Motor oil can create sludge faster than you expect. You skip an oil change and before you know it, your Mercedes has some unusual symptoms that might be stemming from oil sludge. Unusual clicking, low oil pressure, and dropping fuel economy are all signs that your Mercedes has developed oil sludge. This can cause serious damage to your engine, so it is best to get it fixed right away. In the guide below, we’ll explain how to know if you are dealing with oil sludge in your vehicle and what to do about it.
What is Motor Oil Sludge?
Motor oil keeps your Mercedes’ engine running smoothly by collecting and absorbing contaminants so that they do not interfere with the delicate parts of the engine. Whether conventional or synthetic, all motor oil eventually reaches a capacity for what it can absorb smoothly. Think of the motor oil like a sponge that just can’t take any more water.
Once this saturation point is reached, the motor oil starts to leave behind the very debris it is supposed to absorb. It becomes clogged up and starts to create thick sludge that interferes with the engine. It flows poorly and starts to create heat build-up in the engine. These problems cause your fuel economy to drop and will begin to do damage to the engine.
How to Know Your Mercedes has Motor Oil Sludge
There are many signs that your Mercedes may have developed motor oil sludge, including:
- Dropping fuel economy: Motor oil sludge undermines your vehicle’s efficiency so you will start to see a worse fuel economy.
- Noises from the tappet: The tappet is the part of the engine that sits on the pushrod and lifts the rocker arm. When engine oil sludge gets to the tappet, it starts to create unusual noises. It may sound like soft tapping and get worse over time.
- Visible oil sludge inside of the oil filter: You can open up the oil filter inside of your vehicle and take a look for sludge. You may notice clumps of sludge and you may be able to smell the oil.
- Change oil light: When your light first comes on, your engine won’t have sludge, but if it has been on for some time, then your odds of having developed sludge go up.
Causes of Motor Oil Sludge
While skipping your oil changes is the primary cause of motor oil sludge, but there are other things that might cause a faster build-up of motor oil sludge in your engine. Here are a few of those causes:
- Idling excessively: If you allow your vehicle to idle for long periods of time it can develop motor sludge faster.
- Only short trips: If you only take your Mercedes on short trips then the oil may not cycle fully and this can lead to oil problems.
- Condensation: If your Mercedes is left somewhere that it can develop condensation, that moisture can mix with the oil and create problems.
- Wrong oil: If you have added the wrong kind of oil to your engine, then it may develop motor oil sludge and other problems.
- Environmental contaminants: If there happens to be more dirt, metal shavings, or other contaminants where your drive your Mercedes, then it will need more frequent oil changes or it will develop motor oil sludge. If there is construction next to your house, this could contribute.
- Temperature problems: In very high problems, oil, especially conventional oil, can develop sludge faster. Synthetic oil is better about handling high temperatures but even it can develop poor performance if your vehicle has a heat problem.
How to Remove Motor Oil Sludge
Your car care specialists can remove motor oil sludge and add fresh oil back into your Mercedes. They will help you troubleshoot a reason as to why your motor oil has developed sludge and what you can do about it in the future. They will clean out your engine and put new oil in. You may be able to choose a better synthetic oil that can prevent these problems moving forward.
Preventing Motor Oil Sludge
You can prevent motor oil sludge problems by doing the following:
- Get regular oil changes from the professionals
- Don’t allow the car to idle for too long
- Take regular long trips with your Mercedes
- Keep your Mercedes in a protected environment
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