Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
cthomasparr
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Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:35 am

My mistake for not checking this, but went with a friend to buy a 2004 vibe with 115K miles. I was doing some routine fluid changes and noticed that there was sludge under the filler cap. Wish I had checked that earlier. Anyone have any suggestions for how to treat. I put in some Castrol anti sludge oil ( had picked that up anyway) and was going to make sure the PCV is free and the line is not gunked.

Other than that I was planning on letting it ride. I could remove the valve cover and attempt to clean the valve train area, but don't want to cause more problems than there might already be.

If anyone has suggestions or things they have done successfully, I would like to know more.

Thanks

andrewclaus
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby andrewclaus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:05 am

Ever make mayonnaise? Leave out the egg, but it sounds like that's what your engine is doing. You're getting water vapor from combustion into the crankcase and it's getting whipped into a frothy vapor, and condensing on the relatively cool valve cover. I'd try chemically treating the rings with an additive first. Schedule a compression or cylinder bleed-down test if you want to be sure. Replace the PCV valve, too.

GORGO
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby GORGO » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:54 pm

It's just condensation.Actually its pretty common.Usually caused by short trips & the oil doesn't get hot enough to burn it off.Trans fluid is a good detergent,put some in the oil take the car for a real long drive.

cthomasparr
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:56 am

From what I have been reading it sounds like it could have serious implications. I don't think a long drive will fix this, but I could very well be wrong. It has the consistency of grease. The previous owner may not have kept up with oil changes.

I was considering taking off the valve cover and cleaning what I could manually, vac out any drain areas and do more frequent oil changes. Any of that sound crazy?

cthomasparr
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:58 am

for both of those responses... any suggestions to the amount of trans fluid to add. What chemical would be added to the cylinders... through the spark plug hole? Just looking for suggestions now and appreciate the advice

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vibrologist
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby vibrologist » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:42 pm

Maybe you have to do nothing at all. It depends on what your driving routine looks like. If every time you turn the key you will at least do 10 miles or more you are likely to provide enough time to evaporate the water that managed to get into the crank case. If your routine involves very short trips with long breaks between them you may want to do some long runs now and then. The car is new to you. Observe and record what happens.
Keep in mind if you oxidize (=burn) hydrocarbons you get water and carbon dioxide. It's the water (steam) that provides the power.
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'05 Vibe

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andrewclaus
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby andrewclaus » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:05 am

I was thinking of an oil additive as recommended by your local parts store. Some of the stuff is snake oil, but for a few $$ you might get a minimum result.

Cleaning the stuff that's there won't be worth the effort, I think. It may have been formed by a harmful process, but it's not harmful in itself.

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vibrologist
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby vibrologist » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:04 am

I think we need to define what we mean with sludge. The soft milky stuff under the filler cap is not sludge. That is an oil/water emulsion.
Real sludge is hard crusty black oil residue that sticks to the internal parts of the engine. Anti sludge oil supposed to deal with that.

So, what do you have?
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

http://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=43476

Mark
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby Mark » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:48 pm

Sounds like it's toast. Just to save you from a total loss I'll offer you $500.00 to take it off your hands.


Or, drain the oil and fill with Mobil-1 or other full synthetic and drive the crap out of it, like 200 miles at 80 mph and back again. If your speed limit is 65 then drive it 200 miles with the O/D off and back again. Just run it as hard as you can and get it all the way to full temp every time for a couple thousand miles. Then drain and fill with full syn again and see if the filler cap looks better. I'd change or clean the PCV as well.

That's what I'd do anyway.
'04 Base Frosty, '08 Base Stealth, '05 Base Satellite

hogdoctor
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby hogdoctor » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:57 am

I would expect that the previous owner made a lot of short trips where it didn't get a chance to even warm up much less burn off the moisture condensed in the crank case. It needs to spend some time at full operating temperature to clear it up. Speed or rpm really don't matter, just take the scenic tour when you have time, no less than 10 miles if you start the engine. I run into this often with people who have vehicles in winter storage and like to start it weekly in freezing temperatures thinking it's good to do so. The biggest worry is that when frozen, this emulsion can block oil passages and starve critical engine parts for oil.

cthomasparr
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:33 am

I called it sludge because it is like grease. dark gray and thick. There is no milky or white color to it

I have not heard that this kind of material can be "melted" away with driving, but I will suggest an occasional trip to make sure it doesn't happen any more.

