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jsmith 04-26-2003 11:07 AM

anyone tried an engine (oil) flush?
after a week away i had a recurrence of the sticking lifter problem i experienced once last winter. one cylinder was not firing at startup but started after a few seconds. there was also the telltale clicking which quickly subsided. it is running normally now.

i have been doing 3k oil changes, lately with delvac 1300 trying to clean up any internal sludge & varnish. i can see a yellowish coat on the rockers which i assume is a "varnish deposit". i am due for an oil change soon.

i want to try either switching to synthetic or using one of those oil flushes that "clears sticking lifters". i am leery of the leaks associated with synthetics so i want to try a flush first. i found one made by lubeguard which has a pretty good reputation as far as additives go.

i have read other m104's having a similar problem with the lifters. i want to hear if anything in particular, short of replacing the lifter has helped.


STORMINORMAN 04-26-2003 03:43 PM

Well, sine nobody seems to want to reply... your question, jsmith, so I'll jump in:

For the most part a "flush" in a can may or may not work.

Lubeguard is highly regarded by some. The "power flush" at the shops where they pump solvent through your oil system is not very well regarded by many as it can destroy your gaskets and seals.

My personal recommendation is to try a product called Auto-rx which you can find @ It is a cleaner vs. being an oil additive. I've used it on my SVX, I just put a treatment into my F250 and changed out the oil & filter from the 1st 750 mile application in my 420SEL yesterday.

It does not alter the chemistry of your oil, cleans gently over a 500-750 mile period, and can help you if you have seal leaks.

I believe it works as is described and it won't hurt your engine. I have been very impressed with the results I've seen and this is not a "snake-oil" product, IMHO!

Good luck!

jsmith 04-26-2003 04:55 PM

thanks, i just might try the auto-rx. the other products are mainly flushing solvent / detergent types which you add just prior to draining. the lubegard product is used in some power flushing treatments and they say it's harmless to seals. i think i'd rather use something that works over a few hundred miles rather than in 15 minutes although this reasoning may be flawed...

STORMINORMAN 04-26-2003 05:31 PM

Lubeguard Red
Has a rep as one of the finest tranny additives.

As far as solvents go, anything that is strong enough to really work in 15 minutes is probably too strong for comfort. Mine, anyway.

Auto-rx actually cleans. The metal surfaces are shiney after treatment. I was especially impressed with the nature of the material I found in the filter pleats after the 800 mile treatment: small, hard, what appeared to be carboniferous specs. Gritty. May be from the ring area. I would like that gone if it were there.

Not a lot of sludge-type gunk as the engine was pretty clean to begin with... But a bunch of stuff I wouldn't want in my motor. The oil was darker than it usually is after a total of 2,500 miles. I'll be putting in another 16 oz. in about 2K miles for a second 800 mile treatment: it will be interesting to see what THAT filter looks like when it is cut open.:cool:

jsmith 04-26-2003 05:47 PM

Re: Lubeguard Red

Originally posted by STORMINORMAN

As far as solvents go, anything that is strong enough to really work in 15 minutes is probably too strong for comfort. Mine, anyway.

EXACTLY! I just ordered 3 bottles of auto-rx for my cars. Can't wait to see that varnish disappear!

mbtjc 04-27-2003 12:15 AM

So you're saying that the LubroMoly Ventil Sauber or Motor Clean is too strong and I shoudn't use it? It says to run it for 10 minutes and then change oil.

mbtjc 04-27-2003 12:33 AM

My engine has 165k on it :)

mbtjc 04-27-2003 01:18 AM

What is the worst that could happen? I thought LubroMoly was a rather high quality and respected brand....:confused:

dakota 04-28-2003 02:33 AM

If it was me, I'd go with Mobil-1 synthetic rather than some sort of "oil-flush". I've heard of some engines with high mileage leaking a bit after changing to M1, but my experience is that it may leak a bit more for a few thousand miles (5-10K) but will soon return to previous or lower levels of leaking. And I'll bet it quiets your lifters and increases your idle oil pressure, too. I don't *think* Mercedes recommends ANY additives to the oil, but I could be wrong. Just my 2 cents.

csnow 04-29-2003 11:19 AM

I would suggest adding nothing. Those solvent flushes are likely to do more harm than good. I'm not convinced that 'dirty oil passages' (or whatever) is really a burgeoning problem.

