Engine flush

I am stupid. I let Jiffy Lube talk me into an engine flush on my 2003 Toyota 4Runner with 113,000 miles on it. Now I am reading all over the net where it might be bad for my engine, maybe even replacing it. Can someone advise?

I know it’s bad for your wallet, but not likely bad for your engine, if it’s had a good oil change history.

p.s. - here’s one expert’s opinion on “The flushing of America”:

And his follow-up to all the responses he got:

Stupid? Hard to tell from here. Gullible? Yes.

I doubt the engine flush caused any damage. The only thing it helped was Jiffy Lube’s bottom line.

Just exactly what does Jiffy Lube use to flush an engine, anyway? I’d love to know.

Learn a lesson from this: Stay away from oil change chain stores. All of them are BAD.

Bad, bad, bad.

Got it?

If you’re unwilling or unable to change oil yourself, find an independent mechanic to help you properly maintain your vehicle. No more J-Lube.

Midas is a good place to buy a muffler, but they are now pushing flushes as well. When I was on an overseas trip they scared my wife into $100 worth of unnecessary flushes, even though she had the complete maintenance history with all the bills in the glove box and shows them any time she needs car service.

In short, when you hear the word “flush”, run and never patronize that place a again. Most of these flushes are about as necessary as an enema for healthy humans.

Are you talkin radiator or transmission flush? I do not have a problem with either one either way. It was recommended because? What does the owners manual say? Any flush is probably better than no flush.

The good news is that you probably dodged a bullet–this time. I would suggest that you not continue to press your luck by using any quick lube place for maintenance.

Each month, several vehicles nationwide wind up with a ruined (pick one or more) engine/transmission/differential/brake hydraulic system/cooling system as a result of J-Lube staff using the wrong fluids or failing to refill one of those systems after draining the old fluid. This is the result of hiring young guys who usually have no background in auto maintenance or repair, giving them very little training, and then pushing them to move vehicles in and out of the shop as fast as possible.

To boot, Jiffy Lube isn’t even cheap! Most independent mechanics and many new car dealerships charge less for an oil change than Jiffy Lube does. The only supposed advantage is that J-Lube’s staff will wash your windows and vacuum your carpets. I would prefer to do those tasks myself, rather than risk fatal damage to one or more mechanical systems on my car.

Why pay more for…less competent people…to work on your car, with a substantial risk of damage to that car?

No, he’s talking engine flush, through the oil passages. As one of those articles said, ‘if you need it, it’s too late’.

Not just places like Jiffy Lube push this crap.

Years ago I had to take my 90 pathy to a dealer for a gasket for the muffler. They (without my knowledge or permission) decided to give the vehicle I complete inspection. Their estimate for ALL the necessary repairs came to about $2000…EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WERE BOGUS…

One of them was an engine flush…When I asked the service manager about that one…he said that well we have no history of your vehicle (it was the first and LAST time I was ever in there) so we must assume it needs an engine flush…I RAN from that place and never went back. When I bought my 98 pathy I drove 20 miles past that place to another Nissan dealership with a much better reputation.

I think the flush won’t hurt anything, now you know better - lesson learned. I would however just to be on the safe side check the oil level and the tightness of the drain plug and oil filter.

Since engine flushes are NOT needed AND you’ll NEVER know if one was done or not unless you actually saw them do it…It wouldn’t put me past this place to charge you for the service and actually NOT perform it.

I checked Jiffy Lube’s URL. The service provided was either a cooling system flush or a fuel system cleaning. You won’t hurt your truck unless they used a corrosive fluid to fluxh the coolant system. If the coolant system was cleaned. Otherwise, it is unlikely there was any damage.If the engine was running rough, you might have needed a fuel system cleaning, but probably not. The usual cure for a clogged radiator is replacement.

When you buy a used car from a senior who only drives short trips or from someone who has not changed oil frequently enough, a quart of “engine flush” added to the crankcase can be a good idea. The instructions will tell you to drain the oil shortly after the flush has done its work. Repeat this and the crud will be mostly removed. This differs from the forced engine flush which may plug up oil passages and cause more harm.

I have used the crankcase additve with good results in the past.


Based on jtsanders’ research, it would appear that the OP does not even know what type of flush was allegedly done, since JL apparently does not do engine flushes. However, that is the way that “overselling” is done–advise people who are not knowledgeable about cars that they desperately need a dodgy service, and then confuse them with so much verbiage that they don’t even know what service was supposedly performed!