I had someone tell me that a good way to get oil sludge out without opening the engine was to use sea foam. Two things, is this true and if not what can I use to get oil sludge out without cracking open my engine?
Additives will help get the sludge out of the upper portion of the engine, but it'll also cause it to collect in the filter and sump. If you use any additive, use as directed, more is not always better. If you are heavily sludged, you'll probably want to pull the oil pan off and clean what collects there.
Take not, if you are that heavily sludged, it's probably best to at least pull the heads and sump and degrease it so that you're not using the flow of oil to clean the engine. If you run an additive and the fouling is loosened from the upper block, it has to flow with the oil through the engine to get to the sump, where, if it doesn't block a drain port, it'll be available to be sucked back into the system and through the filter.
Given the frequency of the oil change doesn't hold a lot of promise, but I've heard of a lot worse. But that still doesn't tell if the engine has an excessive sludge build up. What I would do is change the oil and filter, add about half of what they recommend for the additive, then drive it for about 500-1000 miles (unless otherwise specified by the additive), then change the oil and filter again. On the second change, the oil will be discolored, but as long as it's all fluid, add oil and run normal. If it appears that there's a bunch of coagulation (sludge), repeat until the situation improves.
Most garage owners and mechanics I know dont recommend or carry out these engine flush additives .Some have found to their cost that it can introduce more problems i.e blocking hydraulic lifters / tappets etc. In fact Wynn's Engine Flush has a disclaimer on it ' not recommended for engines that have covered more than 75,000 miles'.Never liked them myself and shouldn't be needed with todays oils , usually used as a last resort to avoid engine strip down .Here is another opinion ,
" Curing sludge
There are no hard and fast rules for curing an engine of sludge buildup. If it's really bad, flushing the engine might be the only cure, but that could also cause even more problems. If flushing the engine results in bits of sludge getting lodged where they can do more damage, you're actually worse off.
It's interesting to note that some race techs have reported sludge buildup in race engines as a result of aftermarket additives being used in conjunction with the regular oil. The chemical composition of the additives isn't as neutral as some companies would lead us to believe, and combined with particular types of oil and high-stress driving, they can cause oil breakdown and sludge to appear. The lesson from them appears to be "don't use additives".
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