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Sludge concerns #5398121 04/09/20 08:43 AM
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otis24 Offline OP
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My coworker has a 2012 Buick Enclave with approximately 142k miles. She had to have new cam sensors installed. While it was in, the dealership noticed that it was severely sludged in the timing chain. They replaced the timing chain and changed the oil while they had it in. She did oil changes based on the Oil Life Monitor. Dealership told her to change the oil every 4k miles and ignore the OLM or switch to full synthetic and go about 6k miles.

I have a 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan. I use full synthetic and go by the OLM. Based upon the OLM, I usually go about 10k miles before changing oil. I'm concerned about the possibility of sludge.

Recommendations?

Last edited by otis24; 04/09/20 08:43 AM.

1991 Chevrolet K1500 (4.3, 4x4, 86k miles)

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
(3.6 V6) 46500 miles
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398144 04/09/20 08:57 AM
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Donald Offline
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Pull valve cover and visually inspect. Although synthetic is always a good idea. Given NAPA synthetic on sale for $16.99 I cannot see people using conventional oil.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398149 04/09/20 09:00 AM
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supton Offline
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You can pull a valve cover, that'd be best, although I wonder if those newer endoscopes would work well enough.

Full synthetic, not sure if I would worry too much. Based on a number of photos here, I wouldn't worry much about it, not at your miles. If you're not short tripping then I am dubious about problems.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 205k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 159k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k, his
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398158 04/09/20 09:11 AM
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Cujet Offline
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I keep beating the "synthetic" drums here. OLM and UOA results can't tell if your oil is causing sticking piston rings, sludge, worn timing chains and so on. Example after example exist. Yet people fail to understand the costs involved with poor maintenance. People continually argue that the manufacturer knows best! What they know is how to sell you another vehicle. They do not have an interest in your vehicle lasting a lifetime.

As always, the best results are found using a quality synthetic and changing the oil regularly. I suggest every 5000. That way, OC's are done at 15,000, 20,000, 25,000 etc.

Last edited by Cujet; 04/09/20 09:12 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398161 04/09/20 09:12 AM
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Gebo Offline
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Some may think I'm a little backwards, but I will never go by the OLM.

She followed the OLM and that practice "appears" to have hurt her engine.

I change all of my cars (and the others I take care of) between 3-5K.

One car goes 8 miles to work and it gets changed every 3K.
Another car goes 35 miles to work and it gets changed every 5k.
2 cars aren't driven 5K/year and they get changed every 6 months.

I'd use "synthetic" oil and not extend the OCI but just to help clean my engine up.
SInce she knows she had a problem, I'd do a 3k OCI with factory OEM filter.


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
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Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398163 04/09/20 09:13 AM
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Kira Offline
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What engine? Is it a known "sludger" or, at least, a hot running engine?

Any idea about where she has had her oil changed over her 142K? She may have gone with real cheap oil.

Did she follow the OLM or say she did? (sorry)

Plus, the stealership saying her timing chains needed to be replaced isn't the most comforting source. Does her engine eat chains by 150K?

Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398177 04/09/20 09:21 AM
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CT8 Offline
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Why the worry all of a sudden?


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398193 04/09/20 09:28 AM
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Tman220 Offline
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2012 Enclave has the 3.6 LLT V6 which was the famous timing chain stretcher. As a service/tech bulletin the OLM was revised to 5000 mile max OCI's, but there is no guarantee the owner ever had that bulletin done. Previously OLM's for these vehicles would call for oil changes at 10,000+ miles. In an engine famous for tearing up even synthetic oil by 5-6000 miles in addition to being installed in a 5000 lb vehicles, the engine works hard and should have 5000 mile max oil changes on synthetic.

To the OP, not sure how your 3.6 treats it's oil, but to my knowledge those were still port injected? If that's the case they are probably quite a bit easier on oil, but maybe have your 10k oil tested to see how it tests after that many miles, that's the only way to know for sure.

Last edited by Tman220; 04/09/20 09:33 AM.

