Is the motor oil in your car turning to thick and gooey sludge? Engine sludge has serious ramifications on car performance. The semi-solid gunk will also result in costly auto repairs down the road. Do you know how to spot engine sludge?
The Implications of Engine Sludge
Sludge causes engine combustion problems. As oil oxidization occurs, the oil solidifies and coats the cylinders, leading to stress and heat buildup with each stroke of the engine. Ultimately, the owner will have to replace the engine altogether or opt for an engine rebuild. Either option costs an arm and a leg.
Signs of Engine Sludge Buildup
The biggest telltale sign is the oil change light lighting up on your dashboard. You should also open the hood and look at the engine. Do you see thick black clumps anywhere on the outer part of the engine?
Next, remove the oil cap and use a flashlight to peer inside the oil pan. In a healthy engine, the oil should appear a metallic silver. If you see a lot of black gunk inside, then you have sludge.
How to Prevent Sludge Accumulation
You don’t have to follow the 3,000-mile rule. However, you do need to perform an oil change according to the interval in the vehicle manual. An auto service may recommend more frequent oil changes if you drive under severe conditions. This includes constant stop and go driving, which accelerates the oil oxidization process.
You can also use an engine sludge remover fluid, which you can find at any auto store. Just keep in mind this is not a substitute for regular oil changes.
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