5.2L 318 in Grand Cherokee Looks Sludgeified

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Jul 1, 2009
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Michigan
Performing the first oil change in my beloved 165,000 mile Grand Cherokee the other day. Upon removal of the oil cap and shinning a twisty light down in there, there is some deffinate gumming up that was visible. Nothing terminal, but caused me some concern. I changed the oil from Quaker State 10w30 dino to Valvoline MaxLife Blend 10w30. Will the Synthetic Blend clean it up a little? I have another jug of Full-Synthetic MaxLife ready for its next oil change. Now I'm reading that MaxLife can cause sludging??? What gives? Should I run this MaxLife blend through this oil change and change to a different oil (Mobil 1, 0w-30 Castrol, Pennzoil Platinum, etc.)? Is there anything that would "clean it out" a little bit better than this for the Full-Syn MaxLife I was going to use next? I realize that one oil change is not going to undo 14 years of age and use...just wondering if there's something better that I'm not using or haven't thought of. And if anybody says "cash for clunkers", so help me....
 
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it appears that you have not owned your beloved GC for a year, so you dont qualify for CARS anyway... heh heh heh. yes, the magnum version of the 318 is known for sludging - something about the fine screen on the oil pickup and its wierd location in the pan. I would definitely run a few rounds of flush thru there. I have no experience with AutoRX - but it seems to be loved around here. on the advice of a former mechanic, I used to run a quart of trans fluid in the engine. then I graduated to actually using a product made for flushing. the absolute best thing to do is pull the oil pan to ensure that the oil pickup is not clogged; and also pull the valve covers. but I believe that you have to drop the front axle to do that. barring that, pay attention to your oil gauge - if it EVER drops low, do not ignore it! its probably telling the truth - at least in this engine. other than that, the 318 is legendary for long life. oh, and loose timing chains.
 
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use some rislone on the next oil change and replace the pcv valve...if you want to do it the poor man's way.
 
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I'd try MMO for a couple of short changes that should help. Don't use any fast flush in breaks lose too much too fast and can clog your pick up and as we all know that isn't good.
 
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When I first bought my old e28 535i, it was running on GTX 20w50 and had used conventional oil for the first 205k miles. Switched over to Mobil 1 15w50 and ran the oil for 900 miles before draining...came out looking like the goo in Castrol commercials. After that, ran various synthetics (mostly M1, some Amsoil, RP, & Redline) at 7500 mile OCIs, including LOTS of canyon carving and a few track events. When I sold the original engine (never had the head off) at 290k , it was absolutely spotless inside and ran like a top with zero oil consumption. Maxlife will work fine, but I would check the color/consistentcy of the oil after the first 1k miles or so. If it cleans anywhere near as fast as Mobil 1 cleaned out my old m30, I wouldn't want to run it for very long.
 
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I would run MMO or Seafoam through it. 500 miles or so on the Seafoam then change( oil & filter )or 750-1000 on the MMO then change( oil & filter ). Repeat a 2nd time if your engine is really bad. ATF used as a flush is definitely old school. Haven't seen anyone recommend that for a long time. It actually works but most people today don't believe it. Most over the counter "FLUSH" products are nothing more than kerosene. Whatever product you use be careful of running too long with it in the crankcase. You don't want to overload the filter with crud.
 
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 Originally Posted By: AWESOMO4000
Performing the first oil change in my beloved 165,000 mile Grand Cherokee the other day.
Yup, that would sludge it.
 
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It looks like you've gotten just about every possible solution suggested. The auto-rx seems to work from what I've read and isn't a "quick fix" product like a Seafoam product that can dislodge large amounts and possibly cause bigger problems (think engine stroke from clotting). If it's not too bad at the present time, I would suggest sticking with the Maxlife and going with some short OCIs. The high mileage oils are designed to help clean out the engines and it sounds like you could benefit. A full synthetic is likely to find a leak path as it cleans and this can be a pain in the butt. See what happens with just running Maxlife for short OCIs and possibly consider some auto-rx in the future.
 
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It's my cleaner of choice. It's performed well for me in fixing some common and some unusual conditions. Any used car I come across automatically gets a treatment. I waited until 75k for my 02 2.5 and 130k+ for the wife's 4.0. I wanted everything clean before starting on HDD.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
It's my cleaner of choice. It's performed well for me in fixing some common and some unusual conditions. Any used car I come across automatically gets a treatment. I waited until 75k for my 02 2.5 and 130k+ for the wife's 4.0. I wanted everything clean before starting on HDD.
What are you refering to by "It's?" I missed something...
 
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ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: Onmo'Eegusee
http://www.auto-rx.com/
+1 \:\! Did wonders on the gunk two engines that I saw with my own eyes.
 
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Those auto RX before and after photos are obviously doctored for white balance and colour temperature. Almost as bad as the recent Mobil presentaion/advertisement showing ring and and piston varnish "differences". Doesn't ANYONE play it straight and honest anymore? I find a short interval OCI of 500 miles every 25k ( or there abouts) seems to work well for clean up.
 
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 Originally Posted By: blackdiamond
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
It's my cleaner of choice. It's performed well for me in fixing some common and some unusual conditions. Any used car I come across automatically gets a treatment. I waited until 75k for my 02 2.5 and 130k+ for the wife's 4.0. I wanted everything clean before starting on HDD.
What are you refering to by "It's?" I missed something...
Yes. You did. You missed your post that I was replying to (albeit without quotes)
 
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A few short runs with a good cleaning oil like Mobil 1 or PP would help. **Where are the pics!
 
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 Originally Posted By: blackdiamond
It looks like you've gotten just about every possible solution suggested. The auto-rx seems to work from what I've read and isn't a "quick fix" product like a Seafoam product that can dislodge large amounts and possibly cause bigger problems (think engine stroke from clotting). If it's not too bad at the present time, I would suggest sticking with the Maxlife and going with some short OCIs. The high mileage oils are designed to help clean out the engines and it sounds like you could benefit. A full synthetic is likely to find a leak path as it cleans and this can be a pain in the butt. See what happens with just running Maxlife for short OCIs and possibly consider some auto-rx in the future.
Not to start anything but Seafoam is not a "quick fix" product. It is however a product that works. Doesn't break anything loose in clumps/clots but rather dissolves gunk. Have you ever used it? I have and it works great for the situation the OP has.
 
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