Frantz oil filters and other gimmicks...

isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
edited March 2014 in General
The other day, a guy brought a 52 Pontiac into our store. Under the hood, along with the straight flathead eight was mounted a Frantz oil filter.

Memories came flooding back...

These consisted of a chrome plated can that held a roll of toilet paper that served as the filter.

These were sold at state fairs by hucksters who delivered a pretty convincing demonstration of how they worked much better than the conventional types.

I seem to remember they even claimed you never needed to change oil again, just the filter.

I also remember that on some cars they would cause problems such as a severe drop in oil pressure.

Anybody else remember these?


  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I remember hearing about them and thinking they were something to avoid. Then I was surprised to read somewhere that they actually worked--I think it had to do with off-roading, probably with VW or Corvair engines.

    Speaking of gimmicks, what about Marvel Mystery Oil? I bought a '67 GTO with 150k from someone who claimed they'd used the stuff since it was new. The engine still ran smoothly, the lifters were quiet and it had good oil pressure, although it was a little down on power. Those 400s were extremely durable anyway, and the car had obviously been treated well, so it may just have been regular oil changes.

    The only additive I ever used was ATF if an engine was sludged up. Ever notice what a great hand cleaner it is? Apparently it does the same thing to the inside of an engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think an automotive engineer would roll his eyes if you told him /her about toilet paper filters. For one thing, who would be so incredibly cheap as to save...what?...$1.50 by using toilet paper instead of a well-designed filter. Secondly, if you really ever looked at what happens to toilet paper when you get it wet, it would become painfully apparent that it will clog in about two minutes and the engine will have to operate with the oil bypass valve (that is, the oil is shunted around the clogged filter).

    As for Marvel Mystery Oil, this isn't a case of a "gimmick" but rather a fancy or mysterious name for a very common item....upper cylinder lubricant...the idea here is that adding a bit of oil to the gas will coat the valves and upper cylinders, where oil normally doesn't get. Modern engine technology has rendered such lubricants useless of course.

    ATF is a very high detergent 10W oil is all, and yes, it could knock debris loose in a's been known to work.

    I think lots of "devices" that are in fact legitimate get "mythologized" beyond their real capabilities. Such things as K&N air filters, which do work, or synthetic oil, which does work, are now examples of preposterous claims for HP and gas mileage. I just saw a post with someone claiming a 3 mile per gallon jump in his car after adding synthetic oil! Can you imagine how much money automakers could save on engineering if all they had to do to boost their entire corporate fuel average some 10% was to add synthetic oil to the engines?? Probably the real gains for HP in K&N filters (and more dirt in your engine) would be 2-35HP in a BIG engine at very high rpms...and the gas mileage increase from synthetic oil might be 1/2 a percent under certain conditions (say cars used in extreme cold).

    HOw about those "magnetic" fuel ionizers! Don't you just LOVE these silly things?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I think in another forum awhile back, I talked about an old man (he was probably 50 at the time) who lived down the street from us. He had a 55 Buick Century. Every time he changed his oil, he would put four quarts of Havoline 30, and one quart of ATF. He claimed the ATF kept the lifters clean, etc. Many years later, as an adult, I would see him still driving that Buick.

    And I remember firewall mounted oil injectors that people would have installed. These were filled with Marvel Mystery oil that was metered into the intake system.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    When I was living in the Bay Area, 20 years ago, people were touting the benefits of cow magnets.

    By attaching these somehow to the fuel lines, gas mileage was supposted to increase my an amazing amount!
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    Remember the thing called "Magna-Fire" or something like that. It snapped on the center of the distributor cap, and was supposed to amplify the spark to the point where "up to 25% increase in horsepower" and other wild claims. I saw one of these demonstrated at the Oregon state fair in 1958. The car was a 53 Pontiac station wagon with the old straight eight. The guy would install one of these, and while the car was running, disconnect spark plug wires and note how smoothly the car still ran. My uncle caimed it was all rigged-with retarded timing, etc.
    And remember those "mini-superchargers" that mounted on the intake manifold under the carburestor-had a little moving rotor that was supposed to add a "real supercharging effect". Tha's what's fun about browsing through old issues of Motor Trend and others from the fifties-all those wild claims for gimmicks. Just think, if you combined all the percentage gains from the sparkplugs, magna powers, the "supercharger" and the fuel additives, you could increase your power and gas mileage by "up to 75%"-with an old flathead straight eight! Fun topic, Isell.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The "snake-oil" salesmen haven't quit yet. The claims from chips and exhaust systems still defy credibility, although I must say the science is indeed a lot better.

