One of the worst gremlins any car can have is engine sludge. A heavy tar-like substance that collects in your engine. It is a byproduct of oil that oxidizes after burns, causing it to thicken and expand. The thick sludge will cause your vehicle’s engine not to lubricate properly. Our staff at High Tech Automotive know the dangers sludge can pose to the engine. Located in Wenatchee, WI, we employ a team of ASE-certified technicians with many years of experience dealing with engine sludge build-up and cleaning. Below, we’ll explain what causes engine sludge, what are its symptoms, and how you can prevent it.
The Causes Of Engine Sludge
On the most basic level, sludge can be the result of having low oil pressure in your vehicle. As you drive your vehicle, the amount of oil lubricating the engine decreases. If your vehicle is not routinely serviced, the oil left in the engine will begin to solidify due to the heat generated by the engine. Another cause is having the wrong oil in your engine. The wrong grade of oil or additives can cause the oil to burn faster, meaning less time between oil changes.
Symptoms of Sludge
The first possible sign of engine sludge is the oil warning light flashing on your dash. This could mean your oil is worn out, or your oil viscosity is high. High viscosity does not flow very quickly. Another symptom to be aware of is your engine will refuse to accept the recommended amount of oil during an oil change. This is due to sludge taking the space needed for the new oil. You can also spot engine sludge by looking under the hood. If you spot oil splatter or clumps of oil on parts of your engine, therein lies a problem.
How You Can Prevent Build-up
The best thing we can recommend is get regular oil and filter changes. It keeps your engine lubricated and prevents air particulates from getting into your engine. Another thing we recommend is trying to avoid stop-and-go, or short-distance driving. Engines won’t come to operating temperature on a short drive, creating the possibility of sludge build-up. One other thing we recommend is getting higher grade fuel for your vehicle. A higher-grade fuel produces fewer engine deposits.
Engine sludge has the potential to cause massive damage to your engine. The worst case scenario is your engine seizing due to lack of lubrication. It is important you take steps to avoid getting engine sludge, and keeping an engine running healthy and efficient. Please give us a call at (509) 992-1445 if you have any questions about engine sludge. Our shop is located at 1230 McKittrick St, in the heart of Wenatchee. We can’t wait to see you soon!