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The highly debated ATF engine flush... #4604786
12/15/17 07:27 PM
12/15/17 07:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
Colorado
sw99 Offline OP
sw99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
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.






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

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604813
12/15/17 07:53 PM
12/15/17 07:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 45
Richmond VA, Washington DC
johnchui1984 Offline
johnchui1984  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 45
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
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604819
12/15/17 07:58 PM
12/15/17 07:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
Colorado
sw99 Offline OP
sw99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
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

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604821
12/15/17 08:03 PM
12/15/17 08:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 752
Specific Ocean
Kibitoshin Offline
Kibitoshin  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 752
Specific Ocean
Can you do a blotter test to show the difference between the clean and dirty flushes?


Shin Gekiretsu Shin'ou'hou
01 Toyota Tundra 2WD V8 4.7L - 170k mi
02 Chevy Silverado C1500 V8 5.3L 154k mi
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604825
12/15/17 08:08 PM
12/15/17 08:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
Colorado
sw99 Offline OP
sw99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,192
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

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604840
12/15/17 08:36 PM
12/15/17 08:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 133
ga
faltic Offline
faltic  Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 133
ga
interesting


--------------------------------
17 Highlander 3.5 2wd AT 10K+
95 Tacoma 2.4 2wd AT 187k+
07 EX250 21k+
09 EN500 11k+
11 PCX 125 4K+
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604847
12/15/17 08:43 PM
12/15/17 08:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
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 ?

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604860
12/15/17 08:54 PM
12/15/17 08:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,479
Ontario, Canada
StevieC Online content
StevieC  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,479
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.

Last edited by StevieC; 12/15/17 09:01 PM.

'18 Highlander - AMSOIL SS 0w20 / ATF / Severe Gear
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF (R.I.P)
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604867
12/15/17 09:00 PM
12/15/17 09:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,037
Phoenix
dishdude Offline
dishdude  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,037
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


2018 Challenger SRT
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: StevieC] #4604874
12/15/17 09:05 PM
12/15/17 09:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,992
Texas
4WD Online confused
4WD  Online Confused
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,992
Texas
How about 0w16 with a dose of BG

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: 4WD] #4604876
12/15/17 09:07 PM
12/15/17 09:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,479
Ontario, Canada
StevieC Online content
StevieC  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,479
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: 4WD
How about 0w16 with a dose of BG


I can't comment on BG. Never used it. wink


'18 Highlander - AMSOIL SS 0w20 / ATF / Severe Gear
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF (R.I.P)
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604895
12/15/17 09:28 PM
12/15/17 09:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,671
'murica
Ethan1 Offline
Ethan1  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,671
'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...?

Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604911
12/15/17 09:53 PM
12/15/17 09:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
A Highway Near You
PiperOne Offline
PiperOne  Offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
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.


HDEO in Diesel Engines. No spark plugs here.
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604922
12/15/17 10:08 PM
12/15/17 10:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 701
Northeast
Finz Offline
Finz  Offline
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 701
Northeast
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?


God Bless America
Re: The highly debated ATF engine flush... [Re: sw99] #4604926
12/15/17 10:17 PM
12/15/17 10:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
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.


----------------

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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