    Most interesting to me is that the purchasers of the gimmicks will often INSIST that they are true. You tell someone that 60HP from a new muffler isn't really possible and they'll swipe your head off.
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    There's an electric motor that's supposed to act as a turbo charger when you hook it up to your air filter - this was a big discussion in an Integra Forum I used to frequent.... the argument that manufacturers would have done this long ago was just wasted on many there.

    The other one that amuses me is the passive Radar Jammer that's being sold. (Hey it qualifies for this discussion - it lets your car go faster, right?)

    I tried for a couple of days to explain to a kid that the fact he hadn't been caught speeding since he bought it wasn't conclusive evidence that it worked. (He had no detector to see if there were signals out there to jam). Even when I pointed out that I haven't been caught speeding either, it went past him. I then pointed out that I wear a pinky ring and have never been eaten by a bear but that doesn't mean the pinky ring prevented it... and he still didn't get it.

    He's probably reading this in jail somewhere right now...
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    It's usually been classified with the gimmicks, but I'm not so sure. They were apparently used with some success on turbocharged Corvairs. In the '80s Edelbrock made an adjustable unit that I used on a GTO. It let me crank in a little more initial advance without audible pinging, which did nice things for throttle response. 50/50 distilled water and alcohol. It was sure cheaper than octance booster over the long run.

    I also remember "fire injectors" advertised in the J.C. Whitney catalog. They were super spark plugs as I recall. I don't know if you could get them in good, better or best, like you could with most of their stuff.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No, water injection is a sound principle, but a rather clunky bit of engineering to solve a problem and hard to regulate precisely. I think intercooling does all this much better.
  • roadroachroadroach Member Posts: 131
    'Splitfire' spark plugs just screams 'gimmick' to me.

    Are they supposed to provide a 'hotter' spark? Do you gap them the same as standard plugs (theoretically, the spark has a longer path than a normal plug since the annode(s) are offset slightly)?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I doubt if they would make even the slightest twit of a difference.

    Does anybody remember "Wink" mirrors?

    The '83 Chevy pickup that my next door neighbor and I co-own has one of these miserable things.

    They were popular in the sixties.

    These would replace the center mounted rear view mirror. They had either five or seven mirror panels mounted at an angle and are supposted to give the driver a wrap around view.

    Personally, it drives me nuts! Since I probably drive the truck 300 miles a year, if that, I haven't bothered getting rid of it.
  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    Remember the brake dust covers that fit over the
    rotors. These were popular in the eighties and stopped braked dust from getting on your beloved cross laced wheels (all the rage). I think these covers eventually caused rotors to warp and you never hear about them anymore.
    With the fad of exposed rotors now i don't think we will see these covers again.
    I wonder how long the exposed rotor look will last?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think people have always like to see the functional components of their cars displayed in some fashion. If you can't see how a car works by looking at it (where's the engine? Look for the grilles and scoops) or if the car doesn't look purposeful and mechanical, generally it's kind of boring to the spectator.

    Exposed rotors are really the product of light wheels...much different from the old trend of lots of glitzy chrome and wires...the latter look pretty bad on modern cars.
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    the magnetic oil pan plug that was supposed to trap the metallic by products produced by your engine and keep them in suspension until wipe off at your next oil change. Supposedly they allowed "even old cars" the benefit of running 200,000 miles with no problem.I love reading the 4 page ads [with testimonials]in 50's Motor Trend magazines- they're so could you NOT believe it worked? Did it?What about "overhauls" in cans complete with pellets you pea shot into the spark plug holes to "increase compression" etc.What did this actually DO? Someone would make a mint bringing it back and producing a "paid advertisement" infomercial.The mystery and voodoo of it all is what appeals to people I think.Just like the elixers/patent medicines sold by peddlers at the turn of the century.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Engine Overhaul in a can!

