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Old 07-19-2004, 09:13 PM   #1
wolfman
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Default The FINAL word about oil additives (I hope)

A worthy addition to the FINAL word about ENGINE oil thread. Oil additives. First a LINK to the best site about oil, oil filters and oil additives bar none http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm (the reason I recommend NOT USING Lucas products)

Bottom line there is no magic bullet.

OIL ADDITIVES:

FRICTION MODIFIERS: Slick 50, Prolong, Duralube etc... These use proprietary ("secret") formulas that use molebdium disufide, Teflon and any number of a variety of goop to "improve" the lubrication (slipperyness) of oil. DON'T USE THEM IN YOUR ENGINE! Many of the ingredents can actually cause DAMAGE long term. (NOTE: Friction modifiers CAN be a good thing in MANUAL gearboxes and differentials BUT, you must be VERY CAREFUL what you add. Many manufactuer's actually use additives right from the factory for these applications but NEVER in engines.

VISCOSITY IMPROVERS: Motor Honey, STP etc THICK goop added to oil that basically thickens it up. These work, BUT, AGAIN, DO NOT USE THEM. If you want thicker oil, just buy thicker oil! These can be a very bad thing in areas of COLD WEATHER as they can restrict oil passages, pumpability and start up lubrication.

SEALERS AND SEAL "SWELLERS": "CDxx, "High Mileage" oils, Oil "Stop leak" products etc.. These use a chemical additive to actually soften and/or swell seals (such as valve guide seals) in an engine to reduce oil leaks and burning. These also work, BUT, should NOT be added more than ONCE with an oil change. (Continued use can actually soften seals to the point of failure!) Long term use can result in deposits that can actually clog up oil passages. They "may" stop a MINOR rear main seal leak but are NOT a permanent solution. If you have a leak, it needs to be fixed. They can reduce oil burning PROVIDED it is caused by worn valve guide seals, but again is NOT a permnanent fix.

SOLVENTS AND OIL SOLVENT MIXES: Marvel Mystery Oil, any product that says "Quiets noisey lifters", SeaFoam etc.. These products contain highly refined and very THIN lubricating oils and a variety of petroleum and non petroleum based solvents. These also work. By introducing solvent into to the oil stream (or fuel stream) to break up, soften or disolve carbon, varnishes and other deposits and can help to "clean" out an engine internals and quiet lifters clogged up by such deposits. They are also not a "cure all" but can net good results if used according to instructions. Products such as MMO have proven themselves over the years to be safe and reliable as well as versitile. These likewise are NOT a "cure all" but can pull a marginal lifter or engine full of neglectful gunk back from the brink if combined with more frequent oil changes to flush out the goop they disolve. DO NOT use "5 Minute Motor Flush" or similiar products. These are basically just Kerosine and result in filthy highly diluted oil running through the oil system for way too long (even 5 minutes is too long IMHO) you also will NOT be able to drain it all out afterward so it will continue to contaminate and thin the fresh oil you pour in and clog the new filter.

ENGINE "IMPROVERS": Restore, Tune Up in a Can etc..These products actually contain various suspended METALS, seal swellers, solvents and lubricating oils. Some folks swear by them. The jury is still out. In my opinion anything particle wise is not a good thing in oil (that's why you have an oil filter) One thing I DO KNOW for certain is that NOTHING you add to your oil is going to undo the wear of tens of thousands of miles...that's what rebuilds are for.

BOTTOM LINE. NOTHING (to date) you can pour into your engine oil will make up for high mileage, mechanical problems or general wear or neglect. There are products that can help bring a NEW or minor problem back to normal, as well as some that can help keep things running good when used in moderation AND as part of the cars REGULAR MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE. Save the money you would spend on additives and spend it on maintenence and repair. That's the absolute bottom line.

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Old 07-19-2004, 09:22 PM   #2
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Much knowledge Wolfman... I applaud. If I'm wrong on the summing up let me know. If your engine uses oil at a moderate consuption rate, top it off and be on your way. The fact that it uses oil is not a major problem, but if you drive low on oil, that will be your downfall.

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Old 07-19-2004, 09:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrg813
Much knowledge Wolfman... I applaud. If I'm wrong on the summing up let me know. If your engine uses oil at a moderate consuption rate, top it off and be on your way. The fact that it uses oil is not a major problem, but if you drive low on oil, that will be your downfall.
BINGO!

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Old 07-19-2004, 10:15 PM   #4
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I think this information should be "Important". Alot of people come here to ask about oil consumption. I think Wolfman has given a complete summary on how to try to reduce and/or prevent it. Let us know Charlie.

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Old 07-20-2004, 12:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for a very well written and well thought post.

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Old 07-20-2004, 01:04 AM   #6
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good info as always wolfman. but i have a quick question ( as always). what do you think of using ATF before an oil change to flush the system?

