There are certain types of car maintenance that can easily be done at home for a fraction of the price of what they’d cost to get done by a professional. These types of maintenance don’t require a large amount of knowledge about how an engine works, nor do they require many specialized tools. One great type of maintenance you can learn how to do on your own is to flush your engine block, a task that can both revitalize your engine and help you to keep your car on the road for thousands of extra miles.
Why Flush your Engine?
As time goes by, engine sludge is going to start to build up in your engine. Though manufacturers don’t typically like to admit this, this is a problem that can happen even with a well-maintained engine. Once the sludge starts to build up, you’ll start to notice poor performance. You’ll have low oil pressure, you might notice a nasty leak, or your oil changes might take too long because of how long the oil takes to drain from the car. Whatever the case, you’ll be in a position that makes the engine flush a necessity.
This is absolutely the kind of project that you need to undertake sooner rather than later. While regular oil changes are going to ensure that sludge build up is minimal, flushing out your engine once the symptoms start is a good way to both minimize the amount of time that the flush takes and to ensure that the issue isn’t hiding other, more severe problems. An engine block flush doesn’t necessarily need to be part of your regular maintenance schedule, but it should be something that you know how to do once you’ve identified the common signs of sludge build-up.
How to Flush Your Engine Block
Knowing how to flush your own engine block is not just a great way to save money, but a great way to take control of your own car maintenance. An engine block flush can easily cost over a hundred dollars at a garage, but it’s actually a fairly resource and labor-light project that you can do on your own. Even if you’re not usually the type of person to work on your own car, you should be able to follow the steps below in order to flush out your engine block and get better overall performance.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies
Before you start the treatment, it’s a good idea to get all of your supplies together. You’ll need the following:
– Engine oil
– An oil pan or container for old oil
– Oil filter wrench
– New oil filter
– Engine block treatment
If there are any other tools that you regularly need for changing your oil, you’ll probably want to bring those along as well. There are several different brands of treatment on the market, some of which work better than others. It’s recommended that you do a little research to figure out which best fits your needs and your budget.
Step 2: Add the Treatment and Let it Run
You will want to start this project by parking your car somewhere safe and flat. Once you’ve gotten to your ideal spot, you’ll need to leave your car running for a bit – a warmed up engine will provide you with better results. Once you’re up to your car’s normal temperature, you can open up the hood and remove your oil cap. There might be slightly specific actions that you’ll need to take depending on the brand of treatment that you’ve chosen, but generally you’ll be able to pour the treatment in, close the oil cap, and close your hood.
Once you’ve got the treatment in, it’s time to wait. Remember, you’re essentially letting a powerful detergent run through your engine to clean out all of the sludge and residue at this point, so it’s going to take some time. In most cases, you’re going to look at about a ten or fifteen minute wait. If there’s a lot of sludge in your engine, though, you might want to wait for up to half an hour. It’s important that you don’t rush this step, as the best results come from giving the cleaner time to do its job.
Step 3: Drain the Oil and Change the Filter
Once you’ve reached around the fifteen minute mark, you’re going to want to go ahead and drain your oil. This needs to be done while the engine is still hot, so make sure that you don’t wander away while you let the engine run. This is fairly straightforward and something you’ve probably done a thousand times when you’ve changed your oil, but make sure that you don’t rush through the process. You’ll get your best results when you let everything flow out at its own pace, but you can use compressed air in order to speed this process along.
Since you’re essentially changing your oil at this point, you should put in a new filter. Different filters require different timing in terms of when they can be changed, so make sure that you know whether you can change the filter while your oil is draining or whether you’ll need to wait until it’s totally finished draining. It’s also very important to remember to put the drain plug back in your vehicle after your oil has finished draining and after you’ve changed the filter. Failure to do so will not only lead to wasted oil, but it will make a mess that’s incredibly difficult to clean.
Step 4: Add New Oil and Close Up
The final step in the process is to add new oil. As you know, it’s important that you use the right oil for your engine, so consult with your manual if you’ve never done it before. The key here is to pour slowly and regularly, checking your dipstick from time to time to ensure that you’re not overfilling. Take your time, because you’re almost done.
All that’s really left for you to do is to close up. Put your oil cap back on and make sure that you shut it tightly. Once you’re done, you don’t have to do any more maintenance or wait to drive – you should be good to go. Take the time to go ahead and clean up around your work area and to make sure that you’ve gotten everything else out of the way. The entire process should be relatively quick, but don’t be afraid to double-check to ensure that you haven’t missed anything along the way.
Once you are done with the treatment, don’t be afraid to drive your car around a bit. You should notice results almost immediately, so pay attention. If you followed all of the directions and don’t see any change in your engine performance, you might be looking at a problem other than sludge buildup.
Flushing your engine block is relative simple and can be done in under an hour, especially if you are already familiar with changing your oil. Don’t rush through the process, though, and don’t put yourself in a position in which you’ll make mistakes because you aren’t following the directions. Make sure to read the instructions on whichever treatment product you choose and always give the product an adequate amount of time to drain. If you can follow the basic steps outlined above, you should get better performance out of your engine and restore it to a state in which regular maintenance will prevent the need for a flush for quite some time.