2012 Regal GS Turbo PP 5w30 90k
1994 Camaro Z28 LT1 355 CI, 430 RWHP PP 5W30 165k
2005 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3 170k
2004 Civic LX M5 190k
2007 Camry 2.4 250k
2016 Victory Vegas
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: Tman220] #5398222 04/09/20 09:47 AM
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wog Offline
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Would a good dino hold up for 5k changes? Instead of a syn doing short oci,save $ and not waste the syn oil.

Re: Sludge concerns [Re: Cujet] #5398261 04/09/20 10:07 AM
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tig1 Offline
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Originally Posted by Cujet
I keep beating the "synthetic" drums here. OLM and UOA results can't tell if your oil is causing sticking piston rings, sludge, worn timing chains and so on. Example after example exist. Yet people fail to understand the costs involved with poor maintenance. People continually argue that the manufacturer knows best! What they know is how to sell you another vehicle. They do not have an interest in your vehicle lasting a lifetime.

As always, the best results are found using a quality synthetic and changing the oil regularly. I suggest every 5000. That way, OC's are done at 15,000, 20,000, 25,000 etc.

I fully agree although my 42 year usage of M1 oils has given me like new clean engines with never TC or any other internal engine problems like coked rings. All at 10K OCIs.


2007 Ford Fusion 258,000 miles
M1 5-20HM
2017 Ford Fusion 89K
M1 0-20EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and M1 LV HP ATF
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters

Re: Sludge concerns [Re: Cujet] #5398297 04/09/20 10:45 AM
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Trav Offline
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Originally Posted by Cujet
I keep beating the "synthetic" drums here. OLM and UOA results can't tell if your oil is causing sticking piston rings, sludge, worn timing chains and so on. Example after example exist. Yet people fail to understand the costs involved with poor maintenance. People continually argue that the manufacturer knows best! What they know is how to sell you another vehicle. They do not have an interest in your vehicle lasting a lifetime.

As always, the best results are found using a quality synthetic and changing the oil regularly. I suggest every 5000. That way, OC's are done at 15,000, 20,000, 25,000 etc.


Best answer IMO! Oil is dirt cheap engines and major repairs are not, pay me a few bucks now or pay me a big chunk later.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398308 04/09/20 10:56 AM
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KGMtech Offline
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When the GM OLM system was introduced, and subsequently explained in great detail, it was hailed as one of GM's good ideas. Fast forward 15 years, and now it is causing engine damage for those that abide it's suggestions?

To state the obvious, GM is overdue for a re-calibration of the parameters in the new era of high feature, hotter engines, hotter environments.


2017.5 Nissan Rogue SV FWD
2013 Nissan Maxima SV
2009 Ford Flex SEL FWD
1984 Yamaha XJ750RL
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398313 04/09/20 11:00 AM
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PimTac Offline
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How was this car driven? Lots of idling? Short trips? Is she the original owner?

Sludge occurs for many reasons.


2017 Mazda CX5
Mobil 1 Annual Protection 0w20
Roki OEM filter.
Re: Sludge concerns [Re: otis24] #5398324 04/09/20 11:08 AM
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Kira Offline
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^^ THIS ^^

Also: "...GM is overdue for a re-calibration of the parameters in the new era of high feature, hotter engines, hotter environments."

Is it possible an auto maker made up one set of OLM parameters and installed it into every single application? How disengaged would that be?

I never had an OLM but I assume it can be set for the owner's climate or expected usage (severe vs normal).

Re: Sludge concerns [Re: KGMtech] #5398335 04/09/20 11:15 AM
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Number_35 Offline
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We used the OLM on my last work truck (2013 Chevy Silverado 2500 6.0 4WD) to determine service intervals. The truck had typically racked up about 10,000 km (c. 6000 miles) by the time the OLM got down to 10%.

It's interesting to hear of these 10K mile OLMs on US vehicles; the difference is likely due to our cold weather, and how our truck did a fair number of short trips.

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