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Is an Engine Flush Good or Bad?

Should you be concerned using Engine Flush?

To flush or not to flush. (One of our best sellers here in Sioux Falls)

It’s a question whose answer is obvious in the bathroom, but vigorously debated in the garage.

Let’s get right to the point. Is an engine flush good or bad?

Spend a few minutes perusing online forums and you’ll find a range of answers to this question, often involving a 1980s Trans-Am, Camaro or other car that someone thrashed on for years, parked in a pasture for a decade and now wants to revive with an engine flush.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is an engine flush?
  • How deposits and sludge form
  • Can engine sludge be removed?
  • Is an engine flush necessary?
  • Engine flush as part of maintenance
  • 5 benefits of an engine flush
  • Engine flush products
  • Watch: How to do an engine flush (video)

What is an engine flush?

An engine flush is an aftermarket chemical additive designed to clean accumulated deposits, sludge and other gunk from your engine. You pour it into your engine’s oil-filler port and idle the engine for about 10-15 minutes. It mixes with the oil and circulates through the engine, helping dissolve sludge and clean deposits. Then, you drain the oil (along with much of the gunk, in theory), change the oil filter, add fresh oil and return to the business of driving.

How deposits and sludge form inside an engine

If it did its job, your engine’s performance will return to the heady days of its youth, when it delivered maximum power and efficiency. Over time, however, harmful deposits and sludge may have accumulated, causing power and performance loss.

The tiny openings in the oil pickup tube screen can easily plug with sludge, starving the engine of oil.

Deposits and sludge can form for several reasons, including…

  • Frequent short trips that don’t allow the oil to fully warm up and evaporate moisture
  • Ingestion of air-borne dirt
  • Fuel dilution
  • High heat breaking down the oil

As it settles, sludge can clog narrow oil passages or the screen on the oil pickup tube, restricting oil flow to vital parts, especially the upper valve train. Deposits can cause the rings to stick, reducing engine compression and horsepower.

Can engine sludge be removed?

Yes. The proper detergents in the correct concentration can dissolve engine sludge, deposits and varnish. Ideally, sludge won’t form at all; however, sometimes mechanical issues arise, such as a leaking head gasket, and the formation of sludge occurs. If sludge does form, the oil’s detergents help dissolve and disperse sludge to clean the engine.

This is more challenging than it sounds. For starters, the oil must perform several functions, not just help prevent engine sludge. For that reason, oils contain a limited concentration of detergents (compared to an engine flush product) to ensure room in the formulation for other additives that protect against wear, fight oxidation, combat rust and more.

An engine flush product, on the other hand, is designed solely to clean. AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush, for example, contains nothing but potent detergents, making it a more effective cleaner than motor oil. Plus, it cleans at the molecular level, ensuring deposits are dissolved and properly exit the engine with the oil when it’s drained. This is important since some motorists fear that an engine flush will free large chunks and cause an avalanche of debris to clog passages inside the engine. AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush guards against this scenario.

Is an engine flush necessary?

A good engine flush can help loosen deposits and dissolve sludge, returning your engine to like-new condition. However, in old engines with high miles, sludge may be the only barrier keeping oil from seeping through worn or cracked seals. Removing the sludge exposes the seals for what they really are – junk. Soon, your engine begins leaking oil, and you’re mind instantly associates the engine flush product with an oil leak.

In reality, the seals were already bad; the flush simply revealed their true condition.

If you suspect your vehicle falls into this camp, leave well enough alone and skip the engine flush. It’s probably not worth trying to revive an engine in such poor condition without first fixing the bad seals or other defects.

In effect, you’re choosing your problem: either sludge and deposits robbing performance or, if you clean the engine, the seals showing their true condition.

An engine flush is part of a good maintenance regimen

But that’s not to say an engine flush is never a good idea. In fact, it’s often the first step in helping restore a neglected vehicle to top-notch performance. And, often when you buy a used vehicle, that’s what you’re getting – a vehicle whose owner found antiquing on Saturday afternoon more enjoyable than changing oil or dropping the transmission pan. Consequently, your “pre-owned” ride, while not complete junk, may boast a sketchy maintenance record.

In these cases, a potent, detergent-based flush can help prepare the engine for new oil, loosening sticky valves or rings and helping remove harmful sludge. While not a required step when switching to AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, we do recommend flushing your engine if you want to give your vehicle a fresh start.

5 benefits of an engine flush

1. Prepares your engine for new oil

An engine flush helps loosen sticky valves or rings and remove harmful sludge and other contaminants. By cleaning the engine prior to installing fresh oil, you ensure the new oil functions as intended and delivers maximum protection. The oil won’t last as long or protect as well if it must contend with sludge and deposits from the previous oil.

By the way, we don’t require use of AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush before switching to AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, but we recommend flushing your engine if you want to give it a fresh start.

