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About Apeltree

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  • Toyota Model
    Kluger Grande
  • Toyota Year
  • Location
    Western Australia
  • Annual Mileage
    5001 to 10,000

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  1. Thanks to all the posts on here with regards to the sludge and white smoke problem. It took me a few hours on the net trawling through American sites then discovered this site, so I have now signed up. Apparently in the US they managed to bring on legal proceedings with Toyota, with respect to the common problem of sludge problems but no luck over here in Aus. So back to the point. 2 months ago I noticed oil level was very low on the dipstick. Bearing in mind our car had been regularly serviced at Toyota, I thought this odd, despite being well due for a service. So I topped it up. A few weeks later I noticed a big puff of white, oil smelly smoke at start up - coming out of the right exhaust pipe, which over the next few weeks began to be more frequent. Then on a trip last week, my wife gently planted her foot firmly down and the car behind us vanished (in a cloud of white smoke). I called out the RAC to check the car for their opinion as we were intending to do a road trip. Advice was not to do a drive and to check it with Toyota first as they had the service history. Check in at Toyota revealed sludge in the filler cap (I hadn't noticed this back in may at the oil top up I did). I did the research and discovered a huge amount of forum material with regards to the sludge problem in newer technology engines due to the very tight design tolerances and requirement of using a thinner oil. In basic terms, thinner oil cooks over time and begins to sludge up, as opposed to older cars where oil galleries were much larger and oil flow was higher. I did a lot of work on older classic cars in my youth but left the Kluger to Toyota since it was the family car. The internet revealed all opinions for and against using engine cleaners, or just flushes with many oil changes to loosen the sludge I ummed and ahhed about using an engine cleaner/flush/detox. So, I bought an oil filter removal tool, and drain connection fitting and pipe (didn't really need this as a cheap plastic connector, without hose, comes with the filter and seal kit) , a couple of filters and some 5w/30 oil. I dumped the oil and filter - very black with a few thick bits in the bottom. Cleaned the filter housing, refit filter. I also removed the PCV (crankcase ventilation valve) and although it sounded free (sounds like a ball bearing shaking inside), I noticed it was sticking when blowing on the flow side (threaded end at the rocker cover), but sealing as expected when blowing on the other (hose) side. I gave it a thorough clean out and re-checked and sticking had been rectified. Replaced the PCV, filled with new 5W/30 oil and started the car up. Initially there was a little puff of white smoke but so far it appears to have resolved the smoking problem. Car runs a lot smoother, my wife who drives it daily, says it sounded a lot quieter and smoother to drive. Next I will either carry out the detox with the current new oil and dump that out and replace the filter again and put in quality oil. then again in a month repeat with new filter and oil. If necessary I will do this again and then in future adhere to a strict 10000k (or lower) oil change policy. In addition to the above, I intend to removed the front (top) rocker cover to give it a full clean and likewise do the same with the sump / oil pan. Note rocker cover seal is by gasket, sump is by specific sealant (both from Toyota, as my local Auto shop didn't stock them). I hope this helps someone who is new to the problem and needs a bit of additional info to look into it. Andy
  2. My wife and kids are so happy with our Kluger Grande (thanks to cup holders I think!), therefore I'm happy. they were all sad when it broke, which is how I discovered this site.