Engine sludge is basically a dirty, sticky, grease-like substance, formed due to oxidation/contamination of oil in the engine.

Neglect of maintenance

The main one is delayed service, which makes engine oil to run for more miles than intended. It is basically like using the oil past its sell by date. Since engine oil acts as an engine coolant and smoothens running components it is imperative that it is changed within time.

Use of inferior oil

A lot of the time people do not read the manufacturers manual that comes with the car that has all specifications of the car like for instance what oil to use in your engine. While doing a service on your car it is important to use the specified oil type as it is able to run for a specified amount of time for a certain engine/ car.

Inferior fuels

It is a proven fact that many people will choose a cheaper fuel over the more expensive and well known fuels just to save some money, the problem here is cheap fuels usually lead to carbon build up (engine sludge formation) which suffocates the engine and wreaks havoc on the fuel system.

Short distance travels

Short distance travels can put a strain on your oil grade and eventually take a toll on your engine as the oil isn’t heated up to its optimum temperature to run smoothly through your engine.

Excessive idling

Idling is basically your engine running but your car is stationery, most of the time cars are usually left idling in the mornings to warm it up or during a traffic jam. If you take into account that you’re stuck in traffic for over 2 hours where you could have covered the distance to your destination in 20 minutes and this happens every day then this means the oil will not be able to reach the next mileage of service due to excessive idling leading to delayed service hence causing sludge. This is the reason why a few fleet managers have decided to change oil after calculating the number of hours the engine has been running.

Obviously all of these problems are self-explanatory in what is to be done to prevent the build-up of sludge in your engine but I’m going to list it for you anyway, so:

  1. Make sure upon starting your car you do check your engine management light, if it does show up then this doesn’t necessarily mean that something is broken in your engine compartment, it is also an indicator that the oil within your engine needs changing.
  2. Service is important, just like brushing your teeth every day, the service of your car being done on time can save you massive amounts of money and that doesn’t mean just sludge build-up.
  3. Make it a habit to always check your cars manufacturers’ manual. If there is something you do not know about your car, 99% of the time your cars manual will definitely have it. Have a look at it because I’m sure that there are a lot of things in there that people take for granted.
  4. Try and spend that extra bit of money on good fuel for your car, having inferior fuel put into your engine is like eating only junk food your entire life, it gets you full but is it really good for your?
  5. Excessive idling, something everybody is guilty of; whether it is during traffic or simply just waiting for someone. Switching off your car can save, it may not be right now but over time it will save you on little extra engine maintenance that you might have to do.

Here at Riet River Auto we are inclined in always giving you the best advice about a number of situations and we take this to our workshop when it comes to working on cars, we always strive for the best and to be the best so we only hope this post helps if you’re having the same problem. If you do feel like you need more advice don’t be afraid to come on down to our workshop at 3 Groom Street Verulam and one of our service advisors would be happy to help.

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