    I remember. You removed the spark plugs and put the pea sized pellets in the holes. Then you poured the can of gunk into the oil!

    You could save HUNDREDS of dollars that way!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'm waiting for ORGANIC automotive additives...we are about ready for this, aren't we, I mean, as a people? NATUR-OIL.......ECO-HOSES....ENVIRO-BRAKE PADS.....
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    to come from the Berkeley-Oakland area. Having gone to school there in the late sixties, I can just see a little shop on Telegraph Ave, close to the UC campus. Subaru owners would get big discounts...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, Save the Earth, buy a $35,000 Volvo Turbo 4X4 wagon....
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    You are on to something here! With the right marketing there is a fortune in this! "This brake pads are made of 100% compressed coconut shell..."

    I just caught this topic - yeah, MArvel Mystery Oil may have been a gimmick, but you gotta admit - the can looked great!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    might make a great radiator stop-leak. A bonus gift would be the hood-mounted pinwheel, in your choice of 5 natural colors
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    produced on a commune with cruelty free bees in a recyclable container. Don't know if it works, just keep repeating the chant printed on the can and.......what are you doing driving a CAR anyway when you can take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION YOU CAPITALIST PIGS?
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    only joking, I hope!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    "capitalistic pigs" is we say "fascist insects of repression".

    Remember the organic cigarettes? Now that was unclear on the concept.

    I love automotive voodoo that "magnetizes" things....magnetism is one of those things you can't see, so what better thing to sell to someone? Like using magnets to "align" your gasolines "ions".

    Also, the little electric propeller in your air filter to "supercharge" your engine was pretty funny.

    Or the one I saw the other day....a "special oil" that (quote) "can go to places where no other oil can!".....HUH?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    A buddy who was broke long ago needed to do SOMETHING to keep his radiator from leaking. He was a paycheck away from buying a used one and needed to get to work.

    An old timer suggested a few cups of Quaker Oats.

    Not only did that work but it smelled pretty good too!

    Fezo...Marvel Mystery Oil isn't a gimmick. It works!
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    if Oatmeal works [and why not?] then all we need is a marketing scheme-like a label with a picture of Mt Shasta, claiming "only the purest soil, water, and milling conditions". Could be sold in 8oz. containers for 5 bucks a pop, and would include a page of "testimonials" about how the "puroatol" worked wonders on getting Ken Kesey's blue bus across the country--and other stories.
    I'd forgotten about Motor Honey. It's a riot to look through old Motor Trends from the early 50's, and read all those "miracle products."
    I knew a guy who had his own body shop [for about 3 months] and who claimed the cow magnets he had wired to his fuel line actually made his 79 Chev pickup with 350/automatic get 25-28 mpg on the road. Yeah right. I think I know why his business went belly up...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Lucky he didn't have some cows sticking to his truck.

    "Marvel Mystery Oil" works in the sense that it is a light upper cylinder lubricant, often called a "top oil". Mostly a superfluous item on today's modern engines. It was probably somewhat high detergent, too, like automatic trans fluid, which has also been used to "free up noisy lifters".

    So Mystery Oil is just as good as any ordinary light top oil, no better no worse. No more mystery, see? Awwwwwww.......
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    "oil that goes where no other oil can go", but it's in a special section behind a swinging door along with other "marital aids"!AND organic cigarettes- they smell like burning weeds.
    There were also pellets you could put into your tank that would supposedly give greater mileage between fill ups.If I'd known THAT I could have gotten myself out of a "switching" for pouring pebbles into my Dad's 53 Ford's gas tank!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh, the gas mileage thing! I could go on for days.

