Adding ATF at oil change - Urban legend?

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Old 03-24-08, 04:20 PM
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Adding ATF at oil change - Urban legend?

I have read that when changing your oil, if you drain 1 QT of oil and add 1 QT of ATF, let your car idle for about 5 min, then change the oil as usual that this method will help remove sludge and deposits from your engine.

I don't buy it, but has anyone ever done this? Is there any validity to it?
 
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Old 03-24-08, 04:26 PM
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Exclamation

yea it does work. i'm sure you will hear more later, but i have used it in the past. the ATF appears to have a higher detergent level that cleans better. on a vehicle that has properly been maintained, this shouldn't be necessary. i usually used it for older vehicles that i bought that hadn't had the oil changed regularly. use a GOOD high quality oil of the type recommended.
 
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Old 03-24-08, 05:59 PM
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I've also done it before. Instead I'll leave the 1qt of ATF in the oil until the next schedule oil change. As Mike mentioned, I will always do this whenever I buy a used car and change the oil for the first time. After that, I might do it once every 2-3 yrs just for preventive maintenance.

As a matter of fact, the truck I'm driving now (91 S10/S15 4.3 V6) it currently has 1qt of ATF running through the oil galley. I just purchase and registered it back in Nov 07 and I have 1,500 miles to go before my next schedule 4K oil change.

I've also done this before on Honda/Nissan with no problem
 
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Old 03-24-08, 06:06 PM
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Atf

Never heard... this I'll try it. One question: ATF=Transmission Fluid?
 
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Old 03-24-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by boris111 View Post
Never heard... this I'll try it. One question: ATF=Transmission Fluid?
Y
E
S

A-utomatic
T-ransmission
F-luid
 
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Old 03-25-08, 06:29 AM
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I don't know how effective it is, but the idea's been around for a long time and yes, ATF is a fairly good solvent.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 07:56 AM
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A properly maintained engine that is using quality lubricants does not need these "miracle" cures. Additives to quality engine oil should only be considered when there is a specific issue that an additive may help, such as lifters that may be varnished up. If you have an engine that due to lack of care, has a build up of sludge, I don't think I would want to knock it all loose and have that garbage flowing through all the bearings and other machined surfaces in my engine. Buy quality oil and maintain it properly based on your driving habits and your engine will stay clean and run a long, long time.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 08:15 AM
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Ok, any comments on slowly pouring a pint of kerosene into the carb on old (as in 50's-60's) engines, 'to clean the valves' ?

Never did it, but remember seeing it quite a bit growing up in farm country in OH. Even think my Dad did it.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 08:45 AM
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You can clean injectors, valves and combustion chamber deposits by using Top Tier Gas. No hassle, just fill the tank. I've seen it clean up some very bad deposits.

http://toptiergas.com/

Pouring a less refined petroleum distilate into your combustion chamber isn't going to remove deposits, it will help create them. You need an additive that chemically attacks the bond of the carbon atom.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 07:20 PM
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We used to pour water through the carb in cars to clean the chambers. Anyone who's worked on an engine with a cracked head or bad head gasket knows how well this works.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 08:07 PM
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I have to agree with Steven Jones on all points. A properly maintained engine does not need solvents or extra detergents or anything else to "clean " up the crankcase. That is especially important with crankcase flush in a can...i've seen an oil pickup screen stopped completely up, starved the engine for oil and spun a bearing. Deposits that are well adhered really don't cause much problem.

as far as putting stuff thru the induction system...ie, kerosene, water, top engine cleaner or whatever...that stuff in the hands of a novice can trash a catalytic converter before you know it. that an expensive "oh shi*". if you believe you have a combustion chamber deposit related driveability issue...you better be very sure as the risk is high.

BTW Steven, where is Danielsville, PA...i got some PA contacts but don't know where that is...
 
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Old 03-26-08, 10:54 AM
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PM sent. Danielsville is 13 miles North of Allentown.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
We used to pour water through the carb in cars to clean the chambers. Anyone who's worked on an engine with a cracked head or bad head gasket knows how well this works.
The question concerned "Cleaning the valves" and water will not clean the valves. I would rather not use water to remove combustion chamber deposits. Getting one of those loose pieces of carbon between a valve and seat will likely cost alot more than using a Top Tier Gas to prevent and gradually remove carbon deposits. I don't quite understand your referance to working on an engine with a cracked head or blown head gasket knowing how well this works, please explain. I've probably only had heads off of a thousand engines so I need some help here.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 11:44 AM
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Just so we're clear guys...not saying I would pour anything into my intake or oil, lol. I enjoy keeping up on my own vehicles maintenance. I just look at it as keeping money in my pocket.

I was just wondering about the kero thing. Remembered the clouds of smoke it made.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 11:45 AM
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makes a great smoke screen but it's hell on the cat
 
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Old 03-26-08, 12:23 PM
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Come on CarG....I did originally say 50's and 60's cars...lol.
Thats one reason I'd never pour anything in a new one. My SUV's cats are in the manifolds...$$$$$. Major wallet ouch if those ever need to be replaced
I'm not that senile....yet!
 
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Old 03-26-08, 12:48 PM
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might help knock down some of them squeeters when the weather warms up...
 
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Old 03-26-08, 06:51 PM
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I've seen many a car owner,(usually older and stuck to speed limit or less) been told they needed a valve job due to engine miss & bad compression. A local mechanic who found it hard to believe bad valves in a low mileage car, decided to try Chrysler(mopar) Combustion Chamber Cleaner, in the spray can, and found a much cheaper cure. Turns out in the late 80's in this area, the K-car was pretty popular & many were older people who didn't drive them hard enough to clean out the carbon. The 2.2 & 2.5 L were the most common. Used it on my wifes 2.2 once & it worked great, but was glad I waited to change plugs until after the decarbonizing procedure, as it chipped the porcelain on one of my plugs, probably from carbon hitting it, and soon developed a miss. Changed plugs, and all was good. From then on, I got in the habit of once or twice a month, giving it a good run down the highway, and getting the revs up once in a while. Still ran good after 15 yrs when I sold it.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 09:19 PM
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never used that but have used water from a spray bottle in the carb. at elevated RPM to remove carbon. this can, however, cause LARGE chunks of carbon to break loose and block the closing of a valve. probably NOT a good idea!
 
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Old 03-26-08, 09:23 PM
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the key phrase here is "properly maintained"! i agree, but when you buy an old, neglected vehicle, sometimes drastic measures are needed. if the filter is working, the debris will not enter the pump and be distributed. i only run the engine for a few minutes(after it is warm). then drain and refill with the proper oil and NEW filter.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
the key phrase here is "properly maintained"! i agree, but when you buy an old, neglected vehicle, sometimes drastic measures are needed. if the filter is working, the debris will not enter the pump and be distributed. i only run the engine for a few minutes(after it is warm). then drain and refill with the proper oil and NEW filter.

an old neglected vehicle...with a working filter? and besides...the filter is after the pump
 
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