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#4604786 - 12/15/17 06:27 PM The highly debated ATF engine flush...
sw99 Offline


Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 2120
Loc: Colorado
On the highly debated topic of the AFT engine flush here are my primitive recent results...

Anyhow, I am a big fan of these if one knows the maintenance history of the vehicle they are flushing. Here is my example; Our 2012 Honda Civic with 147k miles on it. We have owned this since new and I have been fairly religious about the maintenance. I usually use the maintenance minder on the car which comes in at around 8k at the 15% notice. I have done 2 or 3 10-12k runs on quality full synthetic oils that were sent off for UOA's. 90% of the OCI's were full synthetic 0w20 or 5w20. I have run maybe two or three conventional 5w30 runs at shorter 5-7k intervals.

So this brings me to the flush. The ATF flush I use had evolved a bit over the years. I like the ATF since it has lubrication properties unlike kerosene. My most recent flush consisted of;

-2.5 quarts of ATF (1.5 quarts of ST ATF and 1 quart of ST ATF+4)
-1 quart Motor Medic engine flush
-Approximately 4-6 ounces of ST engine stabilizer (Walmart's version of Lucas)

Here is my primitive theory... 1) Motor medic for the cleaning portion. 2) ATF to lubricate and show the color change from the bright red. 3) The oil stabilizer to thicken it all up a little bit.

The car was driven about 50 miles and the old oil was drained and filter removed. Everything drained for 30-40 minutes. A new sacrificial filter was installed and the cocktail added. The engine was run at idle for 20 minutes and then drained.

I am actually very surprised at how dirty the fluid was that came out considering that the engine looks spotless through the fill hole on the top end. In my opinion, this flush works. Just my .02 on the age old topic.




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2016 Nissan Versa S 1.6L
2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i
2018 Ford F350 6.2L


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#4604813 - 12/15/17 06:53 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
johnchui1984 Offline


Registered: 11/14/17
Posts: 45
Loc: Richmond VA, Washington DC
Hello again! Do you feel the car being smoother after doing the flush?
_________________________
2016 Nissan Versa S-Plus CVT
Castrol Magnatec + Fram Ultra

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#4604819 - 12/15/17 06:58 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
sw99 Offline


Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 2120
Loc: Colorado
Not really but this engine has been super smooth since day one.
_________________________
2016 Nissan Versa S 1.6L
2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i
2018 Ford F350 6.2L


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#4604821 - 12/15/17 07:03 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
Kibitoshin Offline


Registered: 04/19/16
Posts: 698
Loc: Kaiōshinkai
Can you do a blotter test to show the difference between the clean and dirty flushes?
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01 Toyota Tundra 2WD V8 4.7L - 170k mi
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#4604825 - 12/15/17 07:08 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
sw99 Offline


Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 2120
Loc: Colorado
I already disposed of it, sorry. I did drain that through a few layers of a white cotton t-shirt and there was a fair amount of small debris that I could see.
_________________________
2016 Nissan Versa S 1.6L
2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i
2018 Ford F350 6.2L


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#4604840 - 12/15/17 07:36 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
faltic Offline


Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 126
Loc: ga
interesting
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17 Highlander 3.5 2wd AT 10K+
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#4604847 - 12/15/17 07:43 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Engines that are properly maintained never need an engine flush. You guys go 10,000 miles on an OCI and then think you have to do an oil flush. How about keeping the insides of the engine clean in the first place ?

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#4604860 - 12/15/17 07:54 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Having tested this, the reason that Transmission fluid turns black when in the crankcase is because of the way it reacts to combustion byproducts and the heat all combined together and not having the chemistry to handle it like engine oil would because it's not meant to be in this environment.

It's not because it's cleaning the dirty black stuff from inside your engine. If you want to see proof of this, do the the flush on a brand new engine the same way and there will be the same results.

I have torn apart engines where oil changes were neglected and we tested trans fluid as a flush prior versus true flush products and I can tell you without a doubt transmission fluid does nothing more than using regular engine oil would do in this short period.

The blackness without a doubt is the reaction and nothing more.


Edited by StevieC (12/15/17 08:01 PM)
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'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
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#4604867 - 12/15/17 08:00 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8757
Loc: Phoenix
A good running vehicle you've had since new and properly maintained. You think it's a good idea to run this concoction through it? crzy
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2018 Challenger SRT

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#4604874 - 12/15/17 08:05 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: StevieC]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6418
Loc: Texas
How about 0w16 with a dose of BG

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#4604876 - 12/15/17 08:07 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: 4WD]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: 4WD
How about 0w16 with a dose of BG


I can't comment on BG. Never used it. wink
_________________________
'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
'06 Hyundai Santa Fe - 535,000km - SSO 0w30 (R.I.P)

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#4604895 - 12/15/17 08:28 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
I thought we established that the ATF flush is an outdated meme from the days when engine oils didn't have very good additive packages...?

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#4604911 - 12/15/17 08:53 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
PiperOne Offline


Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 184
Loc: A Highway Near You
ATF turns dark from the heat and combustion products...nothing to do with removing any kind of goo. If I take Dex6 over 250F it gets dark real fast...in the transmission.
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#4604922 - 12/15/17 09:08 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
Finz Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 692
Loc: Northern NJ
Thanks for sharing SW99...

So, even with the new filter, the t-shirt showed some particles in the pour-thru? Wow...

How many times over the 147k miles have you done this?

Afterwards, do you fill with oil and go or do a sacrificial run thru with a cheap conventional to purge?
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#4604926 - 12/15/17 09:17 PM Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
The add pack from a basic ATF like ST is almost like a "non-detergent" engine oil. I'm not even sure it would meet SA/SB/SC specs. Likely doing much more harm than good. I'd do the flush with a cheap SN engine oil. And I picked up a bunch of those recently (QS) at 25c per quart or less.
_________________________
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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs

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