    Here's why I don't believe "increased gas mileage" claims:

    An automotive engineer, and a major auto manufacturer, under such pressure these days to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets (government mandates, gas guzzler taxes), would DIE to have some cheap, easy way to get a few more miles per gallon out of their products! They would literally KILL to have this.

    But, oh, some guy in a warehouse in the Midwest....HE knows how to get 5 mph more out of an air filter or a computer chip or a muffler. He has discovered what GM, Ford, Mercedes, BMW, Ferrari and all the rest have failed to discover!

    A K&N filter! Synthetic Oil! A Flowmaster Muffler! Why, I'm getting 5-8 more miles per gallon now in my full-size sedan!

    Yeah, right.

    BUT DON'T some people actually get better mpg with these things?

    No, I don't think so, or if they do, it is really minimal and with certain disadvantages of noise or stress that the engineers did not want to risk.
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    But, do you remember the 44 mile per gallon Vega that motor trend rigged up in the mid 70's during the height of the eco/gas shortage craze.They used everything and got real close, but I don't know if they used organically grown rabbit pellets in the gas tank!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, sure, I could take your car, whatever it is, drive it EXTRA CAREFULLY, inflate the tires to 60 lbs, remove the air filter entirely, disconnect your muffler, roll up the windows, drive with bare feet, take off the antenna, bump the timing, disconnect your belt-driven fan (won't need it at high speeds), use your cruise control, drive on the flats on a windless day, etc. etc....I'd bet I could get 40+ mpg out of car, too.

    A Vega actually ran 40 miles at one time?
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    Last two posts reminded me of a test Car $ Driver did back in 1978. They ran a Chevy Caprice with a V6 against a 4cyl Chevette, from LA to San Francisco. On some stretches of road, the Caprice actually got BETTER mileage than the Chevette. And there were no pellets in the tank or cow magnets on the fuel lines...just, um, white knuckles on the wheel of the Chevette...
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    did all that and used every after market device known, like the APO MK II vapor injector and the gimmicks like the magnets and a few other thinks like low flow exhaust,and a bunch of other things. But I believe you'd have had to drive further than a Vega could go to recoup the costs in fuel savings.
    I remember that test as well.Remember the full size Ford ads in the 70's-26 mpg [at 54 mph on a level plane with a 45 mph tail wind "your mileage may vary!"]. You gotta love em. "More Road hugging weight!"
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    run a mileage marathon with the credit option Cadillac V-6 offered in the early 80's?
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    with that Cadillac V8-6-4, [remember those? They lasted about 13 minutes]. I don't know if that was a credit option or not. But it certainly was the end of Cadillac as it used to be known. Along with the diesel, I think it was the defining "red flag" moment for Cadillac. The Caprice vs. Chevette test was actually real, and mainly just exposed the fact that the Chevette was such a lousy "economy" car. Of course, most of us already knew that...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think aerodynamics, gearing and terrain will affect fuel mileage much more than any silly little device ever could. Remember the Citroen DS 19 and 21?....they could run all day at 85 mph with a dinky little engine, and get good fuel mileage, too....because of aerodynamics. Try that on a Jeep Cherokee...the "flying brick"....
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,885
    Hey gang,

    Remember the Dodge Dart Lite and Plymouth Feather Duster from around '75-76? I've heard claims that they would actually get 36 mpg. My old '69 Dart 225 would only get about 22-23 on the highway. Considering that a '75-76 would be heavier, but would also have taller gearing, a 4-speed, and that was without A/C, I wonder how they really compared?

    But still, Chrysler, Ford, and GM don't make a car today that's EPA rated at 36 on the highway (well, ok, a Prism manual is rate 38 highway, but Toyota build that one ;-)

    As for changing driving habits, out old '88 LeBaron turbo coupe would get about 20 mpg driving around town. One night, I felt like seeing how high I could get the computer's MPG to go, so I drove as slowly and gently as I could, taking forever to accelerate, timing lights so I didn't have to stop, and coasting as much as possible. I actually got it to register close to 30 mpg. I don't know how accurate that trip computer was though. Still, no normal person would ever want to drive like that!

