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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.

How to Clean and Prevent Battery Terminal Corrosion

How to Clean and Prevent Battery Terminal Corrosion

We’ve all been there before. You turn the key on your car and…nothing. Not even the tell-tale clicking sound of the starter solenoid.

Your first reaction is to pound the steering wheel and curse the darkness. But it should probably be to grab a battery terminal cleaning brush and pop the hood. In many cases, cleaning the white, flaky deposits from the battery terminals is all you need to restore the flow of electricity and summon your car back to life.

What is that flaky stuff, anyway?

A battery is just one big chemical reaction, and the white, scaly deposits on the posts are simply one of the byproducts. A typical car battery is made up of individual cells, with each housing alternating plates of lead and lead coated with lead dioxide submerged in a sulfuric acid solution. This causes a chemical reaction that releases electrons, providing the juice that spins the starter motor, powers the radio and keeps the lights on, among other functions.

Sometimes, especially on cheap batteries, the seal around the post allows sulfate in the battery to escape and react with lead in the post, producing white, flaky deposits. If bad enough, they’ll interfere with the battery connections and prevent the flow of electricity, leaving you stranded.

How to clean battery-terminal deposits

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest areas of your vehicle to maintain. Just make sure to wear safety glasses and protective gloves since sulfuric acid can be dangerous.

Water and baking soda is a tried-and-true cleaning method. Mix them to create a concoction the consistency of pancake batter and smear it on the terminals. The mixture will slowly eat away the deposits. Although it works, it’s a mess. I remember my dad performing this trick on my sister’s Ford Pinto back in the 1980s. Incidentally, my dad rarely swore, but my vocabulary expanded a little every time he had to work on that “rolling piece of…”.

I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks.

I’ve heard you can accomplish the same effect using Coca-Cola. But why waste a good can of sugary goodness when you can use a battery terminal cleaning brush. I have about three of them scattered around the basement and garage. One reason I like them is because they’re like me – cheap, but effective.

How to prevent corrosion

I like preventing battery-terminal deposits even better than cleaning them. Battery-terminal grease can be applied to the terminals to help prevent corrosion. It’s available at any auto parts store and usually comes in a little ketchup-like packet.

Another great option is AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Metal Protector. A great seller here in Sioux Falls!!
It creates a protective coating on terminals that wards off corrosion. Plus, you can use it as vehicle undercoating to guard against rust.

Whatever your method, pop the hood periodically and give the battery terminals a good cleaning. Living where sub-zero cold is common, I clean my battery terminals every fall regardless how they look to ensure I’m not met with that a dead engine when I turn the key on a cold morning.

Beater Car – AMSOIL XL Offers better Value than Run Of The Mill Motor Oils

Expensive AMSOIL for my old daily driver?

That’s definitely one part of the conversation that comes up weekly with our Sioux Falls customers. Either while discussing our various price breaks with the “Good, Better, Best” lines within one product category or if a 2nd car is discussed in addition to their prized possession.

High mileage cars rely on quality additive packages in oil.Being proud of the performance of all the AMSOIL products, early on I decided to become a dealer with the idea of helping others experience the same triumphs I discovered. Convincing people of the merit and that there is a clear difference was not going to be easy but for those who I have convinced just as I, they will be customers for life. My focus all along is the one customer who really has the most to gain – which is the driver of that car he or she must depend on to get to work. They don’t have the option to buy a new one, they don’t need a new car payment and they certainly don’t need any downtime from a locked up transmission or badly worn engine.

Made for the machine you depend on.

High mileage cars is our specialty!! I’m not necessarily talking about an old heap, clunker or beater but they benefit just the same. There are some specifics about high mileages cars that need to be addressed. Well AMSOIL to the rescue!!! It may not sound reasonable at first to use a product that cost $2.50 to $4 more per quart or running around town for an “Automotive Enthusiast” product. Face it – there are some bargain prices on oil at every auto-parts store or even most big-box stores.  But alas, AMSOIL may be the only motor oil company to honestly address critical issues of your daily driver.

Thanks to Amsoil it still runs like newThere are two things to consider with a product brand. Their ability to offer full disclosure and not cheat the customer of available technology by misrepresenting the level of quality from year to year.  Then relate this to the issues or potential issues the car that may have lacked adequate maintenance or one that is attended to but the desire is to get more trouble free years out of it.

I think in our Sioux Falls store holds the record for helping customers hold on to their 90’s era Pontiacs than any other. You don’t need a car payment. AMSOIL makes that old car reliable beyond your expectations. 

The most common cause of failure in any piece of equipment whether it’s an automobile or manufacturing equipment is a lack of lubrication.  In automobiles, a good lubricant/additive blend will also prevent the issues which cause the lack of lubrication.  This is generally caused by fuel entering the lubrication system or from the high volatile nature of good to average motor oils and gear lubricants.

