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#1570548 - 08/18/09 01:23 PM Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
The vehicle in question is a well-maintained 2002 Lexus ES300 with 156,810 km (98,006 miles) on the clock. The vehicle was bought new, but currently suffers from poor performance and excessive fuel consumption, so it was decided to give ARX a go.

The oil was recently changed using Lexus 5W-40 full synthetic, and I did not want to drain perfectly good oil. As all the magic happens in the rinse stage, I decided to add ARX to the existing oil and switch to Castrol GTX 10W-30 for the rinse stage.

When I pulled off the oil filler cap, this is what I was greeted with:






Even the filler cap has some sludge on it:



The pictures are not of the best quality, but you probably get the picture. I didnít really have enough time to pull the valve covers to take more detailed pictures with a proper camera, but I could scrape off the semi-solid sludge with my fingers. The sludge application will be followed, and the oil filter will be replaced at the 2,000 km (1,250 mile) mark. Once itís replaced, both the oil and filter will be replaced after an additional 2,000 km.

For the rinse stage, I will be using GTX and replace the oil filter again at the 2,500 km (1,500 mile) mark and drive another 2,500 km before the application is complete. Once this is over, I plan to go with a second application Ė only this time the basic one. Once that is over, I will run 4 litres of GTX and a quart of MMO before making the switch to Mobil 1 0W-40.

The whole vehicle is due to be treated with ARX, and Iíve purchased two bottles, but I think a third will be necessary. The transaxle and differential share the ATF, and those will be treated as well and a cooler line flush performed. Power steering system isn't forgotten either. ;\)
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570555 - 08/18/09 01:31 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: Falcon_LS]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4632
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
So what's cheaper if you had to do it all over again since new. Cutting your OCI's in half, or this AutoRX dance?
_________________________
2004 Highlander 2.4
2011 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Recently Gone:
2006 Accord 2.4l K24A8
1993 Kawi EX 500

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#1570561 - 08/18/09 01:37 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: bepperb]
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
As far as the engine is concerned, Mobil 1 0W-40 with 10,000 mile OCI's and an Auto-Rx application prior to every timing belt change. \:\!
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570566 - 08/18/09 01:39 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: Falcon_LS]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4632
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
How can you show those pictures above, and complain about sludge, and then give a thumbs up to the periodical maintenance that allowed it to happen?
_________________________
2004 Highlander 2.4
2011 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Recently Gone:
2006 Accord 2.4l K24A8
1993 Kawi EX 500

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#1570576 - 08/18/09 01:45 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: bepperb]
flanso Offline


Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 317
Loc: Houston, TX
There is a PCV valve screwed into the intake manifold on the passenger side; it might be worth replacing. If it is like my 2001 ES300, there are pre-cat air/fuel sensors on cylinder bank 1 and bank 2. On mine, one failed at 98k miles and the other at 100k miles. When they go bad, fuel economy suffers. Could yours be starting to fail?

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#1570577 - 08/18/09 01:46 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: bepperb]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20767
Loc: NY
Wow that is a lot of sludge for an engine with less than 100,000 miles. Not flaming you but I would not call that well maintained. If the OCI's were 10,000 miles with Mobil 1 I would consider shorter OCI's and/or another oil once you get it cleaned up.
_________________________
GOD Bless our Troops!


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#1570584 - 08/18/09 01:54 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: demarpaint]
panthermike Offline


Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 3153
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I believe he's talking about the maintenance on his car?

Anyways, good luck with the ARX, I think it will work nicely. Your plan sounds good \:\!
_________________________
'10 Mazda 6; Bulk 5w20/Mazda Filter 29K mi
'12 Civic; QSUD 5w20 + LG Biotech/Fram Ultra 25K mi
'77 F250 "Ol Yeller"; Delvac/RL Mix +AR9100


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#1570587 - 08/18/09 01:55 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: bepperb]
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
I'm not complaining about the sludge, this engine (1MZ-FE) is prone to it just like the Mitsubishi 6G72 12-valve 3.0L is prone to burning oil at later stages of its life, due to valve guide design.

It's been run on nothing but mineral 20W-50 it's whole life, until it was recently switched to a full synthetic. Synthetic will not break down the same way mineral oil does, and I am following my own maintenance schedule here. An OEM PCV valve for this engine costs just $4.80. That's cheaper than an oil filter. Fresh full synthetic, a new oil filter and a new PCV valve every 10,000 miles will do it a world of good. I change air filters every 3,000 miles, and run a maintenance dose of MMO at every fill up. That's quite different than just the standard oil change every 3,000 miles.

