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Discussion in 'Car Forum' started by Superfueler, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Superfueler

    Superfueler Glockenplane

    Dec 26, 2002
    Manchester, NH
    Which 'flushes' that they try to sell me when I get my oil changed are actually good, and how often should I do them? I'm always thinking they are just trying to sell me something I don't need, but my vehicle is starting to get up there in miles and I'd kind of like it to last a little bit longer.

    Oh, its a 2003 Ford Escape :embarassed:
  2. I think the consensus is that all the flushes are gimmicks. In fact I think they probably do more harm than good. When your vehicle gets up there in miles and you try flush out all that carbon and leftover sludge out you might find that all that stuff was actually keeping your engine from leaking and may even experience more "blow by" from the rings. If you want to *flush* your engine, change the oil and just change it again after a 1000 miles or so. Maybe use a good diesel oil like Shell Rotella which is VERY detergent and should clean up anything that needs cleaning.

    Or if your rig is running good you could always just leave it alone..:supergrin: But what fun would that by?

  3. OUSooner


    Jan 22, 2004
    Stay away from all power flushs.
  4. If you want to clean you FI system I can't recommend Seafoam high enough. You can find it at NAPA and other stores. Works great.
  5. wolfpack_5150

    wolfpack_5150 Apple Pi Monstr

    Jun 11, 2006
    central coast, california
    +1 on the seafoam..........
    Dont be afraid of a trans flush unless you had 100+ thousand miles on your (auto) tranny this might cause a problem. Manuals are a cinch to change and I would reccomend a service manual and do it yourself if possible and reference the manual for change intravels (sp)...Oil flushes are usually a gimmick with newer motors as long as you use decent oil and change it regularly.
    Power steering flush is a gimmick, radiator flushing is a good thing to keep on top of. Anti-freeze also Lubricates your water pump and after yrs of adding (water) to it to top off you lose its lubricating and other effeciencies. You also dont want it corroding the radiator. Another good/cheap practice is to buy a new radiator cap once in awhile. It keeps the boiling point down.
    gearbox flushes are no gimmick, see dealer for reccomended intrevals. Easy to do though, just make sure you get the right fluid.
    Lets never forget to flush our brakes and get rid of that old fluid when we do our pads. Hot brakes can cause fluid to boil which introduces moisture/water into the lines. Which in turn causes deterioration of the fluid.
    Did I miss any?
  6. mc_racer


    Aug 1, 2006
    Olathe, KS 66061
    How many miles do you have on the escape? I can get Ford's recommended intervals at work tomorrow, but they are also listed in your owner's manual.
    Trans flushes need to be done when recommended. You always hear people say "I changed the fluid and the trans went out" 99.9% of the time the failure is caused by the lack of maintenance prior to the service not the service itself. Same with radiator flushes. There is more to antifreeze/coolant then the freezing point alone. There is also the alkilinity, pH, and additives for the water pump bearings. Therefore it needs to be changed at the recommended interval. As far as using "a good diesel oil like Shell Rotella", that's fine if you use the recommended weight, which I believe is 5w20 in an '03 escape. You most likely won't find a diesel oil in 5w20. The oil system is designed to pump the oil that is recommended. If you change the weight, you disrupt that system. Also, if your escape is all wheel drive, you also have a rear differential and a transfer case which also have their own fluids and change intervals.
    As far as a shop recommending "unneeded" services, keep this in mind. They make less money from the $100 maintenence then they do from the tow bill, parts, and labor caused by a part failure.
    Also, don't forget there's a difference between a greasemonkey and a technician. A technician will give you facts that you verify. A greasemonkey will give you his opinion or something he heard.
  7. GLOCK23DK


    Aug 27, 2006
    Hinckley, Ohio

    To anyone who believes transmission flushes are bad:

    Why is a transmission flush a bad thing? A transmission flush is basically a dialysis of your trans. Nothing is different than normal operating conditions.

    Normally, when driving your vehicle, (very basic description) trans fluid goes from transmission pan, through filter, into transmission, exits transmission through sending line, through trans-cooler in radiator, only to return to the trans pan.

