Prado carbon.

Submitted: Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:23
ThreadID: 30255 Views:2193 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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G'day all

I have just serviced our 2001 petrol Prado. When I removed the oil filler cap I noticed a metal plate fitted below the filler hole. The strange thing is that this plate was coated in a black material that looked carbon. I was able to break pieces of it off quite easily and when rubbed between the fingers it felt like sand but broke up quite easily.

This is not the sort of thing I expect or want to see in this area of an engine and I am at a loss to explain why it is there. The only thing I can think of is that a film of oil has been sitting on the plate each time the engine is shut off and the oil has been getting baked on and building up a residue. The plate is steel and all alloy components below it are free of any residue. The oil I have been using is Castrol Magnatec.

Any explanation or detail of similar experience will be appreciated.


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Reply By: 4145derek - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:12

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:12
What is your oil change interval. Are you the original owner and what oils have you used in the past.

Regards Derek I.A.M.E.
AnswerID: 151954

Follow Up By: Dazz78 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:23

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:23
G'day Derek

I am the second owner of the vehicle and this is the second service that I have done. According to the logbook it has always been serviced at 10000 kms and I did this one at 8000 klms because it had been longer than 6 months interval. I do not know exactly what oil has been used in the past however most services were done by toyota. I have used Magnatec on both services.

FollowupID: 405533

Follow Up By: 4145derek - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:33

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:33
The brown crust is a build up of carbon and varnish from the oils used and heat generated by the engine. I have seen Camry engines with the same problem. The best thing to do is to use a brand name oil flush just before your next oil change. Best to do this with-in 5 000 km on a 4wd and that should get most of the gunk out. Leave the sump plug out for a few hours when doing so to get most if it out.

I would also suggest a injector cleaner added to the fuel evey now and again to help with this problem and if you can get to it remove the tappet cover breather tube and make sure it is clean.

Regards Derek
FollowupID: 405539

Follow Up By: Dazz78 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:57

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 22:57
Thanks for the info Derek. I did not mention that the vehicle has only travelled about 77 000 kms. Were the camrys you mention lower or higher kms than this and could the problem be worse or even caused by repeated short trips. Also, do you think there could be any lasting damage ?.

FollowupID: 405546

Follow Up By: 4145derek - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 23:08

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 23:08
I would say you could catch it in time. The Camrys were at the 100k mark when we do timing belts on them. Provided the engine has never been overheated you should be fine. Best to get that oil flush in as soon as you can to get the oil galleries clean and free up any sludge that can form around oil seals and cause them to leak. You may also find the rings will free up a bit and the engine may perform a bit better. The oil you are using is good but try to stick to oil changes every 5k with a filter every 10k. The injector cleaner is still a good idea. These engines will give you 250 000 to 300 000 Km if looked after.

Make sure you do a coolant flush every 2 years. (Just another thought)

Regards Derek
FollowupID: 405550

Follow Up By: Billowaggi - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 00:33

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 00:33
Hi all , I service a lot of late model Toyota petrol powered vehicles , that gritty coating on the baffle just inside the oil filler cap is on there from new. I don't know why! If the rest of the visible parts are shiny and clean I would not worry too much.
Regards Ken.
FollowupID: 405560

Follow Up By: 4145derek - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 07:48

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 07:48
From new ?

What does Toyota throw it in at the factory.
FollowupID: 405570

Follow Up By: Billowaggi - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:42

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:42
Hi all , its not "thrown in" ,what I am familiar with is a coating like sand paper that is attached to the baffle inside the oil filler cap , A build up of sticky sludge under the cap is fairly normal as this is the coldestd part of the engine and it condenses there. So long as there is no build up on the tops of the heads and moving parts there should be no prob. I have a customer with a 2001 Prado 3.4 that has just has its second timing belt fitted 300,000km , it has had slight sludging under the oil filler cap for a long time but it is still tight and smooth and does not use oil.
Regards Ken.
FollowupID: 405853

Reply By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 09:00

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 09:00
Go down to your local Toyo dealer and wander around the yard and pull the filler cap off a couple of newies and see what you find.....
AnswerID: 152014

Follow Up By: Dazz78 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 18:12

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 18:12
Thankyou for that piece of information Billowaggi, you may have saved me some time and money. I will inspect some new vehicles myself and see what I can find. Seems hard to believe that something like that would be placed in a new engine.

FollowupID: 405670

Reply By: TUFF IFS LUX - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 21:18

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 21:18
gday mate. Me hilux got the same V6 as your Prado and Ive serviced it since brand new, changing the oil at 1,000kms, and every 5,000kms after that. keeping the oil regularly changed should stop carbon building up and opening up the throttle hard once in a while should clean out her cobwebs abit too.

AnswerID: 152144

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