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What is Oil Sludge and How Does It Hurt My Car?

What is Oil Sludge?

Oil sludge is a type of gel buildup that can occur in your car's engine due to oxidation and contamination of engine oil. This sludge can block or inhibit oil flow through the engine, which in turn can place huge stress on the radiator and engine cooling system. This weakened oil flow can be accompanied by a loss in oil pressure and fuel efficiency, and can even cause damage to the engine and other components. By performing regular oil changes on your car, you can keep it at top performance and prevent damage to its components.

How does Oil Sludge hurt my car?

Engine oil, particularly unrefined conventional oil, can gradually oxidize and mix with contaminants to form a gel-like substance that sticks to your engine components. This oxidization typically occurs due to high temperatures and oxygen exposure, usually in areas like the top of the engine, inside of the oil pan, and around the valve cover. Eventually, it can even block the oil screen siphon and prevent oil circulation entirely.

Buildup is especially prone to happening in cars that are regularly driven in heavy traffic, with long periods of stop-and-go driving being a major contributor. Even frequent drives in short distances can cause oil sludge buildup, however. As the oil builds up, the engine will be unable to perform properly and the situation will gradually worsen. It should be addressed at early stages through regular and proactive maintenance and oil changes.

You can monitor the condition of your oil in several ways. A "check engine" or "oil change" light can indicate that an oil change is due, and you should also stick to a regular schedule of oil changes in increments of time as recommended by your owner's manual and with your oil type taken into account. You should ask your mechanic to check for and clean out sludge when you take your car in for an oil change, and should engage in proactive care by avoiding stop-and-go traffic.

By sticking to a regular schedule of oil changes and actively maintaining your car, you can prevent damages and save money in the long run. If your car is due for an oil change, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Sil's Complete Auto Care Centre today!

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