Is this a stupid idea?

Say you wanted to clean the inside of an engine (still in the vehicle), not for any particular reason but just because the engine is old. If you added like 1 quart of ATF (since it has detergent properties) to the engine oil and then drove for like a hundred miles or something to "scrub" the inside, would that cause any problems? Is this a good idea, a stupid idea or a neutral idea?

Update:

Just to be clear I am talking about ADDING 1 quart of ATF to the engine oil; so since the engine holds 5.5 quarts of oil, it would be 4.5 quarts of oil and 1 quart of ATF.

Update 2:

lol this question just keeps getting answers. Well, it wasn't something I was seriously thinking about doing, it was more a point of curiosity than anything else. But the overwhelming consensus seems to be "don't do it", so I definitely won't do it. Thanks for the responses though

18 Answers

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  • Favorite Answer

    Kinda stupid

    • Douglas
      Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      Seem like the right answer.

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  • 4 years ago

    The only flush you should do on an old engine is an extra oil change. (ATF is the worst thing you can add to the oil, don't do it. I worked in automotive 35 years. One time a mechanic put in a qt of ATF in the engine for some reason, but knew not to drive it, and left at end of ****. Next day the superv. told somebody else to finish the same car so he did, he didn't know it had ATF in and he drove it. This ruined the engine.

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  • 4 years ago

    That method was fairly popular in the late 50's - early '60s. Of course, engine oil in those days was not very detergent. Today it makes more sense to avoid crankcase flushes altogether by using the proper oil and changing it on schedule. Crankcase flushing is risky and has been known to ruin engines by breaking loose hard sludge articles that have formed past the filter.

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  • 4 years ago

    ATF is HYDRAULIC FLUID Offers very little in lubrication properties .Was never meant to be used in that way ,and if you do it .ITS SOLELY ON YOU .Try something like RISLONE, even Marvels mystery oil .But not ATF , its hydro fluid not oil or a oil additive .Funny thing is I've never even heard that and i'm not even sure the two things are even compatiable .Its not a good idea at all

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  • M.
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Very few people seem to understand what "detergent" means, including you.

    "Detergent" is a chemistry term.

    It means that chemicals are added to the oil to make solids (dirt) stay in suspension, instead of falling to the bottom of the pan, like would happen naturally, without the detergent added. This way, when the oil is pumped, it carries with it dirt, to the filter, so the filter can grab it. Laundry detergent holds the dirt particles from the washing cycle, in suspension, so when the water is pumped out, the dirt goes with it.

    You will never see any "high detergent" claim in any advertisement or specifications by the manufacturer of oil, because there is no such thing. It's just a retarded claim that people pick up and repeat.

    "Detergent" does not equal "scrub".

    Get a can of engine flush. That's what it's made for.

    You really need to open up a used engine and take it apart, so you can see what's inside. Most people have a big imagination.

    So my answer: Yes (it's a bad idea)

    Source(s): Engine overhaul mechanic and general mechanic since 1972
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    • JJ
      Lv 6
      4 years agoReport

      Silly, the transmission fluid does a fine job cooling why do you think it is run through the radiator cooler?

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  • 4 years ago

    Yes it is. There is no need to clean the inside of an engine other than what you get from doing regular oil changes.

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  • 4 years ago

    I'd never put ATF in a motor. I've used it plenty of times in older manual transmissions for about 20 miles to stop a known dry bearing noise but I wouldn't take a chance in a motor. Motor flush isn't a great idea either. That loosens all the sludge and the sludge goes into the oil pan and plugs the oil pump screen starving the motor of oil and causing the bearings to seize. The best bet is to just do oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles like mechanics do and advise customers to do. It;s letting your oil go until it's black that starts the problems.

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
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  • Poppy
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    ATF does not belong on the engine oil. That said not a good idea. Changing oil on a regular schedule so it never gets that dark brown/black is the place to start on keeping an engine clean. To clean on up do oil changes more frequently to remove the dirt form the motor.

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  • 4 years ago

    Nowadays Mobil1 has stronger detergent properties than ATF.

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  • 4 years ago

    Not a good idea. Read this post on the danger of engine flushing

    http://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/engine-flush/

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