Question about 2000 Toyota Sienna

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Oil seeping out from the cylinder head.

I have recently purchased a 2000 sienna minivan, engine was clean when i took it but after a few days of use, oil seems to be mildly seeping out from the cylinder head gasket, what are my options?

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Where did you purchase the vehicle from?

Posted on Dec 14, 2008

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Hello Aaron, Bad valve seals can cause your engine to smoke after start up and clear up after a few seconds of running. Sometimes the valve seals become hard and brittle. They can break up and restrict the oil return holes in the cylinder heads, causing oil to seep into the cylinders through the valve guides.

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A leak somewhere, as it is unlikely it suddenly burnt so much in 6 journeys unless you went to Punta Arenas and back.

Obvious as it sounds I'd look first at the filler cap, sump plug and filter to see they are tight (but don't overtighten), then elsewhere. Give the engine a good clean with degreaser and a hose, then drive a short distance have have a look all over the engine for oil seeps. It is hard with new oil to spot these, so it may take you a few tries.

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The valve guides in the cylinder head are probably worn, allowing oil to seep into the cylinders overnight and burn off when you start up in the morning. That is why you're loosing oil, it's being burned off.

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oil in spark plugs indicates that the cylinder head gasket is leaking and allowing oil to seep into the cylinders. if engine is running you will also have blue black smoke from the exhaust.
alteratively the piston rings are so worn that too much oil is passing them and spraying up on the spark plugs but that is not normal on all cylenders at the same time maybe only the one. also there would be a very low compression when checked with a compression guage.

second check is to remove the oil filler cap and see if it has a white emulsion on it this also indicates that the coolent water antifreeze is mixing with the oil at the cylinder and causing this.

the fix is to have the cylinder head removed and the gasket replaced, to ensure the head is not warped and skimming on a lathe is also a good idea.

if this is the original engine then at 16 years old it maybe time to replace for a recoditioned engine or a new one if the rest of the car is in good order.

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My sienna smokes from the exhaust. what is the likely problem and remedy?


If the smoke is white it would indicate water/coolant getting into the combustion chambers from the cooling system. (Usually caused by allowing engine to become excessively overheated when cooling system has run dry). If this leak is bad enough you may also see a water and oil emulsion on the oil dipstick due to water runing into sump.
If the smoke is blue/grey it would indicate eccessive oil being burnt in the cylinders due to worn, broken or stuck piston rings. This problem shows up as having to constantly top up oil level every day or two. If the smoke only happens when engine is first started then it means worn valve guides or valve stem seals.
The first problem (white smoke) will requre the removal of the engine head to replace gasket and have head face machined,
The second problrm (blue/grey smoke) will require further diagnosis by a mechanic to locate the true cause and may mean a total engine overhaul.

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I purchased an 07 Grand Caravan on June 24, 2010 with 48,000 miles on it. My mother borrowed the car on July 9th. When I checked all of the fluids, there was no oil in the engine, and no lights were on. I...


You should never buy any van type vehicle, in the first place,
the transaxle will fail any day.
I used to own a trans repair shop

Other then sell it,I would,I won't ride in one, not safe

Your correct,you should go 5000 miles and maybe use a 1/2 qt,
on most vehicles, none.

So you do a cylinder leak down test
Check Emission Gas Readings,to see what that shows
I suspect a broken oil ring,scored cylinder, broken piston
skirt or serious cylinder head issues.

Never go to a dealer. Calling or Visiting is okey

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If the smoke is blue, it's burning oil
The cause could be the valve guides are worn letting oil seep into the cylinder, head gasket, or worn piston rings.
If the smoke is white, it's a blown head gasket.

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