    During trans flush, fluid goes from transmission pan, through filter, into transmission, OLD DIRTY fluid exits transmission through sending line, gets collected in collection basin of dialysis machine, NEW CLEAN fluid from dialysis machine is sent through trans-cooler in radiator, and is returned to trans pan.

    Both are closed systems, the only difference is that in a transmission flush, NEW CLEAN fluid returns to your transmission, rather than the OLD DIRTY fluid.

    Not everyone and everything in life is out to screw you.
  8. nsb22

    nsb22 TEAM OAF

    Sep 17, 2003
    Unless the technician doesn't catch the fact that the new fluid(detergent) has opened up a leak in the heat exchanger. And since this was not detected, you now have antifreeze entering the tranny, which ends up eating away the friction plates and ruining your tranny! Not to mention the fact the service station wouldn't admit to screwing it up, and even had a tranny shop they recomended fixing it! Scam, seems like it to me!!! That time atleast!!!
  9. mc_racer


    Aug 1, 2006
    Olathe, KS 66061
    Please explain how "they" screwed up.
    What kind of car is it? How many miles?
  10. nsb22

    nsb22 TEAM OAF

    Sep 17, 2003
    The way I was taught, when doing a FLUSH and fill, you are to watch the exiting fluid, and run x amount of new fluid through before you stopped the flush. By doing this, you should see any abnormalities in the "flushing" fluid.

    When I dropped my truck off, I specifically said FLUSH and fill. Not just a fluid change. For as much money as they charged me, they should have done everything they should have done!

    It was a 1990 Chevy S-10 2 wheel drive, 4.3L auto.

    This was about 4 years ago. I loved that truck and was not very happy about it! Fortunately for them, it caught fire going up the interstate one day!
  11. mc_racer


    Aug 1, 2006
    Olathe, KS 66061
    That's the basic idea of how they work. However with most machines it's a sealed system and the machine regulates the refill as the trans pumps the old out. Because of this the old fluid dumps into a tank in the machine and the tech can not moniter the condition of the out going fluid.
    Also, "if" the detergents removed deposits that were covering a leak, it would not happen immediately(at the repair shop).
    Lastly, it's the fluids job to clean, collect, and keep in suspension contaminents and/or deposits. All fluids in your car act this way. This allows the contaminents and/or deposits to be removed when the fluid is changed. That is one reason why you need to follow the recommended service intervals. The fluid can only hold so much, then the contaminents begin to accumulate and likely damages the system. This is what usually causes to system to fail "after the service" and is not caused by the service itself.


    Feb 17, 2006
    flushes can be a good thing.....only if the shop cares about customer more than bottom line!
    as the new fluid is introduced to the trans,it also mixes with the old fluid.trans flush is not a 1 for 1 replacement,so in a lot of cases it will take 20 quarts to flush a 12 qt system depending on how bad the old fluid is. many shops will put 10 qts in a flush machine and that is it,when it is done,it is done. also often times the material from the clutch paks is the only thing allowing the rubber seals to work.remove the clutch material and now the seals arent working properly. another thing to think about is very few shops will change the filter with a flush,so now all thatr crap is still embedded in the filter least until the car sits for a few hours and all the crap falls back to the bottom of the pan. but what the hell the fluid "looks good". i feel i can exp[ertly speak on this as an ase cert tech that has done several hundred of these flushes(both the right and the wrong way) you can not do the job properly for 89.99.
  13. ricky

    ricky Millennium Member

    May 9, 1999
    Miami, Fl.
  14. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    What do motor oil, coolant, axle fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid all have in common?

    They are all oils and over time and through use they deteriorate and don't do their jobs as well. They all need to be replaced at some point.

    Auto trans fluid should be changed every 25,000-30,000 miles.

    Brake fluid every 50,000 or more, depending how much you use your brakes. (towing, performance, etc) Same interval for axle fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid. Manual trans fluid too.

    Now if your regularly using a boat ramp, you should change rear axle fluid every 25,000-30,000 miles.

    I don't think engine oil "flushes" are neccessary. Just change the dang oil every 3000-6000 miles and don't worry about it.