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Hi, I would like to get some advise on this, this is my first Santa Fe and first time I have a car with so many miles (195000). I've noticed that even just by getting the oil cap off, it is pretty evident there is a LOT of "sludge" in there. I was going to buy something strong to try to clean it as much as possible without having to pay a mechanic to open that sucker up, I mean the car is not even worth 2k with that mileage so I wanna take care of it as much as possible within reason.

Anyways I was told is not a good idea unless I plan to remove the oil pan to clean it after the product has done its job. I've never done that so here are my questions:

1- Any advise on what product I can use?
2- Is removing the oil pan an easy enough job to do it myself?, I'm no mechanic but I'm not afraid to get dirty get bolts out and get it done.

Last one, any advise on any other way I can try to clean the engine as much as possible and hopefully as a DIY project?
 

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Is the sludge causing any issue or is it just something you want to take care of?

Over the counter products you can use are things like Marvel Mystery Oil, Seafoam & B12 Chemtool. These products all work to varying degrees. B12 is the harshest of the bunch while MMO is a bit more gentle. Honestly though I wouldn't use any of these unless you have an HLA that is tapping or something along those lines.

What I would use is a product called Auto-Rx. I've used it personally with great results and have seen MANY other people across various forums have success with it as well. It is in a class by itself and is definitely more pricey. It is also available only online as far as I am aware: Auto-Rx Plus Non-Toxic Sludge Remover and Cleaner for Engines and Transmissions

As for mechanical sludge removal... You can take off the oil pan and clean that by hand. You can also remove the valve covers and clean those up along with any "clumps" you might find in/on the heads and cams. That's really it without pulling and taking apart the engine. Once again, unless you have a reason other than sludge removal to take stuff apart I would leave it alone. You might open up a whole new can of worms.

If you're **** bent on disassembling things:

1) The oil pan can be removed fairly easily. It is held on by about (12) 10mm bolts - I can't remember the exact number. You should have a new gasket and ULTRA BLACK RTV on hand for replacement. (2-3) of the bolts are a pain to get in and out as they are covered up by the exhaust. You also need to be very careful when tightening the bolts back on because the engine block is aluminum and you can strip the coils by over tightening. I'd expect removal, cleanup, and re-installation to be in the 2 hour range barring any issues.

2) Removing the valve covers is a bit more time consuming. To access the rear one you must remove the intake manifold and some other pieces to gain access. If you decide to do this change the spark plugs and wires at the same time. You'll have complete access to them at this point. You'll want to have new valve cover gaskets, ULTRA BLACK RTV, a new intake plenum gasket, spark plugs, spark plug wires, dielectric grease, and anti-seize compound on hand. Expect to spend about 4-5 hours changing the plugs, wires, gaskets, clean up and re-installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks pal, that's all great info, I'm not having major issues with the car, I just wanted to clean it as much as possible as it is my intention to keep this car for a few more months and then give it to my little brother, he'll probably keep it for several years so the better care I give it the better. I don't think I would go further than cleaning the oil pan and maybe the valve covers, but I'm in no rush to do so, maybe I'll try the cleaner first and wait...

Thanks again
 

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Honestly, you probably don't really need to clean the oil pan unless you run one of the harsher cleaners through the system. It's not really a major point of sludge. Sludge gets created due to high heat and a lack of oil so you're much more likely to find it under the valve covers. No point in tackling that as you aren't having any issues. Keep it in mind though if you decide to change spark plugs. You'll have everything out of the way and it's a cinch to clean them up then.
 

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If your not already using it, I would switch to a high quality synthetic oil like Mobil 1. They provide superior lubrication, stand up to heat better, and don't create slug like tradtional oil or blends. They're more expensive but they also last longer. Mobil 1 recommends thier oil up to 15K miles and AMSOIL goes as high as 25k.

Running a good synthetic should help clean up your engines oil system after just a couple oil changes.
 

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If your not already using it, I would switch to a high quality synthetic oil like Mobil 1. They provide superior lubrication, stand up to heat better, and don't create slug like tradtional oil or blends. They're more expensive but they also last longer. Mobil 1 recommends thier oil up to 15K miles and AMSOIL goes as high as 25k.

Running a good synthetic should help clean up your engines oil system after just a couple oil changes.
Actually the only Mobil 1 that goes to 15k miles is the Mobil 1 Extended Performance brand. I use it on my santa fe so I only have to change it once a year.
 

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Actually the only Mobil 1 that goes to 15k miles is the Mobil 1 Extended Performance brand. I use it on my santa fe so I only have to change it once a year.
Mobil 1 is only restricted in North America - all Mobil 1 oils are suitable for the extended oil change intervals in Europe.
 

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Mobil-1 Synthetic...

We dont really see sludge in the 2.7, except for 1 we had that fella never changed oil.. Hyundai gave him an engine anyway..

You can mix some ATF in too, the ATF has high detergent content, and still enough oil base to lubricate.. good long interstate runs where oil get hot and wash all over inside is whhat will clean, not short trips where engine just gets warm..
 

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Sludge

I have dealt with sludge many times over the years. In the old days, there was no "detergent oil" and engines sludged up no matter how often the oil was changed. I could give some examples that would be unbelieveable today. With that said, the transmission oil is a good trick, and I have done it many times, but keep in mind, it was never intended to be used in the engine. It is a very high detergent oil, and it does clean. Another is the aforementioned using Mobil 1 or a similar synthetic oil. It does work also. Both these methods require many oil and filter changes however. I do NOT recommend manually removing the sludge because you will get chunks mixed in after "cleaning", and that is NOT good. VERY frequent oil and filter changes will clean the engine out eventually, but not completely. I don't know the logic behind this, (never will) that is using a premium grade or synthetic oil should extend the oil change intervals. Sometimes to the point of ludricris. Oil gets dirty, and contaminated, it is the driving style that determines change intervals, not the type or quality of the oil.
 

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I've noticed a better running engine using Mobil-1 EP for the past 15K. 2 changes and she runs like a champ, better than she did prior to using synthetic. True evidence of it's cleaning power could be viewed by the lack of varnish on the dipstick (compared to before using synthetic.)
 
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