Perhaps the dreaded check engine light has come on. Maybe your car just seems “off” or less responsive. It is possible that your low oil light has come on. Your vehicle may be having an issue with engine sludge. It is crucial that you identify and take steps to correct this before it becomes an even bigger problem. You should also know that all vehicles, no matter what make, model, or year, can develop engine sludge.
Engine sludge will develop both on or around your vehicle’s motor. This happens when the oil starts to break down and remains around the engine. Once this sludge is present, the oil is not able to properly lubricate the moving parts of your car’s engine.
There are a couple of reasons why your vehicle might develop engine sludge. If you tend to drive your vehicle short distances only, this can be a factor. Another cause of engine sludge is driving in stop and go traffic.
Sludge is also caused by the breakdown of oil, this is why mechanics recommend you use a good, quality motor oil in your vehicle. If you go longer than the recommended time for an oil change, this too can contribute to engine sludge.
Engine sludge is made up from the oxidized motor oil, dirt, soot, water vapor, and leaked coolant. Using a good motor oil helps to keep these things suspended in the oil, which then gets flushed out with your next oil change.
It is simple to check for engine sludge by yourself. There are a few steps you can take.
Engine sludge will look like thicker than normal oil and it will seem to be in clumps. It is also possible that you might notice other debris that has become trapped in the sludge as well.
If you have determined that you do have engine sludge, it needs to be removed from your engine quickly. Engine oil can cause your car to have major problems that can be expensive to fix.
You can try and flush the sludge out by yourself at home. You will need a few things to get started.
Once you have these items, you are ready to begin cleaning out the engine sludge.
If you are not comfortable doing this by yourself, take your car to your local mechanic to do it as soon as possible.
Now that you have cleaned the sludge from your engine and replaced it with new, clean oil you want to be sure this does not happen again. Having sludge in your engine can cause problems that are expensive to fix and will impact your car negatively.
One of the easiest things you can do to help prevent the sludge from happening again is to make sure you get regular oil changes. You also want to be sure you have your vehicle serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Another way to help prevent sludge is to use the best quality motor oil for your car. Your dealer or owner’s manual will have suggestions for you. And you should always change the oil filter when changing your oil.
You also want to be mindful of how you drive your vehicle. Stop and go traffic is a contributing factor to engine oil sludge developing. And if you drive your car under extreme conditions, this will also cause sludge to develop. If you do drive your car under these conditions, then be sure to schedule regular maintenance with your mechanic and have the oil changed more frequently.
Owning a car requires you to be mindful of routine maintenance. Part of that schedule includes regularly changing your oil and the oil filter. Although it may seem to be a pain, it will go a long way towards preventing engine oil sludge from developing and the problems that often go with it.