut and also turned out to be 27mm.  To make sure I got one that fitted I purchased a 25 26 and 27mm.  The alternator belt really gets in the way so I loosened it up to get the belt off which takes a little time but makes access to the oil sensor so much easier.  So new sensor in and start car and same thing again.  Strike 2.

So the next step was to check the sump oil pick.  I removed the steel lower oil sump and was amazed with what I found.  I have owned this car for a long time and have either changed the oil myself or have had it done at other services or repairs.  Anyway there was more crud in there that I would have thought.  The screen of the oil pick up tube was 90% blocked with crud.  i do not  know how any oil was being sucked up by the oil pump.  It took me ages to clean both the lower steel pan and the underside of the upper alloy part. The oil pick up screen was easy using a pick took. Put it all back together using permatex silicone to seal.  I then filled it with brand new cheap mineral oil (and new oil filter) and 300ml Liquid Moly engine clean.  Ran the engine for 15 minutes as per the instructions.  The oil warning is not coming up now so I am sure it was the oil pick up blocked by crud.  I( am now going to drain the mineral oil and fill my shiny clean sump with new Synthetic oil and a new K&N oil filter.  I like the nut fitted to the top of Kn.  Makes it so easy to get off.

I have only just purchased my Aurion and so the first thing I am going to do is pull the sump off that to check the oil pick up and give it all a good clean.  Took some photos and will post up later.

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Good step by step diagnosis to find the culprit. As you have discovered, the underlying cause is accumulated oil sludge.

I have not removed the sump on my Aurion but I understand that a sealant is used instead of a gasket. The 2GR-FE engine has a reputation for being prone to oil sludge. If you search through this Forum, there is general agreement to be using a full synthetic oil and doing more regular oil changes. 

Certainly interested to see your next few posts of the oil pick up for the V6 Camry and the Aurion.  

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Nice work Brad. Sludge conditions do catch up with you if you're not meticulous with oil changes and use the highest quality oil. At least when you've done it yourself it is a known quantity, but for those garages who do the work, you'll never know what they put in there. Remember, they are a business and they must save costs where possible right ?

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Wow, that was pretty sludgy. Nice clean up job. Now that you have the pick up and sump cleaned out you can look forward to the desludging process by using a flush agent with several oil changes to help clean it up even further. There are plenty of good engine flush treatments to choose from. Penrite and liqui moly come to mind.

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Impressive, especially that clogged oil pickup screen. Well done. If the oil pan looked that bad can't even think of what's under the valve covers. Could be well worth doing few more short oil & filter changes every 500km or so and running the engine flush through the engine at idle for 15 minutes before turning the engine off and dumping the oil. That 20 series V6 is a really impressive engine, I doubt the 2GR-FE on the Aurion could handle that much sludge 🙂

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What I particularly noted from the pictures of the sump was the position of the drain plug. Just thinking that there would still be a fair bit of oil left in the pan after draining. Possibly less residual oil if you were using ramps so away from the horizontal angle. 

Have a read of this thread. It should give you a few thoughts for when doing your next oil change. 

https://au.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/topic/57994-oil-change-overkill/page/4/#comments

  

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32 minutes ago, AurionX2 said:

I doubt the 2GR-FE on the Aurion could handle that much sludge

Most definitely not. Modern VVTI engines are dependant on good oil pressure so the small passages need to be as clean as possible.

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1 minute ago, campbeam said:

What I particularly noted from the pictures of the sump was the position of the drain plug. Just thinking that there would still be a fair bit of oil left in the pan after draining. Possibly less residual oil if you were using ramps so away from the horizontal angle. 

Yeah, I noticed that too. There'd be at least 200 ml of oil left if it's done horizontally. Not sure which way the plug faces front, back or side, but you would have to tilt in favour of the drain point to try and get as much out, or you can just flush it out with fresh oil.

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Poor 1MZ appears to have been mistreated - looks like a cappuccino machine 😐

Looks like too much condensation/fuel dilution accumulated from too many shorts trips on a cold engine.

Edited by ZZT86
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/31/2021 at 10:49 PM, ZZT86 said:

Poor 1MZ appears to have been mistreated - looks like a cappuccino machine 😐

Looks like too much condensation/fuel dilution accumulated from too many shorts trips on a cold engine.

