Engine Flush 2005 Ford Taurus bad decision?

Ok, here’s the scoop - I went to Meineke to get an oil change. They told me that I should have come earlier as I waited 8,000 miles (I agree, a bit over, but still…). They need to do an engine flush because of all the sluggish build-up and a fuel injector cleaner. Well, sure enough, 1.5 days later the engine light comes on the first time (diagnostic said multiple misfires, tune-up, change sparkplugs etc.). So I had it changed for $350. 2 days later, this morning, the engine light comes on again … no clue what it will be this time but I am getting the feeling that the engine flush was the worse that could have happened to my car (120,000 miles - long distance driving). Also, I noticed that I am having difficulties starting the car in the morning, might be cold related but usually did not have a problem like this, then the RPMs go somewhat high, stay up and then go back to normal. What can I do now to prevent further damage or more engine light triggers? I called Meineke, and of course since I had the spark plugs etc. changed elsewhere (simply cheaper) they are telling me now it has nothing to do with the engine flush. I am thinking a good mechanic would have never suggested an engine flush. Am I wrong?

You are (unfortunately) probably right, there was no need for engine or fuel injector flushes, 8000 miles for an oil change will not ‘sludge up’ an engine. But you now are stuck, having had others work on the car gives Meineke an out. And while unnecessary, most flushes don’t damage engines. Use the 'mechanic finder’

on this web site to find a good mechanic, have them diagnose what’s really wrong.

The Meineke website does not list an “engine flush” as one of their services. They do list “injector cleaning” and “transmission flush.” I suspect you got the “injector cleaning.” Can you be more specific as to what they did, exactly? For injector cleaning, all you need to do is pour a $5 bottle of injector cleaning fluid into your gas tank.

Thanks Texases,

I am under warranty from the second place that I went to to have the tune up (as I had the diagnostic test paid for there as well). So I am going back there to get it checked this time… I wish there’s something what I can do to avoid further triggers.

I need to look at their invoice which I do not have with me right now. But I know for sure he said engine flush - because I specifically told him NO transmission flush, not with those amount of miles … little did I know that an engine flush could cause the same damage almost. Overall, my bill was $147 with only the medium oil change

I’m just going by the 8000 miles w/out an oil change, and guessing that what you are looking at is basically the results of a spotty maintenance history. Not the results of an engine flush.

If they did flush the engine the effects are all internal to the engine and mechanical. The stuff you’re looking at (check engine lights, bad plugs & wires, starting difficulties, etc.) don’t have anything to do with the mechanical internals of the engine.

Stop going to places like Meineke. Find a local, owner-operated shop with a decent reputation. Start taking the car there for everything, and start making sure that all required maintenance gets done.

Anyway, in short - if indeed an “engine” flush was done, drop that line. Its unlikely to have anything to do with it.

Cigroller - thanks! The problem which concerns me is that the car was running smooth - very smooth before the engine flush, now it is completely different. Did not have problems staring the car, it would start right away. Also while driving long distance it ran very smooth, now you can feel a somewhat vibration from the motor which makes me wonder. The second mechanic who changed the spark plugs also said that they did not look that bad but the diagnostic said multiple misfires (which I am surprised I did not feel or hear - my husband says I can hear an ant sneeze LOL). Engine light twice within 3 days is pushing it. Either way, believe me, that was the last time I’ve been to a Meineke or Pepboys.

If you had put 8,000 miles on the car over 2 years perhaps an engine flush. But if the 8K miles was in 3, 4, or 5 months not a big deal. I think you got the “royal flush” on this one. Yep, bad decision; which was to take it to Meineke in the first place.

I noticed in one of your replies you said “no transmission flush, not with that many miles”. I don’t quite get what you’re saying. At 120,000 miles, the trans fluid should have been replaced 4 times. proper maintenance is priceless. It’s more than just oil changes. just sayin.

I do not believe in engine flushes but I doubt that has anything at all to do with the current performance problems. There’s not enough info provided to make much of a guess about what’s going on since we do not know what if any codes are involved and if this tune-up was nothing more than a shotgun approach to the problem.

If one assumes those spark plugs were never changed in 120k miles and then combined that with an 8k miles oil change interval along with never changing the transmission fluid I’d say the car has been neglected.
At some point things all start coming due.

At this point I would get the car scanned again (AutoZone, Checkers, etc. will do it free) and post any codes for discussion.