Engine Sludge: It’s As Dangerous As It Is Gross

Engine sludge is a very serious issue. Vehicles that develop this problem usually require money to get it fixed. It’s a problem that can put a massive dent in anyone’s financial plans, so it’s best to stay ahead of the problem so that you can stay as far away from it as possible. Do you know what engine sludge is? Do you know how it develops? Do you know how to look for it? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these, don’t panic. Keep reading and let those uneasy worries melt away with our knowledge right at your fingertips.

What Is It, Anyway?

Engine sludge is, quite literally, a thick sludge that develops around your vehicle’s motor. When oil breaks down and collects on the engine, it creates the foundation for a sludge problem. So, when that sludge is present? It means that oil isn’t properly circulating and lubricating the moving parts of your engine.

How Often Does It Occur?

An easier question to answer is, ‘how easily can it occur?’ You won’t like the answer, though. One of the worst culprits for engine sludge development is something we all do every day: stop-and-go driving along with short commutes. That is why it’s so important to make sure that your auto repair shop checks for engine sludge regularly. A routine maintenance schedule will help you stay on top of engine sludge issues before they become a very expensive problem.

How Do I Know If My Engine Has This Issue?

So, you haven’t had your engine checked for sludge lately. That’s okay, the majority of the driving populace finds themselves in this situation a lot. Nevertheless, there are 4 key steps you can take to figure out whether or not your engine is struggling with sludge.

  • Crank your vehicle’s engine and see if your check engine light or oil change light is on.
  • Pop the hood and see if the sludge build-up is enough for you to see with your own eyes.
  • While the hood is popped, search for any signs of oil splatter.
  • Check your oil pan.

If you don’t have much know-how around a car, though, have someone present while you’re doing this. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. The oil in your car’s oil pan should be clean and viscous. If the oil in that pan looks like sludge at all, or if its viscosity seems to be thicker than that of oil, that is an indicator of developing sludge in your vehicle’s motor.

What Can I Do To Prevent It?

Excellent question! Below are 4 tips on how to prevent engine sludge in most any vehicle:

Get your oil (and its respective filter) changed on a regular basis. Much research has been done on the issue, and the single biggest cause of engine sludge outside of constant short commuting is lacking in oil changes. A routine maintenance schedule with your family’s auto repair shop mechanic will help keep this in check.

Quit the ‘stop and go’ driving. If you can, walk or take a bike to your closer destinations. Those short driving times are very strenuous on your vehicle.

Buy engine sludge remover. Yes, they have this on the market, and you can find it in most local auto parts stores. Simply use it as the instructions say on the back of the bottle, and there you go! Easy, affordable engine sludge prevention.

Take a trip to your local ASE-certified mechanic. If you took heed of the checkpoints above and have found yourself knee-deep in engine sludge issues, seek professional advice and help. It’s a common problem, but it’s costly, and it’ll cost you even more in the long run if you attempt to fix the problem yourself.

Getting on a routine maintenance plan with a trustworthy auto repair shop is monumental to staying on top of engine sludge problems, or any problems, for that matter. Here at Jeff’s Auto Repair, we diligently stick to our customer’s necessary check-up schedules to know they’re safe when they walk out our doors. Our ASE-certified staff is highly trained on this topic and can help you navigate it no matter how thick the engine sludge build-up has become. So, call us at (425) 771-4588 or walk in and see us at 21701 Hwy 99, Lynnwood, WA 98036 to get your car’s engine back on the road to good health and a long, happy, sludge-free life.

Written by Jeff's Auto Repair

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