Devoted to Quality that Stands Alone

AMSOIL test truckExplaining why AMSOIL is in your best interest can be divided into two categories. #1 is regard to their place within the available quality levels in the various groups synthetics are categorized in (many which for decades market as a premium product are nothing more than a petroleum oil legally allowed to be called synthetic). And #2 how these additives which make up the oil addresses your situation.  There is so much false advertising out there that your beloved car may be seeing the end at an accelerated rate due to the poor quality of additives and the fact that the companies stock holders demand more profits. AMSOIL protects you from this problem all together.

Good, Better and Best

AMSOIL has created a Good, Better and Best system, our “Good” offers significantly more performance than these 5-gallons for $13 you see at the big-box stores. For Less than $5 per quart you can improve your engine’s seal function, benefit from fewer deposits including the intake system’s valves because our products are singled out in the industry for maintaining the lowest volatility levels by a long shot In fact AMSOIL brought that test to the industry.  In some vehicles you can’t afford to use lower quality base stocks such as DGI (direct gasoline injection) as we showed Royal Purple and Mobil 1 allows for significantly higher separation which leads to intake valve deposits which can only be cleaned by removing the heads.

Amsoil keeps my daily driver goingOther things addressed are better temperature control, reduced wear because our products can withstand the  greater influence from deposits and fuel thus viscosity staying in grade. Additives to address fluctuating temperatures we experience in the Sioux Falls climate. Improved start-ups and longer battery life not to mention a jump in mileage. Detergents which can once again allow oil to flow where it’s been blocked off. Despersants which will hold wear particles in suspension as well as other corrosive elements.  AMSOIL also addresses filtration with our Ea Oil nanofiber technology which increases filter capacity, flow, life and filters 98% at 20 microns.

The better quality base stocks are actually the part that brings the customer back. Especially in non-high performance cars the driver notices a new feel. A smoothness in the engine that they couldn’t get anywhere else.. And one that stays for the whole interval.

 

So in summary AMSOIL offers the top additive quality in each category. Some additives are available in 80 different quality levels thus these $3 so called synthetic products coming to market. You will squeeze more life from that beloved car with our products. My suggestion in your high-mileage runabout is a bottle of AMSOIL Flush (detergent based) and then switch using our XL Extended Life oil which has a 10,000 mile or 6-month guarantee. The price is right and you will notice right away the unique quality. You will enjoy your drive better and have more money in your pocket in the long run.

Don't laugh. This car runs and it's paid for!

Read the specifics in our product section our visit the Sioux Falls store at 4610 W. 12th St for your free catalog.

Ches Cain- AMSOIL Dealer

605-274-2580

 

A Look at Today's Gasoline Issues and Quality

Gasoline is the source of your vehicle’s power – and many of its problems.

Gasoline quality is vital, yet often overlooked.

Dan Peterson - AMSOIL Technical Development

AMSOIL’s Dan Peterson.

Dan Peterson | VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

Gasoline’s influence on our lives can’t be overstated. Remember how the gas lines of the 1970s disrupted daily life? People waited hours to fill up – if there was any gas available once they finally pulled up to the pump. Odd-even rationing dictated that motorists could only fill up on even-numbered days if the last digit on their license plate was even. The fallout of the gas shortages of the 1970s was a driving force behind the government mandates to increase fuel efficiency that continue to influence the industry today.

A few years ago, when gas hit $5 a gallon in some places, stories populated the Internet and airwaves about people willfully losing money to sell their giant SUVs in favor of small, fuel-efficient cars. Some people even took a loss on their houses in the suburbs to move closer to work.

In many ways, gasoline makes the world go ‘round, yet many of your customers likely know almost nothing about it, including the negative effects it can have on their vehicles.

Gasoline is distilled from petroleum crude oil. Typically, a 42-gallon barrel of crude will yield about 19 U.S. gallons of gas. The final blend can contain hundreds of different ingredients, among which are detergency additives designed to prevent harmful deposits from forming inside your engine.

In 1995, the EPA introduced its minimum gasoline detergent standard, known as lowest additive concentration (LAC). The intent was to ensure that all gasoline available in the country contained sufficient detergent additives to combat formation of deposits that reduce fuel efficiency and performance.

The widespread use of electronic fuel injection in the 1980s was a driving force behind the introduction of the LAC mandate. It quickly became evident that fuel injectors were especially sensitive to deposits, and the gasoline of the time didn’t contain sufficient detergents.

Deposit formation on the injector tips disrupts the spray pattern, which reduces fuel economy and results in less-efficient combustion. This contributes to increased tailpipe emissions since unburned gasoline can escape the combustion chamber on the engine’s exhaust stroke.

Deposits can also form on the intake valve, piston crown and in the ring grooves. They can prevent the intake valve from closing completely, reducing engine compression and horsepower. Deposits in the ring grooves can lead to ring sticking, which also reduces engine compression since a stuck ring won’t seal the combustion chamber completely. Piston crown deposits act like a sponge that soaks up gasoline. This can result in preignition, where the fuel/air mixture ignites sporadically, reducing performance and potentially damaging the engine.

