Recommendations for an oil with excellent “clean up” properties?

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Nov 4, 2021
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What oil would you recommend as having very good ‘clean up’ type properties for a newly acquired older car with some varnish / discoloration deposits? (170,000 miles with an unknown oil change history.) There’s no sludge, just more discoloration than in other vehicles I own with the same engine family at similar mileages. (Mercedes M112 & M113 gas engines.)

It’s not to the point where an “oil flush” product seems necessary (if ever?) – I’d just like to see if some cleaning could be achieved by running an oil with particularly good detergent properties. A short OCI is fine. Anything from the MB 229.3 or 229.5 menu would be nice, but if there’s a particularly suitable other product, that's fine too.

And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Mobil 1 0W-40 will be among the answers? Is there something else with even higher detergent / cleaning properties that can be used during this cleanup phase? (And then switch to M1 0W-40 afterwards.)

Open to all suggestions... and thanks in advance guys!
 
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M1 0w40 obviously.

High ester oils like Redline, HPL Lubricants, and perhaps Amsoil,

HPL Lubricant sells a 1 quart ester based engine "cleaner" which you use as a substitute for 1 quart of oil and you actually put a few thousand miles on the car.

Liqui-Moly and Ravenol have your typical flush products which are very mild but probably won't actually clean cosmetic things like varnish/discoloration.

Personally I'd run M1 or Redline because you can easily buy them in the quantity you need ( i.e. individual bottles vs cases) with or without the HPL Engine Cleaner.

Here's a post of a member who used HPL Lubricants on his well maintained car. https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...13-hyundai-elantra-cut-filter-element.354369/
 
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M1 0w40 obviously.

High ester oils like Redline, HPL Lubricants, and perhaps Amsoil,

HPL Lubricant sells a 1 quart ester based engine "cleaner" which you use as a substitute for 1 quart of oil and you actually put a few thousand miles on the car.

Liqui-Moly and Ravenol have your typical flush products which are very mild but probably won't actually clean cosmetic things like varnish/discoloration.

Personally I'd run M1 or Redline because you can easily buy them in the quantity you need ( i.e. individual bottles vs cases) with or without the HPL Engine Cleaner.

Here's a post of a member who used HPL Lubricants on his well maintained car. https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...13-hyundai-elantra-cut-filter-element.354369/
You took the words right out of my mouth
 
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I don't have any comparable data, but I installed a used engine with 86k on it. My initial fill of M1 FS HM 5W30 came out pretty black after about 1,000 miles. I personally would not run a flush up front in case the engine does have a heavy sludge problem, so as not to knock too much loose at once.
 

Ignorant1

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Nov 4, 2021
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Thanks for the helpful responses!

The link to the thread about HPL’s Engine Cleaner sent me down a rabbit hole with lots of interesting reading on other threads too. Because I recently changed the oil, I’m leaning towards using that (after removing some oil from the sump) but have a question. You guys likely know the answer, or maybe the @High Performance Lubricants representative can weigh in on this:

Would there be any potential harm in leaving it in the engine for an extended time period? The (unfounded?) concern is about seals being exposed to the Esters for a longer period of time than normal. Reason is that it will take a long time to accumulate a couple thousand miles on that engine. (It’s a very low usage car.)
 
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Thanks for the helpful responses!

The link to the thread about HPL’s Engine Cleaner sent me down a rabbit hole with lots of interesting reading on other threads too. Because I recently changed the oil, I’m leaning towards using that (after removing some oil from the sump) but have a question. You guys likely know the answer, or maybe the @High Performance Lubricants representative can weigh in on this:

Would there be any potential harm in leaving it in the engine for an extended time period? The (unfounded?) concern is about seals being exposed to the Esters for a longer period of time than normal. Reason is that it will take a long time to accumulate a couple thousand miles on that engine. (It’s a very low usage car.)
When blended at the 1:5 ratio we recommend the ester concentration is absolutely safe for the elastomers in the engine. The other thing to consider is the esters activity is also relative to heat. Sitting cool in the pan helps make the time in the pan pretty forgiving.

David
 
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When blended at the 1:5 ratio we recommend the ester concentration is absolutely safe for the elastomers in the engine. The other thing to consider is the esters activity is also relative to heat. Sitting cool in the pan helps make the time in the pan pretty forgiving.

David
Would it be OK to run in a 1:7.5 concentration for about 6500 miles and then change oil and filter in my M272?
 
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I had done a few flushes with gumout multi tune up and added a bottle of lubeguard trans flush at idle before every oil change. Even poured atf and diesel in there. Was running supertech hm fs because cheap and changing oil every 1k from clogged filters. Pitch black and the car ran better after every change. Tried penzoil platinum and fram ultra becuase that was hot on bitog then.

Then i saw the mobil 1 ad "cleans sludge in one oil change" and noticed some 5w30 annual protection was on wm clearance, free with rebate. Paired with a purolator boss i got a 3500 mile oil change before seeing the low pressure light and the last of my sludge issues.
Maybe it was just time and the previous oils had done most of it.
I will always use whatever oil is on clearance but mobil 1 is a good un
 
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AutoRX. Tried and proven over MANY years, miles, and applications.

For the oil itself, there’s a picture thread (or few) on the forum on that topic. Nothing keeps engines cleaner than Red Line, based on the pics.
 
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