Q: Engine Code P0016

asked by on

I have a 2008 Toyota 4runner with an engine code P0016 alert and I have a sludge buildup problem due to lack of proper maintenance. Can I flush the engine with an engine oil chemical flush to clean the engine and clear the sensor? Toyota tells me they would rather replace the engine due to the chance of sludge particles lodging in the oil pickup line.

My car has 74500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The P0016 code is most likely due to the engine sludge build up as the VVT (variable valve timing) system is control with oil pressure. In regards to the engine flush, I whole heartedly agree with Toyota. The number of possible passages to clean and remove sludge from is scary. Once you begin to dislodge the oil sludge from the engine, it will simply move to another location. It is almost impossible to clean a motor internally in this fashion without clogging another artery.

With that said, it could be worth the effort, although I recommend doing in yourself and giving yourself a lot of time. Be as patient as you can. The biggest challenge will be removing the sludge that you hope will eventually make it to the oil pan. It can get stuck in the pan and clog the oil pickup screen. When this happens, you must remove the sludge to run the motor or the motor will be starved of oil and internally damaged. In addition to removing sludge from the oil pan, you will need to remove parts of the VVT system that has oil screens. They tend to clog over time with good maintenance. In this case, as you free the sludge inside the motor, it will clog those screens very quickly.

It can be done, but it often requires the removal of the oil pan on multiple occasions as well as every part that has a screen. If you have the money, it is much much simpler to simply replace the motor.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Engine Code P0016

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How Do Belt Tensioners Work?

The belt tensioners in your car work to ensure that there is enough tension on your serpentine belt, or other drive belts, so that everything in your engine compartment (your alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, etc.) operates the way...

Q: Q: Oil light goes off and on

The engine oil pressure may be getting too low at idle from the engine oil pump not pumping enough pressure or the engine bearing are worn and leaking excess oil past them when the engine is running. You could also...

Q: What is the difrfrence between synthetic or normal engine oil, if we have to change both tyoe of oil after 10,000 km ?

Synthetic oil is a manufactured oil that goes through a series of processes that remove many of the impurities from the mineral oil as well as enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...