Did you know that motor oil can create sludge faster than you expect? That one time you accidentally skip an oil change and next thing you know, your Mercedes is experiencing some unusual symptoms that might be stemming from oil sludge. This might include unusual clicking, low oil pressure, and dropping fuel economy. If you are noticing any of these signs then your Mercedes has developed oil sludge. This can cause serious damage to your engine, so you will want to get this fixed right away. If you are unsure of how to deal with this then that’s alright, we’ll explain how to know if you are dealing with oil sludge in your vehicle and what to do about it.

What is Motor Oil Sludge?

Motor oil is what keeps your Mercedes’ engine running smoothly. It accomplishes this by collecting and absorbing contaminants so that they do not interfere with the delicate parts of the engine. Whether you are using conventional or synthetic, all motor oil will eventually reach a capacity for what it can absorb smoothly. Think of the motor oil like a sponge that just can’t take any more water. At some point it reaches its limit.

Once the oil reaches its saturation point, the motor oil will begin to leave behind the same debris that it is supposed to absorb. It then becomes clogged up and starts to create thick sludge that interferes with the engine. The oil starts to flow poorly and begins to create heat build-up in the engine. These problems not only cause your fuel economy to drop but will begin to do damage to the engine.

How to Know If Your Mercedes has Motor Oil Sludge:

Here some of the signs that your Mercedes may have developed motor oil sludge:

  • Change oil light: This is a more obvious sign, but one that tends to be ignored. Now when your light first comes on, your engine won’t have sludge, but if you ignore the light for a long period of time then it is likely to start developing sludge.
  • Dropping fuel economy: Not getting as many miles out of you fuel tank? Well that can be a sign that you have motor oil sludge. Motor oil sludge can undermine your vehicle’s efficiency so you will start to see a worse fuel economy.
  • Noises from the tappet: The tappet is the part of the engine that sits on the pushrod and lifts the rocker arm. When engine oil sludge gets to the tappet, then it will start to create unusual noises. The sound might begin like a soft tapping but can get worse over time.
  • Visible oil sludge inside of the oil filter: Another good visual representation is if you notice clumps of sludge and you may be able to smell the oil in the oil filter. You can easily open up the oil filter inside of your vehicle and take a look for sludge.

Causes of Motor Oil Sludge

The primary cause to motor oil sludge is skipping your oil changes, but there are other factors that might cause motor oil sludge to build up faster build-up in your engine. Here are some of those causes:

  • Taking only short trips: Do you find yourself only taking your Mercedes out for short drives around town? Well that might be a problem. If you only take your Mercedes on short trips then the oil may not cycle fully and this can lead to oil problems. You might not be adding miles to your car but you might be creating oil sludge.
  • Using the wrong oil: You will want to make sure that you are using the proper oil every time you get an oil change. If you have added the wrong kind of oil to your engine, then this might develop motor oil sludge and other problems.
  • Idling excessively: If you are allowing your vehicle to idle for long periods of time then this can develop motor sludge faster.
  • Condensation: If your Mercedes is left somewhere that it can develop condensation, then the moisture can mix with the oil and create problems.
  • Environmental contaminants: If your Mercedes is being driven in an area where more dirt, metal shavings, or other contaminants are, then you will need to get oil changes more frequently or it will develop motor oil sludge. This doesn’t mean that you have to be living in an area with dirt roads. This can happen if there is construction next to your house.
  • Temperature problems: In very high problems, oil, especially conventional oil, can develop sludge faster. Synthetic oil is better about handling high temperatures but even it can develop poor performance if your vehicle has a heat problem.

How to Remove Motor Oil Sludge:

Your car care specialists at Foreign Affairs can remove motor oil sludge and add fresh oil back into your Mercedes. We will help you troubleshoot a reason as to why your motor oil has developed sludge and what you can do about it in the future. We will also clean out your engine and put new oil in. You may be able to choose a better synthetic oil that can prevent these problems moving forward.

Preventing Motor Oil Sludge:

So you had motor oil sludge but now want to prevent it from happening in the future? Well here are some ways that you can prevent motor oil sludge problems from happening:

  • Get regular oil changes from the professionals
  • Don’t allow the car to idle for too long
  • Take regular long trips with your Mercedes
  • Keep your Mercedes in a protected environment


Foreign Affairs! Schedule an appointment for service. You can find us located at 1681 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409.