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Old 02-16-2013, 08:06 PM
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Oil Sludge? **Picture Added**

I don't post up here in the 150 section as much as the super duty section, but the Padre called me tonight with a question. Here's the specs on his truck:

2010 F-150 Scab
4X2, 4.6 3V
76,xxx miles
Completely stock

He had his oil change done, like he usually does, at the dealership about a month ago. (I've mentioned changing the oil himself, and he does if he has the time, but the local dealership runs specials all the time. The practically do it for the cost of the materials) Since the oil change, he has driven roughly 2500 miles. My guess 70/30 highway/city driving. Today his change oil light came on and his info display showed 5% oil life. He was puzzled why it went down so quick so he checked the dipstick. He noticed, what he called sludge, on the end of the dipstick. He also described it as black flakes....My suggestion was to pull a sample or two of oil from the engine and send it out for analysis. Based on those results and photo documentation of the "sludge" ask the dealer for their thoughts. I'm wondering if this "sludge" or "black flakes" clogged the oil life sensor and caused it to think the oil was due for a change prematurely? Still doesn't explain why its even there to begin with.

I don't have a pic of the "sludge" yet but hopefully sometime tonight or tomorrow. I know that would definitely help identify the issue at hand.

So, fellow FTE'ers, what are your initial thoughts and or suggestions? I wouldn't think "sludge" would build up on that short of an oil change. The oil is changed regularly with motocraft oil and filter, even if he does it himself at home. It just seems weird.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:14 PM
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I would say that the dealership never reset his oil life indicator. As for the sludge/slakes he saw on his dipstick i have no idea.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awq134 View Post
I would say that the dealership never reset his oil life indicator. As for the sludge/slakes he saw on his dipstick i have no idea.
I asked about that. He assured me he checked/reset it himself after every oil change. But who knows, he doesn't have the sharpest memory anymore.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:44 PM
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sounds like they never changed the oil. i have seen a oil change and all the dealer did was yank off the filter and slap a new one on before its even done draining slap some fresh oil and call the owner. hope that i am wrong but who knows?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:33 AM
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2010's don't have a real oil life monitor like the 2011 and up trucks have. The ones on the 2010 and 2009 really are either date or mileage based. not nearly as intelligent as the one in the newer trucks. I own a 2010 as well and I've noticed that mileage seems to go down according to date or mileage estimate. The soonest mine ever ran down was around 5,500 miles. I run a pure synthetic in my truck and take it out to 7,500 since the oil holds up very well. As for the black flakes, did the oil analysis say anything about soot? Or anything about elements in the oil? Those black flakes can be anything at this moment and results from an analysis would tell the complete story. Otherwise, all of us are just guessing and relating to our personal experiences. If those flakes are related to soot, it could be blow-by on a piston (a compression test can confirm this). However, we'd need the analysis to really get a better handle on what's going on.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:01 AM
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I'd have to ask if he's using the 5w-20 oil as prescribed. It's supposed to be a non sludging oil if changed timely and all other things are perfect.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jus2shy View Post
2010's don't have a real oil life monitor like the 2011 and up trucks have. The ones on the 2010 and 2009 really are either date or mileage based. not nearly as intelligent as the one in the newer trucks. I own a 2010 as well and I've noticed that mileage seems to go down according to date or mileage estimate. The soonest mine ever ran down was around 5,500 miles. I run a pure synthetic in my truck and take it out to 7,500 since the oil holds up very well. As for the black flakes, did the oil analysis say anything about soot? Or anything about elements in the oil? Those black flakes can be anything at this moment and results from an analysis would tell the complete story. Otherwise, all of us are just guessing and relating to our personal experiences. If those flakes are related to soot, it could be blow-by on a piston (a compression test can confirm this). However, we'd need the analysis to really get a better handle on what's going on.
I see. So the oil life monitor goes off of mileage and driving style. Duly noted. ~7500 miles is usually the mileage he see for an oil change. We don't have the oil analysis yet. That's the first thing I told him to do. I'm also going to suggest to him to change the oil himself and cut the old filter open to see what's inside. Maybe that will give some more clues. I'm with you, not much can be done until more info is obtained. I'm hounding him to get some pictures to me. That could help some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueovelboy View Post
sounds like they never changed the oil. i have seen a oil change and all the dealer did was yank off the filter and slap a new one on before its even done draining slap some fresh oil and call the owner. hope that i am wrong but who knows?
I hope that's not the case, but ya never know.

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Originally Posted by tseekins View Post
I'd have to ask if he's using the 5w-20 oil as prescribed. It's supposed to be a non sludging oil if changed timely and all other things are perfect.
He uses motocraft 5w20. I made it clear to him when he bought the truck new that the weight/type was important. I guess he taught me well when I was young. I hope to get some more info in the next day or two. Just thought I'd ask here to see if anyone else ever ran across this issue. Crossing my fingers that it's just a fluke. He's already talking about going back to a Tacoma
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:30 PM
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Here's a pic. Doesn't look like much. Maybe he's overreacting. The oil itself is clean but he said there's the brown stuff on the dipstick every time he checks it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Our plan of action is to change the oil, keep the filter and cut it open to examine what's inside. Also, a sample will be going to blackstone for analysis.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:52 PM
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Take the oil fill cap off and look down into the valve cover onto the surfaces of the valve train and the head, what it looks like he is complaining about(or questioning) is normal gunk that gets built up on the inside of the top area of dipstick tube, If you have a sludge build up this is where you will see it. What you should see is fairly bright metal with very little varnishing if the engine is in a maintained conditionand the crankcase is breathing, oil samples are good also for determining condition of the oil, a series of oil samples at service intervals will give you a history and hopfully highlight any issues the engine may have if any, what a single oil sample will provide is only a snapshot of conditions the oil is seeing!
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:03 PM
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I have not heard of this on the F150 gassers.

BUT before I bought this F150 I was looking at an F250 Diesel. The dip stick had all kinds of gunk on it. Did some research and the dipstick tube was dirty and almost rusty looking. It was a common thing.

That dont explain Oil life meter. Im guessing someone did not reset it. Best of luck!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:13 PM
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I agree that the best thing to do is to get an oil analysis as mentioned before. I use Blackstone Labs even though I'm not completely satisfied with the comments they put on the report.

For example: I have an older BMW motorcycle that is prone to early transmission bearing problems. Since I was getting close to the mileage that it usualy happens I sent in a sample from the transmission. The report came back showing a high amount of metallic contamination and their comments said I was probaly wrong about the 2500 miles I reported on the oil life...LOL...I know the bearings are starting to fail from the analysis, but they tried to say that the oil must have been in the transmission much longer.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:13 PM
 
 
 
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