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Monday, 21 April 2014

5 things you must know about engine sludge build up.

The 5 thing you must know about engine sludge build up to save your engine!

Engine sludge build up, popularly known as “Black Death”, is a problem that plagues some vehicles more than others . In 2007, a state judge in Louisiana approved an out-of-court settlement of a class-action suit against Toyota covering 3.5 million vehicles. Under the settlement, Toyota would repair vehicles with sludge damage if owners could prove a reasonable effort was made to maintain the vehicle correctly.

What causes engine sludge build up?

Amongst the most
common causes of engine sludge build up is oil oxidation stability of mineral oils and a lack of maintenance by car owner s who operate their vehicles under harsh driving conditions. However, certain engines from Audi, Chrysler, Saab, Toyota, and Volkswagen which are prone to engine sludge build up, will likely continue to suffer even if regular motor oil is changed at the correct service intervals.

Because petroleum based oils have a relatively low threshold for oxidation at higher operating temperatures, stop-go city driving, and regular cold starts are likely to negatively affect engine oil life.

Under these conditions a quality full synthetic engine oil is far more stable and won’t oxidise as readily. Additive packages for these oils are also engineered to withstand these severe operating conditions.

The best way of beating engine sludge build up?

Once your engine’s been bitten there’s unfortunately no guaranteed short cut and usually the cure is to strip the engine and clean all components thoroughly.

 The best cure is therefore prevention, or at least taking steps to reduce engine sludge build up at a rapid rate.

If the vehicle is operated under stop-start and high operating temperatures the first thing to consider is change the oil to high quality full synthetic engine oil. These oils, although costing slightly more than regular engine oil, will outlast the regular stuff with ease.

Once you’ve taken this step, monitor the condition of the motor oil (By checking the oil on the dipstick visually ) regularly. Don’t be alarmed at a darkening of the engine oil – this is normal and is a sign that the detergents in the oil are doing their job.

Make sure it is engine sludge build up and not another problem.

You can replicate engine sludge build up by mixing engine coolant with the engine oil, such as what would occur with a damaged cylinder head gasket. However when this happens, the “engine sludge build up” has a whitish cream colour and will be visible on the inside of the oil filler cap which looks like vanilla yoghurt or mayonnaise. The area around the cap is usually cooler than the rest of the cam box and so the oil/water mix will condense on the cap.

If you’re unlucky enough to have an engine cylinder head gasket that’s blown, chances are your oil level is going up and your coolant level is going down; as coolant bleeds into the oil sump.

Before thinking of a rebuild for a blown gasket do one final check: A blocked scavenger hose can lead to a build up of condensation inside the cam cover, which manifests as the yellow build up inside the filler cap. On most engines the hose that comes off the cam cover returning to the engine block scavenges oil vapour and gasses that build up in the cam cover which could build up sludge-like deposits.

Even though a top quality synthetic engine oil can’t overcome mechanical failures, such as leaking head gaskets or blocked breathers; a good synthetic engine oil can certainly reduce engine sludge build up.

Engine rebuilds are very expensive; save yourself time and money by calling the professionals at Habot Synthetic Lubricants. Their high quality synthetic motor oils are formulated to withstand harsh operating conditions that typically lead to engine sludge build up.