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A closer Look At Engine Sludge

Preventing Causes of Engine Oil SLUDGE

Brands matter, quality matters and frequent oil changes will not alter this. It’s all based on the additive quality and it does effect the price.

Engine sludge occurs when oxidized oil and contaminants build up on engine surfaces. It can restrict the flow of oil to the point of engine failure and costly repairs.

As the oil installed in your vehicle ages, oxygen reacts with the lubricant, resulting in a permanent chemical change. The oil picks up oxygen and becomes thicker. Just like oxygen attacks metal surfaces and causes corrosion, it negatively affects lubricants and reduces their ability to lubricate, cool and protect components. Excessive heat speeds the oxidation process. In fact, every 18°F (10°C) increase in temperature doubles the rate of oxidation.

Adding to the challenge, contaminants begin to form during normal operation. In engines, hot combustion gases can blow by the piston rings and contaminate engine oil. Glycol from engine coolant, water that forms with temperature fluctuations and fuel are other common contaminants that affect lubricants. Left unchecked, contaminants accelerate chemical reactions, which overload the lubricant and cause the formation of sludge – a gelatinous substance that wreaks havoc in engines.

Sludge can block the oil passages and oil-pump pick-up screen, resulting in oil starvation. Often, the negative effects are cumulative rather than sudden. Many engines with variable valve timing (VVT) use oil pressure-operated mechanical devices to change valve timing, duration and lift. Sludge can plug the solenoid screen or oil gallies and impact the operation of VVT mechanisms, eventually leading to a costly repair bill. Sludge reduces efficiency and increases time and money spent on maintenance.

Signature Series vs. Sludge

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil was subjected to the Sequence VG test to measure its ability to prevent sludge. As expected, Signature Series produced an oil pick-up tube screen virtually free from sludge (see image below). Our unique combination of detergents and high-quality base oils control oxidation and sludge to keep engines clean and efficient.

AMSOIL synthetic lubricants not only resist oxidation and sludge formation, they can help clean existing deposits in neglected engines due to superior detergency. With modern engines and equipment demanding higher-quality lubricants, it’s good to know AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are formulated to protect against sludge in the toughest operating conditions.

Sludge: a gelatinous substance that wreaks havoc in engines.

 

 

 

 

Signature Series has 50 percent more
detergents¹ to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. It provides 90% better protection against sludge².

 

 

Synthetic Warehouse note:

We own an ecoboost engine (on our Ford van) so based on our personal experience the Signature Series is the only choice in these engines. They run extremely hot effecting the process mentioned above. Test the oil you are using now at or near Ford’s maximum interval and I’m certain it’s beyond it’s life!! TBN and Oxidation levels can be at dangerous levels.  Signature Series gives you that extra benefit of the doubt because when the detergents dissipate you can start to have severe wear from corrosion and of course needless deposits from sludge AND increased oil consumption. We eliminated 75% of a resent F150 Ecoboost V6 oil consumption problem using the Engine Flush (FLSH) and the Signature Series 5W-30 (ASL).

It’s not just about keeping your car or truck longer. It’s the issues our competition causes such as carbon coating your intake valves which is an issue on modern gasoline direct injection engines.  It’s very costly to clean these as there is no-longer the gasoline we enjoyed as the cleaning agent. Fuel is shot directly into the quench area so oil vapors land on valves and build up over time.
Some newer cars do have an additional injector in the throttle body for start-up and cleaning but this will not be the common setup.

So AMSOIL Signature series will keep these areas cleaner as that’s part of what you are paying for. AMSOIL’s lowest volatility is by far worth paying for. And in some cases you pay less for our product than several of the “so called synthetics”.

Make our Sioux Falls locations your only source for lubricants! Many have made the switch for good. We’re at 47073 98th St just behind Marlins Diner. Exit 73 on I29. Or call to make sure I’m there at 605-274-2580.

 

500,000 Mile Toyota Work Truck

Toyota ‘Workhorse’ Clocks More Than 500,000 Miles

Fraser is a satisfied long-term PC who uses AMSOIL lubricants in all of his vehicles and equipment.

Preferred Customer Brock Fraser of Las Vegas counts on his 1998 Toyota Tacoma to keep his business on the road.

“This is a pickup I use primarily for work,” Fraser said. “I own a commercial printing and mailing operation. Frequently, I make runs to Phoenix and Los Angeles (600-mile round-trip runs each) to pick up loads of printed material to bring back to customers in Las Vegas.”

The truck, with its six-cylinder engine, and five-speed tranny, is a workhorse that consistently hauls heavy loads through hilly territory, he said. It had 70,000 miles on the engine when he bought it in late 2005. The odometer recently turned over to 508,000 miles.

