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Old 12-11-2011, 04:57 AM   #1
badbobby
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Default Mmo

What is MMO soak--I have 170,000 and thinking of doing the soak-engine runs fine-but mabe with a soak it will run better? Were do you buy MMO and what do you ask for?

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mmo

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Originally Posted by badbobby View Post
What is MMO soak--I have 170,000 and thinking of doing the soak-engine runs fine-but mabe with a soak it will run better? Were do you buy MMO and what do you ask for?
Auto stores sell it, but it's much cheaper in wallmart (and probably online). The idea of the MMO soak is to reduce oil consumption; it won't make the car run "better" (although I suppose less oil consumption is better...).

Search--this has been discussed to death.

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mmo

MMO = Marvel Mystery Oil

A bit of a suspect name I'd say.

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Old 12-11-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by badbobby View Post
What is MMO soak--I have 170,000 and thinking of doing the soak-engine runs fine-but mabe with a soak it will run better? Were do you buy MMO and what do you ask for?
the soak is to clean & free up the oil control rings so the engine ceases to burn oil. the results vary. i use synthetic oil in my car because it contains better additives to keep engine components clean to avoid this problem in the first place.

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mmo

Question... If "soaking" the cylinders with MMO to get the gunk off and free the rings works, then wouldn't using something like Berryman's, which has more solvent and less oil in it, and is designed to clean parts do a better job?

I also notice the MMO site does not recommend "soaking" the pistons. It says to add it to the oil. Since the oil lubricates the rings and pistons as they go up and down, that makes sense to me.

Don't mind me, I am no expert, just questioning this soaking thing, since it seems very few have success doing it anyway...

PS: I tried using a bunch of oil additives (berryman's is not an oil additive, so i didn't try it) to remove sludge from a badly sludged timing cover and the best oil additives doing it cold were Rislone Engine treatment and MMO followed by seaFoam. The others (CD2, Dexron III ATF) did nothing to remove the sludge.

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mmo

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Originally Posted by cheapybob View Post
Question... If "soaking" the cylinders with MMO to get the gunk off and free the rings works, then wouldn't using something like Berryman's, which has more solvent and less oil in it, and is designed to clean parts do a better job?
Yes, but ultimately, most of the solvent gets past the rings. You don't want that much of a non-lubricating solvent in your oil, for one thing. More importantly, however, the solvent will wash all of the oil off the cylinder walls, so you will be starting it with no lubrication (which is obviously very bad).

Quote:
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I also notice the MMO site does not recommend "soaking" the pistons. It says to add it to the oil. Since the oil lubricates the rings and pistons as they go up and down, that makes sense to me.
Piston soaks are not the "approved" use of MMO, but full strength MMO is far more powerful than diluted MMO, and prolonged direct contact is what is necessary to free the rings (if you have that much oil past the rings, normally, you'd be burning tons of oil). Freeing stuck piston rings in not really what MMO is designed for--that's a problem that is mostly unique to saturn (because of the design flaw).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapybob View Post
Don't mind me, I am no expert, just questioning this soaking thing, since it seems very few have success doing it anyway...
Many people report that it works miracles, and logically, it seems like it has a decent shot of working. It doesn't work for everyone, but most people who drive s-series do not have the skills and/or cannot afford a rebuild, so it's really their only option to reduce oil consumption. Some of the people claiming it works may be experiencing a placebo effect, but there are plenty of people who have claimed significant reduction in oil consumption after one or several consecutive MMO soaks.

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mmo

simply switching to synthetic oil might do the trick also since that oil cleans better & doesn't break down & lubs better at low temps...

i seen a pic of an engine that was run with synthetic oil all it's life & you can eat off the parts inside...

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #8
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Wrench Re: Mmo

You can also try running diesel oil for a couple of changes. It has high levels of detergent and dispersants and if anything will work from the crankcase oil side, that would probably be it. Run MMO in your gas to keep the injectors clean and lubricated. It does seem to help the car run smoother (at least I can tell the difference and so can my usual carpool passenger).

However, if your oil control rings are too far gone with carbon buildup, nothing will prevent needing a ring job.

MMO does have some lubricating properties, but Seafoam is about 1/3 "pale oil" per their published MSDS. If you are going to soak your pistons with anything, do it with Seafoam (any good auto parts store has both MMO and Seafoam, even some WalMarts carry them both). But I don't recommend piston soaks personally.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
Auto stores sell it, but it's much cheaper in wallmart (and probably online). The idea of the MMO soak is to reduce oil consumption; it won't make the car run "better" (although I suppose less oil consumption is better...).

Search--this has been discussed to death.
Thank you for your reply.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by westwind999 View Post
MMO = Marvel Mystery Oil

A bit of a suspect name I'd say.
Thank you. In the far distant past I heard that marvel mystery oil was recycled trans fluid--have you heard this also???

