Oil Flush....is this for real?
1997montez34 Member Posts: 202
edited March 2014 in Nissan
I have a 1995 Maxima with 132K on it that belonged to a family member. The oil was very dirty (black) so I had it changed. My dealer told me they recommend doing a pressure flush of my engine. They said my timing chain could be damaged by old oil. Is this necessary and/or effective? I am skeptical when a dealer tries to sell you additional services, but maybe they're right on this one. Anyone know?
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I think it's a crazy thing to do, unless you also have them drop the oil pan and clean the oil pump screen (3-4 hours labor, at least).
the best thing you can do on a rig with 132K miles is just to keep changing oil frequently and on time.
I have also run a quart of Bardahl to aid cleanup, but that may or may not add much cleaning-- I don't really know.
Also, is there anything I need to do to make sure the timing chaim doesn't break? And if it does, will it tear up the engine?
best of my knowledge, to prevent slip issues, all the "interference engines" use cogbelts instead of chains, and you need to replace those at the required intervals (or sooner) to avoid wrecking your engine when the valves and the pistons collide. there are some cases, such as hopped up engines using pop-up pistons and the like, where this may not be the case, such as a few hemi 'cudas I knew of back in the early 70s. but that was aftermarket work.
in any other configuration, it gets bad, you run rough or not at all, just blowing smoke rings out the top of the throttle plate. it should not destroy things.
also, when the rest of the loose oilsnot falls down into the oil pan, it's not going to be flowing gently out of the big hole in the bottom. so it will end up in all probability plugging the oil pump screen, and you could have general oil starvation. that wrecks engines.
I had intermittent oil starvation due to gasket crud in my ranger due to factory issues... and I don't recommend that repair bill to pull the engine, take off the oil pan, replace the oil filter and screen/diptube, mike the crank bearings and maybe the OHC bearings depending on the precision level of the engine, and reassemble it.
much better to go to very frequent oil and filter changes in my humble opinion.
unless you are doing this steadily throughout the life of the car, going for an oil flush when it's old and goopy could be real scary.
Oil flushing is great for engines that don't need it. But it is harsh on engines that are cruded up. I have seen numerous (as I have stated many times) engines that the flush pushed all the crud into the pan and plugged the pickup tube.
If you have an engine that is in need of an oil flush, the only way to properly do it is to do the flush, drop the oil pan and thoroughly clean the pan and oil pump pickup and reinstall the pan.
Not dropping the pan is asking for trouble.
(Sound like a broken record, don't I?)
Does DexCool help? And does it make sense to change it at the same interval (even though it advertises a longer interval)?? Does DexCool turn into DexBrick as I once heard? I also use a separate corrosion inhibitor. Any thoughts??
Since this is an oil thread: I like and agree with your comment on an oil flush.
My father is one of them....it's proved well for him....a 300,000 mile 2.3L Pinto (before we got rid of it in 1994)....and now the current cars do the same thing (a 94 1.8L Corolla and 93 3.0L Caravan), both with over 100,000 miles with 3,000 mile oil changes.
the "Gunk" engine flush is basically petroleum distillates.
attempts at laughs aside, you really do always take somewhat of a chance when you are poking in a dark cave with a long stick. there is always the possibility a bear or dragon lives within.....
Well, not exactly.
The problem with a blanket statement like that is that there are many fluids that will cavitate under pressure. Water being one of them.
Running water as a lubricant in an engine will cavitate the bearings in very little time.
Various liquids can only be compressed so far. Once it reaches that point, it implodes (cavitates). Cavitation will literally strip metal off anything and water cannot be compressed very much before cavitation occurs.
Dumbed down to the third grade level 8^)
The SAE "expert" must not work extensively in hydraulics then. He would then know that the definition of cavitation is;
[by the way, the high intensity sound waves part is a common problem with diesels]
Main Entry: cav·i·ta·tion
Etymology: cavity + -ation
: the process of cavitating : as a : the formation of partial vacuums in a liquid by a swiftly moving solid body (as a propeller), by high pressure or by high-intensity sound waves; also : the pitting and wearing away of solid surfaces (as of metal or concrete) as a result of the collapse of these vacuums in surrounding liquid.
Inflected Form(s): -tat·ed; -tat·ing
intransitive senses : to form cavities or bubbles
Can you please clarify your remark that "the steam locomotive never worked.."? Thanks.
You guys can have all the engineering discussion you want, but water will kill a motor in a few minutes.
2 minutes worth of common sense will always outweigh a days worth of engineering!
