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Several "quick oil change" establishments have engine oil flush machinery. Which they state will clean your engine's oil sump, pump, etc. by pumping heated chemical solutions throughtout your engine and than vacuum extracting the solution along with contaminants.

Is this considered safe, effective, worthile? Or just another $89 scam?
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It would be helpful, Daniel, if you could tell us the age, mileage, oil change interval, type of oil you use, etc.

Fred, I understand synthetic is great for preventing and engine from ever getting dirty, but PAO does not clean up old messes, whereas ester synthetic (Redline oil I think has that) will nicely clean out old stuff. Daniel may want to try some Redline or other esther containing product. Or I must report the Valvoline Maxlife I am using seems to be cleaning things out for me. Valvoline says Maxlife is their highest detergent passenger car motor oil. If his engine is not really bad he may want to go this route. I don't think the hot power/vacuum flush is a good idea, but it the engine is really bad there is a product called Auto Rx that is supposed to have a lot of esters in it. Auto Rx is a more agressive treatment. There is lot of discussion of Auto Rx on the bobistheoilguy.com site. Most seems pretty positive, but I have never used the stuff.
Those engine flushes worry me. To aggressive a cleaning for me. I have used three cleaning rounds of the AUTO Rx. Frank recommends two cleanings in vehicles over 100k.


The first two were in my 97 F-150 and I did not notice any changes. Though dissection of the first oil filter revealed a lot of crap that had come out of the engine. The second filter awaits my attention.

The third bottle I used on my wifes 97 Saturn SL-1. Within 300 miles of the application my butt dyno told me acceleration is much improved. Oil consumption may have dropped, but its way to early to tell. Last weekend I started the rinse cycle on the AutoRx and will run a second AutoRx cleaning on the Saturn when the bottle arrives.

The stuff works. Don't let the $24.00/bottle scare you. If you look at the AutoRx page you can get a $6.00/bottle discount if your a member of an oil discussion group.
Thanks for the welcome.
The vehicle is a 01 Pontiac Grand Am GT lease return, I purchased a few weeks ago. It currently has 39,500 miles on it. Since its past history is unknown, I immediately performed an oil change with Mobil 1 5w30. Drove for a few days, than performed another oil change with Mobil 1 5w30.

I'm currently looking at switching to Amsoil 5w30, once I'm satisfied the oil base is clean. Does anyone know of any "independent" motor oil analysis-comparison.

Other than "detergents" the shop could not tell me what active ingredients were going to be pumped into my engine. I'll look up the Auto Rx. Thanks for the informing me of the product and the coupon.
Generally chemical cleaning is done by engine manufacturers during the various process of manufacturing of the engine/engine block and its components; after casting, boring, drilling, reaming, honing, etc. In many cases the engine block is placed in a “washing machine” and cleaners are pumped under pressure or at elevated temperatures so that grime/dirt/sward and other contaminants are flushed out from the various lines, holes and crevices of an engine block. Most of the Alkali based chemicals are powders by nature and water is added to form a solution and temperature may be elevated to aid cleaning. For extremely grimly, oily surfaces standard solvents may also be added for good results. After this the engines are dried and hot air is used to flush out remains of the cleaning solutions.

A lubricant specialist, I am allergic to introducing “chemicals/foreign material” into
Engines. Having worked with Castrol in India for over 17 years have sold a number of lubricants, specialities and cleaners. I am surprised at the “quick change and flushing indicated by you. The cleaners I know are broadly classified as Alkali Cleaners and Solvents. In both case the science behind the cleaners is “to reduce the surface tension” to loosen the dirt particles and allow the flushing of the dirt particles.

I would like to know of one good reason why we should adopt the manufacturing industry practice for cleaning in an oil change. It may be noted that during major overhauls (and when engine is stripped open) some "solvent" cleaning is done in some form or another.

During lube oil change the practice is to do 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. For dirty systems this may be done more than once. Finally the engine is filled with fresh engine oil.

M Hussam Adeni
A. I hate quicky lube places. The vast majority of them will screw you one way or another. I think someone here or at bobistheoilguy refered to thier extra services as a "wallet flush" Razz

B. Before I spent ~$90 on any quicky lube flush, I would just run a gentle cleaner like AutoRX or Nuetra. I have used the old school solvent flushes like Gunk or Seafoam (both of which can be apporximated with kerosene or diesel) on clunkers to clear a plugged pump screen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

C. The 15W40 and 5W40 HDEO's seem to have a very mild cleaning effect, possibly akin to MaxLife. Nothing wrong with running one of them in a car in appropriate temps, espicially the more advanced ones.
I believe there are alot of benefits to using a good engine flush system. An average car, after only 3,200 kms and aprx 460 litres of fuel can, depending on fuel, oil quality and engine conditions produce:
410-550 litres of water
13-45 litres of unburned petrol
110 - 450gms of sludge
110-450gms varnish/resin
170-280 grams of insoluble salts
Under high temperatures, this material becomes baked on to the moving part of the engine, which is only partly removed when drained.
Synthetic oils won't deter this build up by much, but you should notice a reduction in carbon deposits. Extended oil drains are where engine flushes should be included regularly with your service. Oils with good detergent properties, collect dirt from all parts of the engine and dust that enters the breather, and this dirt is held in suspension in the oil. As it accumulates - detergent failure occurs,the little lumps become big lumps and so on...

So if you really want your oil to reach those critical componants...
I think that if you use reasonable intervals with good oils/filters all around, and there isn't anything wierd like a coolant leak, the need to flush is very reduced.

Having said that, I stand by my original comment that if one feels the need to flush, they are almost certainly better off avoiding the quicky-lube and running an ester based product.

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