I was really shocked when I read an article in a major consumer-oriented magazine that said that certain types of preventive maintenance weren’t needed, especially things like flushes.

Well, you know, one of the things that’s very important toward keeping your car for a long time is to change the oil and change the oil filter and always use high-quality products as is recommended in the owners manual, but, above and beyond that, take a look at this new oil in the jar right here.  Well, that new oil often becomes this mess of sludge that we see over here, because cars frequently need more than just the average oil change.  See, here we have a valve cover that came off of a late-model automobile that had less than 50,000 miles on it.  You can see it’s completely coated with sludge. As a matter of fact, our sample over here came from the same car.

Fortunately, we were able to save the engine in this car for the customer, but in most cases there isn’t any saving it.  When it gets like this, the engine is done for.  Now for comparison we have a valve cover off of one of our regular customer’s cars.  This one has 280,000- some-odd miles on it, and we have serviced it since brand new.  Now you notice, the inside of the valve cover is virtually spotless, just a little bit of discoloration, no build-up whatsoever.

Both cars had oil changes, but the one with the clean valve cover, we have done something different for it, and this is where I take issue.  This is an oil flush, or oiling system service.  This particular machine is from BG Products, and it uses these chemicals to get rid of deposits that form in areas inside the engine, where oil doesn’t really circulate.  The oil just sits there. It congeals into sludge, the sludge breaks loose, then it blocks various passages.  The blockage of the passages is what leads to this massive sludge problem.  So, by using a machine like this periodically, 30 to 40,000 miles, you can double, triple, quadruple the life expectancy of your engine.  So, it is money well spent. Something that I highly recommend.

If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.