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mmo

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Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
the soak is to clean & free up the oil control rings so the engine ceases to burn oil. the results vary. i use synthetic oil in my car because it contains better additives to keep engine components clean to avoid this problem in the first place.
Thank you. In a past post I read not to use synthetic oil on high milers for fear or removing to much sludge that may be helping clog oil potential leak problems. I have 175,000 1997 saturn sl.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mmo

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Originally Posted by DIYguy View Post
You can also try running diesel oil for a couple of changes. It has high levels of detergent and dispersants and if anything will work from the crankcase oil side, that would probably be it. Run MMO in your gas to keep the injectors clean and lubricated. It does seem to help the car run smoother (at least I can tell the difference and so can my usual carpool passenger).

However, if your oil control rings are too far gone with carbon buildup, nothing will prevent needing a ring job.

MMO does have some lubricating properties, but Seafoam is about 1/3 "pale oil" per their published MSDS. If you are going to soak your pistons with anything, do it with Seafoam (any good auto parts store has both MMO and Seafoam, even some WalMarts carry them both). But I don't recommend piston soaks personally.
By deisel oil do you mean deisel fuel? in the oil pan??? Also why not piston soak? Yes I have heard a lot of good comments on seafoam. And yes walmart rocks on their prices on most oil products including synthetic oils.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
simply switching to synthetic oil might do the trick also since that oil cleans better & doesn't break down & lubs better at low temps...

i seen a pic of an engine that was run with synthetic oil all it's life & you can eat off the parts inside...
Yes--but my engine has 170.000--heard it is risky to start synthetic oil on high milers???

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mmo

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Originally Posted by badbobby View Post
Yes--but my engine has 170.000--heard it is risky to start synthetic oil on high milers???
If synthetic causes any problems, you're already living on borrowed time. It is possible, but it is very unusual for synthetic oil to cause problems (it won't unless you're engine is in really bad shape. 170k is certainly high-mileage, but unless the oil hasn't been changed much, that's not high enough that the engine should be in "really bad shape". Personally, I would switch to synthetic unless you're burning a lot of oil (but if that's the case, I would definitely try an MMO soak--it shouldn't cause any problems, and it could help). I would get a quart of MMO and do two or three soaks, a few days apart, adding the remaining MMO to the oil, after the last one, and change the oil after 200-300 miles (if you consider that you're just topping off the oil, it's essentially free (other than your time)--schedule this so it lines up with when the oil needs topping off, and when you plan to change the oil)

Quote:
Originally Posted by badbobby View Post
By deisel oil do you mean deisel fuel? in the oil pan??? Also why not piston soak? Yes I have heard a lot of good comments on seafoam. And yes walmart rocks on their prices on most oil products including synthetic oils.
No... he/she means diesel oil... oil designed and marketed to be used in diesel engines. While the detergents in diesel oils are not optimal for use in gas engines, they do tend to clean a bit better. Regular synthetic oil is still a far better choice, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badbobby View Post
Thank you. In the far distant past I heard that marvel mystery oil was recycled trans fluid--have you heard this also???
No, that's not true. It does have similar properties to ATF, but lubricates better (ATF will also help clean out your engine, but while it is a lubricating oil, the lubricating properties are not sufficient for use inside an engine). Some people too cheap for MMO (~$3 per quart, IIRC) will occasionally use some (used) ATF instead, shortly before changing the oil. It does clean the engine (the oil is very dirty after doing that), but most people agree that it can do more harm than good).


As for synthetic vs regular/"dino" oil:

My '95 SL2 with a bit over 100k miles (ran like new, didn't burn oil, the rebuild was purely for performance reasons). Mobil 1 synthetic 5w-30 with frequent (perhaps excessive) oil changes. The mileage on this engine (while pretty low) was quite harsh--mostly short, stop-and-go trips with traffic, and a lot of really steep hills (NYC and Ithaca, NY):



No build-up, residue, sludge, etc, just a thin layer of clean oil on everything. An engine with 5,000 miles wouldn't look any different on the inside (the oil remnants on the outside of the engine is from a very minor cam cover leak).



The factory cross-hatching is still there, the cylinders are perfectly within spec in every way and there is absolutely no discernible ridge at the top of the cylinders:



(The coolant is an odd color because it has UV dye in it; that's not mold or algae in there.)

And a BMW engine that was not fortunate enough to enjoy synthetic oil:



I don't know the exact mileage of that BMW engine, but I've worked on several engines with 100-150k miles that looked like that (one that was even worse--had oil pressure problems).

Last edited by PlasticCarsRock; 12-12-2011 at 08:29 PM..

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mmo

Diesel Oil=HDEO (heavy duty engine oil) like Rotella. I used 10w-30 Rotella this summer. I have Pennzoil Platinum in there now. I did one piston soak and multiple other things. Some people have good results with piston soaks. MMO is just one choice, but may help. Then again, it may not. It is one of those things you just have to try to find out.

Over at BITOG someone just used Deep Creep (Seafoam product) with good results.

I will be over 200,000 miles soon and will not hesitate using Synthetic oil in the winter. Now, it may be too expensive to use if you have a heavy oil user. I have accepted I need a rebuild to eliminate consumption, so I just buy oil on sale and top off when needed.

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mmo

Is there a way to find out without a teardown whether high oil consumption is caused by sticking oil rings?

