This Review and How To Guide is brought to you by That Car Channel.
Depending on your service intervals and what type of oil you use it can be fairly common to experience a bit of build-up in your engine oil when it comes time to replace it. It is therefore worthwhile to us an oil flush additive to help ensure that the inside of your engine is properly cleaned and ready for the new oil, which can boost your vehicle’s economy and increase the lifespan of your motor. In this video That Car Channel checks out an oil flush during a scheduled oil change and runs us through the process.
What do you need to have on hand before you flush your oil?
- Engine Oil - You will need the right quantity of the engine oil that is suitable for your vehicle. Besides the oil weight and grade, make sure your replacement oil features the right additives for your particular vehicle.
- Engine Oil Flush - You’ll need the right quantity of oil flush fluid. This can be purchased in a few different quantities to suit anything from the home mechanic to workshop use - as well as in varying concentrations.
- Engine Oil Filter - You will need a replacement oil filter, since there is no point running clean oil through a dirty filter, particularly if your old oil is rather sludgy.
- Tools - You should always use protective gloves when changing your oil, and you’ll also need an oil tray to catch the old oil and a rag or two in case you spill anything. The only tools you’ll normally require will be a socket or spanner that suits your sump plug, and perhaps an oil filter removal tool.
Flushing the old oil out
Before you flush your oil you want your engine to be warm, but not hot. This will ensure that your old oil flows freely and therefore drains properly, but will minimise the risk of scalding yourself on excessively hot oil or any components beneath your car. Take your car for a couple of laps of the block, or let it run for around ten minutes to get up to the right sort of temperature.
Open your oil cap and simply pour your flush into the engine - taking care not to spill it everywhere. Next, you’ll want to run your engine for around ten minutes to let the flush mix in thoroughly with your old oil, as well as spread to all of the more grotty nooks and crannies on the inside, and give it a good clean.
Place your oil drip tray beneath your sump, and carefully remove the sump plug without making a mess. Note that the oil that comes out of your motor will usually be quite dirty after an oil flush. This is because the oil is the medium that carries minute deposits around, and the flush will have removed the deposits from your engine and instead kept them suspended in your oil.
Next, remove your oil filter - using a filter removal tool if need be, and being careful to prevent oil from spilling onto any engine components, the ground and you. It should also look pretty dirty due to the extra carbon and other sediments being flushed away from where they’d built up, and into the filter mesh instead.
Refilling your oil
Once all the old oil has completely drained out, replace your sump plug, and install your new oil filter. When installing your filter, be sure to use new o-rings if appropriate. It is also a good idea to lubricate any rubberised mating surfaces with a bit of fresh engine oil. If it a screw on filter, then take care that you don’t over tighten and damage your new filter either since this can strip the thread or damage the o-ring.
Pour the right quantity of fresh oil into your engine - once again, taking care not to spill it, and then run the engine for a little while to allow it to properly permeate your engine. Take a dipstick reading and add a little oil if necessary.
That’s it, you’ve flushed your oil properly. This should ideally be done every time you service your vehicle - particularly if your engine is a diesel, since carbon deposits build up quite a bit more rapidly in diesel engines.
Speaking of diesel, you may have the suggestion that you can simply use ordinary diesel fuel (approx 500ml in the full sump capacity) rather than buying a dedicated oil flush, however this is far from the best way to flush a gunky engine since proper, purpose-formulated oil flush products usually have some added protection additives which simple diesel fuel does not.
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