Engine flush

The Toyota service says (during a 15K service) that I have carbon build up on the throttle plate and in the oil. They recomend that I have an engine flush ASAP to avoid further performance problems. I have not noticed any problems. the car has 140K miles. TRUE not true or just getting “flushed”

Daniel Tacoma, WA

Sounds like “Service Writer On Commission Flush”

If the throttle body is dirty, it should be cleaned, not “flushed”. Part of what was once called a “tune up”… You can buy a spray-can and do it yourself.

It’s time you found a good local mechanic and kissed the dealer good-by…

My local mechanic has the Motorvac system (www.motorvac.com). The fuel line is disconnected and a detergent solution is run through the fuel system with the engine running to clean out the fuel system and remove carbon from the engine. He cleans the throttle body separately. I have it done about every 50k by choice, he doesn’t push the service on his customers. By the way his price is $110-120 for the service.

If you decide to clean the throttle body yourself, make sure the clean is throttle body safe, carb cleaner can damage the coating on the throttle body.

Ed B.

The engine flush won’t address carbon build-up on the throttle plate, and sound’s completely unnecessary to me.

It sounds like you should find another business to service your car; one that you can trust not to sell you unnecessary services.

If you indeed have carbon build-up on the throttle plate, you can clean it with a can of carburetor cleaner yourself. Just carefully follow the directions on the can.

That sure sounds like a wallet flush to me.

Why are you bringing your car to a dealer for service. Unless they are providing the service for FREE, you are under no obligation to have the dealer do the work. There is nothing special about dealer service departments other than the nice coffee in the waiting area and extra large size service cost.

Note: I am not suggesting that all dealers are bad, but they are almost sure to change more (they have more overhead)

So glad I read these comments: my local Chevy dealer just recommended a $220 fuel system flush for my 2003 Byuick Regal that just turned 101,000 miles. I don’t have hesitation, lean burning, etc. but I have replaced the catalytic converter and treansmission solenoid THREE TIMES on this car (the first time at 35,000 miles) and no ones’ ever told me WHY they keep burning out. Now debating whether to get into older GM car maintenance or go Hyundai or Nissan. How does a right front hub go out? ($470 to repair) Things have gone bum on this car that I’ve never heard of before in my GM products and I’ve been keeping cars on the road for 35 years!
Granny Sue in Charlotte

Hi there - you might be better served by starting your own post instead of resurrecting this old one. Click on the “Ask a question” link on the right-hand side of the page.

Hey granny, you can look for a better mechanic here on CarTalk: