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Heavy sludge in car engine - how to remove

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  • Heavy sludge in car engine - how to remove

    In the spirit of keeping the forum ticking over I thought why not post this here. Plenty of knowledge base to mine.

    Long story short...
    I have a Kia Carnival V6 2013 with 125000km on the clock. Ive owned it for less than a week.

    Engine has just had a recent oil change after not being serviced for A LONG TIME. Now the engine blows white smoke (not blue, not even a tinge of blue) with a sweet smell for the the first 15-20 seconds if left standing for more than an hour. Every indication of burning coolant BUT no coolant loss and system has been pressure tested, all good. Not using coolant either that I have noticed.
    Engine starts and runs like a dream. Purrs like a kitten when warm, plenty of power, smooth. Pulled front rocker cover and sludge is epic. It is soft due to the new oil slowly breaking it down so I wiped most of it off, pressure cleaned the cover and now I need to work out what to do. Previous owner (NICK PRITCHARD - 0416 016 445) appears to have falsified the log-book service record

    Old Carnivals have a horror record of doing head gaskets but these later motors don't. It's even a bit of a challenge to get good aftermarket gaskets sets (there some 'cheap' ones on EBAY and at supercheap) and 2 engine rebuilders that I have talked to have both said they rarely see this motor in for overhaul. The rubber seals that I can get to all feel soft and pliable. There are no oil leaks.

    Where is the white smoke coming from? I don't think the head gaskets are the cause and I'm really only left with it being either the Inlet manifold gasket or the EGR cooler that I can think of. Some have suggested that it may even go away as the sludge gets removed.
    And how do I remove the sludge? With an additive? Using a mix of engine oil and diesel? Just with 5-10 short interval oil/filter changes?

    One good thing, the sump can come off super easy. The rear rocker cover, not even a little bit easy. But I could do it, and the inlet manifold gasket/spark plug change, while I'm there. Better than pulling the heads at least

  • #2
    I've seen plenty of sludge videos on YouTube running a partial mix of diesel.

    Then plenty of oil changes and filters.

    Only issue I can see is making sure the oil pickup doesn't get blocked over time.
    In sterquiliniis invenitur.


    • #3
      There's a YT clip (from USA of course) where a guys runs a whole sump full of essentially detergent (a product called Totally Awesome Cleaner and Degreaser) in a car, only idling for 5 minutes and then letting sit, and drains. He does this a few times and the results are actually quite amazing.

      Now I am not saying this is the answer (although if someone is prepared to give their old banger a go with a sump full of something similar - I'm keen to see the results!), but there are obviously plenty of ways your sludge problem can be tackled.

      Good luck and I look forward to hearing the results.


      • #4
        Many years ago on my old 78 F100 with a 351C I had the water pump go and it also corroded through the timing cover plate which meant I had water all through my motor and the oil was all thick and milky through everything

        I had a compressor and spray gun kit which had a "degreasing" spray gun which was basically just a spray gun with a long nozzle and I used that and copious amounts of petrol to clean everything in sight and even sprayed all the heads with springs etc so it all drained down into the sump

        I then took off the sump and cleaned all traces of the shit out, cleaned out my oil pump and then ran some really cheap oil through it for about 2 hours of driving and then put an oil cleaner in and changed the oil again and repeated several times and that worked for me

        I didn't notice any adverse affects from doing that but apart from the fact it cost me a bit in fuel as there was a bit of a fuel shortage at the time so prices were really high but still cheaper than rebuilding the motor and using degreaser

        I was fully expecting to need an engine rebuild initially though as I thought I'd done a head gasket/head etc so YMMV
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        • #5
          Did you do the oil change? If yes, what the old oil look like?

          After the car had been unused say, overnight, I'd be tempted to crack the sump plug and let a little bit of oil out into a jar and see if some water is in there. Either water at the bottom or cloudy oil.
          The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.


