5 Best Ways to Clean Engine Sludge Easily

5 Mins read

How long has it been since you changed your engine oil? Are you noticing strange sounds while starting the engine? Do you find any presence of sticky, oily substance when you open the valve? If so, then there is sludge inside your engine. Engine sludge can be a serious problem and lead to unwanted repairing cost for you. So you might be thinking about how to clean the inside of an engine and get rid of sludge. However, before hopping into the Best Way to Clean Engine Sludge, let’s know what exactly engine sludge is.

Best-Ways-to-Clean-Engine-Sludge
Best Ways to Clean Engine Sludge

What is engine sludge?

Engine sludge is a mixture of oxidized oil, dirt, and soot, forming a sticky buildup inside the engine. Usually, it occurs when you use low-grade engine oil and don’t change the filter often. As the engine runs, the engine oil breaks down, and the residues create buildups. Water vapor makes it wet, and the coolant leaking from the interior makes it sticky. 

Symptoms Of Engine Sludge

Most of the car owners don’t check the inside of the engine too often. So, it’s difficult to notice engine sludge directly. So, you should have sound knowledge regarding the symptoms of engine sludge. Your engine might be clogged up with engine sludge if you notice any of the following symptoms: 

  • Low oil pressure while driving.
  • Clicking sounds or noise coming out of the tappet. 
  • The fuel warning light comes on while driving. 
  • Slower draining of the oil when the drain plug is removed. 
  • Visible dark greasy and oily substances in the oil filter and inside the engine. 

These are the major symptoms of engine sludge. However, you may not always notice these symptoms. So, it’s wise to get your car inspected by an expert car mechanic regularly. 

5 Best ways to Clean Engine Sludge Easily

If you’re facing the symptoms of engine sludge stated above, you might be dealing with a serious issue of engine sludge. So, you’re looking for ways of how to clean the inside of an engine. You’ve two options to get rid of engine sludge. The first one is to simply handle your vehicle to a car maintenance shop and they will take care of the rest. The second option is taking the charge into your own hands and Do It Yourself. Cleaning engine sludge isn’t a difficult task when you know the right way to do it. As you’re reading this blog, we assume you’re pretty much interested in cleaning your car engine on your own. 

So here we’ve brought the 5 best ways to clean engine sludge. But before hopping into the details, let’s know what you’re going to need to clean the engine. 

  • Engine flush 
  • Fresh engine oil
  • New oil filter
  • A bucket to catch the used oil 
  • Air compressor

After getting these arranged, you’re all set to go for a cleaning mission. You’ll be doing it in five easy steps. Let’s dig deeper. 

Step 1: Treat the motor with an engine flush oil

The best way to clean engine sludge is to treat the motor with engine flush. Get the best engine flush for sludge from the market to clean your car engine. Park your car in a shade or a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Ensure it’s on a level surface. After that, open the hood and remove the oil cap of your engine. Then pour the full can of engine flush into the motor and tighten the oil cap. Now, close the crankcase and get up on your car. Start the engine and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. 

Remember you’re not going to drive the car rather only start the engine to warm it up. In the meantime, the engine flush will dissolve the gunk and buildup inside the engine and loosen the sludge to wash it out. Usually, engine flush mixes up the dirt and the oil to make it easy to flush out. 

If you’re looking for the best engine flush for your car, read our buying guide to make the right choice. 

Step 2: Drain the dirty oil

After treating the motor with an engine flush, the dirty used oil is ready to be flushed out. So, now turn off the engine and open the drain plug. Don’t forget to place the bucket to catch the solution of old oil and engine flush. Drain the engine oil thoroughly and wait until the last drop of oil is drained away. You can accelerate the process by applying air pressure. Though it’s not mandatory, you can use the air compressor. 

To do this, open up the oil cap and insert the hose inside the engine. Now start the compressor and slide the hose to clean the engine completely. This air pressure will loosen the dirt buildup and force it to remove from the engine walls. 

Step 3: Change the oil filter and install a new one

After draining out the dirty oil, the next step is to change the oil filter. So, loosen the filter with a wrench and remove it. Clean the filter socket and install a new filter. Turn the filter in a clockwise direction to tighten it up. Now your task is to reinstall the drain plug as you’re going to pour fresh motor oil in the next step. 

Step 4: Pour fresh engine oil

Once you’re done with the previous steps, your engine is now clean and ready for filling with fresh engine oil. Make sure you’re using a high-quality engine oil that has the proper grade and thickness. Using poor quality oil will cause you the trouble of cleaning the engine again within a short time. 

Pour the oil through the oil cap and check the oil level to avoid overfilling the engine. After that, place the oil filter cap and screw it tightly. 

Step 5: Start the engine and drive for a while

You’re done with cleaning your engine from engine sludge. Now it’s time to check if everything is ok and running smoothly. But before that, leave the car for a while. Now start the engine and drive a bit. After that, turn off the engine and open the hood again. Check the oil filter and drain plug to ensure there is no leakage. Now, you’re done with cleaning the inside of your engine. 

Best Ways to Clean Engine Sludge

How to prevent engine sludge 

Engine sludge is an unavoidable problem for car owners. Cleaning the engine is ok, but the best way to clean engine sludge is to prevent the formation of sludge. Seems funny, right? But you know that prevention is better than cure. So, you can easily prevent serious engine sludge by taking some simple care. Here are some tips for you: 

  • Change the engine oil regularly. Experts suggest changing engine oil after every 3000 miles of driving. Changing the oil after this period will keep the engine in a good condition and prevent the formation of sludge. However, if you use premium quality lubricants, the interval can be 5000 to 7000 miles. 
  • Never use low-quality engine oils. They might be cheaper, but they will cause more damage to your engine in the long run. 
  • Try to avoid stop and go driving. It means not to use the car when you’re going a short distance. These short drives are harmful to the engine and accelerate sludge buildup. 
  • Inspect the complete fuel system of your car at least twice a year. Also, you should do it whenever you notice any abnormalities. Consult a professional car mechanic to do this. 

Best Way to Clean Engine Sludge

Concluding remarks

The engine is the heart of a car. So keeping it in a sound condition is a mandatory task for every car owner. After going through this write-up, you’re now well informed about the best way to clean engine sludge easily. The method is so simple; Use a premium engine oil and flush the engine on a regular interval with a premium engine cleaner. 

Read our buying guide on the Best Internal Engine Cleaner (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020 to learn about the premium engine cleaners available on the market. 

Happy driving!