From what I have been reading, it can be caused by lack of oil changes and short trips or colder weather. If the lack of heat can be a cause, I guess it would be worst where the engine is coldest, which is probably the oil change cap. The cover on the engine does have some minimal insulation on it. Maybe I saw the worst. I can't see past the oil filler well enough to see how the cams look.

I do have an inspection camera and I may attempt to go through the PCV and see if the sludge is not too bad in the rest of the valve cover area. I don't want to take off the cover unless I need to.

For now, I am going to just run with the anti-sludge oil. Not sure if it helps at removing existing sludge... probably not. I would love to clear out the sludge mechanically, but I don't want to cause any other ill effect in doing that

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vibrologist
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby vibrologist » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:56 am

For now, I am going to just run with the anti-sludge oil. Not sure if it helps at removing existing sludge... probably not. I would love to clear out the sludge mechanically, but I don't want to cause any other ill effect in doing that



Exactly!
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

http://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=43476

GORGO
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby GORGO » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Sorry for the late reply. If theirs no sludge/pudding on your dip stick at the top or rust on the stick it's more than likely just on the top of the valve cover & fill cap.You could pull that & feel better by cleaning it off.If anybody wants to add Trans fluid I wouldn't add more than 6oz,run the car like ya stolid it & drop the oil & filter when its hot. As mentioned Mobil 1 is a excellent syn,I use it it in my 93 Vette with the 2nd Gen LT1 since it doesnt have a oil cooler like the L98 & normal operating Temp is around 230 deg. As far as Dino/Reg oil any name brand is sufficient.

jolt
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby jolt » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Add 1/2 quart of Marvels Mystery Oil about 500 miles before you change your oil and filter to clean up things. It is a mild way of removing deposits from inside the engine. You could go ballistic and use something like Gunk Engine Flush but this could cause more damage then doing good. These deposit did not form all at once but over time. You do not want to remove the deposit all at once either as you will have big gobs of gunk plugging ports and passages if all that stuff gets flushed lose all at the same time. This is where the Marvels Mystery Oil comes in as it will slowly dissolve these deposits over time / oil changes. Sea Foam also works but cost more then Marvels and the Marvels is better for this kind of thing anyways. Just add 1/2 quart at every oil change for the next year along with changing your oil and filter every 2 to 3 thousand miles. When the bottom of your oil filler cap comes out clean, you can stop adding the Marvels oil to it as it is now clean.

http://www.marvelmysteryoil.com/

https://www.ericthecarguy.com/kunena/2- ... ystery-oil

cthomasparr
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:57 pm

Just a follow up. I removed the PCV valve and it clicked when I shook it. It also didn't look caked with sludge. I removed the tube from the PCV to the intake and it wasn't clogged either. I pulled some cloth on a wire to clean out the tube.

I also made sure that there wasn't a buildup of sludge in the cover. I may get a chance to put a boroscope through the pcv hole to check out the inside of the cover without taking it off.

As of now, I think the sludge was worst at the cap.

ehoff121
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby ehoff121 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:05 am

Even though the PCV rattles, you should still change it. I change mine every 30,000 miles.

Also, if you haven't changed it already, the valve cover gasket probably is original and time is not a friend to anything made out of rubber. It's not a hard job to change it, plus you also get a peek at the cam shafts.
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD - Platinum

jolt
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby jolt » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:41 am

Just because the PCV valve rattles does not mean it is good. The valve regulates the amount of vacuum that it pulls from the crankcase by way of fine grooves or small passages around the valve and open seat. These passages or grooves build up with deposits which cause the valve to not pull the proper amount of vacuum from the crankcase to the intake. It is best to just change the valve as must are under $10.00. Your gaskets, seals, throttle body idle position, and the earths air will all be the better for it.

cthomasparr
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Re: Oil Sludge in Filler Neck

Postby cthomasparr » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:10 am

I guess as far as a valve is concerned, I get how a rattle indicates it is working, but I see there is more to it. I replaced the PCV valve.


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