2. Helps increase fuel efficiency

Contaminants circulating throughout the engine can lead to oil breakdown and increased viscosity – and higher-viscosity oil requires more energy to circulate throughout the engine. Sludge and deposits on engine parts can also increase resistance, which wastes fuel to overcome. Cleaning the engine helps ensure parts move efficiently, maximizing fuel economy.

3. Helps reduce emissions

If deposits in the piston-ring lands cause the rings to stick, oil can migrate into the combustion chamber, where it burns. This not only leads to harmful deposits, it also increases exhaust emissions as the burned oil exits the tailpipe. A good engine flush helps free stuck rings and reduce oil consumption, in turn reducing emissions.

4. Helps reduce heat

Excessive heat is bad for your engine and the oil. Extreme heat reduces engine efficiency while increasing the rate at which the oil oxidizes (chemically breaks down). Sludge and deposits act as insulators that prevent the engine from dissipating heat as designed. Flushing your engine helps ensure it manages heat properly for optimum efficiency and oil life.

5. Convenience

This might not apply to every engine flush, but it applies to AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush. It delivers results after just one application. And it only takes 10-15 minutes to use. Plus, you can safely use it in gas or diesel engines and automatic transmissions. While some solvent-based flush products require a cumbersome disposal process, AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush uses a detergent-based formulation. As such, you can dispose of it easily with waste oil.

Cylinder head pre-cleanup. Note the sludge around the valve springs and push rod openings.

Post-cleanup with AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush, the cylinder head is noticeably cleaner.

Engine Flush Products: I use AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush

For the record, I’ve used AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush on three different pre-owned vehicles in my time, and it’s worked great. One of them, a 1999 Honda CR-V, accumulated more than 220,000 miles before rust forced me to replace it. Another, an Oldsmobile Intrigue, ran great until a computer problem forced me to trade it off…for the CR-V. The third ran great, but I sold it off after it, too, rusted out.

In sum, flush your engine if you want to give your vehicle a new lease on life. AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush, as the name indicates, also works great for cleaning automatic transmissions. Check out this post to determine if a transmission flush or pan drop is better for you. But if you have any reservations about disturbing sludge or deposits that may be holding your old, high-mileage engine together, consider skipping it. It’s up to you.

How to do an engine flush

If you are looking for the best way to flush your engine this weekend, here’s a quick video that will walk you through the process, courtesy of MyJeepStory.

Join AMSOIL as an At Home Small Business Opportunity

AMSOIL provides the training and support you need to succeed in the retail and installer markets.

Extensive research has resulted in great AU Online courses and co-op programs proven to increase sales.

Tim Golden, PROGRAM SEGMENT MANAGER

Tim Golden | PROGRAM SEGMENT MANAGER

As an independent business owner in a globalized economy with ever increasing competition, it’s hard enough to maintain your existing customers much less court and develop new ones. This is especially true in the retail industry.

As an independent AMSOIL Dealer, you have the opportunity to develop customers in the retail market. Other direct-selling companies don’t allow or even consider opening these markets to their distributors. We believed that this market was simply too lucrative for Dealers and ignoring it would be foolish. As a result, the Retail Program was created.

Success in these markets isn’t automatic. It requires adapting from a business-to-customer (B2C) selling style to a business-to-business (B2B) style. It also requires information and tools to help establish credibility with retail account owners and managers.

Dealers who don’t have experience selling to retail businesses may find that just thinking about doing so generates a little internal fear. That’s normal. The good news is that we have training and tools to help you overcome your fear and develop retail sales into a regular part of your AMSOIL business.

To help you on your way to being a retail rock star, we have developed sales training designed to make you more comfortable in approaching retail businesses and better equipped in helping them achieve their goals. Check it out in AMSOIL University Online (available through the Dealer Zone). We also have developed a new retail account catalog to act as your go-to piece of literature for calling on retail businesses. It includes specific information on installers, garages and auto parts stores as well as a wholesale product catalog. Look for that to be available in April.

Customers want to buy local – Especially motor oil

In addition to these excellent resources, we have several programs that directly benefit retail businesses and don’t cost them a penny. The first three are highlighted in the 3 Great Perks for New Retail Accounts flyer (G3375). With a $300 order retailers receive free shipping, a free merchandising kit and free listing on the AMSOIL Locator. As a package, these benefits provide significant differentiation for you and AMSOIL. AMSOIL covers the cost on all these benefits and they represent a significant investment into supporting Dealers’ ability to grow in the retail market.

We also have two programs where we share the cost with you to provide retailers with a specific benefit. The first is the Merchandising Display Co-op Program, which allows your retail accounts to receive a highquality product display for free when they make a qualifying purchase. To help you provide this benefit to your account we pay 60 percent of the cost and you pay 40 percent. Our analysis shows that sales increase an average of 27 percent at accounts that have merchandising displays compared to those that don’t. So, consider this program an investment in long-term future profits. Recently, we modified the program to allow businesses with multiple locations to qualify for displays, and to allow for refreshing displays that are more than one year old. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this program and invest in your future through every account you have that qualifies.

