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Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

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2001 - 2007 V70
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cn90
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Volvo Repair Database Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by cn90 »

- The car is 2004 V70 2.5T with 104K miles. All maintenance up-to-date (Timing Belt at 95K, PCV etc.). Car was serviced exclusively at Volvo dealer. I am the 3rd owner.

- Car has slight lifter noise (more than my 2005 XC90 2.5T with 115K, which has exactly the same engine), but overall runs fine, good acceleration on highway, good gas mileage. Car drives great.

- Opened the Oil Filler Cap and saw some sludge. I am from BMW and Volvo forums and am familiar with this issue of engine sludge, but need some updated responses from the "sludge gurus".....

1. Some people say this black stuff seen on the grates inside the oil filler cap is "normal", is this true?

2. I have used Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush in my 2006 BMW X5 on a preventive basis (no issue but I did it for the heck of it).
This is the product I am talking about:


https://www.amazon.com/Liqui-Moly-2037- ... B00CR3RXTO

- Anyone with sludge and has any success with this?

3. Some people say forget about Liqui Moly flush and simply use synthetic oil and change frequently, such as every 1K-2K, as the detergent inside the synthetic oil will clean the sludge. Is this true?

4. Any other advices from the "sludge gurus"?

Thanks in advance!


V70-Sludge-01.jpg
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V70-Sludge-02.jpg
V70-Sludge-02.jpg (275.48 KiB) Viewed 3045 times
2004 V70 2.5T 100K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 110K+
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June
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by June »

My 2004 S80 T6 doesn't look near that bad with dealer synthetic 3K or 6 month oil changes. A couple years ago I opened my oil cap for the first time and I was shocked to find it was not clean. I posted a similar thread to find most on here find this normal. I did find the oil cap seal had tons of cracks so I replaced it. The theory is if the oil cap seal is bad it allows debris to be pulled into this area over time.

Of course the most likely case in your car is long oil changes with conventional oil. If you figure out how to get the buildup out without either damaging the engine, or pulling the engine out and rebuilding it I would love to know how you did it. June
My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned
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SuperHerman
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by SuperHerman »

It is my understanding that Volvo's of your year do not have hydraulic lifters that would tap. On the engines I have worked on they have been solid lifters. See this post for greater detail and more interesting info:

https://www.brickboard.com/AWD/volvo/16 ... solid.html

Your oil cap area is pretty dirty. I would suspect based on experience you will also have slight sludge buildup on your cams. Cleaning the top of the engine on the Volvo is difficult as detailed in the above link due to the head design. That would be the best approach to figuring out how bad your sludge issue is and cleaning it properly.

Adding additional solvent may help, but this is also problematic. Any additional additive to the oil changes its lubricating properties. Besides possible additional engine wear one has to have some concern for the turbo. In addition some fear "clumps" breaking off and clogging oil passages. I have taken the risk and used additional additives. I added Seafoam to the engine oil and ran it before changing oil for 15-20 minutes. On the next go I used 1/2 can in the oil mix and changed it at 3000 miles. Oil came out dirtier than normal. After this I just changed the synthetic every 4500 miles.

Regardless of oil type, if it has detergents it will clean your engine. Changing more frequently will help mainly because the oil is getting removed before it has a chance to break down and cause sludge. As synthetics are suppose to break down less - longer interval usage is better.

If you are not really having any driveability issues I would just run synthetic, maybe add some SeaFoam/Mystery Oil or what ever and start changing the oil more frequently. Just keep an eye on any oil pressure warning light no which tract you take.

If you really want to learn about sludge, do some reading on the VW engine sludge issue and see how they flush the engine.
jimmy57
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by jimmy57 »

The fire suppression oil filler grates magnify the sludge. They are never as bad as it looks on the grate. BUT that sludge in the picture probably means that engine has some moderate deposits. I'd put it on a diet of 2500 mile oil changes with synthetic oil. Don't spend big on the oil, WalMart synthetic would be fine. The last day before the change give it some sea foam at a low dose in oil to do a mild flush.

I have done away with the grates on a couple of mine. On one I tapped it with punch and hammer at the two locations where the tabs attach it It came out and left holes that I used short machine screws, nuts, loctite and two small washers with RTV sealer to close up. No leaks and I can see inside. I came across a broken head and it was a wreck injured engine old enough to not have the grate. I slide hammered the filler out and drove the new one in with a thin film of RTV on the filler to assure it sealed (it did). Of course that spoils my plans of driving those to with the oil filler cap off.

