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#263558 - 02/10/03 02:38 PM ATF as an engine flush
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 19287
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
I did a search, and even though I know it's been discussed here I couldn't find this topic.

What exactly are the problems with running ATF as an engine flush?

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#263559 - 02/10/03 03:49 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
Bill Plock Offline


Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 335
Loc: Owego, NY
On a Diesel related forum I read several people report good results using ATF to free up sticking lifters. If I remeber right they suggested adding a quart of ATF and driving for about 100 miles... then change oil and filter. (Personaly I have never tried this).

[ February 11, 2003, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Bill Plock ]

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#263560 - 02/10/03 03:50 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
jjbula Offline


Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 479
Loc: Montgomery, AL
I've been told ATF is a near 0w20 oil. Besides being thin it is no better at flushing than motor oil.

BTW, I just finished running Neutra in my V6 Camry for 100 miles. Within 10 secs of start the noise I thought was the accessory drive belt went away. I think the gears under the cam cover were making the noise. The noise started at 5K miles on Valvoline synpower and didn't go away when I switched to Schaeffer blend (before the neutra).

After draining the neutra (and filling with Schaeffer Blend) the noise is still gone. I'm convinced that Neutra is a useful product.

[ February 11, 2003, 07:52 AM: Message edited by: jjbula ]

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#263561 - 02/10/03 05:43 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
metroplex Offline


Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: SE MI
ATF is RICH in detergents so its definitely useful in flushing out crud in your engine.

jjbula: Neutra may be a good product, but please check out the facts on ATF before slamming it.

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#263562 - 02/10/03 06:58 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
jason07-1zzfe Offline


Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 2095
Loc: IL
ATF analysis I have seen actually show less detergents than most motor oils. I don't get it.

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#263563 - 02/10/03 07:58 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
D C Anderson Offline


Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 22
Loc: TN
I was in a training session for industrial lubrication by a retired Mobil Rep. As all lubrication training sessions go everybody wants to talk about their cars. The Mobil rep said he had been using ATF for a flush just before a oil change for years. I have tried it myself for the last 8 years and I'm a firm believer. I don't do it every oil change, only when I see the new oil I have just put in become dirty within the first 1000 miles or so. I make a mental note to flush at the next oil change using ATF. The most I have added is 1/2 quart and driven 100 miles or less then change the oil. The used oil comes out jet black and the new oil I put in stays clean for several 1000 miles before changing color. I'm a 5000 mile oil changer using dino oils. On my old truck at 160K, everything looks clean of what I can see looking through the oil fill cap. Believe it or not!

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#263564 - 02/11/03 08:44 AM Re: ATF as an engine flush
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 19287
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
I guess I can't see using something like ATF as a cheap flush when Neutra is only like $2 a bottle and it's definitely safe in the oil, and does not harm it's lubricating qualities (Bob proved that when he ran a full 12oz bottle in his oil for 4000 miles and did analysis)

When you do that oil change after running the ATF, there will still be a little bit of that ATF in the engine, so your next oil change will be affected too.

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#263565 - 02/10/03 10:07 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
jjbula Offline


Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 479
Loc: Montgomery, AL
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex:
ATF is RICH in detergents so its definitely useful in flushing out crud in your engine.

jjbula: Neutra may be a good product, but please check out the facts on ATF before slamming it.

Point taken. Now tell me, what is in ATF that is not in motor oil? Are some ingredients in higher concentrations because it doesn't need to deal with combustion byproducts?

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#263566 - 02/11/03 09:22 AM Re: ATF as an engine flush
RB Shannon Offline


Registered: 05/29/02
Posts: 277
Loc: Greencastle Pa.
I was under the impression that detergent's were acting as an enveloping type additive keeping insoluable organic matter from forming into larger pieces, or onto surfaces, and that the ester's in RX and neutra actually helped to lift up deposit's and put them into solution.

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#263567 - 02/11/03 01:25 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
nick778 Offline


Registered: 09/06/02
Posts: 204
Loc: Cordova, TN
From what I read from previous posts, ATF isn't ashless which creates its own deposits. However, I too would be interested in what is in (or isn't in) ATF that makes it a good or bad idea to use it as a flush cleaner.

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#263568 - 02/11/03 02:13 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
cryptokid Offline


Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 1565
Loc: palm beach
i believe its incredibly high ammounts of detergents.
i know my father said he would use atf as a hand cleaner after dealing with ultra heavy greases, the kind of grease hand cleaner is scared of:)
my uncle mike commented that he did this as well, being mechanic for 30 years he said atf is a wonderfull detergent cleaner, rivaling the aewsome power of diesel. only atf dont make your skin burn like diesel does. put it this way. when i rebuilt my subaru engine, instead of scrubbing the internal parts to remove sludge, (pan, heads, lifters valve covers etc) i just soaked them in atf for a week. after a week, i swished around the atf with my hand and then pulled the parts out, which were shiny clean. the solid sludge perfiously required a screwsriver to chip away at.

i just dont know about running it in a engine though. i had an idea once to full up the engine with atf, remove the spark plugs and tow the car around the neighborhood for a couple minutes.a and then let it sit and soak for a week. i may still end up trying this idea.
atf is certainly NOT designed to do what we are talking about. so there will never be any guratintee's it will work as expected, or not hurt anything. im sure the shear strength of atf isnt designed to be in an engine. just for the hell of it, come next oil change im going to run 100% atf through my engine, at idle, for 5 minutes, then let it sit for a week and soak in. after a week i will run it again for 5 minutes, and then drain the oil. well see what happens. if it blows, i dont care honestly.

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#263569 - 02/11/03 03:38 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
Spector Offline


Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 3209
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Previous Post stated

"just for the hell of it, come next oil change im going to run 100% atf through my engine, at idle, for 5 minutes, then let it sit for a week and soak in. after a week i will run it again for 5 minutes, and then drain the oil. well see what happens. if it blows, i dont care honestly."

Look forward to the results. What are you going to place the ATF in that you don't care if it blows?

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#263570 - 02/11/03 04:15 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
cryptokid Offline


Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 1565
Loc: palm beach
heh, a porsche engine thats at the end of its life. its pissed me off enough times that ill get satisfaction if it does get wrecked. i hate that stinky thing.

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#263571 - 02/11/03 05:20 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
Tommy Offline


Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 198
Loc: Canada
quote:
Now tell me, what is in ATF that is not in motor oil?
I have wondering about this as well and have done a bit of looking around - it seems that sulphur is indeed being used in ATF - this would be one good reason not to use it in an engine! Another good reason might be this....have a look at this blurb that I copied from an ATF MSDS:

Products based upon refined liquid mineral oil of various viscosities derived from high boiling point fractions of petroleum, and which may contain additives such as:- anti-oxidant, detergency, dispersancy, organic anti-wear, foam suppressant of the wax or silicone types, organic sulphur, chlorine and phosphorus, organic polymers, solid lubricants, organo-zinc antiwear additives.

Here is a page that might interest you - it is a spec. sheet for an ATF product that shows concentrations of calcium, zinc, phosphorus, barium and yes, sulphur!

http://www.westpenn.com/sheets/mopar.html

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#263572 - 02/11/03 09:06 PM Re: ATF as an engine flush
nick778 Offline


Registered: 09/06/02
Posts: 204
Loc: Cordova, TN
With some synthetic xx-30w oils being at the low end of the 30w range, i'm still a little unclear on what, if any, harm mixing 1 qt ATF with 4qts of oil and running the engine for 30 minutes as a flush would be....especially if there is little or no problem with the additives.

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