The second, and newest, program is the Dispensing Equipment Program. Available to T1 Certified Dealers in the contiguous U.S., this program allows your installers to receive free dispensing equipment when they commit to growing their lubricant purchases over a two-year period. AMSOIL will order the dispensing equipment and arrange a payment plan with you so that you own the equipment by the end of the customer contract period. In support of your business, we will pay for up to 50 percent of the cost and you pay up to 75 percent dependent on the requirements of each unique opportunity.

Both of these benefits are in demand by retail businesses and provide them with practical cost-saving tools that will deliver growth in their sales of AMSOIL products and in turn grow your monthly commissions. More information on these programs is available in the Dealer Zone. You can also consult your regional sales manager for questions specific to your business or accounts and to provide feedback or suggestions on these programs or ideas for future programs.

AMSOIL Dealer Ches Cain notes:

There is no question that AMSOIL is in demand. The only issue really is supply and easy of locating product on the customers terms here in the market place. AMSOIL is able to be stocked in any store in the nation (US and Canada). But we need dealers to find these locations and service them.  Most businesses simply did not know there was an option to carry AMSOIL products.  In our region or any around the country there is plenty of demand and it’s growing. Check out our dealer page and join us to begin in the learning so you can bring AMSOIL in locally.
Not all dealers want to stock merchandise so why not satisfy your customers and send them to a retailer carrying your products? Retailers are having a good experience with AMSOIL because they find out it adds to their customer base AND these customers have more of an affinity for quality products. If the business wants better customers, AMSOIL is the answer.
Regionally we need retail locations in Sioux Falls, Mitchel, Brookings, and especially Yankton and Sioux City. Ideal shops to carry AMSOIL are not just automotive but marine, motorcycle, lawn or power equipment sales and repair, industrial and even general stores from fueling stations to big box stores – yes as a dealer you can serve them all.. Join and learn more on our AMSOIL Dealer Opportunity page!! 

Become an AMSOIL dealer

Take advantage of this OMAHA AMSOIL location. Anyone who joins us as a dealer can use our store to add a side income without interfering with their present income or schedule. You may ask how can anything like that be so simple??

Well basically there are several levels one can take their AMSOIL business. The easy one which is what you can do here in Sioux Falls is a rare opportunity for anyone who likes to promote great products yet make some money doing so. Basically as we have the supply here, anyone who’s an AMSOIL dealer can use the leverage of the store and our marketing to sign up accounts. As a dealer you earn a bonus from any retail establishment, independent automotive or lube center, or any commercial business who uses AMSOIL in their vehicles by simply getting them to make available AMSOIL products in their business or use them within their fleet. All you have to do is direct them to the store and register their information with corporate through your account.  There are over 20,000 opportunities here locally.

Basically when they return for product to our store or you deliver, you earn a significant bonus from AMSOIL. Some dealers have hundreds of these accounts. You also help spread the knowledge about AMSOIL which makes it easier to sell.

This sample of our unique 2-sided flyer we can provide will help you accomplish this with the installer end.

Capture Accounts for your AMSOIL business

AMSOIL is spending millions on advertising and we are seeing incredible increases in demand. AMSOIL is also helping market with co-op display shelving and their corporate installer locator meaning any local retail accounts you have will be listed on the AMSOIL corporate website. As for installers the AMSOIL “OE” line of motor oils competes directly with other synthetics on price allowing the customer to have a better choice. Market studies show that younger customers would rater choose an independent oil over the larger corporate choices and AMSOIL has the highest trusted scores. The “OE” line also allows for better profits for these shops as well.

Other reasons to join us as a dealer is your option to sell directly to anyone. The local Sioux Falls store allows you to stock for your area w/o any shipping burdens. Outskirts such as Blair, Bellevue, Elkhorn, Fremont, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs and anywhere else you may live or work can be a plus for your home business as customers want product when they need it so together we can eliminate delays.

So basically if you sign up multiple accounts you can service them or you can direct them to the store. We can take care of all the processing so you get your bonuses as they buy.

How to join as a dealer?

Just follow this link to be part of the Sioux Falls AMSOIL store and we’ll discuss the opportunity right away! Only a $30 membership to get started and you can start earning sales commissions immediately as you secure new accounts.

AMSOIL Brochure regarding Income Opportunities and programs for dealers.

As I write this I just proofed our new local Sioux Falls TV ad set to appear on the FOX-42 channel. We also advertise regularly on KFAB and a couple other related stations. It’s our goal to make AMSOIL a household name in the Sioux Falls area!! It’s a great time to join us as a independent AMSOIL dealer now.

Find out more on our main dealer page (and a newer 2nd one is being designed now).

AMSOIL Direct Jobber Ches Cain
Call me any time to discuss at 605-274-2580 or 402-933-3902

AMSOIL is also stepping up already excellent support and AMSOIL U on the road as well as online.