As the engine oil in your Volkswagen becomes old or starts to expire, it will start to thicken with debris and deposits and then break down. Those unfavorable deposits, in the form of sludge, can unfortunately circulate throughout your engine system. This process can be exacerbated by high engine temperatures. If this problem is ignored, it is only a matter of time before the sludge builds up and starts to impede proper engine function. When oil sludge sets in, it is hard to remove. This is why being proactive and preventing oil sludge build up is so essential.
Why you Need to Act Quickly
When it comes to oil sludge buildup, acting quickly is essential. Not only does the sludge become more solid the longer it sits inside your engine, but it also takes a heavy toll upon your Volkswagen’s engine.
When oil sludge buildup thickens around the engine, it increases friction between the moving parts. This increases temperatures and accelerates part wear. This causes the moving parts in your engine to grind, which leaves metal shavings throughout your engine and in the sludge, potentially causing damage and putting your engine at an increased risk of overheating. Beware: This problem will only get worse as time passes.
How Oil Sludge Inhibits Engine Performance
When oil meets oxidation, it becomes sludge. An example of oxidation we are all familiar with is rust, otherwise known as iron oxide. Your engine is made of various metals which can all oxidiate over time. As most of your engine is obscured from view, you’ll find it difficult to know if this has happened until you’re dealing with sludge.
Oil sludge prevents healthy engine oil from circulating through your engine. Your VW needs its moving parts to be lubricated properly. Oil sludge is similar to running silly putty through your engine; it’s not going to go smoothly. Oil sludge will affect the temperatures inside the engine due to this friction, and by inhibiting the movement of parts, it can also throw off the engine timing.
Pushing your engine hard, such as driving at high speeds, driving in extreme heat, or pushing your engine under heavy loads will all increase the rate in which sludge builds up. So if you regularly drive under these conditions, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in your preventative maintenance practices.
How to Approach Oil Sludge Buildup
Oil sludge buildup commonly causes high engine temperatures, which are most commonly noticed when idling. Oil pressure will commonly drop too, as will over all performance. If this becomes severe, the engine management light (EML) will likely illuminate, indicating a problem.
If you have confirmed your suspicions by reading this article, it is essential that you don’t delay in seeking professional remediation. Fixing oil sludge buildup requires the disassembly of the engine, which means it isn’t a job that you can do at home. It is also a lengthy and messy process, so it’s much better to let an expert mechanic work on your Volkswagen instead.
Preventing Oil Sludge Buildup
There are a few key ways in which you can help to prevent oil sludge buildup from occurring inside your Volkswagen. First, don’t use cheap engine oil. Cheap engine oil typically doesn’t last as long as manufacturer-recommended oils. It also tends to lack the additives and conditioners that can help to prevent sludge buildup.
Second, make sure you keep your oil levels topped up and change out your oil as recommended by your owner’s manual and following the advice of your mechanic. Old oil breaks down and contributes to sludge, so its best to prevent this from ever happening.
Third, you need to keep on top of your scheduled servicing. Routine servicing allows your mechanic to monitor your car and take care of issues, such as engine sludge, before they reach the point where they inhibit your engine or are tricky to deal with. In the long run, this saves you both time and money.
Corpus Auto Service
At Corpus Auto Service, we know how to make the drivers of Christi, TX happy. We are proud to serve our communities and keep vehicles running safely, resolving part wear and failure quickly and reducing inconvenient wait times. You will always receive our five-star customer service from our technicians and staff members, meaning you always drive away satisfied in a safe and reliable car. We look forward to meeting you and serving you for all your maintenance and repair needs in the future.