The Solid tappets on that engine mean it needs a valve adjustment if it is really a problem. How noisy is it after a 30 minute drive?
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Rattnalle
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by Rattnalle »

A bit of deposits in that area is normal as others have said but even mine isn't that bad. But as long as you don't notice any other issues it provably doesn't matter too much.

But as for actual action I'd as others have suggested just stick with proper synthetic oil and do one or two shorter oil changes then back to normal but with a proper synthetic. You don't want to break dirt loose too quickly and risk the pickup filter getting clogged either.
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dlundblad
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by dlundblad »

I'd say it's somewhat normal since the cap is on the top of the engine and isn't allowed to get hot like everything else. What does your filter look like? How's the PCV system behaving?

When I started doing the oil changes on her S60, the filter had a few pleats packed with sludge. It took a while, but it's finally gone and I didn't use any oil additives. Changed the oil every 6 months/ 3000 miles until the filter started looking clean. Took around 3 years.

I'm a fan of A3/B4 oils in these. Even with a clean engine, 5000 miles is about all I'm wanting to do..
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cn90
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by cn90 »

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Jimmy57, the way I'd describe the noise is that: if valve noise is "1" for a typical gasoline engine, and "10" for typical diesel engine then after a 30-min drive...

My 2004 V70 valve noise is 3-4/10 out of that scale of noise.

My 2005 XC90 with 110k has a bit less noise, that is 2-3/10.
2004 V70 2.5T 100K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 110K+
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June
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by June »

cn90 wrote: Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:42 am Thanks everyone for the replies.

Jimmy57, the way I'd describe the noise is that: if valve noise is "1" for a typical gasoline engine, and "10" for typical diesel engine then after a 30-min drive...

My 2004 V70 valve noise is 3-4/10 out of that scale of noise.

My 2005 XC90 with 110k has a bit less noise, that is 2-3/10.
When I discovered the darkness under the cap on my car with synthetic its whole life made me question. On MVS I kept reading about German Castrol. So I did internet searches about synthetic oils. To my surprise my 04s whole life I had been sold Castrol synthetic from the dealer to learn all the usual name brands sell modified crude oil as "full synthetic" called group 3 oil. Where as Mobil 1 and initially Castrol Syntec were group 4 until 1999/ 2000 era. If you want a synthetic product here in the USA there is Amsoil group 4 still and other products like Redline group 5. Only group 4 and 5 oils are NOT made from crude oil.

I switched my car to Redline 5W30 initially as it was last fall when I switched. Now for summer 10W30. Look in your maintenance and owners manual under oil requirements and you will find our engines require 10W30 with the stable ambient temperature above 86°. Anyway using Redline my engine has become extremely quiet as well as the turbochargers are also much quieter as well. I read in many places online Redline is known as a side effect to make engines quieter

On the dealer Castrol the upper engine was somewhat noisy at idle. Also the oil no longer turns murky/ nearly black in 3K miles. In fact stays transparent and slightly darkens to look like maple syrup in 3K miles.

I'll add photos of dealer full synthetic oil at 3K darker oil photo and Redline 100% synthetic at 3K miles lighter oil photo to show you the difference. Both are 5W30 run in the same engine for 3K. Looking at the group 3 oil at 3K it is no wonder these engines are cruddy since most seem to like to run 7.5 to 10K oil changes. June
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My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned
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erikv11
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by erikv11 »

It's good to hear jimmy57 say that level of sludge is not too bad - I may not have bought a car showing that much sludge under the cap.

Hopefully the rest of the maintenance was done more conscientiously, but for example the transmission fluid has probably never been touched (especially since you say it it was only dealer serviced), so it's at 100k and needs changing. Is that an aftermarket coil pack on #1?
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
MDK
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Re: Engine Sludge: Any Updated Fix?

Post by MDK »

Wow...MDK here. I've had many Volvo's since about 1998...has anyone tried a "diesel wash"?.... after next oil change interval , drain 6 quarts and replace filter. Add 6 quarts of Diesel fuel and let it idle for awhile at your discretion. Drain/ re-fill/ replace filter. I know from my experience these 2.4 turbos get dirty
A mechanic here at Porche Maserati Volvo of Cincinnati recommended this procedure.... submitted with caution
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