Volkswagen Oil Sludge Buildup

How to Avoid Oil Sludge Buildup in Your VW From Experienced Technicians in Thousand Oaks


By Bavarian Performance Specialists May 26, 2020

Volkswagen is a name known for consistency and durability in even the most unfavorable driving conditions. In the world of classy and efficient vehicles, Volkswagen is unusual in that it caters across pay grades and classes to afford drivers of all backgrounds a chance at comfort and style while maintaining high mechanical standards.

However, as with all vehicles, some Volkswagen models are prone to certain mechanical issues. This may be due to the way the engine is built, the vehicle runs, or just normal wear and tear. Eventually, all Volkswagens will need some kind of repair.

One issue common amongst Volkswagen models is the buildup of oil sludge within the engine. This can compromise reliability, function, and overall longevity. It should be addressed as soon as issues are noticed to keep your car running smoothly.

How to Prevent Oil Sludge Buildup

The most effective method of preventing oil sludge buildup is to adhere to a strict oil change and engine maintenance schedule. Unfortunately, however, this is not always a cure, as a Volkswagen engine has plenty of cracks and crevices within which oil can accumulate and turn to sludge over time.

Depending on the mechanic and the engine, it may or may not be recommended to try an oil/sludge buildup remover. As the efficacy of these removers are not guaranteed, it may be wise to forgo this step and take your vehicle straight to your mechanic to prevent further engine damage.

Furthermore, if you suspect that you have an oil leak, sludge buildup, or notice other problems with your lubrication system such as a hot engine, you should bring your Volkswagen in to a professional mechanic as quickly as possible to head the problem off at the pass.

Causes of Sludge Buildup

Sludge buildup in your Volkswagen’s engine is the result of a process known as oxidation, which occurs when oil is in prolonged contact with oxygen at extremely high temperatures, such as the heat of your engine.

Often, the oil pan and valve cover are the first places in your engine that sludge will accumulate, but if the problem worsens, the sludge will clog your lubrication system. This will cause your engine to overheat, which can make more sludge, which starts the vicious cycle all over again.

The conditions in which you drive can contribute to the buildup of sludge in your engine as well, as the more your engine strains, the hotter it gets and the more your oil oxidizes. This is especially true in city traffic and consistent uphill driving.

Your driving habits are another factor that can increase the amount of sludge in your engine. Long trips, rough starting and stopping habits, and forgetting to top off your oil can all contribute to sludge buildup in your lubrication system.

Symptoms of Oil Sludge Buildup

While oil sludge buildup is in and of itself an issue, this problem can quickly expand beyond your vehicle’s lubrication system. This is due to both the potential for an overheated engine, as well as the various hoses, gaskets, and valves in your vehicle becoming crusted over with mucky oil. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of oil sludge buildup when they occur so you can get your vehicle into a trusted Volkswagen specialist.

Some of the most common symptoms of oil sludge buildup include:

  • sudden or prolonged drops in oil pressure
  • overheated engine
  • engine idling louder, hotter, or with more shaking than normal
  • illuminated check engine light, oil level light, or oil change notification
  • clumps of oil splatter and/or engine sludge around your engine

Volkswagen Regular Oil Change

Bavarian Performance Specialists Can Help

If you notice the signs and symptoms of oil sludge buildup or if you notice any other issues with your vehicle’s lubrication system, bring your Volkswagen in to Bavarian Performance Specialists today. Bavarian Performance Specialists of Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park, CA, has been serving the greater Thousand Oaks area since 1983.

We offer a fully comprehensive range of services, from in-depth engine fixes to exhaust maintenance and repair, all backed by a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Whether you come in for general maintenance, detailed repairs, or a full parts replacement, you can drive away knowing your future adventures are covered by Bavarian Performance Specialists.

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