Oil-cap sludge should have been warn­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

WE bought a four-year-old, ex-government Toy­ota Aurion at auc­tion, with ap­par­ently a poor ser­vice his­tory and 75,000km on the clock. First in­spec­tion of the oil filler cap re­vealed a con­gealed glug of old oil. The mo­tor be­gan to spew white smoke out of the ex­haust af­ter stand­ing for some time but, more em­bar­rass­ingly, we can hear a very tinny, clat­ter­clat­ter coming from the mo­tor — and there’s a plume of smoke that com­pletely en­gulfs the car be­hind. A Toy­ota dealer rec­om­mended tak­ing it on a long run, then chang­ing the oil and oil fil­ter. We did that. No change, no im­prove­ment, so it was off to an­other me­chanic with di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment and he changes the oil again and puts in en­gine flush. Still no im­prove­ment. On the long trip the mo­tor used four litres over 800km. DaveWil­liamson, email You say the car had a poor ser­vice his­tory when you bought it and that there was sludge un­der the filler cap. Both should have been a warn­ing to you that this car hadn’t been well cared for. You are now paying the price. Sludge builds up in the oil gal­leries when the oil isn’t reg­u­larly changed and, if let go long enough, can cause block­ages that can be fa­tal to an en­gine. It’s rat­tling, us­ing a lot of oil and blow­ing a lot of black smoke . . . you should have it pulled down, in­spected and pos­si­bly re­built.

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