The oil in your engine is as essential to the health of your car, as water is to the health of your body. The purpose of oil in your engine is to basically keep the metal parts of the engine, from grinding together, and ripping each other apart. The engine oil also aids the safe conduction of heat, throughout the engine, and collects the waste products created by combustion. The engine parts must remain lightly coated with oil in order to continue operation smoothly, and fluidly.
Tell me, what is sludge?
Sludge is the sticky, icky black goop that is found in engines without proper maintenance, or that have been given the wrong type of oil. Over time, as the oil is heated, and cycles its way through the engine, the chemical compounds in the oil oxidize, and then break down and the additives separate. This leaves the thick, goopy residue we refer to as sludge.
How do I avoid it, or eliminate it?
Cleaning this out of the engine used to involve the time consuming, and tedious chore of taking the engine completely apart, cleaning off each and every piece, and putting it back together. Since most of us regular people would have no idea how to do this, we had no choice but to hand our car over to a professional mechanic, who charged us a small fortune to accomplish this task for us. However, the wonders of modern science and technology, have given us flushing agents, which we simply add to the oil already in the engine. The purpose of a flushing oil is to remove all the residue and build up left in the engine, clogging up the works. But it is not recommended to drive with a flushing oil in the engine, they were not meant to withstand that type of continued use. Let your car idle for about 20 minutes, to run the flushing oil through the engine, and then top off the engine with your regular engine oil.
And if I don't change the oil in my engine, what happens?
If the oil in your engine is too minimal, too dirty, or is of sub-standard quality, then the entire engine will suffer for it, and parts will become sluggish, clogged, or break apart. Using the correct type of oil for your engine, using high quality oil, cleaning, and changing the oil in your engine are crucial to the running of your car, and also extend the life of your car. Each automobile manufacturer notes the recommended engine oil for each particular engine. Use the oil that your engine was designed to consume, or speak with a qualified mechanic, about suggestions for a better grade, or quality engine oil. Also, keeping up to date on the recommended mileage and maintenance checks for your car is a very good idea. By taking your car in, or changing your oil when you are supposed to, sludge is not the only problem you will avoid.