Also, quite a few people here have posted great results with Mobil 1 in sludge-prone Toyota engines. I cannot remember which member it was, but he mentioned using nothing but Mobil 1 in his Daughter's Lexus RX (with the same engine) and how it was as clean as a whistle inside. Others have also posted similar results, such as the recent pictures of the Ford engine that's been run on Mobil 1 for 140,000 miles.
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570591 - 08/18/09 01:59 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: panthermike]
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
 Originally Posted By: flanso
There is a PCV valve screwed into the intake manifold on the passenger side; it might be worth replacing. If it is like my 2001 ES300, there are pre-cat air/fuel sensors on cylinder bank 1 and bank 2. On mine, one failed at 98k miles and the other at 100k miles. When they go bad, fuel economy suffers. Could yours be starting to fail?


Thanks for pointing that out, flanso! \:\! I'll definitely take a look at those.

 Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Wow that is a lot of sludge for an engine with less than 100,000 miles. Not flaming you but I would not call that well maintained. If the OCI's were 10,000 miles with Mobil 1 I would consider shorter OCI's and/or another oil once you get it cleaned up.


It was actually dealer maintained, and driven by a female friend. By well maintained, I was rather referring to the paperwork which looks rather impressive. But the reality is obviously a different story. I've only just taken over the maintenance of this vehicle, it's never been run on Mobil 1.

 Originally Posted By: panthermike
I believe he's talking about the maintenance on his car?

Anyways, good luck with the ARX, I think it will work nicely. Your plan sounds good \:\!


Thanks, Mike! \:\!
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570606 - 08/18/09 02:12 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: Falcon_LS]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20767
Loc: NY
Well dealer maintained sums that up then. Who knows what the dealer put in that engine, they'll say one thing and do something totally different. Once you get it cleaned and onto a good maint schedule you should be fine.
_________________________
GOD Bless our Troops!


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#1570613 - 08/18/09 02:17 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: demarpaint]
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
 Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Well dealer maintained sums that up then. Who knows what the dealer put in that engine, they'll say one thing and do something totally different. Once you get it cleaned and onto a good maint schedule you should be fine.


True, as much as they may advertise their "factory approved" service facilities, I sleep better at night when I do my own maintenance. \:\!
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570653 - 08/18/09 02:50 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: Falcon_LS]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 9187
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
This may be a stupid question but have you asked the dealer about a possible recall?

In the U.S. Toyota extended the warranty to 8 years on these sludge prone engines.A few weeks ago while i was in Germany my friends 4cyl Toyota looked the same as yours.

Sure enough a trip to the dealer revealed a "replace engine as needed" under an internal extended warranty program.A new long block will be installed next week free of charge.
_________________________
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

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#1570659 - 08/18/09 02:52 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: demarpaint]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 4228
Loc: Michigan
Even Mobil 1 would tell you to run some short 3,000 mile OCI's to get that cleaned up. Otherwise the oil will not be able to handle all that crud and it will fall out of suspension.
_________________________
2002 Buick Regal GS (3.8 Supercharged) PP, Pure 1 filter
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible (2.7) M1, Pure 1 filter.

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#1570664 - 08/18/09 02:56 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: ZZman]
Falcon_LS Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 3463
Loc: Kuwait
 Originally Posted By: Trav
This may be a stupid question but have you asked the dealer about a possible recall?

In the U.S. Toyota extended the warranty to 8 years on these sludge prone engines.A few weeks ago while i was in Germany my friends 4cyl Toyota looked the same as yours.

Sure enough a trip to the dealer revealed a "replace engine as needed" under an internal extended warranty program.A new long block will be installed next week free of charge.


Recalls are extremely rare incidents here, but thanks for bringing that up. \:\! It's worth a try, but with the way things work here, I doubt it would do anything - unless I write to Toyota Motors Corporation in Japan afterwards, about visiting the dealer and being shown out the door.

 Originally Posted By: ZZman
Even Mobil 1 would tell you to run some short 3,000 mile OCI's to get that cleaned up. Otherwise the oil will not be able to handle all that crud and it will fall out of suspension.


I will only be using Mobil 1 once the cleaning is complete. \:\!
_________________________
00 Pajero: M1 0W-40/26300-35503
01 Marquis: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/FL820S
05 Envoy: M1 ESP Formula 5W-30/51522XP

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#1570710 - 08/18/09 03:21 PM Re: Auto-Rx in '02 Lexus ES300 [Re: bepperb]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
So what's cheaper if you had to do it all over again since new. Cutting your OCI's in half, or this AutoRX dance?


Once the condition is discovered? Was the owner supposed to assume that the OEM recommendation was flawed and not follow it?

These engines are so trouble prone that Amsoil doesn't recommend extended drains nor the use of extended drain filters for them.

This is a characteristic design flaw.

After it's clean MAYBE cutting the OCI in half will extend the time when it occurs again ..and at what ultimate cost? Try using the "cheap insurance" argument outside of North America. It doesn't work. Oil isn't cheap anywhere but here. Even in an oil producing nation.

The Auto-Rx board is littered with these things.
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