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Help, I received an oil change and engine flush at a local valvoline and three days later on the interstate with grandbaby the car lunged and i barely made it to the side of the interstate. Once taken to mechanic we had motor dropped and they stated most likely engine flush did damage but really no way to prove. All the oil veins were dry and there was sludge in the oil pan. Motor was locked up. We only have 73,000 miles and oil changed regularly. Valvoline says not responsible. My understanding those oil flushes are suppose to get sludge out. Any advice appreciated. I am to the point I am comtiplating doing a demonstration in front of that business might get response that way. LOL
Original Post
I realize that you are distraught, BUT, to get any meaningful help in an internet discussion group, you'll be doing yourself a giant favor if you include a little more information such as, the year, make, model, engine size, engine type, (gas, diesel, hybrid, turbo, no turbo) transmission type, (manual, automatic, AWD, FWD, RWD) and any other relevant information <recent maintenance/repair history/modifications, location on the planet> in your initial post.

What prompted you, at 73,000 miles, to have your engine "flushed" in the first place? What type of engine flush was used? Was this done on a special flushing machine, or simply out out a can with the words "miracle XXXXXX" written on it? What type of oil was used after the flush and how far did you drive before your vehicle encountered problems?

I don't mean to be flip, but with the information you've provided so far, the best help you could hope for in this format is a wild guess about what might have happened!

Chumley
Engines, when maintained to factory specifications or close, often do not need additional servicing. An engine flush is often an offered service that most engines simply don't need. Resource for this article: The basics of an engine flush. Too much pressure and if the machine is not use properly, it can damage the engine. You need to always be careful and it is essential to follow the manufacturers instructions on how to use it because it varies depending on the brand.
If there is sludge in the pan, it seems to me that the flush worked. The problem would be in order for that much sludge to form in only 73k miles all the preventative maintenance prior to that was severly neglected. The flush caused the sludge to break up and clog the lines leading to the engine being starved for oil.

The maintenance records for the first 73k miles would also be important. How often did you change the oil? What brand and viscosity of oil did you use? Was the engine mechanically sound to begin with? (UOA could establish mechanical stability) What were the conditions that led you to believe a flush was warranted?

There is so much more information necessary before culpability can be established. You have to examine cause and effect all the way back. Simply having the engine flushed didn't cause the engine to fail.
One of the problems with your situation is it's impossible to say, absent a professional and competent Journeyman Mechanic's thorough assessment of the engine's condition just prior to the catastrophic failure, what the exact cause of the failure was.

It might be related to the engine flush, it might not. Engines do fail, sometimes at mileage far less than 73,000. There is no causal relationship ... "this thing happened, this other thing happened next" by itself does not mean the first thing caused the second.

Before there was artificial light, humans went to sleep at sundown and woke up at sunrise. You could conclude that sleeping caused sunrises. You would be wrong, but that does not make it un-believeable, so it could easily be given the aura of fact.

As others have posted previously, there is a great deal of information, most of it essentially unrelated to the flush, that needs to be assessed before anything ... and I mean anything ... can be ruled out as a cause or effect.

Also, we can't be expected to assume anything ... for example, what, exactly failed in the engine? Did a part simply break, did a part break because of bearing issues, exactly what broke, if anything?

The engine at 73,000 might have experienced timing chain/belt failure ... could destroy the engine, probably not something a flush would contribute to, and hardly unheard of at that mileage.

For the record, I will offer my opinion, but take care to understand it's only my opinion and does not constitute factual evidence of any kind.

I do not believe any engine needs an engine flush, at any time, save for exceptional circumstances where you are faced with an engine that probably needs a rebuild and you are willing to try something to avoid that cost.

An example of such a situation is if you had just purchased a used classic vehicle that has not run in 20 years. After trying to start the engine and failing, you might try a flush in the off chance it will then run. You would probably be better off removing some parts and examining the engine condition, but like I said it's an option, if not the best one. If it works, you possibly saved the cost of the rebuild; if it doesn't, well, you were rebuilding it anyway, weren't you?

For a perfectly good engine in a perfectly good car, a flush is an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. There is a near zero chance it will break in the next 1000 miles if you just run it, and there is a slightly bigger chance it will break if you do something like a flush.

In other words, engine flushes normally have no earthly use, and are an attempt to part you and your money by playing on a fear, often a fear introduced to you by the seller of the "fix" or "preventative" remedy.

Most engine flushes contain simple formulas ... maybe even not a "formula" since the word implies more than one compound and it may just be straight kerosene ... a few dollars worth, at most ... with some colour or scent to mask it's true identity (allowing them to charge more for it).

It is not a bad thing for an engine to look "dirty" inside. This is normal, and one of the most significant skills that separate a good mechanic from a bad one is to be able to recognize what is a problem and what is not.

