Sludge in a Chrysler engine Sludge in a Toyota engine Sludge in a VW engine

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.

Engines Pre-Disposed to this Hell Stew

  1. Chrysler 2.7L LH Engine

    A number of design and mechanical defects make the engine highly suceptible to oil sludge and contamination.

  2. VW 1.8L B6 Turbocharged Engine

    This engine runs hot, stays hot, and doesn't have enough oil to do anything about it.

  3. Hyundai's 2.0L and 2.4L Theta II Engine

    This engine runs hot, stays hot, and doesn't have enough oil to do anything about it.

  4. Toyota 3.0L MZ Engine

    Despite settling lawsuits, Toyota has staunchly maintained that the problems are the owners fault. They are lying.

Most Sludge-Related Owner Complaints
Dodge Intrepid2001149
Dodge Intrepid2000148
Dodge Intrepid1999141
Chrysler Sebring2001115
Chrysler Sebring2002115

See the Full List

What Owners Are Saying

“We are the original owners of this car. Took it in for service all the time. Oil changes, air filters, tune ups you name it. We were very good about servicing this car. Out of the blue it blows up. How can we have sludge build up when we have had this car serviced?”

2003 Chrysler Sebring Owner

“The engine died on the freeway in very heavy traffic and would not restart. Have been told I need a new engine. The dealer told me the sludge warranty (I didn't even know there was one and did not know about oil sludge) was for eight years. I have owned my car for 8 years and 3 months and ALWAYS had regular oil changes at the dealership.”

2003 VW Passat Owner

“I was told several times that the intrepid would have major motor problems caused by sludge once it hit 88thousand miles i did not listen and now I am paying for a car with no engine cause i can't afford the repair & car payment never by a dodge”

2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner

“What a POS this car is, I bought this used and had no idea of the problems I would encounter. Had the low oil pressure light and thought it would go away after an oil change, boy was i wrong. The problem only got worse and then my cam chain tensioner started making terrible noises all from sludge!”

2003 VW Passat Owner

“Thank you Chrysler for ripping me off twice. I had my engine completely rebuilt just over a year ago and I am once again in the same boat. Your 2.7L engine is a piece of crap. I know because I have personally worked on it. Your accusation that it is a lack of maintenance is completely unrealistic. My car was perfectly maintained and is still my most expensive lawn ornament to date. I am disgusted and will never buy from you again.”

2002 Chrysler Sebring Owner