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What Causes the Hilux and Prado Clogged Oil Sump Pickup?

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clogged-oil-sump-pickupThere has been quite a bit of chatter lately on the Hilux and Prado boards about the clogged oil sump pickup problem with the Toyota Hilux and Prado D4D.  The two biggest questions are “what caused it?“, and “how did it happen so fast?”. As anyone who has experienced this problem knows, it is a costly and catastrophic event.

What causes the Hilux/Prado clogged oil sump pickup?

The main cause of this is failure of the common rail injector seal. When the seal around the tip of the injector starts to fail and leak, oil drips into the cylinder overnight. Worse is when the carbon gases blow by, fouling and thickening the oil, blocking the oil pickup, and starving the motor. Nightmare.

The best way to prevent the oil sump pickup getting clogged is proper maintenance and inspection. At BDG,we have seen the Hilux and Prado go from perfectly in specs injectors and a squeaky clean oil sump pickup to leaking injectors, smoke-blowing and a clogged oil sump pickup in less than 10,000 km. The first point is to make sure your maintenance is done on time, and to check and see if you have a clogged oil sump pickup screen every time you change your oil. The second point is to know the symptoms and causes of injector failure, and catch this early on before the damage is done.

In a previous post, we covered the symptoms and causes of common rail injector failure, but here might be a good time to cover the highlights.

Your Hilux or Prado has white smoke and a rattle after cold start. This is usually caused by the leaking injector seal we talked about. A simple check for this is to park the truck, nose down, overnight. In the morning, if the symptoms are worse, your common rail injectors are failing. Remember, when this starts happening, your oil sump pickup screen is getting clogged, and it takes no time for the damage to be done.

Hilux and Prado low rpm rattle. This is usually caused by a clogged EGR and manifold. It is a good policy, and good maintenance, to remove, clean and inspect the intake each time you change the oil.

I do all of my maintenance, why do my injectors fail? The fuel your truck burns and normal wear and tear is the cause of most injector failure. The new common rail injector operates under extremely high pressure, and this speeds up the failure. They also fire more times than previous injection systems, so bingo. Next, we know that the chemicals in our diesel fuel, and particulate in the fuel, are the death sentence for common rail injectors. What to do? Baileys recommends a one micron filter, and driving the beast on a daily basis, to minimize the fuel related problems.

Lastly, while a clogged oil sump pickup is a devastating event, a costly failure on the Hilux and Prado, the good news is that it is easy to inspect and check at every service, whether you service it yourself or take it to the dealer. Take off the oil sump covers, take out the screen, and spray it with carb cleaner or degreaser, then put it all back, making sure to seal everything properly. For the less mechanically inclined, we should be putting out a video on this shortly on our Youtube channel, so stay tuned.