Regular maintenance by qualified personnel is the key to keeping vehicles running better and longer. The flip side, of course, is that not keeping up on scheduled service visits could easily lead to a multitude of engine concerns down the road. Here are just a few of these concerns to watch out for, and the indicators that may show lack of proper maintenance.
Oil Filter Blocked by Debris and Sludge
On vehicles equipped with an oil filter cartridge, inspect the cap for sludge. Also, check the oil filter pleats for caked-on, heavy debris or sludge. They are signs the vehicle has not been maintained regularly. Holes or tears in the filter as well as a missing seal would indicate improper installation.
Check the cap (1) and oil filter pleats (2) for a buildup of sludge and debris.
Sludge at the Bottom of the Oil Pan
Although some light debris in the oil pump pickup tube is considered normal, sludge or debris at the bottom of the pan that blocks the tube screen points to a lack of regular maintenance.
Sludge at the bottom of the pan (1) and pick-up tube screen (2).
Sludge on the Valve Cover and Camshaft
Sludge that blocks the oil supply and return ports and builds up on the camshaft and camshaft caps can lead to low oil pressure and damage on the journals or lobes of the camshaft. Also check for build-up on the camshaft position actuator solenoids. A lack of oil can create a lifter tappet ticking noise as well.
Improperly Installed Air Filter
Certain conditions can arise from the improper installation of the air filter or the use of an aftermarket air filter. Foreign debris bypassing the air filter or the air filter housing outlet ducts could cause damage to the piston cylinder walls. Debris contacting the crankshaft, piston rods and bearings can prematurely wear away the chrome finish of the journals, increasing the clearance and causing low oil pressure or a knocking noise.
Piston damage can result from a pre-detonation lean event due to aftermarket calibrations. Piston damage also can be caused by an improper engine warmup from using an aftermarket cold air filter, which can create excessive heat to an engine’s pistons and lead to them seizing to the colder cylinder walls and cracking the piston lands.
Contact your ACDelco Professional Service Centre today to have your vehicle checked out!