Volkswagen is one of the most popular import car brands in the United States due in part to their brand’s reliability. However, VWs are just as vulnerable as all other cars to the buildup of oil sludge in the engine. This develops when motor oil begins to break down. It can prevent your vehicle from operating effectively and cause serious damage to your VW.
Motor oil is necessary to keep all the moving parts in your VW’s engine well-lubricated and cool. Over time, contaminants like dirt and water collect in the oil. This debris couples with normal wear and tear to cause the breakdown of motor oil.
If your engine oil isn’t changed, a thick, gel-like substance called oil sludge will begin to build up, and the oil won’t be able to circulate through the engine properly.
In addition to normal wear and exposure to the elements, oil sludge buildup can be caused by the following:
The most common cause of oil sludge buildup is perhaps the most obvious: not changing your oil and oil filter on a consistent basis. The importance of oil changes is preached by mechanics everywhere, and not heeding their advice could cause damage to your VW, where sludge buildup can lead to further problems.
Driving in heavy traffic and constantly stopping and accelerating is strenuous on your VW. Over time, stop-and-go driving can contribute to the build up of oil sludge.
Without performing regular maintenance and servicing your VW on a regular basis, some seemingly small issues may turn into major problems. Whether you take a look at your engine every few drives or would rather let an experienced technician inspect your VW, regular maintenance is an important part of owning an automobile.
Oil sludge appears as a thick, dark, gel-like substance that typically clumps up in the many different parts of your engine. If the issue is bad enough, you will see the sludge on the outside of your engine.
Check your VW’s dashboard to see if the check engine light or change oil light is illuminated. If so, inspect your engine for the buildup and take it to a reputable mechanic as soon as you can.
Oil sludge buildup is common, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something to worry about. When your VW’s engine is fully-lubricated, it is able to operate at full efficiency, because all of its different moving parts move with very little friction, but sludge buildup can have some unpleasant side effects.
One of the first symptoms of oil sludge buildup that you may experience is that your VW may not drive as smoothly as before.
Volkswagen cars are known for their quality engineering and high fuel efficiency, but the build up of sludge can cause your gas mileage to drop significantly.
Clumps of oil sludge result in higher levels of friction on your engine and make your VW operate at below-optimal efficiency. Oil sludge buildup will cause you to visit the gas station more often, and you’ll find your dumping money into your gas tank more frequently. It will cost you less in the long run to maintain your VW.
Your VW is designed to last for years and years, but the buildup of sludge will speed up the aging process and drastically decrease your automobile’s lifetime.
Poor lubrication and increased friction will cause damage to many parts of your engine if not addressed properly. In the worst case, the build up will get so bad that your VW’s engine will become damaged beyond repair.
The expert technicians at St. Matthews Import in Louisville understand the importance of keeping your VW running for as long as possible. Our trusted mechanics have experience removing oil sludge and solving its impact in many different models of Volkswagens. A visit to SMI will save you money on unexpected engine damage.
We have multiple locations in the Louisville area, and our location on Hubbards Lane is one of the best places for automotive service and repair. Because we specialize in German automobiles, you can be assured that we are the best resource for Volkswagen drivers.