2014 Hyundai Equus - Low miles Sludge



I assume it would be based on the sludge in the engine. OP needs to find others with this problem (why he posted here, I guess). I can’t find that this is a problem with this engine.


No they did not.


I don’t own an Equus so don’t have the problem. But I see there’s a bulletin on oil and filter changes using non-oem oil filters for this car. Hyundai apparently recommends against this practice, saying certain non-oem oil filters can cause engine knocking. I expect you’ll need the receipts for all the oil and filter changes, when they were done, and proof the proper oil spec was used, and that an oem filter was used. If you are able to offer up that as evidence, I think you’d have a pretty good case for some help from Hyundai.


Sludge is almost always caused by the oil change regimen being extended. That’s probably why they denied warranty. Usually buried somewhere is a “severe service” disclaimer and that applies to every vehicle on the road.

Usually buried somewhere is a severe service disclaimer which stated to change the oil more often and this applies ot every car on the road; not a select few.

I understand your pain. I’ve worked the service counter for mulitiple other makes (not Hyundai) and have seen this sludge problem with all of them.
A number of them had nowhere near 32k miles on them when they went belly up


What you are saying is that if you don’t follow the severe driving schedule, you void your warrantee? For me that is oil changes at about 4k 4 mo, diff gear oil at 15k, etc.

I would think this could be challenged in a court. But that would be expensive.


Given you changed it according to Hyundai’s recommendation of every 7.5K miles, I suspect there’s something in that engine that makes it more prone to sludge than normal. Five oil changes in 32K miles is way to early to kill an engine from sludge.

If Hyundai is trying to hide something, it will do everything it can to squelch it. I speak from experience after spending thousands trying to fight them. Their lawyers ran circles around me. Much of it wasn’t true, but their mastery of perception won over any facts I was counting on.


Perhaps they already knew what you would be facing. It’s not up to them to decide if your issue will be covered under warranty. And the symptoms may be fairly well understood regarding outcome.

See, they knew it would come to this. How did they know? They’ve likely seen it before.

If I can provide any advice it would be to stick to the facts of your specific issue. Trying to drag them through the mud with unrelated issues will simply distract from your case and give their representatives more opportunities to discredit you. You need to show you had no contribution in the outcome. I checked the oil regularly (once a month may be an issue here) and did oil changes using proper oil type per the recommended interval for my usage profile…this is where receipts may be key…


$2900. only 1 on car-part.com


I always like to check the site above as it is a good reference to overall quality and problem trends. This one actually looks pretty good and I didn’t see any major engine issues. It is a totally different story if you look up something like a 2000 Dodge Intrepid with the 2.7L engine.

Many cars these days are requiring synthetic oil. I don’t know what this one called for but if the car called for a 5W30 synthetic and you used conventional, that could be a problem. Engines these days tend to run a little hotter to maximize efficiency. Those Toyota engines that sludged were often fine if the owner used synthetic or changed it ahead of schedule at 3000 miles. The ones that were left using the manufacturer recommended conventional oil at 7500 mile intervals tended to sludge up badly.

So, if the wrong viscosity was used or it wasn’t synthetic when it was required, they might deny you.


Did you change the oil yourself or have it done?

Did you check the oil monthly yourself or have it done?

If you had it done, who did it?

If you had the oil changes done, did you check the oil yourself to see if there was in fact clean oil in the engine?


This sounds like a Chicken vs. the Egg situation. How does one prove a negative, i.e. that sludge buildup, leading to bearing failure was not due to poor maintenance, racing, or other abuse of the engine?

Even if one has all of the oil change receipts, which not everyone keeps, who’s to say that they didn’t abuse the engine somehow? Similarly, lots of people DIY their oil changes, and cannot provide invoices from a professional mechanic. Does that mean they never changed the oil since there’s no paper trail?

It is common knowledge that some engine designs are highly susceptible to sludge buildup, or coolant contamination of the oil, even if meticulously maintained. Similarly, there are some engines which resist this problem, even if the same oil is run for several years.

I remember when the Chrysler 2.7L V-6 was out, and in fact I worked in the accounting office of a large Chrysler dealer during the time when these cars were being sold. I could not believe how many of these engines needed to be replaced at less than 100,000 miles, some didn’t make it to 50,000 miles even with proper maintenance. A lot of these turned into abandoned vehicles and repos, because the owners could not afford to replace the engine and refused to continue making payments on an undrivable car.

Just as Chrysler blamed the problem on the customer back then, it sounds like Hyundai is doing the same thing to you now.


Yes you are correct. If you look at Hyundai’s record, they have had engine problems in many different models including their Kia brand. I can almost guarantee we won’t win even with arbitration because like you said. How do you prove it? The manufacture doesn’t require you to bring it to the dealer for oil changes or maintenance so how can they prove it wasn’t maintained?

I have a really cool hood ornament and EVERY where I go I’m constantly being stopped and asked what kind of car it is; I have been their biggest advocate but no more. They need to stand behind their product otherwise the general public needs to make every effort to let it be known what a horrible company they are.

My hope is someone that has this vehicle with the same problem will come forward and we can fight them together.

Thanks for your comments.



If you bring your maintenance records to the arbitration why do you think you will lose? Does your driving environment unmistakably require the severe service maintenance schedule?


OP, since you have varying opinions on this matter then maybe you should use Hyundai themselves as a mediator. Cut and pasted from Hyundai.com.


What is the difference between severe and normal driving conditions?

Whether you want to find your vehicle’s maintenance schedule online, in the Owner’s Manual, or at the Hyundai dealership, you will need to know if the driving conditions of your vehicle are severe or normal. The maintenance schedule will vary depending on the driving conditions of your vehicle. Below is a list to help you determine which category your car fits in:

Driving conditions are considered severe:
• For repeated short distances.
• In dusty or sandy areas, in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are used.
• On rough or muddy roads.
• In mountainous areas.
• For extended periods of idling or low speed operation.
• For prolonged periods in cold or extremely humid climates.
• More than 50% of driving in heavy city traffic in temperatures above 90°F.
• If using brakes extensively.

Driving conditions are considered normal:
• If your car did not fall into the previous severe category.


The trouble with Hyundai’s wording like that all the terms are subjective, which gives them the legal wiggle room they will use against you.

Do I fall into “severe” if I’ve driven 1 mile on a muddy road, or if I took one Sunday drive over a 2000’ mountain in the Adirondacks, or there was salt left on the roads for some of my days commuting to work?

What defines a “rough road” and how does the road surface factor into how often I need to change the oil?

Or since I use my brakes every time I stop, is that using them “extensively”?

I agree that certain types of driving will warrant more frequent oil changes. But I believe that wording is there to protect them and not one’s vehicle.


Thank you for your response and no severe driving conditions have occurred. I don’t trust Hyundai as a mediator since they are rejecting the warranty. I do have an outside mediator conducting the hearing.



Good luck and please keep us informed.