VWs are fun yet hardworking cars designed for everyday life and all its surprises. However, oil sludge buildup is an unexpected surprise that is completely avoidable with proper maintenance and care standards. Sludge build up can ruin the performance of your engine and can even contribute to complete engine failure if left to run rampant.
In this article, we will take a closer look at oil sludge and learn what maintenance actions you should take to avoid a build up from occurring.
What is oil sludge and why is it harmful to my VW?
Sometimes referred to as engine sludge, oil sludge is a build up of broken down and/or used up oils, contaminants, and other deposits. Sludge buildup will form around the engine as well as the motor of you VW and will result in the engine becoming under-lubricated due to the lack of fresh oil circulating through it.
Your VW’s engine is comprised of a series of moving parts that need to be kept lubricated in order to perform their essential roles correctly. Without lubrication, these parts can become stiff or cease up, reducing engine function. If left dry for long enough, this will directly contribute to complete engine failure.
How to Prevent Oil Sludge from Building up
Once it has built up, oil sludge can be quite tricky to remove. Therefore, preventing sludge from occurring and building up in the first place is essential. Luckily, this couldn’t be easier. It is a routine that should be included as part of your standard maintenance routine.
Avoid Cheap Oils
In most aspects of our lives, saving money where we can is a great practice. However, when it comes to our cars, something which we rely on in our day-to-day lives, holding back is best avoided. While cheap oil will initially save you money, it is likely to need replacing far sooner than high quality oil and is usually lacking the necessary conditioners and additives needed to care for your engine. It also may contain a higher count of contaminants. It is always best to opt for a high-quality oil from a well known brand, as advised by your mechanic or VW themselves.
Avoid Expired Oil
Oil does have an expiration date. When it is worn out, it will start to break down. The deposits of broken down oil are sticky and will cling to engine parts, creating blockages. To help prevent this, you should always change your oil when needed or as directed by your mechanic or owner’s manual.
The Oil Filter is Clogged
The oil filter is part of the engine system and is designed to catch contaminants or oil sludge as it circulates through the engine, preventing it from settling and creating blockages. However, given time and enough contaminants the filter can become overwhelmed and create blockages. If the filter isn’t able to catch the contaminants, then these particles are allowed to circulate through the systems, settling where they please and creating buildup.
The dangers of “Stop-and-Go” Driving
The number one driver habit that contributes to oil sludge buildup is known as stop-and-go driving. This type of driving is summed up as short bursts of acceleration with multiple stopping points in between. A common example of a stop-and-go trip would be rush hour traffic, as the journey is typically short with lots of stops for traffic, red lights, and pedestrians along the route.
This type of driving results in sludge build up, as it is strenuous on the engine and is demanding on all of the related systems. This kind of driving can also lead to more rapid engine deterioration.
Is sludge remover safe to use?
For many mechanics, the jury is out on whether sludge removers are effective for tackling oil sludge build up. However, if you notice your VW is regularly facing sludge build up, it may be worth a try. Sludge removers can be bought from most auto stores.
Servicing from Paladin Automotive
If you live in or around greater Las Vegas areas including Spring Valley, Summerlin, and Las Vegas, NV, then head on down to Paladin Automotive. We have three locations with state-of-the-art technology and experienced mechanics. We ensure you will drive away from our garage with your VW free of oil sludge.