Pretty much everything will look "dirty" to someone who expects shiny parts, and it's a common method to convince people they "need" something by showing them some "dirty" part or fluid and then asking for their wallet, usually accompanied by some dire imaginary circumstance involving paying an actual mechanic "down the road" for something that is very unlikely to happen in the first place. This shill requires a somewhat reasonable amount of money for a cost to the remedy ... a number in your impulse buy region.

Say, less than $100, and is usually performed by someone who is not, in fact, an actual mechanic, let alone one who had the skills to assess wear as mentioned earlier. The guy at the quick-oil change is not a mechanic; he's barely able to follow basic instructions, probably. That's why his engine flush routine is from a script ... something where only a functional memory is required to perform perfectly, complete with some "demonstration" procedure a 10th grade drama student could probably master faster and execute better.

Clean oil, regular attention, reasonable driving habits, and run her. Do that, and chances are the car will outlive your tolerance for it ... not many people replace a vehicle because they wore it out; they replace it because they are tired of looking at it.
quote:
Originally posted by GN:
One of the problems with your situation is it's impossible to say, absent a professional and competent Journeyman Mechanic's thorough assessment of the engine's condition just prior to the catastrophic failure, what the exact cause of the failure was.

It might be related to the engine flush, it might not. Engines do fail, sometimes at mileage far less than 73,000. There is no causal relationship ... "this thing happened, this other thing happened next" by itself does not mean the first thing caused the second.

Before there was artificial light, humans went to sleep at sundown and woke up at sunrise. You could conclude that sleeping caused sunrises. You would be wrong, but that does not make it un-believeable, so it could easily be given the aura of fact.

As others have posted previously, there is a great deal of information, most of it essentially unrelated to the flush, that needs to be assessed before anything ... and I mean anything ... can be ruled out as a cause or effect.

Also, we can't be expected to assume anything ... for example, what, exactly failed in the engine? Did a part simply break, did a part break because of bearing issues, exactly what broke, if anything?

The engine at 73,000 might have experienced timing chain/belt failure ... could destroy the engine, probably not something a flush would contribute to, and hardly unheard of at that mileage.

For the record, I will offer my opinion, but take care to understand it's only my opinion and does not constitute factual evidence of any kind.

I do not believe any engine needs an engine flush, at any time, save for exceptional circumstances where you are faced with an engine that probably needs a rebuild and you are willing to try something to avoid that cost.

An example of such a situation is if you had just purchased a used classic vehicle that has not run in 20 years. After trying to start the engine and failing, you might try a flush in the off chance it will then run. You would probably be better off removing some parts and examining the engine condition, but like I said it's an option, if not the best one. If it works, you possibly saved the cost of the rebuild; if it doesn't, well, you were rebuilding it anyway, weren't you?

For a perfectly good engine in a perfectly good car, a flush is an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. There is a near zero chance it will break in the next 1000 miles if you just run it, and there is a slightly bigger chance it will break if you do something like a flush.

In other words, engine flushes normally have no earthly use, and are an attempt to part you and your money by playing on a fear, often a fear introduced to you by the seller of the "fix" or "preventative" remedy.

Most engine flushes contain simple formulas ... maybe even not a "formula" since the word implies more than one compound and it may just be straight kerosene ... a few dollars worth, at most ... with some colour or scent to mask it's true identity (allowing them to charge more for it).

It is not a bad thing for an engine to look "dirty" inside. This is normal, and one of the most significant skills that separate a good mechanic from a bad one is to be able to recognize what is a problem and what is not.

Pretty much everything will look "dirty" to someone who expects shiny parts, and it's a common method to convince people they "need" something by showing them some "dirty" part or fluid and then asking for their wallet, usually accompanied by some dire imaginary circumstance involving paying an actual mechanic "down the road" for something that is very unlikely to happen in the first place. This shill requires a somewhat reasonable amount of money for a cost to the remedy ... a number in your impulse buy region.

Say, less than $100, and is usually performed by someone who is not, in fact, an actual mechanic, let alone one who had the skills to assess wear as mentioned earlier. The guy at the quick-oil change is not a mechanic; he's barely able to follow basic instructions, probably. That's why his engine flush routine is from a script ... something where only a functional memory is required to perform perfectly, complete with some "demonstration" procedure a 10th grade drama student could probably master faster and execute better.

Clean oil, regular attention, reasonable driving habits, and run her. Do that, and chances are the car will outlive your tolerance for it ... not many people replace a vehicle because they wore it out; they replace it because they are tired of looking at it - cheap car dvd players for sale.


Such a detailed answer, thanks! These are very useful info, good job.
Last edited by stanberg
73ooo miles and your engine how cum got flushed? you should have changed the oil or checked the engine. it could harm your engine, some of your pics could helped me a lot. because it seems like some kind of mechanical or fluidic defect. i think change the oil and see, it might help you.

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