Wow. Big call to say that when you know nothing about me or the car.  I have owned this car for 420,000 kilometres.  It has had oil changes and services every 10k.  Always does long trips as we live on the outskirts of Sydney.  So a trip to school and back was 30 km.  To the main shopping centre was 50km.  Done about 8 trips to Brisbane in last 12 years.  I have had the same mechanic doing services on the car using sythetic oil for the last 14 years.  I got the car just short of 80,000 km.  I am the second owner.  If stupid comments like yours are the norm in this forum I am outa here and I just joined.  It was a revelation to me just how much junk was in there so I thought I would share.

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Wow nice way to get help or respect here Brad, many people have commented nice comments on your efforts and you jump on one negative???

If that is your attitude then go ahead and leave the forum.

KAA

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2 hours ago, bradp51 said:

 It has had oil changes and services every 10k.

As you have said, you bought the vehicle used with approx. 80K on the odometer. It is highly likely that oil sludge has accumulated in the engine even though it may have been serviced as per the owner's manual. An oil change interval of 10K is only acceptable for highway driving. Daily trips of 30-50km will undoubtedly get the engine oil up to operating temperature but it is short distance driving which can lead to oil sludge formation unless the engine is serviced as per extreme conditions defined in your owner's manual.   

2 hours ago, bradp51 said:

using sythetic oil for the last 14 years.

Oil specifications have improved significantly over the last 14 years. There are also differences between the base oil and the additive packages. https://www.penriteoil.com.au/knowledge-centre/Base Oils/238/what-are-base-oils/999 As you would expect, premium synthetic oil is at a premium price.

Your initial post and subsequent photos are proof that there was a significant amount of sludge which has finally impacted the oil circulation. Fortunately, you have done the remedial work and saved the engine. Going forward, you should highly consider visually checking the condition of the oil on a regular basis and reducing the oil change interval. The old school approach of a 5000 km oil change interval has a lot of preventative maintenance benefits. 

 In contrast to yourself, I bought my vehicle with approx. 160K on the odometer with a known issue which was finally identified as accumulated oil sludge in the valve covers. I chose not to disturb the engine and have been doing many oil and filter cartridge changes in the last 6 years. My regular trips would be 15-25km and this promotes the formation of oil sludge. Consequently, I use a very short oil change interval of approx. 2-3 months. I also do an annual road trip totalling 2500km, changing the oil both before and after.  

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Brad,

I called it as I saw it. Either the engine has a problem causing the oil to sludge up like a blown/leaking head gasket or the PCV isn’t working OR the engine has been incorrectly serviced for too long. No malice intended & not trying to be nasty.

I recently swapped over to my Aurion from a 19 yr old MCV20R Camry with the 1MZ-FE, essentially the same car as yours & it ran like clockwork with no engine issues, despite not having an ideal service history for less than 80K kms when I got it, but the oil always stayed clean even after 7,500kms. I loved that car.

My old highly strung ZZ celica with a higher tech motor than the 1MZ had almost 350K kms & the engine was like new, although that car had an oil change every 5K kms since new.

An engine shouldn’t sludge up like that if it has been well looked after with quality semi or full synthetic oils unless there is another underlying issue.

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19 hours ago, matt36415 said:

I dont want to do the work - but i would like to see inside my sump and pickup.

What you want is an inspection camera. It might be tricky to get the right angle to thoroughly inspect the oil pickup. 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/ozito-8mm-x-1m-digital-inspection-camera_p0193812

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ZZT86,

I appreciate your comments.  Maybe I took it a bit hard.  The car has always had long trips as we live a bit from anywhere.  Semi rural.  Before I purchased the car it was a country car in Port Macquarie.  The books with it showed regular services.  In the 410,000 km since then regular services.  I think it is a product of the long mileage.  You are assuming this should not happen and I respect that opinion.  There are probably not many people here who have a car like this with 490,000 km and have actually pulled off the sump to look into it.  You did not mention how many ks your 1MZ-FE Camry had when you sold it and whether you have actually ever pulled off the sump.  

Bottom line is I will be doing more frequent oil changes from now on in the hope that pulling off sumps to clean them and the oil pick up in reduced.  Thanks for your reply.

And to KAA,

I am always going to defend myself if I think that someone is taking a shot.  And if you have a look at the original comment it was a shot.  Sure I agree It looks like a capacino machine but it has never been mistreated.  It has never done short trips.  And it has never had condensation or fuel dilution from short trips.  People need to be careful making assumptions.  Anyway time to move.

