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Engine flush

Question : WHAT are the pros and cons of flushing the engine using flushing chemicals ?

My two-year-old Proton has clocked 50,000km and I change the engine oil every 5,000km using semi-synthetic the past two years.

Do I need to flush the engine to keep it clean internally ?

What are the causes of sludge formation and particles build-up ?

If I insist on engine flushing, what is the safe and gentle method to do so ?

How do I keep the fuel system at optimum condition ? Does adding fuel injector cleaner into the fuel tank help ? Or, is it enough by using good quality petrol at the pump station ?

By adding extra/auxiliary auto transmission fluid cooler, will this help to protect and prolong the auto gearbox ?

Answer :

1. Engine flushing is no longer done since the advent of high detergency additives in lubricating oils.

Unless you are using some low grade cheap oil with poor or no additives, there is absolutely no need to flush your engine.

Sludge formation is another issue. In our climate, this is mainly due to water vapor condensation in the oil pan and this collects in the oil pan and under the valve cover, both of which can be easily removed and cleaned if necessary.

Again, if the car is regularly used, sludge formation is not a problem.

The detergent in the lubricating oil actually does a very good job of cleaning all the grit and dirt in the oil passages and moving parts of the engine and all this is trapped by the oil filter.

2. Most fuel companies have additives in their fuel to clean the injectors and prevent corrosion.

In the days when there were few EFI engines and fuel quality was not that high, it was common to occasionally throw in a can of fuel injector cleaner into the fuel tank to clean out the injectors but in this day and age, I really do not see any necessity in doing a job that is already being done.

3. Adding an auto trans oil cooler would help if you are doing a lot of towing or spending a lot of time in low gear and pulling high revs.

This would heat up the transmission oil and a cooler would help. However, under normal circumstances, I think it is unnecessary.


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