I've only run out of oil once. Paid $45 for a ride and 4 quarts. Lost the rotor oil seal on my Mazda and it took 19 quarts to get the remaining 110 miles home. The toll both operators had some choice words when I pulled in. No, didn't use water. In certain boating situations it can be more life and death. I have every confidence that that I could easily get an hour of use and the engine would still be in good shape. Clean up is critical as with a steam engine, you don't want to shut them off. There is a difference between good and great lubricants.
My recommendation is run as fast as you can from this sales gimmick.
Some methods to prevent cavitation are to reduce operating clearance, increase oil pressure, and change to a higher viscosity oil. As today's 5W20 engines age and clearances increase, it might be necessary to increase the viscosity of the oil to prevent this kind of damage.
The electric fuel pump is another example of an unlikely liquid used as a "lubricant" to separate two pieces of metal.
however, to operate sihis, you need a large volume of water at pressure, and it goes straight down the drain. they are driven at speed from AC motors, meaning in the 1700 to 3600 RPM range (I haven't had up-close access to one for 20 years, so can't read the labels right now.)
the key is large volume at pressure. auto engine lower bearings are built to be lubricated by splash and drip, not run under a pipe-fed pressure band of liquid. you have to rely on the viscosity of the lubricant under pressure and temperature to maintain bearing lubrication in a car engine. and water is gone with a bang under those conditions.
web-wizards who want to know more: sihi was spun off from siemens in the late 70s or 80s. they are extensively used for medical vacuum in hospitals and large clinics. that should suggest keywords to search with on Google....
// update // looks like sterling fluid systems makes sihi pumps. see http://www.sterlingfluidsystems.com/
if it tickles your fancy.
I got lost on the expert opinions.
I suggest shopping a bit, because $350 is about $250-275 too high.
Cutting open the filter is not the best indicator of the functionality of the RX product in a non sludged engine, IMHO.
A better indicator is reduced oil consumption, lower emissions test levels, oil analysis tests that show INCREASED oxidation ( cleaning ) during use, reduced Nitration during and after use ( better combustion efficiency), and finally reduced wear values.
The reason the large oil companies don't want Auto-RX is that it is expensive to produce and the incentive to use effective and expensive high quality additives in not consistant with the competitive PCMO market.
Another reason is that Auto-RX can be used effectively with lower cost oils to boost their performance but is not required every oil change thus reducing the repeat sales issues.The larger oil companies want cheap lubes that resell over and over quickly. I suspect many companies are checking out RX and I believe it will be sold in the future once it has become more accepted in the industry as a viable alternative to gummed up engines.
Understand it was only patented last year.
Independent Oil Analyst
the functions of engine oil are to assist in cooling, particularly deep-engine cooling, lubricate moving parts including pressure bearings and the lower piston rod and lower ring, and to collect combustion products and contaminants from around the engine and move them out to the filter, where they can be trapped.
in the process, oil gets hot, pressurized, and acidified, as well as loaded up with carbon and petroleum gums. when you do that in the right environment with heavy crude oil, you get light fractions and gasoline. so resistance to these conditions is added to oil by tailoring the base stock, blending, and by the additive/detergent package.
in ugly short condensed form, which is all I can manage with the chemistry I took in high school and college, oil is a short chain of hydrocarbon polymer anchored with one or more benzine rings. to oxidize a chemical compound is to strip electrons off its extremities, causing the compound to become more reactive, attracting neutral to negative ions from the other side of the periodic chart (like metals, for instance). oxidizing a compound also is known in some circles as creating a free radical ion... the health circles particularly preach against free radicals. I have always been told that oil should be chemically neutral to avoid scoring engine parts. oxidized oil is not the preferred state.
nitrates are produced as combustion byproducts from reacting atmospheric nitrogen in the heat and pressure of an automobile cylinder. in particular, we have moisture from hydrocarbon burning, carbon monoxide and dioxide as byproducts we don't want, and single and double oxides of nitrogen as byproducts we don't want. nitrates in water are nitrous and nitric acid, carbon monoxide and dioxide in water are carbonic acid. acids are not good against metal, they beat it up. part of oil's additive package should be binding with the acids that get past the rings and past the valve seals and remove them from the scene... neutralize what you can, dilute the rest.
it would seem that if "auto-rx" is not taking up the nitrates, that the additive/detergent package is not up to snuff, either.
so I'm curious, here, as to how the product can be so great if it's failing in these key areas by fmiller2's reportage. if I'm misinformed, I do seek enlightenment, particularly by multiple sources with standing in the industry, and a body of evidence. this was not my major in college, but I like to think I'm generally well-read enough to recognize technical improvements.
if I'm not, it's another double-page JC Whitney catalog classic, mechanic in a can version 927.