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Thread: RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

  1. #1
    lexusrxowner
    Guest lexusrxowner's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    I have a '99 RX300. I try to change the oil every 3000 miles b/c of the much discussed oil sludge problem. At about 85,000 miles I let it go to 5,000 miles between change. The Check Engine light came on. I made sure that the gas gap was on tight but the light stayed on. I made an appointment with the dealer, and while waiting for that day, I changed the oil and the light went off 10 minutes later and has stayed off. Sure seems related. I'm wondering if there may be a problem with oil sludge even though the light has stayed off and it's running fine.

  2. #2
    Iona Camry
    Guest Iona Camry's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    "lexusrxowner" <steven65@............> wrote in message
    news:2f7436d6897c10cabb2bb8994f6d8255@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
    > I have a '99 RX300. I try to change the oil every 3000 miles b/c of the much

    discussed oil sludge problem. At about 85,000 miles I let it go to 5,000 miles
    between change. The Check Engine light came on. I made sure that the gas gap
    was on tight but the light stayed on. I made an appointment with the dealer,
    and while waiting for that day, I changed the oil and the light went off 10
    minutes later and has stayed off. Sure seems related. I'm wondering if there
    may be a problem with oil sludge even though the light has stayed off and it's
    running fine.
    >


    My 2000 ES 300 had a brief (half-day) epsiode of intermittent Engine Warning
    light with
    the Traction Control warning light recently.
    The engine oil was about 2K miles old.

    I don't know why it started, and why it went off all by itself later that day.
    The dealer couldn't identify what might have caused it because everything
    looked OK to them.

    I am losing confidence in my 2000 Lexus ES 300 Platinum Series vehicle.
    I am going to buy an extended warranty on this car.
    Any recommendations?

    If I have to pay full-price to fix anything on this car, I am going to wish I
    had bought a Ford.

  3. #3
    markjen
    Guest markjen's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    CELs are generally triggered by issues associated with the FI system,
    ignition system, or other system that could affect emissions. (CELs came
    about through the requirements of emissions regulations.) I doubt there is
    any sensor associated with the lubrication system that would trigger a CEL
    (except, of course, if you had oil pump failure or something equally
    catastrophic). Therefore, I'd view it as highly unlikely that the CEL was
    caused by oil problems or solved by changing oil. The most likely culprit
    is that you have something like an O2 sensor that is starting to get
    marginal or was briefly contaminated by some bad gas or other factor.

    CELs can come/go on many cars and I would rate this on the scale of car
    problems as "small potatoes". I certainly wouldn't lose confidence in a
    vehicle because of a glitch like this - overall, the reliability of the
    ES300 (and the Camry it is based on) has been exceptional, perhaps the best
    of any recent car.

    Drive on.

    - Mark

  4. #4
    markjen
    Guest markjen's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    > I had been using 91 Octane all along except for the last 2 or 3 tankfuls
    before
    > the Engine Lights came on (I switched to 87).
    > But why the Traction Control warning light as well as the Engine Warning

    Light?

    I'd use what the manual recommends. TC lights have two modes: one to tell
    you that they're working and another to tell you they're malfunctioning.
    See what the manual says.

    > And that Lexus dealership refused to sell me an extended warranty because

    I
    > didn't buy the car from them, and/or because my car is over 3 years and

    has
    > over 36K miles.


    I believe this is standard policy on extended warranties. They don't want
    people deferring a decision on an extended warranty to the last minute when
    problems are looming.

    > Not in my 1988 V6 Camry (basically, very similar to the Lexus ES250)
    > Not once in the almost 16 years I have owned it (except momentarily, when

    you
    > start up the car)
    > Not even once! Beat that.


    They're much more common on today's cars becuase they're required by
    emissions regulations to monitor a great many more parameters. For example,
    the CEL system to detect vapor leaks in the fuel tanks was a recent
    requirement and leads to a lot of CELs. But you're right - some cars never
    seem to have them. Luck of the draw. My point is that they are not usually
    an indicator of serious problems - usually they detect some sensor that is
    not working correctly, an electrical connnection that is intermittent or a
    vacuum hose that is leaking.

    > Lexus messed up a very good car (the ES250) by turning it into a 300.


    The ES250 was a good car, as has been the ES300 and ES330. A bit overpriced
    IMHO vs. the equivalent Camry, but value is a relative that only the
    individual can determine. The issues with more electronics and complexity
    in today's cars is basically complaining about the weather. The objective
    data is that today's super-complex cars have never been more reliable,
    trouble-free, or long-lasting. But if you want to keep an older car
    running, certainly cars like the ES250 are good candidates - it just takes a
    generous maintenance budget and willingness to keep putting money in a car
    beyond what you can get back if you were to sell it.

    Good luck,

    - Mark

  5. #5
    Stephen Keown
    Guest Stephen Keown's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    This is because Lexus has preprogrammed mileage checks that maybe different
    from the owner, as well as the dealer service some dealers provide. The
    dealer can show you how to cancel the check engine light particularly when
    for example you take it in for a 1500 mile check up, and they change oil,
    and then are suppose to report back at 5000 mi. Lexus preprograms 3000
    miles in, so the check engine light comes on as a reminder.
    "lexusrxowner" <steven65@............> wrote in message
    news:2f7436d6897c10cabb2bb8994f6d8255@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
    > I have a '99 RX300. I try to change the oil every 3000 miles b/c of the

    much discussed oil sludge problem. At about 85,000 miles I let it go to
    5,000 miles between change. The Check Engine light came on. I made sure
    that the gas gap was on tight but the light stayed on. I made an
    appointment with the dealer, and while waiting for that day, I changed the
    oil and the light went off 10 minutes later and has stayed off. Sure seems
    related. I'm wondering if there may be a problem with oil sludge even
    though the light has stayed off and it's running fine.
    >

  6. #6
    markjen
    Guest markjen's Avatar

    Default RX300 - Check Engine Light related to Oil Sludge?

    > Lexus preprograms 3000
    > miles in, so the check engine light comes on as a reminder.


    I don't believe Lexus cars are set up to show CELs as normal maintenance
    reminders.

    - Mark

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