Many automakers today don’t think the LAC mandate goes far enough. In fact, many gasoline marketers have reduced detergent levels by up to 50 percent, according to www.toptiergas. com. TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is a performance specification designed by several of today’s top automakers.

Today’s vehicles run even hotter than they did in 1995. Since then the number of engines that use turbochargers, which increase heat, has grown substantially. So, too, has the number of vehicles that use direct fuel injection, which locates the injectors directly in the combustion chamber, exposed to intense heat. Plus, injectors today are more highly engineered with tighter tolerances, meaning even minute deposits can interfere with performance.

Gasoline is the source of your vehicle’s power – and many of its problems if you don’t perform proper maintenance. We formulate AMSOIL P.i.® to be one of the most potent additives on the market. It contains a very high dose of fuel detergents proven to combat the problems associated with gasoline, keeping injectors clean and functioning properly. In fact, testing showed dirty injectors returned to >95 percent flow after only one tank of gas treated with P.i. Just take a look at the dramatic before/ after images above.

As vehicles become more sophisticated and sensitive to gas quality, make sure you understand the importance of maintaining them with a quality fuel additive. AMSOIL provides solutions to problems you may not even be aware of.

Let AMSOIL Sioux Falls be your gasoline fuel additive source! Depend on us for the best products which will always be the state of the art for all Nebraskans! Thank you for your business. We love being here in Sioux Falls!

One Clear Choice in Engine Deposit Control

Leading the Field In Deposit Protection

Quality is Key

5W-30 Signature Series has you protected

Testing proves AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil provides more complete protection against damaging deposits than its competitors.

The push toward smaller, fuel-efficient yet powerful engines has driven the development of several key technologies. Gasoline direct injection (GDI) and turbochargers are now common features of passenger cars and light trucks. By 2020, industry experts predict that nearly every new vehicle will feature GDI technology, and the vast majority will be turbocharged. While these advanced technologies enhance performance, they also present serious challenges to motor oil.

The Turbocharger Trade-Off

Turbochargers push more air into the engine’s combustion chamber, providing better fuel-economy and performance but also creating intense engine temperatures. They often operate above 150,000 rpm on exhaust gases exceeding 1000°F. These extreme conditions cause some motor oils to break down and solidify into harmful deposits.

Vehicle manufacturers have long recommended different service intervals based on “normal” or “severe” driving conditions. Turbocharged vehicles are automatically included in the severe service category due to the extreme heat they generate. Motor oil with unique properties is required to combat the effects of intense temperatures.

Proof of Protection

AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil was tested against two competing brands to determine its level of protection against deposit formation in high-heat applications.

 protects against harmful deposits on turbochargers 4X better than Mobil1® Extended Performance and 3.6X better than Royal Purple® in industry-standard testing*.The TEOST 33C test (ASTM D6335) is an industry-standard bench test that simulates turbocharger operating conditions. According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), it is “designed to predict the high temperature deposit forming tendencies of an engine oil.” To meet the API SN Resource Conserving and ILSAC GF-5 motor oil specifications that are often recommended by vehicle manufacturers, a 5W-30 motor oil must limit total deposit formation to 30 mg or less.

AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil held the total weight of deposits to 7 mg, well under the 30 mg limit required by the API and ILSAC, while Royal Purple® API 5W-30 and Mobil1® Extended Performance 5W-30 came in just under the limit at 25.4 mg and 28.2 mg respectively. Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil protects against harmful deposits on turbochargers 4X better than Mobil1® Extended Performance and 3.6X better than Royal Purple® in industry-standard testing*.

*Based on independent, third-party testing of AMSOIL® Signature Series 5W-30, Mobil1® Extended Performance 5W-30 and Royal Purple® API 5W-30 in the ASTM D6335 bench test required by the API SN Resource Conserving specification.

Test results represent the formulations available as of April 2016. Formulations were coded to eliminate bias during testing and samples were tested in random order. An appropriate number of trials of each oil were run to produce results at or above the 95 percent confidence level when compared to AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil.

 

Sioux Falls Store Note:

The competition knows these attributes wouldn’t make a difference to the average driver so it is a major needed cost to the stock holders. And that demonstrates precisely the utter difference from AMSOIL and the rest. AMSOIL’s decision makers at the Superior, WI headquarters have had the goal to provide the best uncompromising product for protection and performance regardless of the cost.  Lesser base stocks will suffice the 75% of drivers who are not true enthusiasts or don’t consider operating costs over the long term. Do the math, feel the power and get years more from that engine and transmission. It’s your money – see it go further. AMSOIL is really in your best interests. Use and spread the news about these products!! They do work as advertised!

Ches Cain

If you are not in the Sioux Falls area use our online store link for the best options for buying at cost.