Oil-cap sludge should have been warning
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.