Engine sludge is basically a dirty, sticky, grease-like substance, formed due to oxidation/contamination of oil in the engine. During oxidation, the molecules of engine oil break down and the resultant products combine with the dirts in carbon form, particles, and gases. Together, the mixture forms a sticky sludge.
Stop and go driving in heavy traffic condition as well as frequent driving over short distances especially when engine has not reached it’s peak operating temperature are amongst the causes of sludge build up. The resulting material blocks the engine’s lubricating system. In worst cases, this can cause the engine to seize. Other causes include, neglect of maintenance, use of inferior oil, low quality fuel, use of some certain oil treatment solutions.
In summary, always refer to the owner’s manual that your car manufacturer provides for instructions on when to replace the engine oil and the type recommended.
Next week, we look into the Cooling System and it’s maintenance.
Written by Adeniyi Balogun