Friend went too long without an oil change...

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Jun 11, 2002
The Dirty South
..and now there's sludge on the end of her dipstick.

What oil should I put in there to clean up this mess?

I'm doing the change in the next 24 hours, so I don't have time to acquire any Schaefers products...

I'm thinking something with a lot of detergency, like Delvac 1300.

The engine in question is a Toyota 1ZZ four-banger.

Make sure you save a sample to send in for analysis because sludge can be caused by other things besides not changing the oil enough.

If it's that bad, it may be too tough of a job for a single oil change to fix. You might consider those engine flushes like "Gunk" before draining, then use a synthetic like Mobil 1. Then perform another oil change in 500 miles.

Good luck!
Yeah you'll need some motor flush. I used K@W flush at Autozone for 2.50 a can for my Jeep. It had bad sludging issues so I flushed it twice in a row (what directions called for with old, gunked up engines). Fixed the problem, oil pressure does not drop anymore when i floor it or drive for more than 30 min.

Over the years I have relied on Mobil 1 as a potent engine cleaner. No risk of damaging bearings or scuffing cylinder walls by using a thin solvent based flush.
A few months ago I addressed a 98 Toyota Sienna that went way past one year without an oil change. I was able to take a teaspoon of loose jello-like sludge right out of the filler neck in the valve cover. The dipstick was also covered with sludge. The old oil filter had sludge oozing out of the media on the inside - which is the outlet port.
I put in Mobil 1, 0-30 and changed the filter again about 3 weeks later.
I got the same car back again today for a brake job and checked the oil fill area. The dark burnt residue on the metal surfaces is still there but no signs of loose sludge. I changed the filter again and topped off with Mobil 1 0-40.
I gave the owner a spare qt of 0-40 along with the Toyota letter on sludged engines.
I have found several model Nissan motors prone to develop sticky lifters. A Mobil 1 oil change outright eliminates the clacking in 20 minutes of driving. One customer was sure his wife blew the engine - was amazed that a high-priced oil change fixed all the noise.

..and now there's sludge on the end of her dipstick.

Man, I hate when that happens.......

Call around locally to see if anyone carries LubeGard engine flush. It's not solvent based. Call specialists - I doubt the chains will have it. If you can't find Lubegard find one of the better solvent based flushes.

Yes get an inexpensive, decent petroleum oil, and two filters. And get Mobil1 10W-30.

Drain whatever oil is is in there. R&R filter. Fill oil plus flush to capacity of crankcase. Start engine and idle for 10-15 minutes.

Drain oil for as long as possible, change filter and fill with the Mobil 1. Drive car for 1000 miles.

Order Lubegard engine flush, Amsoil 10W-30 and a good filter of your choice.

After 1000 miles get engine real hot - Flush out Mobil1 with Lubegard, remove filter allow to drain for a long while. Install plug, new filter an oil.

Drive 5-6000 miles.
Go to the Auto-Rx site and see how this effective, gentle cleaner can clean the engine without damage. Very interesting reading.
I would definetely NOT use a conventional flush in this case. Conventional flushes can allow chunks of sludge to break lose and clog oil passages.

Auto-RX would be my choice.
I wouldn't use any cleaner at all. Just get a case of cheap 5W30 oil and a handful of cheap oil filters and give the car 2-3 oil & filter changes in rapid succession going no more than 1,000 miles on each oil change.

Safe, gentle and it won't dislodge big, damaging chunks of goo all at once.

--- Bror Jace
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