Automotive

Engine Flush - What product to get

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  • May 17th, 2020 1:37 pm
[OP]
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Dec 23, 2003
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Toronto

Engine Flush - What product to get

I have a 2012 Camry 4cyl with 168k. I change the oil every 8k and use pennzoil platinum. I hear mixed things about engine flushes. I figured that my car would be in great shape and flushing it should not cause any problems.

To that end what brand is good? Is the stp engine flush any good?

What do you suggest?

Thanks
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12 replies
Deal Expert
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Oct 26, 2003
34982 posts
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Winnipeg
I only heard about transmission fluid flush, brake fluid flush and coolant flush, not engine oil flush. Even brake fluid and power steering is more like replacement than a flush. I feel only coolant is a true flush.
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Jul 26, 2007
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Drain out the old oil and add cheap conventional 5w-20 oil for few days still using the old oil filter, and then change out both with new 0w-20 and new oil filter.
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Oct 12, 2007
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Ottawa
I am wary of engine flushes for high mileage engines unless I am 100% certain that the gaskets and seals are in tiptop condition. If you can, remove the pan from the engine and inspect it and the pick-up tube screen. Make your assessment from there whether there's gunk in the block that would require a flush.

For comparison, I just did a cam cover gasket job on my 2010 CTS (3.6L V6). I am at about 210k kms. The spark plug tube seals on those two cam covers had hardened over time and were allowing oil to leak into the spark plug tubes and causing a minor misfire issue - and probably allowing dust to be pulled into my block. I worried that the problem might result in a ruined catalytic converter so I did the gasket job. The inside of the block was quite clean but those tube seals were somewhat gunky. Removing that gunk would have undoubtedly resulted in more oil escaping into the spark plug tubes.

Would a flush's detergent reach that far and remove that gunk? Hard to say - but I do know that I would not have wanted that stuff circulating inside my block.
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Apr 5, 2013
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hollywood pk
if you really want to do a flush...Seafoam products would be the best imo for diy
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
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Just like your own body and so-called "cleanses" - if you've maintained your engine properly, an engine flush is just flushing money.
Deal Guru
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Sep 3, 2003
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Toronto
You're already using good oil and staying on top of the maintenance schedule. I would not do a flush.
Deal with it.
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Aug 29, 2001
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Newbury, ON
I don't consider 168K KM "high mileage". more like a late 30's in car life. Once you hit about 250K KM your getting into senior territory for many brands. I've used marvel mystery oil flush at 250K KM on a few vehicles, but I'm not sure if anything of value became of it other then the feeling that it removed "gunk".
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Apr 21, 2004
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When do flushes make sense besides the toilet bowl and poker?

If it ain't broken....
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Jul 26, 2007
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rilles wrote: I don't consider 168K KM "high mileage". more like a late 30's in car life. Once you hit about 250K KM your getting into senior territory for many brands. I've used marvel mystery oil flush at 250K KM on a few vehicles, but I'm not sure if anything of value became of it other then the feeling that it removed "gunk".
You will have that good feeling (or not when see black nasty stuff) everytime you drain out your old oil. When I see light brown when I do an oil change (like early first change at 1000kms) I feel like it should have few more thousand life left but try to remember what your original goal was, that attempt to remove any factory contaminate or flush out possible old gunk in OPs case.
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Jun 12, 2007
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hightech wrote: I have a 2012 Camry 4cyl with 168k. I change the oil every 8k and use pennzoil platinum. I hear mixed things about engine flushes. I figured that my car would be in great shape and flushing it should not cause any problems.
To that end what brand is good? Is the stp engine flush any good?
What do you suggest?
Thanks
Some Toyota engines had an issue with sludge. If you changed the oil as often as you stated and used synthetic, you shouldn't have a problem. Open the oil filler and have a look inside. If you have one of those remote cameras, take a peak inside.

It should look like

Image

if it looks like this, then think about "flush":

Image
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Mar 30, 2010
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GTA
Pennzoil Platinum does a good job at cleaning the internals, but Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is one of the better oils on the market - I'd do that instead of a flush

Sometimes doing a a flush can dislodge bits of sludge or carbon that can clog the oil pump pickup's screen

If it looks like the above sludgey engine, it just needs to be run until it can be rebuilt properly

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