I tried adding both the Seafoam and eventually the MMO to the oil on a previous car. At first the Seafoam made the oil get very dirty, very quickly, but by the 3rd oil change it didn't make the oil get dirty at all, but oil consumption was still the same at 1/2 qt per fillup. It did solve a lot of my lifter noise (except at cold startup), so I guess the additive cleaners did have some benefit.

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapybob View Post
Is there a way to find out without a teardown whether high oil consumption is caused by sticking oil rings?
Not really, but with Saturns, it's a good bet--valve seals do occasionally leak, but almost all Saturn oil burning is caused by the oil rings (without drain-back holes, they get jammed up with sludge, which bakes into carbon, eventually). This problem is cured by drilling drain-back holes in the pistons, or by replacing the pistons with better designed ones, which include drain-back holes, among other improvements (such as the ones made by Sealed Power).

An incorrect or stuck PCV valve can also cause some oil consumption, so it's a good idea to replace it if you're not sure, but the rings are by far the most common culprit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapybob View Post
I tried adding both the Seafoam and eventually the MMO to the oil on a previous car. At first the Seafoam made the oil get very dirty, very quickly, but by the 3rd oil change it didn't make the oil get dirty at all
That means it was working. It got dirty at first because the Seafoam/MMO was dissolving the sludge/deposits in there. Once it was clean, there was nothing left for the seafoam/MMO to dissolve, so it no longer made the oil darker. (That doesn't necessarily mean the engine is spotless, just that the loose deposits that the solvents easily remove are gone.)

Quote:
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oil consumption was still the same at 1/2 qt per fillup.
Did you do a piston soak, or just add the MMO and Seafoam to your oil? Without doing a piston soak (prolonged direct contact of the full strength solvent vs splashes of the very diluted solvent), you're definitely not going to reduce oil consumption (but, like you observed, it will clean the rest of the engine).

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mmo

MMO or SeaFoam can also clean valves, and that is where miracles are worked, especially in the old carburetor days. Dirty valves make for a very poor running engine.

I rebuilt my 1951 Chevrolet 216.5 and put 100,000 miles on it. Somewhere early-on I installed an Ampco automatic oiler. The valves and intake on that engine were always extremely clean, and to this day it runs exceptionally smoothly. An automatic oiler might possibly gum up your catalytic, though.

Berryman's B12 Chemtool is an excellent sludge, carbon, and varnish remover. It has many very strong solvents--far stronger than MMO or SeaFoam. However, it has no lubricating qualities, and evaporates quickly. It will remain in a closed cylinder for quite some time (provided it doesn't leak past the rings), but is best left to shorter 2 hour soaks, or at least if longer soaks are performed, more should be added on occasion. It is also probably far more critical to change the oil after a soak with this product, as if a good quantity leaks past the rings, it will dilute the oil in a bad way.

On a side note, my '99 SL2 was run on regular oil all its life. The engine did not look pristine inside. It was coated with a thin layer of black soot and sludge, but nothing even remotely like the BMW engine above--just a very thin layer. On a positive note, however, the cylinder crosshatch was still present at 219,000 miles, with no trace of a ridge on the top. New rings are currently riding on that original crosshatch at about 227,000 miles. It seems to be rather common for Saturn cylinders to be virtually unworn, though. I've read many posts mentioning this, so it seems that regular oil does not adversely affect cylinder life. However, I have seen numerous posts in various forums showing how clean synthetic oil can keep an engine, so it does have benefits. I'm not sure if it is economically feasible, as according to the factory the oil is never supposed to be used past 3k miles due to dilution (or maybe it's thickening) and improper operation of the hydraulic chain tensioner. Not sure if synthetic oil might still protect properly past this usage period. If you could make use of it longer, as you typically can in other vehicles, then it might be economically feasible.

Synthetic oil might possibly keep the rings cleaner and free-er. It'd be interesting to see the pistons from that Saturn engine above that was run on synthetic.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Mmo

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It'd be interesting to see the pistons from that Saturn engine above that was run on synthetic.
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the pistons, but other than some carbon on the top, they were in great shape (no scoring on the skirts and clean, inside and out). There was a tiny bit of carbon/build-up in the oil ring grooves, but the rings were all free and not at all gummed up. Oil consumption was about 1 quart every 3-4k miles, which is not excessive even for a new car (most if not all of that can be explained by the cam cover leak).

The BMW engine is a worst-case scenario: conventional oil and extended drain intervals (well over the recommended 3k-6k miles). If conventional oil is changed every 3k miles, it will never look anything like that, but it will not be as clean as with synthetic, even with much longer intervals.

These are the pistons from a lower-mileage gen3 engine (around 70k miles). They have already been mildly cleaned (brake cleaner and rags to get off anything loose). The pistons from the engine above were MUCH cleaner than these: they had none of the carbon/deposit build up on the sides--other than the ring groves and tops, they were like new pistons, dipped in oil. (I took the rods from these to use with my gen3 version sealed power pistons.):


Last edited by PlasticCarsRock; 12-12-2011 at 10:19 PM..

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Mmo

1 qt every 3-4K is wonderful!

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