FAQs about Auto-Rx® Plus in Engines
- What kind of oil filters can I use in the cleaning phase?
- What is the shelf life of Auto-Rx? Can I still use a bottle that has been sitting around awhile?
- Can I use Auto-Rx Plus in a hybrid?
- Why is my engine making noises?
- Do you still make Auto-Rx®?
- What do I need to know about rotating seals?
- Can Auto-Rx® Plus restore elasticity to seals and stop seals from leaking?
- Is Auto-Rx® Plus compatible with my turbocharger?
- What about the PCV valve? Do I need to replace it?
- When is the Auto-Rx® Plus treatment fully completed?
- What is “dino oil”?
- Why do you recommend non-synthetic oil for the Rinse Phase of the application?
- Does it matter what type of oil I use with Auto-Rx® Plus?
- Is Auto-Rx® Plus the same as those solvent flushes you can find at the auto parts shop?
- Is there any potential for damage to my engine when using Auto-Rx® Plus?
- Do I have to use new oil when beginning the Auto-Rx® Plus treatment?
- What is the Auto-Rx® Plus Maintenance Plan?
- How many times do I need to apply?
- I am no mechanic so I need products that are easy to use. Is Auto-Rx® Plus like this?
- Can I still use Auto-Rx® that has been in my garage for a couple of years? What’s the shelf life?
- How much Auto-Rx® Plus do I need to buy?
- Why does my engine light come on?
- Auto-Rx® Plus and overfilling of the crankcase
- What is white smoke?
- Valve stem seals
- Can Auto-Rx® Plus help with worn metal?
- Will Auto-Rx® Plus work with synthetics?
You can use inexpensive oil filters, especially in sludge removal as you will be changing filters often.
There is no known shelf life for Auto-Rx® Plus. If you have bottles left sitting for a while, or if the product appears frozen after a hard winter, just run the bottle under warm water until completely thawed. Shake the bottle to mix the product thoroughly, as some settling may have occurred during storage. Then use the product as instructed.
Yes, all engines, even those in hybrids, are subject to breakdown of the motor oil. Periodically, the motor oil needs to be drained and replaced as suggested by the engine manufacturer. Auto-Rx® Plus can be used in hybrid motors.
If your oil filter becomes loaded with contaminant during an Auto-Rx® Plus treatment, this can result in your engine running rough. You may experience some new engine noises, as well. If this occurs, change the oil filter; then top off with fresh oil only, before continuing with the application.
Auto Rx® has been replaced with Auto Rx® Plus, a product we believe is superior to our previous three blends. Auto Rx® Plus works faster and outperforms previous blends of Auto Rx®. There is added value to Auto Rx® Plus because it requires less product to achieve even better results.
Oil seals are polymer and metal composite items. Seals are generally mounted at the end of shafts. They are used to keep fluids, such as motor oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid inside the object they are sealing. Seals are designed to flex, allowing for a tight fit around the shaft that comes out of a housing, preventing fluids from passing through. Rotating seals are common points of leakage and can usually be purchased fairly inexpensively. However, the placement of some seals make them very difficult to access, resulting in a very labor intensive repair.
The answer to this question depends on the condition of the seals and the cause for the leak. Seals, especially those exposed to heat, stiffen over time. Seals that are torn, hardened with age, or simply beyond their service life need to be replaced. Seals may have a buildup of oxidized contaminant behind them that is in essence a false seal. After Auto-Rx® Plus has gently removed the contaminants fluids can then reach the seal. If there is life left in the seal Auto-Rx® Plus will restore its elasticity, allowing it to once again seal as intended. In the short term some leakage may occur.
Auto-Rx® Plus is compatible with the internal workings of turbochargers, their ball bearings, seals, etc. Turbochargers create a tremendous amount of heat. As a result turbochargers, and superchargers alike, can be quite taxing on motor oil and special lubricants. Life expectancy of a turbocharger is often linked to lubrication failure caused by heat. Auto-Rx® Plus safely removes oxidized contaminant allowing the turbocharger’s lubrication system to work as intended. As a result turbocharger life expectancy can be increased when Auto-Rx® Plus is used as directed.
PCV stands for positive crankcase ventilation. The purpose of a PCV system is to re-direct blow-by gasses back into the combustion chamber, not allowing them to escape directly into the atmosphere. Some engine designs allow for a simple system, while others are quite complex containing many check valves and hoses. PCV systems should be serviced on a regular basis, especially on engines that are prone to experiencing sludge. A clogged or improperly working PCV system can lead to contamination of motor oil and eventually sludge build up. The makers of Auto-Rx® Plus suggest you always replace the PCV valve (if so equipped) from the original engine manufacturer. OEM PCV valves are engineered for proper flow characteristics; after-market valves may not meet the same specifications.
After you drain your oil and Auto-Rx® Plus mixture, the fresh oil will rinse away any remaining residue from internal engine surfaces. Although engine benefits have already taken place, it will take another 1,000 miles or so (2,500 miles on a diesel engine) to fully remove the residue, and it will be gone after your next regular oil change. Depending on the amount of contaminants removed, your oil may be very dark after this rinse.
“Dino oil” is an informal name for standard, non-synthetic oil. It is presumed that the remains of dinosaurs contributed to the formation of petroleum thousands of years ago. Read Choosing an Oil for Use with Auto-Rx Plus.
We recommend simple, non-synthetic oil (do not use semi-synthetic or high-mileage oil) for this important step in the Auto-Rx® Plus application. Synthetic oil has a complex additive package that polarizes the liquefied debris on the internal oil-lubricated engine parts. The goal is to rinse this liquefied debris from all the internal parts; a good “dino oil” with its simple additive package does the job very well. Read Choosing an Oil for Use with Auto-Rx Plus
It does not matter what type of oil you use for the cleaning phase of the Auto-Rx® Plus application. However, for maximum results, we recommend that you use plain, non-synthetic oil for the rinse phase. Please see our application instructions for complete details.
NO! The solvent flushes that you find in the auto parts store use powerful solvents that can be destructive to your engine and seals. These products are “shock solvents.” They can only be kept in the engine a short time and have a tendency to break off large chunks of sludge that can get trapped in the engine oil passages. Clogged oil passages can cause engine failure. Oil is also negatively affected by the introduction of a solvent; it changes the chemistry of the oil, whereas Auto-Rx® Plus does not. Auto-Rx® Plus works slowly, methodically, and efficiently and will take approximately 2,000 miles to do its job. Engine deposits are formed layer by layer; they should be removed layer by layer. Auto-Rx® Plus does exactly that.
Auto-Rx® Plus will not damage any oil-lubricated parts of an engine, including seals. Auto-Rx® Plus is a specially formulated green chemistry (not harmful to the environment) that cleans metal without using toxic substances. It does not act like so-called friction reducers designed to disguise mechanical problems that need the attention of a professional mechanic. Oftentimes, poor engine performance can be traced back to oil debris buildup between piston rings. Auto-Rx® Plus addresses engine problems caused by brown carbon (sludge).
Using fresh oil is an option most of the time. Exceptions would be contaminated oil, which would have to be changed. Many people want to see the color of the new clean oil change after an Auto-Rx® Plus application, which is understandable. However, another person may not want the added expense of starting with clean oil. Oil does not wear out; it just gets dirty and its additives are used up. Auto-Rx® Plus suspends contaminants in the oil while it goes about cleaning the oil-lubricated rotating parts. Auto-Rx® Plus has an additive package built into its chemistry to perk up dirty oil while it is in use.
The maintenance plan is our Extended Performance Program. It is your assurance that the gains you received from your application will continue. Left unchecked, contaminants and sludge will return. For most engines a maintenance dose of 3 ounces with each oil change will maintain the benefits you received from your Auto-Rx® Plus application. For those engines that are prone to sludge, you should use 4 ounces as your maintenance dose. After a full cleaning has been completed, then you can maintain your engine on just the maintenance dose in the future.
We have seen customers get extraordinary results after only one application of Auto-Rx® Plus. One application is all that is needed. The exception is sludge-prone engines. Sludge prone engines have manufacturer design problems that leave them vulnerable. Using a maintenance does of Auto-Rx® Plus with each oil change will give you added security that a second cleaning will not be needed. If you’ve experienced sludge in the past, it is important to understand why it occurred and then take steps to prevent it in the future. Servicing the PCV system on a regular basis is one way to be proactive when it comes to sludge prevention.
Absolutely! Auto-Rx® Plus was created specifically for the do-it-yourselfer. Anyone can easily apply our product by following the simple application instructions.
Auto-Rx® Plus is a highly concentrated combination of ester-based cleaning components and has a thick consistency. Shake the bottle thoroughly before use. If the bottle is intact and the contents have not been contaminated by foreign substances, Auto-Rx® Plus should remain viable for use. Auto-Rx® Plus pours best at room temperature.
How do I use Auto-Rx® Plus in very cold weather?
Auto-Rx® Plus is a highly concentrated combination of ester-based cleaning components. In its concentrated form, Auto-Rx® Plus will not flow from its container below 32 degrees F. However, once dispersed into the host motor oil, it has little to no effect on the pour point of the host oil. In very cold weather, before opening, hold the bottle under hot tap water for 10-15 minutes; then shake well. If the bottle of Auto-Rx® Plus has been subject to below-freezing temperatures, you may need to increase the time. In the meantime, warm the motor to operating temperature. With a warm motor and Auto-Rx warmed to at least room temperature, you are ready to proceed with your Auto-Rx® Plus application.
Each bottle of Auto-Rx® Plus contains 12 fluid ounces. It will take one full bottle to run the cleaning phase in the motor. It will take one-half bottle to treat the automatic transmission. It will normally take 1 to 2 fluid ounces to clean up a power steering unit. This will leave you with enough for one maintenance dose application after the initial cleaning of the motor. See the application instructions for greater detail.
If your passenger car or light truck has become sludged, it is recommended that you buy at least three bottles, using two bottles in the cleaning application. The third bottle should be used for the maintenance dose. Take advantage of our quantity discounts available on the order page.
On some engines, internal sensors for the engine light, oil light, and temperature gauge will act in an erratic manner during the cleaning phase. Do not be alarmed as Auto-Rx® Plus is removing contaminants found on sensors. IT DOES NOT INDICATE A PROBLEM. Gauges will return to normal operating condition after the rinse phase. The exception to this advice is on sludge-prone engines whose oil pump pickup screens are known to become clogged with contaminants that are hard to dislodge. If you experience a persistent low oil pressure warning, the safest course of action is to have the oil pump pickup screen cleaned, or replaced, before continuing with your Auto-Rx® Plus treatment.
We know of no automotive motor design that cannot tolerate this amount of Auto-Rx® Plus added on top of a full oil fill. However, for small 4-stroke motor applications (such as lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc.), please apply the appropriate amount of Auto-Rx® Plus for the oil sump capacity. (Do not use Auto-Rx® Plus in any engine where oil and gas are mixed together.) Auto-Rx® Plus is the same chemistry for engines as transmissions, but the ratio changes. Transmission fluid is highly viscous hydraulic fluid in a sealed unit; 6 ounces of Auto-Rx® Plus is all that is needed. Please visit our transmissions page for more information.
White smoke is almost always associated with water or, more accurately, steam exiting the tailpipe. It is odd that we would not see it during a cold start up and do see it after the motor has semi-cooled down. As you know, the motor is ingesting airborne humidity with every intake stroke. Many times, the exhaust system loads itself with water after the motor is shut down, simply by the pipes cooling and the water vapor condensing. Upon restarting the car, as the exhaust heats up, the water in the exhaust vaporizes and exits the tailpipe as steam. Perhaps if you were to watch the exhaust on a cold start in the morning, it would go through the same steam phase as it does after your highway run. The difference is that it takes a lot longer to build up the heat from dead cold. With today’s catalytic converters that burn fuel remaining from the combustion process, 3000 degrees at the converter is often achieved. It is doubtful that the exhaust system has lost its heat totally during a 45-minute shutdown. However, back near the muffler and tailpipe area, it is likely to have cooled and condensed some moisture. Then, when you start the car, some very hot air from the converter area quickly flows to the back end of the exhaust at restart. If you have no head gasket issues, whereby water/coolant is getting into your oil or being sucked into the combustion chamber, then we would tend to think that you may not have any real issue. If water was being sucked right into the combustion chamber, it would be smoking white all the time. If you have water droplets on the oil dipstick, or a frothy mess, then you have a head gasket issue. A used oil analysis could also tell if you have coolant leaking into the oil.
There are many automobile engines that have worn or fouled valve stem seals without any appreciable loss in compression. Normally, a stem seal’s lack of integrity results in burning oil caused by oil seeping down into the combustion chamber, usually causing a plume of blue smoke during cold starts, acceleration, or deceleration. Many cars run just fine with less than perfect valve stem seals. But frequently, with more than desirable amounts of oil being burned in the combustion chamber, it becomes likely piston rings will become coked up from heat generated during the combustion process. When the rings, particularly the top two compression rings, get bonded together, they cannot work independently and compression suffers. If this is your case, then you can expect great improvement from an Auto-Rx® Plus cleaning and rinse. Also, many times with oil burning from poor stem seals, deposits form at the interface of the valve and its seat at the head, resulting in poor sealing and lost compression. Auto-Rx® Plus can clean oil contaminants from the polymer valve stem seal material. After cleaning, they sometimes rebound to good functionality.
Worn metal is caused by little or no lubrication. Auto-Rx® Plus cannot repair worn metal, but it can remove existing contaminants to allow oil to lubricate fully, thus altering the effects of worn metal.
The answer is yes if your goal is to clean out deposits and contaminants in a relatively well-maintained machine. Auto-Rx® Plus will certainly enhance a full synthetic’s ability to clean while performing its primary objective of lubricating. Most oils have only the amount of detergent to maintain a clean system, but not to clean a dirty one. So what happens is that, if you put clean oil in a dirty motor, the detergent package gets consumed long before the scheduled oil drain, and what initial cleaning occurred with fresh change, you will lose over time and miles. Auto-Rx® Plus will give the host oil, many times over, the cleaning capacity of the host oil. The oil is still capable of lubricating while Auto-Rx® Plus slowly cleans the deposits. However, if you are attempting to address a rotational seal issue, such as front or rear main seal or cam seal, then I would suggest using a dino oil. Auto-Rx® Plus cleans a bit faster when run with dino oil because Auto-Rx® Plus is composed entirely of esters that are polar and have somewhat of an attraction to metal. With dino oils, there are no other large quantities of polar materials, and Auto-Rx® Plus has little competition for the metal surfaces. In full synthetics, typically you have a PAO lubricating base combined with esters to hold the oil additive package in suspension. These coupling esters will compete with Auto-Rx® Plus for space on the metal surfaces. Also note that many Group III dino derived/refined base oils are marketed as full synthetic. Auto-Rx® Plus will work with these, as well.
So, in conclusion, yes, you may run Auto-Rx® Plus with a full synthetic and enjoy good results. However, if you have rotational seal issues, dino would be your choice. Also, other exceptions may apply to various applications. Please read the information concerning approved synthetic oils for use with Auto-Rx® Plus.