This is a problem we see much more on Saabs than Volvos, in fact in the last 7 years I’ve seen this but 3 times. The photos tell it all on this one, symptoms where engine oil light on at idle and engine oil pressure very low. Sludge deposits were found in both the engine oil pump and pickup screen. The o-ring seals in the pan, a common cause of low pressure on these cars, were intact, looking to have been recently replaced.

A previous servicing shop had removed the engine oil pan and cleaned the pickup in an attempt to correct the problem, but they never removed the oil pump for inspection. We found the engine oil pump was clogged nearly solid with sludge, tremendously restricting flow and hence pressure. Only one cause for this on a car with this mileage, either a poor quality oil and/or filter, or infrequent engine oil services. A good quality engine oil, Castrol GTX or Syntech, a factory oil filter, and regular oil changes every 5,000 – 7,000 and chances are you’ll never hear the dreaded words “Oil Sludge”.