 

Doing some work on the new Aurion (well new to me) The previous owner must have had it parked under some trees at some time.  The inside of the rocker panels and under the fender liner was full of dirt and leaves. The only way to really get it out is the remove the rocker panel.  The mud flap and the fender liner.  Getting some of the fasteners out is hard and I have damaged some.  Have to get some new ones.  Its worth doing as it a place rust can develop.  I have found the oil pan is dented in as well.  Looks like on the Aurion you have to pull the exhaust off after the manifold to get the oil pan out.  The old one was easier.

 

 

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4 hours ago, bradp51 said:

I appreciate your comments.  Maybe I took it a bit hard.  

Welcome back to the Forum. Stick around and you will find that we are a mature respectful Forum.

We agree and yet disagree or have different approaches.

If you suspect that the car has been parked under trees, then consider checking/cleaning and/or replacing the cabin air filter. 

 

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5 hours ago, bradp51 said:

Looks like on the Aurion you have to pull the exhaust off after the manifold to get the oil pan out.

I previously researched about removing the lower oil pan but lost interest after finding out that RTV gasket is used and you would need to wait a few hours upon reassembly for it it to cure.

Following article about a teardown of the 2GR-FE engine contains a photo with the lower oil pan removed and the exhaust has also been removed.

http://carspecmn.com/teardown-and-building-of-a-toyota-and-lexus-3-5-liter-2gr-fe-v6-in-depth-picture-guide/

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On 8/29/2021 at 5:26 PM, campbeam said:

I previously researched about removing the lower oil pan but lost interest after finding out that RTV gasket is used and you would need to wait a few hours upon reassembly for it it to cure.

Following article about a teardown of the 2GR-FE engine contains a photo with the lower oil pan removed and the exhaust has also been removed.

http://carspecmn.com/teardown-and-building-of-a-toyota-and-lexus-3-5-liter-2gr-fe-v6-in-depth-picture-guide/

Thank you for that.  i will have a look.  I have bitten the bullet and purchased the oil pan and will do the job.  I will post pics of what the pan looks like after 99k of driving.  The log books show regular oil changes about every 7 to 8 thousand kilometres from previous record but they could have put cooking oil in there for all I know.  But if the cabin filter was anything to go by I am not sure.  I have no experience with cabin filters as only have one other car that has one.  That car has on 16,000km so never looked at it.

The one on this Aurion was absolutely filthy.  Here is a photo of the filter.  Here is a photo of how much crap came out of the right side fender.  The photo of the leaves does not really show how much actual dirt/mud was in there as well.  The dust pan is extra large you get some scale from the stanley knife.  The left was the same.

IMG_5261.jpg

IMG_5258.jpg

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Yep not an unusual thing to see, I have always regularly changed the cabin filter, for the small cost I like to know any air coming in is clean and such a simple job too do.

KAA

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1 hour ago, KAA said:

Yep not an unusual thing to see, I have always regularly changed the cabin filter, for the small cost I like to know any air coming in is clean and such a simple job too do.

KAA

Checking and cleaning the cabin filter is another item on my the "To Do List". Now that it has been mentioned, I will be making it a priority item this weekend. Good opportunity to also give the air circulation system a good spray with disinfectant etc.

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11 hours ago, bradp51 said:

Thank you for that.  i will have a look.  I have bitten the bullet and purchased the oil pan and will do the job.  I will post pics of what the pan looks like after 99k of driving.  The log books show regular oil changes about every 7 to 8 thousand kilometres from previous record but they could have put cooking oil in there for all I know.  But if the cabin filter was anything to go by I am not sure.  I have no experience with cabin filters as only have one other car that has one.  That car has on 16,000km so never looked at it.

The one on this Aurion was absolutely filthy.  Here is a photo of the filter.  Here is a photo of how much crap came out of the right side fender.  The photo of the leaves does not really show how much actual dirt/mud was in there as well.  The dust pan is extra large you get some scale from the stanley knife.  The left was the same.

IMG_5261.jpg

IMG_5258.jpg

I'm not surprised actually. I bought my Aurion when it only had 40K on the ODO and when I replaced both front inner fender liners (that's my OCD kicking in lol), I not only found leaves but also mud too. They have a natural dirt trap down there and I implore everyone with an Aurion to periodically peel back that half of the fender liner to inspect and clean it out.

Cabin filters will get dirty pretty quickly as they are essentially an outside air filter. The dirtier it is, the better it's doing its job. If that makes sense. That reminds me, I have to check mine too. It's been a while.

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