Oil Sludge


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
41,200 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (5 reports)
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2017 Infiniti QX60 engine problems

engine problem

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2017 Infiniti QX60 Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 252022

QX60 Obsidian 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


We purchased our brand new Infiniti QX60 in January 2017 with full warranty. We did maintenance at Infiniti dealership until March 2020, I did the an oil and filter change myself and two other alternate mechanic shops, due to distance from my home to the dealership. Alternate mechanic shop and I did replaced oil with synthetic oil and changed filter.

On April 20, 2022, I observed white smoke coming out for a few seconds from the tailpipe and on April 25th, I took it to the Infiniti dealership. They told me it would cost about $16k in repairs, and they advised that they found oil sludge in the engine and this has been attributed to poor maintenance. I asked for explanation and the Service Manager suggested that I could just add Seafoam 500 miles before my next oil change, to do this 2-3 times and should clear up the sludge. I have been diligent on the maintenance, which I had to do to get the free oil changes that the dealership gave me for years, and now I have oil sludge. I found some old receipts from the free oil changes I was getting from the dealership, and they were putting in conventional oil, although the owner's manual says synthetic is recommended.

After various attempts of calling the dealership to speak to the GM, the owner finally answered my calls. He told me that it was the lack of maintenance, that the synthetic was recommended but not required. He started giving me a bunch of anecdotes of doctors recommending going to the gym to stay in good health but not requiring it. I told him that I felt that his dealership scammed me by using cheap conventional oil instead of synthetic, although I always spent hundreds of dollars every 10k miles to do the maintenance work. He said he would call me back with options. Two days later he called me with pricing of a new motor, a used motor, or if I wanted to trade it in that his service team could perform a type of engine flush with some special liquid to remove the sludge.

A service manager at another luxury vehicle dealership told me that it seems the car is burning oil, which it shouldn’t be. After 2k after the last oil change, I only had ½ quart of oil in my engine. He recommended that I seek legal consolation, such a consumer lawyer. He said that the owner’s manual recommendation are there to prevent these issues, and that dealerships take this shortcuts (free conventional oil changes) to save money. I will start working on seeking advice from an attorney to see what I can do, and if there are more people out there being defrauded by Infiniti, maybe look at a class action lawsuit since this seems to be a known issue.

- Jose T., Joliet, US

problem #4

Nov 222019

QX60 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,960 miles

When I read the complaint from Ian T, Merrick, It was as though I had written this complaint myself because everything that Ian wrote was what we experienced with our 2017 Infiniti QX60 also. My Infiniti has 23,000 miles and we're 2 1/2 years into our lease. There was white smoke coming out of the exhaust in the morning and then the engine seized without any warning lights prior. When the dealership looked at the vehicle, they said that the engine had sludge and therefore this would not be covered under the warranty due to our neglect. We also had proof that we had done regular oil changes and submitted receipts to corporate. We did not do these oil changes at the dealership so the manufacturer first questioned the validity of my receipts and then came up with all sorts of objections saying that there was no way to confirm what type of oil was used (even though the type of oil is clearly indicated on the receipt) , or the viscosity of the oil used, or if we added more oil later that was the wrong type.

The manufacturer denied the warranty claim and said that it would cost $14,000 to replace the long block assembly. I can't believe that a vehicle that is 2 1/2 years old with only 23,000 miles and having regular oil changes would have this kind of problem. And if a problem existed, why didn't the engine lights come on to notify me of a problem? I contacted the Better Business Bureau and had an arbitrator hear my case. This process has now dragged out for over 2 months and I still don't have a decision and have been without a car for 2 months and still paying my lease payments.

The arbitrator requested that a "technical expert" look at the car (which they pay for) . This so called expert opened the hood of my car and 10 minutes later wrote a report saying, "Yep, there is sludge." What kind of expert is that? I want to know what caused this sludge when I've had the required maintenance done. There must be some sort of inherent engine problem or a problem somewhere else that would cause this type of sludge.

It's nice to hear that other people have also experienced this same problem, but what I'd love to know if you were able to get any resolution from the manufacturer and if there are other people out there with the same situation.

So Frustrated!

- Susan K., Rancho Cucamonga, CA, US

problem #3

Jul 232020


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,846 miles

Purchase new Infiniti QX60 in December 2017 with full warranty. Did maintenance at Infiniti dealership except in March 2020 when oil and filter change was done at an alternate mechanic shop due to booking unavailability at dealership due to Covid. Alternate mechanic shop did replaced oil with synthetic oil and changed filter. In June 2020 attended Dealership again but appointment was not in 5 days later so I went to same alternate mechanic shop and did oil and filter change again.

On July 02, 2020 I observed noise from engine and took it to the Infiniti dealership who said the noise was a fan issue and Infiniti is aware of the problem. Two days later i heard the noise again so I took it back to the dealership.The dealership said I will have to pay for diagnostic if the they open the engine and find out that the issue was not covered by the warranty. I also gave them the 2 receipts for the oil and filter change I did at the alternate mechanic shop upon their request.

A week later I received a phone call from the Infiniti Dealership advising that they found oil sludge in the engine and this has been attributed to poor maintenance. I asked for explanation and the Service Manager could not give me a nexus between my diligent maintenance and the oil sludge. Was told to return the loaner, pick up the QX60 and pay the amount for diagnostic. I contacted the Customer affairs Dept and this guy said he gives deference to the warranty dept and the Service manager and there is nothing he can do about it. This is breach of a warranty claim and I have no other choice except to pursue this judicially. Any thoughts?

- Kelvin G., Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #2

Dec 182019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

My 2017 QX60 is having the same problem. (sluge in the engine) The Infiniti place claimed they could fix it under warranty. All they did was have me jumping through hoops for months. They said I needed a new engine. They said call customer affairs to so I called. The lady at customer affairs said they can take apart the engine and look in to the problem, but I would lose my warranty if it wasn't their fault. She also said she a had more call just like mine and it is always the customers fault. I know its not my fault and I'm sure its not yours either.

- Sarah N., Memphis, US

problem #1

Sep 102019


  • CVT transmission
  • 26,000 miles

First off I have done my oil changes and have receipts from my mechanic using full synthetic oil. My leased car currently has 26,000 miles and Infiniti actually inspected the car when there was 15,000 miles on it (about 8 months ago) and said the oil was in great shape.

With that being said, on 9/18th i noticed a ton of white smoke coming out of the exhaust upon starting up in the morning and then it would go away. This was about 2 weeks after my last oil change.

I bring it to the dealer, as this is an indicator something is wrong. The dealer says white smoke is normal its just condensation. I tried telling the service manager it does not look normal (I am 35 and have been driving in Long Island, New York for over 18 years so i would know what is excessive smoke from the exhaust). However, she is the expert so I left.

After 3.5 weeks it was not getting better so i made a video and brought it back to the dealer. They saw the video and still said "well that doesn't look right, but keep the car and come back in a few days when we have a loaner".

I came back 3 days later and after the following day they called me to say the oil turned to sludge, replacing the engine for $15,000 was the only solution and they would not cover it under the warranty.

Driving for 3.5 weeks with white smoke prob caused a lot of damage, but what caused the white smoke originally???? Maybe my mechanic screwed up the oil changes??? Or is it possible there is an internal defect in the engine?????

I need to know if OTHER people have had this with Infiniti engines to see if a class action should be brought up against them. I already found two other people in my network so now i am reaching out to the masses? Thank you in advance.

- Ian T., Merrick, US

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