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Best way to remove sludge from engine.

Water seems to have gotten into the oil of my wife's '98 VW Jetta.It apparently got in through the broken dipstick tube (thank's Jiffylube).The result is a light colored pasty mess on the inside of the valve cover and most likely everywhere else.What is the best way to clean this sludge from the engine? I understand flushing it with a solvent based product can possibly cause problems.Could repeated oil changes, say at 500 miles thoroughly clean the mess out of there?
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Comments

  • edited February 2008
    I'd put a half a can of SeaFoam Engine Treatment in the crankcase oil, drive it twenty miles or so, and change the oil and filter.

    Tester
  • edited February 2008
    This water/oil emulsion officially known as "mayonnaise" can also be the result of repeated short trips that never get the engine hot enough to evaporate the water that naturally condenses in your engine when it is running cold. A coolant leak can also cause this. I would do one oil change to get the comtaminated oil out of there and then do a long freeway trip to get the engine hot enough to evaporate any remaining water.
    I once worked with someone who always had mayonnaise in his oil. he always drove his truck to work even though he only lived a couple of blocks away. His engine probably never knew what it was like to run with the choke off. Why didn't he just walk or ride a bike? I don't know, I just don't know!!! I think he had this idea that a car needed to be run daily.
  • edited February 2008
    Will the sludge clear up after the water is gone? I think I'll try The SeaFoam,change the oil,then the long freeway ride.
  • edited February 2008
    You may need another oil change after that, but that's cheap compared to taking the engine apart. Agree that strong emetics can loosen big chunks of crud that can plug your oil passages.

    If your oil was not regularly changed over the lasy 10 years, be prepared for increased oil consumption once you get all the sludge out.
  • edited February 2008
    Actually the oil has been changed every 3000 to 5000 miles since it was new. I don't think there's much crud.
  • edited February 2008
    Good! Then you should be OK after doing what the other posters recommnded.
  • edited February 2008
    Since you apparently have the valve cover off all ready, I would remove the mayonnaise mechanically, that is brush, rags and solvent, from the inside of the valve cover and the top of the head. I would also check that the return passages are clear so that the oil drains back to the pan ok, then do an oil change.
  • edited February 2008
    I didn't have the valve cover off I just ran my finger around the inside of it.That's more ambitious than I was hoping to get.
  • edited February 2008
    I will only add that you should be using a high quality full synthetic oil. That will not fix it, but it can reduce future slugging.
  • edited February 2008
    Tester, I have seen SeaFoam mentioned on these forums many times. If a car with 80K miles on it is running fine with no problems will SeaFoam produce any benefit or should it be used only to correct a noticeable problem? In other words is there any preventative benefit to its use?
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