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Sep
12
Cost Benefit with 2 Toyotas

Been using Auto-Rx periodically for 9 years or so now on several vehicles. I’m a very satisfied customer. But I did have to learn about lights coming on during treatment or rinse phase.

I’d like to share my latest Auto-Rx application story.

I purchased a used 2005 Scion Xb with about 83K on it from my father in law. Taken care of but with Walmart dino oil changes. Under the oil cap and inside the oil filler hole it looked a little dirty but ran fine. Decided to put Auto-Rx in for about 3k. During the rinse phase I got the three yellow check lights that warn of an important issue needing attention and pulled code p0012. This code basically means the variable cam (VVTI) is not advancing or retarding the cam correctly. Thru research I learned oil, thru the oil control valve (OCV), is ported to the cam to change timing. Just before the oil gets to the OCV there is an oil screen. Some with code p0012 were cleaning their oil screens and replacing the OCV to try and fix the problem. That didn’t always work and others didn’t want to fool with it so most just go to the dealer and pay a minimum of $400 for a new cam.

I decided to do another Auto-Rx treatment. I’m 500 miles into it and all three of the lights have stayed off. They were previously coming on every 20-30 miles during the entire rinse phase and during the first 100 miles after the rinse cycle before I started the second treatment. I thought perhaps a full oil filter during the rinse might be causing it. No such luck.

I suspect the first Auto-Rx treatment started the cleaning process and some gunk lodged itself somewhere in the VVTI system. I’m guessing the oil screen. This, I think, would deprive the VVTI system of oil pressure but keep the engine oil pressure up. (I didn’t get a low oil pressure light) I’m convinced the second treatment is finishing the job.

Since I previously had exclusively run Mobil1 in Toyota vehicles due to sludge fears (see below) using a bottle of Auto-Rx is cost effective because of the $ saved using dino during the clean and rinse cycles. I now feel confident to run regular dino oil every second or third change to help keep seals in good shape. Residual Mobil1 most likely helps the dino during my 4-5K changes. I’m saving money using Auto-Rx!

I’m also convinced that I was looking at a code p0012 at some point in my future even if I didn’t do an Auto-Rx cleaning. I just caused it to come on sooner. This code seems to be pretty common in the 2005 Scion Xb and there is a service bulletin on it. If I had been in warranty it would have been fully covered.

Big picture – This is my second Toyota/Auto-Rx experience. My first, and the reason I discovered Auto-Rx, was with a 2001 Camry V6. I was dismayed to receive a “special” 100K engine warranty due to an oil sludge class action settlement. The 1997-2001 Camry V6’s are sludge monsters. That’s a long story but I haven’t had anything but lifter ticks to deal with after deciding to use only Mobil 1. I considered selling the car but decided to fend off the sludge monster instead. That car is running fine after my second Auto-Rx cleaning this year at 131K. At 136K now in rinse phase. It cleared up a lifter tick that developed, the same issue I had at 30K, after running Mobil1 exclusively. 100K between Auto-Rx treatments is impressive with this engine.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a satisfied but now very careful Toyota owner. But I’ve had to worry about sludge and learn about oil products to keep them up. That has been to my benefit because now I do not fear buying a used car. I know what to run in them to clean up the engine.

Cheers.

—Tibula