Fraser first learned about the qualities of AMSOIL lubricants from a chemist friend. “(He) did a bunch of research and was telling me how highly he thought of AMSOIL,” Fraser said. “That is all it took for me to become a fan. That had to be a good 15 years ago.”

Followed AMSOIL’s published interval recommendation to a T!

Fraser installed AMSOIL Signature Series Motor Oil when he first bought the truck.

“I have always maintained oil change intervals of 25,000 miles with filter changes at 8,300 miles and 16,700 miles using EA15K51 filters,” Fraser said.

Every 100,000 miles he services the transmission and differentials with AMSOIL 80W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube. “The transmission has never been opened up and performs flawlessly,” Fraser said. “This engine has never been opened up. The heads are bolted in place as they came from the factory. The bottom pan has never been removed. She passes smog every year without fail and uses very little oil between changes.”

He is a satisfied Preferred Customer, he said, and now installs AMSOIL products in his lawn mower, his ‘86 Mercedes Benz 560 SL and his 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

Products Fraser Uses

Fraser keeps his truck on the road using the following AMOSIL products:

AMSOIL Signature Series

  • Protects Against Engine Wear
  • Protects Pistons from Low-Speed Pre-Ignition
  • Extends Drains: Protection Guaranteed
EA Filters

  • Absolute Efficiency
  • Less Restriction
  • Contaminant Retention
Synthetic Gear Lube

  • High-load gear and bearing protection
  • Long oil and equipment life
  • Helps reduce maintenance costs
  • Compatible with conventional and synthetic gear lubes
  • Multi-functional for multiple applications – Works in GL4 and GL5 applications
  • Competitive price

Buy Local in Sioux Falls

Find the best lubricants available in Sioux Falls at Stan Houston’s Equipment Company 3020 W 12th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

How Engine Sludge Forms. And How To Prevent It.

Engine Sludge Is Easily Avoidable

Engine sludge.

It’s a back gelatinous substance that wreaks havoc in engines. And long before the engine’s demise, engine sludge can foul engine sensors and interfere with performance. Some mechanics call it the “black death.”

How does motor oil, which is fluid, become a semi-solid paste or gel inside an engine?

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How engine sludge forms
  • The effects of engine sludge
  • Synthetic oil helps prevent engine sludge
  • High-quality additives fight engine sludge
  • Severe service invites engine sludge

How engine sludge forms

Engine sludge is the result of a series of chemical reactions.

The lubricant degrades as it is exposed to oxygen and elevated temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more rapid the rate of degradation. In fact, every 18°F (10°C) increase in temperature doubles the rate of oxidation.
Many people still believe any oil is fine as long as you change it often but 95% of the brands out there do not address that inch of protection when you really need it!! We’ve all had issues where the engine is overheating or some situation where adequate lubrication isn’t available. AMSOIL offers 75% more protection when you need it and our diesel oils offer 6X more protection than required by industry testing.

The by-products of this reaction form highly reactive compounds that further degrade the lubricant. Their by-products react with other contaminants, forming organic acids and high-molecular-weight polymeric products. These products further react, forming the insoluble product known more commonly as sludge.

What begins as a thin film of lacquer or varnish deposits on hot or cold metal surfaces and bakes into an expensive mess.

The effects of engine sludge

Sludge can block the oil passages and oil-pump pick-up screen, resulting in oil starvation. Often, the negative effects are cumulative rather than sudden.

Many engines with variable valve timing (VVT) use oil-pressure-operated mechanical devices to change valve timing, duration and lift. Sludge can plug the solenoid screen or oil gallies and impact the operation of VVT mechanisms, eventually leading to a costly repair bill. Sludge reduces efficiency and increases time and money spent on maintenance.

Who doesn’t want a cooler engine? Sludge, even the early stages prevents the engine from dispersing heat efficiently. Why would you risk a Group III “synthetic” which does leave deposits adding to or resulting into an engine which struggles to exhaust heat.

Synthetic oil helps prevent engine sludge

Fortunately, sludge and varnish deposits are something oil manufacturers can control. Using thermally stable synthetic base oils reduces the rate of degradation (oxidation). (Yes – and that is “Real 100%” Synthetics – not the ones they currently call “Fully”..

Anti-oxidant additives help reduce the rate of degradation as well. One of the most widely used is zinc dithiophosphate. Not only is it an excellent oxidation inhibitor, it is an outstanding anti-wear additive as well.

High-quality additives fight engine sludge

We can further address many of the issues occurring after the initial oxidation stage.