          • #6
            I did some research but you have covered the possible points already. There could be a small crack somewhere that is allowing a small amount of coolant into the combustion chamber/s or a warped head same thing. I would have though the aforementioned would get worse when hot so it is unlikely. If it is coolant you should be able to detect a sweet smell...assuming he has used or the engine has decent coolant in it. All in all if clearing the sludge out doesnt fix the problem it has to come back to coolant being burned. Also the rear rocker cover will have to come off IMO.

            Good luck...if it is toast you could always go and run the bastard who sold you it down and claim the brakes didnt work!
            Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast


            • #7
              I believe diesel oil is meant to be good for cleaning the internals due to their higher levels of detergents.


              • #8
                Dak oil whatever spec that stuff was Wright Twin Wasp 1850 for those playing at home yeah I'm a helpful chap.......,

                Mmore sensibly there are various sticky lifter additives which as basically a heavy duty detergent NB this will contaminate the oil and put the filter in bypass although if the car hasn't been looked after its probably already bypassing so plan on doing a change within the next couple 100 kms. As to the coolant smell have you taken it on a decent run yet and got it hot? might be condensation working its way out of the motor if its sat around lots. Manufacturers used to do all sorts of weird stuff to get past emissions like run coolant through intake manifolds something may have corroded through but I'd be getting hold of a workshop manual and investigating first. The sludge was a milky colour or was it black?
                Harvey community radio has a motorcycling show listen over the web here ,Facebook here yes I am the goose that hosts it.


                • #9
                  "Using a mix of engine oil and diesel? Just with 5-10 short interval oil/filter changes?" This would be my preferred option, using the oil that you normally fill with. Engine oils have more detergents and additives in them than any other oils and are designed to break down this sludge.

                  You can see if there is water in the oil with a home test. Just need an old small saucepan and a temp gun. Get a sample (50-100ml) of the oil when it is warm and properly mixed and then let it cool down overnight. Then give the bottle of oil shake to mix it up, heat up the pan to between 130 - 160deg and put a couple of drops of oil on the hot surface. I have heard of people doing the same test with a spoon and a small flame. If there is physical water in the oil you will see bubbles form and come out because the water has a lower boiling point than the oil, if there is heaps you can also hear the bubbles crackle and pop. Visibly you can see down to about 0.1% water content doing it this way, its a rough way of doing the same test we do in the lab.
                  But, if you have something like a head gasket leak where the coolant is getting into the combustion chamber, the physical water can get burnt off so will not indicate any water, but it leaves the coolant additives in the oil. This can usually (but not always) be seen by getting the oil tested at a lab. Shows up as Sodium, Potassium, Moly or Silicon, depending on the coolant.
                  Knowledge without mileage equals bullshit.

                  "The feelings mutual so kindly fuck off"


                  • #10
                    Oil was spotlessly new when I tested the car. Oil is darkening much quicker than it should for the km's Ive put on it (rough guess 200km) but that would be logical considering how much sludge there is. Shame I can't seem to attach pics at the moment. My trip to work is 30km one way (most at 100kph) so it's had plenty time to get hot. Oil shows no sign of coolant (and vice versa). Will have a crack at the test Geeman suggests to confirm. Sludge is black, no milkiness. No condensation or milkiness on the oil filler cap and it smells fine

                    ".if it is toast you could always go and run the bastard who sold you it down and claim the brakes didnt work!" - Fucking great idea

                    Soooo.... I got the car last Friday arvo, had a very unpleasant stressed out weekend and on Monday I put Nulon "Permanent Head Gasket Repair" liquid in the cooling system (yeah OK I know, flame away ). Tuesday arvo no change, Wednesday same, Thursday arvo slightly less smoke, this morning smoke is nearly completely gone. I will drop the coolant out and put back to spec on the weekend. Dont know if the stuff has stopped a leak or the problem is just getting better.

                    The Nulon stuff has "microfibre technology", how could it not be awesome?


                    • #11
                      Isnt that microfibre stuff women use on their faces to clean the other crap they put on their faces off?
                      Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast