Sludge Happens. But Why?
New oil is a clear, free-flowing liquid that collects all the dirt, metallic debris, and other contaminates that are running through your engine. In addition to its cleaning powers, oil helps lubricate engine components, reducing fricition and heat.
But all oil has a certain cleaning limit, or absortion capacity, before it breaks down and thickens.
What happens when oil reaches its absorition capacity?
Not only will it stop collecting contaminates, but the thicker substance starts to choke the engine by increasing friction and heat.
Won't regularily changing my oil prevent it from happening?
In most cases, yes. Many sludge-related problems can be avoided simply by regularily changing your oil following the automaker's recommendations.
Except it's not always a maintenance issue because there are certain engines that are notorious for creating sludge even when the owner is meticulous about their maintenance.