If Jesus were to be personified into a car it would probably be the Toyota Kluger. A car that if we were to create a list of common faults, it would be a very short list indeed and would make for a very boring blog post.
Unfortunately the Klugar just falls short of the perfection mark, with one major issue that seems to plague a lot of them. Owners of these vehicles who are struck with this issue suddenly go from thinking they own the Messiah of a car to believing they have bought themselves a car that is only comparable to Brett Cowan.
So what is this extreme issue that seems to be so common? The fault is a sludge filled engine. The statement does not sound too bad and when we initially did our research for this, we found very little on common faults with these cars. Fortunately we did not stop there and called upon some of our contacts within the industry. Fifteen years within the trade means we know a few people at Toyota who informed us to look into the common fault surrounding the sludge in the V6 engines.
Once you start doing your research on these cars with a specific fault in mind there is a conglomerate of information available on the issue. The fault is so common that in the USA there was a class action against Toyota for this fault. Unfortunately for Australian consumers there is no such redemption. Aussies with this fault have to fork out to have the fault repaired.
The issue is that the oil within the engines becomes too thick and starts to clog up the engine internals. After a period of time, the oil galleries and the oil pick up within the sump block up, preventing lubricating oils from getting throughout the engine. In all cars this is an issue if services are skipped, however the Toyota V6 seems to do it even if the vehicle is frequently serviced. The long term result of this is serious internal engine damage.
Our research shows that the fault is a little inconsistent. Some cars that were frequently serviced had this fault even though the car had oil changes as per the manufacturers specifications but others did not. The key point here is, get your car serviced often.
What we do know is that Toyota changed its recommended service intervals after the fault presented itself many years ago and this did seem to help. Some cars can be forgiving if you skip services, the Kluger is not one of these cars. Additionally, our research also found this fault applied to the Avalon and the V6 Camry.
It is suspected, but no hard evidence was able to be sourced, that the cause of this may lie with the viscosity and grade of engine oils used. We believe the Kluger MCU28R engine sludge fault is preventable with oil changes every 5,000Kms and by insuring the correct oil is used. Valvoline Australia advises a full synthetic oil 5W30.
If you own a Kluger, don’t ever skip a service, it could cost you big. If you are looking to buy one of these second-hand be very sure to make sure you get one that has been frequently serviced. Check the dip stick, if it has copper staining on it, walk away. Check under the oil cap, if it has sludge, walk away. Mechanic workshops now have mini cameras that can get inside of engines and inspect them. We advise paying a mechanic to get this done to be sure you’re not buying a problem motor.