Michael Mathe
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Sludge Is The Result Of Insoluble Debris Overloading The Lubricant

Anyone who has purchased a new vehicle knows its value depreciates the instant it's driven off the lot. In some ways, lubricants behave the same way. Once you install an oil or transmission fluid, it begins to age, especially conventional lubricants.

Oxygen reacts with the lubricant and results in a permanent chemical change where oil picks up oxygen and gets thicker. Just like oxygen attacks metal surfaces and causes corrosion, it negatively affects lubricants and reduces their ability to lubricate, cool and protect components. Excessive heat speed the oxidation process. In fact, every 18 degree Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) increase in temperature doubles the rate of oxidation.

Adding to the challenge, contaminants begin to form during normal operation. In engines, hot combustion gases can blow by the piston rings and contaminate engine oil. Glycol from engine coolant, water that forms with temperature fluctuations, soot (in diesels) and fuel are other common contaminants that affact lubricants. Left unchecked, contaminants accelerate chemical reactions, which overloads the lubricant and causes the formation of sludge - a gelatinous substance that wreaks havoc in engines.

Sludge can block the oil passages and oil-pump pick-up screen, resulting in oil starvation. You don't have to be an engineer to know what eventually happens to an engine that runs without oil. Often, the negative effects are cumulative rather than sudden. Many engines with variable valve timing (VVT) use oil-pressure-operated mechanical devices to change valve timing, duration and lift. Sludge can plug the solenoid screen or oil gallies and impact the operation of VVT mechanisms, eventually leading to a costly repair bill. Sludge reduces efficiency and increases time and money spent on maintenance.

Although we typically associate sludge with engines, it also affects transmissions, particularly those used in severe-service applications. Modern automatic transmissions feature a dizzying array of oil passages, gears, clutch packs and electronics. A steady supply of clean, high-quality transmission fluid is vital to getting the most out of your transmission. Sludge can clog the narrow oil passages and cause delayed or elongated shifts. Just as in engines, severe cases of sludge in transmissions can plug filters, leading to starvation and catastrophic failure.

Given the laws of chemistry, it seems nearly impossible to protect your vehicles against sludge, especially since modern engines and transmissions run hotter than their predecessors. But the good news is high-quality synthetic lubricants resist the tendency to form sludge while extending oil service.

As you may suspect, synthetic base oils do a better job resisting sludge than conventional base oils because they are naturally more resistant to oxidation. AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants are formulated with base oils that resist reactions with free radicals that create sludge, similar to how you need to keep up a strong immune system to resist chemical and genetic changes that can lead to cancer.

Detergent, dispersant and antioxidant additives also play a key role. They help maintain internal cleanliness by suspending contaminants, minimizing contaminant agglomeration and fighting free radicals to keep this cancer from forming in your engine.

Dirty components run poorly, pollute and don't last. They cause system failures in engines, compressors and gearbox systems that dramatically increase downtime, increase operating costs and reduce equipment life. Clean lubrication systems, on the other hand, require less maintenance, produce more energy, use fuel more efficiently, increase equipment service life and run cleaner.

AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants not only resist oxidation and sludge formation, they can help clean existing deposits in neglected engines due to superior detergency. With modern engines and equipment demanding higher-quality lubricants, it's good to know AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants are formulated to protect against sludge in the toughest operating conditions. Just like we all want to stay healthy so we can live long and purposeful lives, we want to keep sludge from forming in our engines so they can do the same!

AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil in Johnson City LLC is a large nationwide Distributor of AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants. If you are a business owner or an individual with several vehicles, AMSOIL has several options available that may allow you to purchase AMSOIL Products at Wholesale Prices. We can show you how to extend equipment life and save money with AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils, Lubricants, Filters and Fuel Additives. Please visit the AMSOIL Website and Online Store for more information about AMSOIL Products.

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