Is engine flushing effective?


#1

Hi guys, I’ve heard of a practice during lube oil change called flushing. Old oil is drained out and filled with flushing oil. This is circulated through the system by running the engine for a few minutes and then drained off. Supposedly, for more dirty systems this may be done more than once. And finally the engine is filled with fresh oil. My question is will this procedure really make a diference in my cars higher mileage 177,000 mile four cylinder engine?

Or is there some high quality detergent oil additive that can do the same thing during a regular oil change interval?


#2

You effectively “flush” the engine every time you change oil. If you have gotten 170K miles from your car, don’t change ANYTHING. Continue changing oil and forget wasting your money on an engine flush. It won’t make any difference.


#3

My friend swears by flushing with kerosene . . hw drains about a quart of old oil and fills the engine with a qaurt of kerosene, then runs it for 5 minutes, shuts it off and drains it immediately. No problems (yet), old oil is black when it comes out (so is mine and I don’t use kerosene), looks clean inside the valve cover (so does mine and I don;'t use kerosene) and the car has had no oil related problems (neither do I and I don’t use kerosene). HEY! Wait a minute! I get the same results by just changing my oil regularly. But seriously . . . I’d worry about gunking up small passages with a flushing solvent, also I’d worry about wrecking cork/rubber/plastic gaskets and stuff with a strong flushing solvent. If I were you, I’d just change the oil every (gulp) 3000 miles. Good luck! Rocketman


#4

It can’t hurt. You can do it yourself, too. Before each oil change, go to any auto parts store and buy a $4 quart of engine flush. It’s mainly petroleum distillates and it smells like kerosene.

Dump it into your oil and drive to your oil change station. When they change your oil, they complete the flush for you.

Probably does no good, but might be beneficial in some cases.


#5

Sure it is effective. However very few cars today have any need for it. Today’s oils are great and as a result few cars have any such need as long as the oil is changed as recommended and the recommended oil is used. (all recommendations are manufacturer, not the quick lube place nor the dealer.)

Then consider that more than one person has had the flush done and ended up with problems they never new they had.

My advice, - If you don’t have a good reason for doing it, don’t!


#6

Unless you’re having a problem, the only thing they’re flushing is your wallet.


#7

No need for this in my view if you change your oil on time. Open up one of your used oil filters to see what you have in it. Use a hammer and a cold chisel near the endplate. Most likely this service is not needed. I have never had it done and have driven cars to high mileages; one to 90,000 miles, one to over 100,000 miles, two to 160,000 miles and one to over 200,000 miles.


#8

There are some very good benefits to cleaning a engine I think and some of todays engines are more prone to engine sludge than others. Some Chrysler and Toyota engines come to mind right off hand. Here is a link to a product I believe is a good one to use. I have not used it myself yet but if I did need it I would use it without any hesitation. Check out the reviews from people it has helped solve their engine troubles by using it. The thing I like especially is the product is helpful on the oil seals and can help stop oil leaks.

http://www.auto-rx.com/


#9

auto-rx may well be another mouse milk auto chemical scam. It does no harm and likely no good either but it makes the purchaser of such a product feel good because he/she has done something rather than nothing to do good for their car. Likely doing nothing will suffice rather than buy one of these products. The market is flooded with this kind of stuff; has been for many years.

The ad copy covers it all; people are good at and are paid, of course, to write this stuff. I will not call it garbage, don’t want to upset anyone.


#10

Lots of sound replies in this thread. Kerosene has been a popular engine flush for decades.

Be careful though. I have seen flushed engines where enough bits of sludge broke loose to plug up the oil pump pickup screen.

As Joseph Meehan advised, if you don’t have a good reason for doing it, don’t!


#11

Kerosene has been a popular engine flush for decades.

That’s EXACTLY what’s in Gunk engine flush.

Engine flushing DOES work. The problem as mentioned is if you have a LOT of sludge and you do a flush you take the chance of dislodging a chunk of sludge that has the potential of clogging the pickup screen or the filter.

With that all said I do a engine flush about once a year…But NOT with any added chemicals. What I do is do a normal oil change with filter…then drive vehicle for 500 - 1000 miles (about a week)…then do another oil and filter change. Little more expensive but I think safer and it works GREAT.


#12

The flush chemical, kerosene, doesn’t have the lubricity of oil, so its going to cause some wear.

A kerosene flush used to be a necessary part of every oil change, on Model T’s. Oil didn’t have detergents back then so it was the only way to keep the engine clean.

I wouldn’t flush an engine that has had regular oil changes. Its just not needed.


#13

The flush chemical, kerosene, doesn’t have the lubricity of oil, so its going to cause some wear.

That’s why there are WARNINGS NOT to run for more then 5 minutes and do NOT drive the vehicle with the cleaner in the engine…and do NOT rev the engine.


#14

My mechanic rec’d flushing to help reduce the ticking noise coming from the valve
lifters. I have done it twice with the Gunk product. It seemed to help but not
permanet solution. I have 180K on the engine now, and using synthetic blend oil
hoping the best.