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Old 07-20-2004, 02:07 AM   #7
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Don't do it. ATF is essentially a lubricant enhanced hydraulic fluid that was never meant to see combustion level temperatures, it's (ATF) additive package may actually be incompatable with engine oil and make for some ugly chemical reactions. If you want to do a little supplimental cleaning of the engine's innards, add a 12oz or 16oz bottle of MMO (Marvel Mystery Oil) to the dirty oil (even if you have to overfill it to do so) about 300-400 miles shy of the next oil change. That will safely do what you seek, for the same or even less cost.

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Old 07-20-2004, 05:27 AM   #8
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Another thing about those stop smokes.....they also tend to contain chemmicals that will make the smoke still come out, but it's not as colored (basically makes it burn clear-er I guess you could say).

We sell them at the store and we keep telling people it won't solve **** (any of it) besides an MMO piston soak, and they still buy it....

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Old 07-20-2004, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Fm Wolf
First a LINK to the best site about oil....
I've been checking that site for almost two years, and have found it invaluble......
Well done article, Wolf..

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Old 07-20-2004, 09:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by wolfman
Don't do it. ATF is essentially a lubricant enhanced hydraulic fluid that was never meant to see combustion level temperatures, it's (ATF) additive package may actually be incompatable with engine oil and make for some ugly chemical reactions.
Actually ATFs are compatible with the same temps as engine oils because they are mostly the same base stuff: oil - either petroleum or synthetic. HOWEVER ATFs have a lot different additive package which is not intended to work in an engine and as Wolf says DON"T PUT ATF IN YOUR ENGINE.

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Old 07-20-2004, 11:39 AM   #11
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You didn't include Auto-RX, an expensive substance with religious application instructions and mostly positive reviews on BITOG.

It's supposed to gently clean all that ails your motor over a period of 1500 miles without upsetting anything.

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Old 07-20-2004, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by eljefino
You didn't include Auto-RX, an expensive substance with religious application instructions and mostly positive reviews on BITOG.

It's supposed to gently clean all that ails your motor over a period of 1500 miles without upsetting anything.
At 67 bucks a quart, you're certainly correct on the first part!

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Old 07-20-2004, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Murray
At 67 bucks a quart, you're certainly correct on the first part!
Ha. It is expensive. I believe the standard price is $25 for a 12 oz bottle (I'm awful with english units, is that $67/qt?) though between the discount for ordering more than one and a "discount code" I found on some Porsche site, I was able to get 4 bottles for ~$60.

Running one treatment in our '00 Civic right now, it's got about 96k miles and I'm switching it over to Mobil 1, figured a good cleaning beforehand couldn't hurt. My '92 also has some in it right now, unfortunately the tranny trouble is keeping it off the road.

Like eljefino said though, that stuff appears to be the real deal.

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Old 07-20-2004, 01:56 PM   #14
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Many old timers swear by adding about a pint of kerosene to an old engine's crankcase prior to changing the oil will clean the the gunk out. I balked at the idea of adding something as volatile as fuel to a running engine's crankcase.

Any thoughts on this?

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Old 07-20-2004, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by UNKLE BIK
Any thoughts on this?
Wolfman had a comment on that buried in the original post:

"DO NOT use "5 Minute Motor Flush" or similiar products. These are basically just Kerosine and result in filthy highly diluted oil running through the oil system for way too long (even 5 minutes is too long IMHO) you also will NOT be able to drain it all out afterward so it will continue to contaminate and thin the fresh oil you pour in and clog the new filter."

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Old 07-23-2004, 07:23 PM   #16
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EXELLENT POST!!!!!

Yeah.... and some of those "leak stoppers" just inflate your existing seals (which are crap) and after a few oil changes they (your seals) begin to deteriorate faster than they did before because the expansion tears them apart.

Also always use caution with thicker oils. make sure you engine can handle the extra stress. I blew a head that way once.

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Old 07-23-2004, 07:57 PM   #17
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AutoRx appears to work. Long term the jury is still out. It is expensive. I am also somewhat wary of a product that, as part of it's instructions, requires that you continue to buy and use said expensive product basically for ever...

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Old 07-23-2004, 10:59 PM   #18
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Very good handling of this controversial topic, Wolf...

I figured everybody would argue about their favorite "treatment" and we'd have more bickering than the synthetic vs. dyno debate!

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Old 07-24-2004, 11:51 PM   #19
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Well, the webpage on Lucas is interesting. I would never think about adding that stuff to my oil, of course, but I would not call that report conclusive. The weak spot IMHO is a very generic design of the system, and no note on RPMs.
At what RPM does the aeration start? It is all about finding the balance between oil climbing and extensive air entrapment, in Lucas case.
In any case, I think car manufacturers are designing their mechanisms for use with standard oils, and oil companies are making those standards better and better. And those guys trying to "improve" things without being either engine or oil makers have nothing to do at the market.

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Old 07-25-2004, 08:52 AM   #20
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BITOG does recommend a few additives but most are not worth anything.

I am wary of a product that has "Mystery" in its name. I am looking at some of the other "cheaper" additives that have positive feadback at BITOG.

Lubegard Engine Flush #95030 can be purchased through www.autobarn.com. Auto Barn charges $6.99 plus freight.

AMSOIL engine flush (both positive and negative feadback), I'll see if this is worth buying or not when I read it's ingredients!

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