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Engine flushing/radiator flushing

Good morning all; I have two questions. 1.I had my tires rotated recently and while waiting was looking at a trade journal article about sludge build-up in engines eventhough the oil is changed religiously.Here on the farm we periodically run kerosene through our small engines… sure is alot of “stuff” coming out. Is it advisable to do the same on my wifes Toyota. I’ve smelled some of the motor flush products,smells like kerosene to me.I change the oil every 3000mi with Valvoline 5/30.

2. I’m also wanting to drain the radiator/cooling system and add fresh anti-freeze. The water here is loaded with lime,so were going to use water we steam distilled.We periodically run vinegar through our appliances just to purge lime deposits with great results.Would this be advisable to do in the Toyota?I had the cooling system serviced two years ago,but the water they used is as hard as ours,which concerns me.Theres no issue with the car running hot. any advice would be appreciated. please be specific in your answers,as I’ve been cow kicked so many times as to be left dense(haha). THANKS

  1. You’re changing the oil plenty frequently enought to avoid sludge issues. Your small engines probably don’t have full flow oil filters, so you’ll see ‘stuff’ with them.

  2. You could flush your cooling system at changeover, I’d use a commercial product, like the one by Prestone. I’d then either buy a few gallons of distilled water, or use what you distilled, if you trust that it’s good.

What year/miles is your Highlander?

Fully agree with Texases. If your water is hard, you will have better luck if you use only distilled water in your radiator, windshield washer and (if you service it) your battery. I would not bother with commercial flush products as anything acidic enough to remove lime deposits from inside the cooling system may attack other parts. I would recently did my 2004 BMW cooling system. I drained the radiator and block, refilled with distilled water, warmed it up, drained again, and refilled with 50/50 coolant and distilled water.

It is a good idea to replace both the coolant and the brake fluid every two-three years.

Avoid organic acid ‘long life’ antifreeze unless the manufacturer specifically calls for it. I tried it in a couple of my cars once and had a very negative experience.