: Blowing out the engine

10-29-04, 01:18 AM
Even though I don't torture the car, I thought I ran it hard enough to keep it cleaned out. A few days ago, I read about driving the car in second gear to clean out the engine. I kept the thought in the back of my mind, but didn't give it much thought because, after all, I run it hard enough to keep it cleaned out. Even so, it makes sense to allow the engine to operate some in the high end, an area that never gets exersised.

Today, I had the car on the interstate, and pulled it into second. No! A bunch of crap didn't come out of the tailpipes. It did, however, run about 5k, so ran the car for about 30 seconds, of course with the raido off, and the windows closed. Then I put it back in OD. It sounded like a different engine, with a much throatier growl from the stock exaust, so I did it again, for about another 30 seconds--perhaps a little longer--in and out of the throttle, varying the rpm between 5 and just toucing 6k. Sounded fine, almost asking for more, but that was enough. As I said, I don't torture the car.

Anyway, after I left the highway, where I could get a feel for low-end performance, the performance gain was a signifigant amount. I'm not saying that I got an additional barn-full of horses. The thing is that it was more than obvious that the Northstar's performance had improved after running a few moments in its upper end.

I have no doubts that such driving is hard on the transmission, so I wouldn't recomend more than a little strecth. However, I would strongly recommend that all Northstar owners give the engine a 5k run under load for a half minute or so. Even if you do more than your fair share of wot, it's not the same as a short duration at 5 to 6k. If you haven't done this to your Northstar, you don't realise how hungry your engine is for a small stretch.

11-03-04, 12:05 PM
I occasionally do that on my 99 STS..
We've got 130k miles on it though.. Seems it needs it after my wife drives it for a few weeks. A couple of times it triggered a Service Engine light that always seems to disappear.. I have been embarassed once too often hitting it at the top of an on-ramp and smoked the whole lane out..

11-04-04, 07:09 PM
I fully agree with "lettin' her breath" every now & then but as you suspect, I believe dropping into 2nd from high cruising speed is pretty hard on the drivetrain. A whole lot friendlier once warmed up to leave her in 2nd on the freeway onramp then build up your speed as rapidly :) as you want then cycle the revs up & down a little bit to free up the rings.