Additives, such as detergents and dispersants, are commonly part of motor oil formulation. They help promote the suspension of contaminants within the oil and keep them from agglomerating.

Detergents, which are also alkaline in nature, assist in neutralizing acids generated in the sludge-building process. Anti-oxidant, dispersant and detergent additives are consumed during use.

To achieve maximum life expectancy, use an oil with high concentrations of anti-oxidant, dispersant and detergent additives.

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil, for example, has 50 percent more detergents* to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. It provides 90 percent better protection against sludge**.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil was subjected to the Sequence VG test to measure its ability to prevent sludge. Signature Series produced an oil pick-up tube screen virtually free from sludge. Our unique combination of detergents and high-quality base oils control oxidation and sludge to keep engines clean and efficient.

PDF of the test where AMSOIL has this done (Southwest Research)

AMSOIL Signature Series virtually prevented engine sludge on this oil pick-up screen.

Buy Signature Series

Severe service invites engine sludge

Equipment operating conditions also influence the likelihood of sludge or varnish issues.

Stop-and-go driving, frequent/long-term idling and operation in excessively hot or cold weather can increase the likelihood of sludge and varnish, especially if using more volatile conventional oils. If sludge has already formed, you can use an engine flush to clean sludge from your engine.

Interestingly, most auto manufacturers note in their owner’s manual that operation under any of the above conditions is considered severe service and requires more frequent oil changes.

From a mechanical standpoint, things like adding too much oil to the oil sump, antifreeze contamination, excessive soot loading, excessive oil foaming, poor engine-combustion efficiency, excessive blow-by and emission-control-system issues can all lead to the formation of sludge and varnish.

By practicing good maintenance and using properly formulated, premium synthetic lubricants, like AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, your vehicle won’t succumb to the “black death.”

Taking it a step further which many of our customers do – to make sure your vehicle is always running in peak condition one thing is to have your oil analyzed. I do it not so much to see how the oil is doing but to measure what may be going on in the engine to deplete detergents or to test for any out of typical wear levels, fuel in the crankcase, and to see if the viscosity is still on par.  Oil analysis kits are easy to use especially when you have the dipstick extraction pump.

*vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil
**Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN PLUS specification.

Signature Series Battles Sludge

Signature Series Battles Sludge

The health of your engine depends on motor oil circulating quickly and efficiently through the system, but sticking components and obstructed passages inhibit motor oil from lubricating, cooling and protecting your engine. Engine “sludge” occurs when oxidized oil and contaminants build up on engine surfaces. It can restrict the flow of oil to the point of engine failure and costly repairs.

Warehouse note: The so called “fully synthetics” which are mostly group III’s or a combination of a majority group II and a fraction III ($3.50 synthetics)  to a majority III and a fraction of IV ($8.50 synthetics) – all based on price and what the stock holders allow to be used for a desired profit.. Note that all of these WILL leave deposits in the form of sludge. Turbocharged engines must avoid these brands which include the silver one shaped like a shampoo bottle. 

Sludge: Where It Starts & How It Ends

  • The valve cover and oil pan are generally the first areas sludge appears.
  • The oil pick-up tube screen is often the next spot it accumulates, impeding oil flow through the system.
  • What begins as a thin film of lacquer or varnish deposits eventually bakes into an expensive mess.

 

The Sequence VG Engine Test

Engine failures due to sludge are often caused by a clogged pick-up tube screen – the motor is effectively starved of oil. The Sequence VG Engine Test determines how well an oil resists sludge formation and keeps the lubricant flowing freely throughout the system. The test is required for API SN PLUS – a specification recommended by most domestic vehicle manufacturers.

TEST PARAMETERS

 

Engine Ford* 4.6L V-8
Duration 216 hours
Measures Sludge and varnish deposits, piston ring sticking, clogged oil pump screens and roller pin wear
Simulates Taxi, delivery or commuter vehicle service
Requirement Oil pick-up tube screen limited to 10 percent blockage

 

The Results

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil was subjected to the Sequence VG to measure its ability to prevent sludge. As expected, Signature Series produced an oil pick-up tube screen virtually free from sludge (see image). Our unique combination of detergents and high-quality base oils control oxidation and sludge to keep engines clean and efficient.

 

Signature Series has 50 percent more detergents1 to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. It provides 90% better protection against sludge2.

Warehouse Note: Thankfully our efforts here in Sioux Falls have made the Signature Series our top seller and on the minds of many who want their investment to remain like new beyond 250,000 miles. People are realizing that it’s not all about change frequency as a non “true synthetic” can cause damage in just 10 miles in GDI engines due to LSPI.. Not to mention why I adopted AMSOIL back in the day – the added power and performance!!

