My shop wants to flush my engine
for $195, should I?
I think having your engine flushed is a huge waste of your money. I
believe the motivation for flushing your engine is money, nothing more. I do not do it, we
do not sell that service, I do not believe that engine flushing does anything more than
take your money and put it into their pocket.
All of the sales brochures I have seen from engine flush machine
vendors speak to how much money a repair shop can make flushing your engine. Here are some
quotes from their testimonial letters:
"The XXX Engine Flush machine has made our service
department over $80,000 in about 8 months."
"We purchased our machine 4 months ago and have sold over 450
flushes earning my Service Department over $45,000."
The salesman commonly say these machine are "tested"
in dealers, other countries and in huge fleets, but they are unable to produce any
documents explaining the testing procedure or results. So I think when they say their
flush machines are being "tested", they really mean their flush machines are
Lets look at the concept of flushing your engine. The flush
machine salesman say they are flushing your engine and because of that it will last
longer, get better mileage and one has even told me, his flush machine will help or make
your car pass emissions. I think many of those claims, border on fraud.
When we remove engine parts as we repair our customers cars, we take
the intake manifold or valve cover to a solvent tank and we scrub and scrape the hardened
oil varnish and sludge off with wire brushes and scrapers. Then we place the part inside a
huge washing machine that spins a bar with high pressure nozzles spraying a hot detergent
all over the part. After 15-30 minutes of scrubbing and 30-60 minutes in the parts washer,
the part will be clean enough to paint and reinstall.
The concept of engine flushing calls for a special magic top secret
140 degree liquid to be circulated through the engine at 40 pounds of pressure. Heck your
water faucet at home has between 60-80 pounds of pressure. The local self serve car wash
wand will have 1,000 pounds of pressure behind the water it sprays. You can see how all
this machine can do is rinse out the old oil.
Because of that and other issues, I think the concept of engine
flushing is useless. Therefore, why pay $195 for an engine flush? Why not just have your
oil changed twice in the same day and both oil changes may cost $40 which is far cheaper
than an engine rinse, oops I mean flush, which together may cost $195.
Back in the late 80's and early 90's every Tom, Dick and Harry came
out with an on the car machine to flush your fuel injectors. I, along with other experts
said this was a waste of your money. Now 8 years later, GM says stop flushing our
injectors, you are ruining them. Ford says dont flush our injectors. Others say the
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