Advances in petrol engine development have resulted in continually increasing engine power. That means a lot more heat, and high temperature deposits that the oil needs to deal with. If oil of specified quality is used and changed as recommended, there should be few problems.

Note the word "should." What is probably more certain is that if sub-standard oils are used, or service intervals are over run, engine sludge issues will develop.

This modern sludge is often called "Black Death", and with good reason. Many engines are destroyed by it! Plenty of them just missed one service! The sludge is not easy to remove, and to make it worse, after a while, the sludge can actually turn into a brittle deposit coating engine parts. The sludge can build up to horrific amounts, and by this time the engine condition is regarded as terminal.

Cost Effective Maintenance is a Brisbane based company specializing in developing problem solving remedies. Founder, Brid Walker says, "We have been correcting very bad engine sludge problems in both petrol and diesel engines for some 30 years, but I have to say that when modern petrol engine sludge turns into a hard brittle deposit, it becomes a lot more difficult to remove, and at this stage, mechanics usually advise that a rebuild is required."

"What we have found is that full cleanliness can be restored using our Flushing Oil Concentrate (FOC), but with a staged approach to progressively (read safely) remove what is often extensive deposits. The first step is to drop the old oil and filter and renew, while adding the FOC. The engine is them operated at a high idle for 30 minutes. Then change oil and filter again. This process removes the greasy and softer sludge components."

"For the more stubborn sludge, FOC is again added and the vehicle put into normal operation. But the oil must be inspected every day for contamination build up. As the oil becomes dirty, it should be drained, and the process repeated, until the engine is sludge free. While some petrol engines (especially those caught early) just need the one flush to restore cleanliness, others have taken 2 or 3 flushes. One of our mechanic customers went through 6 flushes in a Commodore engine that was losing oil pressure, and was definitely regarded as a terminal case. Compared to spending $4000-$6000 on a rebuild, however, it was well worth the effort."

Below is an email received from the owner of a 2011 Toyota Camry.


"I have been not been a fan of any oil or fuel additives in the past.

"Until one day my wife took her 2011 Toyota Camry to her Toyota dealer for a service as it was 1-2 months overdue. The car had done maybe 45K and not very hard K's at that. It was running like a pig when she took it to them, she called me that afternoon and told me the car was stuffed and needed a new engine.

"As soon as I picked myself up off the floor I called Toyota to enquire what they thought the problem may have been. They told me that there had been a bad batch or poor quality oil put through the engine and had caused the engine to fail because of "blow-by" and ring freeze.

"Not knowing too much about cars and stuff mechanical, I asked a mechanic friend to have a look. He pretty much confirmed that the engine was "gunked up" and would need to be pulled down. He tested the compression and told me it was very poor in two of the four cylinders.

"After doing extensive research on the same issues via the internet I came across Cost Effective Maintenance. I read their stories with doubting belief but thought "what the hell can I loose" so I ordered some of the products like the engine flush and the FTC and Cleanpower.

"After using these products and changing the oil monthly for 3 months the engine made huge improvements. It was idling and not stalling when in reverse, so I kept doing what I had been doing. In 6 months the engine was back to "normal" and I have since stopped the oil changes. The oil is absolutely spotless now.

"But I do keep including the two additives into the fuel at every fuel fill.

"I have suggested to the good wife that she might want to run as low as possible before refuelling ensuring the right dosage is maintained.

"Well, since taking the car to Toyota and being told we need a new engine, we have persisted with the additives and we are now experiencing better economy than before. We once thought the Camry was quite economical at 550kms per tank, but since the CEM products added to the fuel we now get over 600kms per tank and depending on the run even more.

"Needless to say I have boasted the outcome to my brother and father, who are now both converts and advocates of these great products."- Ivor Godsell (Melbourne)