1 vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil
2 Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required for the API SN PLUS specification.
*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

The Pinnacle of Performance

The Pinnacle of Performance

The new Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil formulation builds upon its rock-solid foundation to offer enthusiasts a new level of engine protection.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
(ASM, ALM, AZO, ASL, ATM, AZF, AMR)

Improving Signature Series was a challenge, but the results prove the new formulation blows the doors off the latest industry standards. Capitalizing on its firmly established success, our upgraded Signature Series Motor Oil provides enthusiasts with maximum protection and performance. The new formulation will become available in September or when current inventory is depleted.

Formulation Change? Yes

Date Available?  September (rolling change)

New Stock Numbers? No

Price Change? No

  • 75 percent more wear protection1
  • 100 percent protection from LSPI2
  • Trusted by professional engine builders
  • Ideal for turbos & direct injection
  • 50 percent more cleaning power3
    •  Guaranteed protection for up to 25,000 miles or 1 year
    (in normal service)

 

Maximum Wear Protection

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides
75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear1 than required by a leading industry standard, extending the life of vital components like pistons and cams. Its strong fluid film keeps metal surfaces separated while its robust anti-wear additives further reduce wear in metal-to-metal contact regions for maximum engine life.

Protects Pistons from Low-Speed Pre-Ignition

We armed Signature Series with an advanced detergent system to protect vital engine parts like pistons and connecting rods. Most new engines feature gasoline direct-injection (GDI), often combined with a turbocharger to boost power and improve fuel economy. These new technologies pose significant challenges to motor oil, one of which is the advent of low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI). LSPI is the spontaneous ignition of the fuel/air mixture prior to spark-triggered ignition. It occurs in today’s advanced engines and is much more destructive than typical pre-ignition. Signature Series provided 100 percent protection against LSPI in the engine test required by the GM dexos1® Gen 2 specification.

Protects Turbochargers

The tremendous heat and stress turbos create can cause some oils to break down and form harmful bearing deposits through a process known as turbo coking. Over time, turbos can suffer reduced performance or fail altogether. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil handles heat so well that it protects turbochargers 72 percent better than required by the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification.4 It enables modern engines to achieve their full potential and service life. Signature Series provides the ultimate protection against extreme heat and the harmful deposits that can plague turbochargers and features the high film strength needed to guard against accelerated wear.

Maximum Cleaning Power to Battle Sludge

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil has 50 percent more detergents3 to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. Its detergent and dispersant additives are so effective, Signature Series provides 90 percent better protection against sludge5 than required by a leading industry standard.

Easier Cold-Starts

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil does not contain paraffins (wax) and stays fluid in temperatures as low as -58ºF. Extreme cold causes other motor oil to thicken, starving vital moving parts of lubrication, accelerating wear and even preventing vehicles from starting. Signature Series provides 66 percent better cold-temperature performance than conventional oil for easier starting, better fuel economy, improved oil flow and reduced wear.

Reserve Protection

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides reserve protection, allowing you to go up to 25,000 miles or one year (in normal service) between oil changes if you choose. Its unique synthetic formulation and long-drain additive system are inherently stable to resist oxidation and neutralize acids over longer periods.

Signature Series is designed to deliver outstanding engine protection, cleanliness and performance over extended drain intervals – guaranteed. It provides peace of mind so you can fit oil changes into your schedule, while also reducing vehicle maintenance and waste oil.

Limiting Oil Consumption

Signature Series has a uniform molecular structure that limits evaporation and keeps it where it’s needed most – protecting your engine. Volatility (burn-off) occurs when oil gets hot, causing lighter molecules to burn off or evaporate. Signature Series falls far below the API limit for volatility, reducing the need for frequent oil top-offs and limiting vehicle emissions.

 

  1. Based on independent testing in the ASTM D6891 test using 0W-20 as worst-case representation.
  2. Based on independent testing in the LSPI engine test as required for the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification.
  3. vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil
  4. Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the GM turbo coking test.
  5. Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 test engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

In all future engine technology required for the extreme miles per gallon required in gasoline engines, the oil will be the weak link (Per lubricant industry publications) but AMSOIL already surpasses next to impossible ratings.  Well any well established company can eventually get to the overbuilt quality factor AMSOIL has but will not for two reasons. #1 the stockholders won’t allow it as there is no profit there. #2 should they create an oil like ours they would have to charge at least 30% higher price due to the additives required and to keep their margins workable for the distribution chains thus pricing themselves out of the industry..
Thus the customer is left with one choice to protect these new engines – AMSOIL!