Put another way, perhaps these cleaners are a solution in search of a problem...

jsmith 04-29-2003 11:36 AM

note that the original problem i am trying to address is a sticking lifter. short of replacing the part, this is the only alternative. given that, the choices are:

-short term cleaner such as auto-rx, rislone
-long term cleaning action of synthetic oils

i also found a good oil discussion site while researching this topic:

check out the test on that ubiquitous lucas oil additive! (product does not perform as advertised despite that display unit they have at all the parts stores)

STORMINORMAN 04-29-2003 12:07 PM

One misconception, here...
Auto-Rx is not an additive. It is a long(er)-term cleaner, unlike Rislone products, which are, for the most part, decidedly more of a short-term (leave them in for a long while at your own risk) additive/flush/cleaner. And I'm not flaming Rislone products as I have used them in the past prior to oil changes on used vehicles I have encountered which exhibited "less than MY expectations of preventative maintenance" to my satisfaction... then.

In short, and IMHO, the Auto-Rx product is one that works as it is presented to work.

I have finished my initial 800 mile Auto-Rx treatment (I used the filter & oil that was in the 420SEL with only 1.5K miles on the oil for the 1st 150 or so miles and then put in a new filter for the remaining 650 miles) cutting open both filters when removed.

No real indication of sludge (didn't expect any with Pennzoil LongLife 15W-40 and 5K changes) but definite capture of small amounts of fine, metalic/carboniferous grit in filter folds. Oil was markedly darker @ under 2,500 miles of use than it was previously at 5K intervals. Metal surfaces visable are clean & shiney: almost look polished. This includes cam lobes, metal on cap and oil dipstick, etc.

Have used this in my 100+K SVX and it is in my 460 Ford as we speak. Also has been used in another 420SEL (neighbor across the street's '88: done with 1st treatment, waiting to get another 2,250 miles on recent oil & filter change for 2nd 750-800 mile application, just like mine) and there is another high mile 460 Ford truck 1st application going on also.

Can't imagine how being cleaner internally can't be beneficial to lubrication & operation of the engine. Waiting to see what comes out of the filters on the 460's & what the oil looks like.

csnow 04-29-2003 01:16 PM

I confess to being super-cynical. Indeed, I am a professional cynic.
'Testimonials' like this one off their site always make me nervous.

"Just as you stated 'that after running Auto-rx® in my car it would become
more efficient', and it has. After running well over 200 miles after the test,
and I am now on my second full tank of gas, I have noticed an increase that
went from 18 miles per gallon to 21 miles per gallon.. I am glad to say that
the product has done everything you said it would."

STORMINORMAN 04-29-2003 01:46 PM

Be as cynical as you wish. Your perogative.
I would agree that if I heard of a car that had been getting 20 mpg over the years and then a "magic" additive increased the gas mileage 20%, I, too, would be skeptical.

On the other hand, if I heard of a car that was designed to & had in the past routinely gotten 26 mpg and had a dirty sludged-up engine and was getting 20, and then a cleaning treatment loosened up stuck rings, improved the performance & compression, and the mileage quickly RETURNED to 24, I wouldn't be shocked or dismayed.

I'd be impressed.

I am impressed because I've seen it work.

Life (as we know it) is often a bell-shaped curve: as in all things, your "results may vary"...

Nothing wrong with being cynical: nothing wrong with the testimonial as a form of recommendation.

RickM 04-29-2003 03:22 PM

Personally, I would add nothing to my oil.

Regarding the fear of leaks when switching to synthetic:

If you have leaks when you switch to synthetic they'll be more "productive".
Syntheic will not magically create leaks if your engine is leak free.

I've used synthetic for many years and in many cars and have never had a problem with leaks.

Also, while change intervals may be slightly extended with synthetic it is not wise to wait 10,000 miles to change your oil....even with a filter change and top off.

Some allege Castrol MAY be misrepresenting it's Syntec product. I beleive there is a lawsuit pending against Castrol regarding misleading claims. I'll try to get some credible info to share.

I use Mobil 1 almost exclusively.

* I'm not affiliated with either company in any way, shape or form. Merely a customer.

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