    As for the V-6 Cadillac offered back in the early 80's, it was actually a Buick V-6 (252) rated at 125 hp. Considering that engine was going into 3800 lb Eldorados and DeVilles and Sevilles that were even heavier, I'm sure its mileage was lousy. When the big Cadillac engines gave way to the aluminum 4.1 (249), the V-6 was actually larger by a hair, so I'm sure mileage was about comparable. BTW, Consumer guide tested a 1985 Fleetwood with a Caddy 249. It weighed about 4200 lb, and in their tests got about 14.8 mpg. And it required 3.42 gears to do it. They also tested an '85 LeSabre and a Delta 88, with 307's, and both of them got 16-17 in their tests. They were probably about 600 lb lighter, though, and only had 2.84 gearing.

  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    I couldn't remember how well it did with that v-6!
    There's also this dippy looking attachment that goes under your carb that has some sort of a fine mesh screen.The"**** Catalyst" Hydro- maybe. Supposed to give ultra improvements in mileage.
    And the beat goes on. In the latest Commie Earth News there's a web site []that provides info on an additive called VISCOM that supposedly makes all the gas molecules the same size and "boosts mileageby 20% while reducing emissions by 70%"-- a "magic elixer"the developer says.Put down that bong I say!
    I"ve been to the site and it's as vague and circular in it's explanations and just as elusive to understand how it works as that 200 mpg carb is to find. I think it's a conspiracy!
  • taylor47taylor47 Member Posts: 23
    After reading all the comments that were written about Franz Filters or "toilet paper roll" filters, I must say that when that particular type of filter came into the marketplace most engines were not equiped with oil filters of any kind and this was an add on aftermarket system.

    The logic is any filtration is better than no filtration! These add on filters were in a By-Pass Mode whereby a portion of the oil is filtered and returned to the crankcase and in modern vehicles all the oil passes through a filter in a Full-Flow mode.

    When using a by-pass filter it is possible to filter to much lower micron ratings than are allowable with a full flow filter. The reason is the volume of oil moving through the filter.

    Typically a full flow filter on the average vehicle is rated at about 35 micron particle size.
    By-pass filters generally are 10 microns and below. Some of the dense paper elements described as toilet roll filters are in the 1 micron area of filtration. These are the same filtration standards required by sensitive hydraulic control systems so imagine the wear reduction that could be acheived on engines by filtering to this level!

    I have personally used and installed these low micron filters and would defend their use on any vehicle as long as they are used with common sense and the hype that sales types put on their products as revolutionary are dismissed as "hype"
    I have also been involved in trials where vehicles -usually larger diesels- are run up to 10 times longer than normal on the same engine oil with little deterioration from the oil. When you consider these engines use 35-40 quarts of oil per oil change extending oil drain intervals can save enormous amounts of money!

    Better filtration just makes good sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Back in the late sixties, a buddy talked me into installing a Mallory ignition on my '62 Impala SS.

    He had one on his car and swore it would make a big difference in how the car would run.

    So...I saved my money and went for it.

    Luckilly (?) for me, he happened to work part time in a well equipped Texaco station in town.

    I remember the kit came with a Mallory coil,and some different distributor weights, points and condensor.

    He mounted my distributor in a Sun distributor machine so he could tweak everything just right.

    I learned two things...The Mallory kit made no difference in the way the car ran that I could tell. Big waste of money.

    I also learned that a Sun distributor machine, if touched in the wrong place could deliver a shock that was unbelivable!!!

    My buddy thought it was pretty funny until he got one himself five minutes later doing the same thing I did!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    IF that was a dual point ignition, the idea is that it increasing spark duration in the cylinders. I think the reason why it didn't "work" in your car is that you didn't do anything else to take advantage of the Mallory...with carburation, intake and compression changes, a dual-point could probably handle things might say that the Mallory would have coped with modifications better, had you made them. I think this is why you experienced disappointment.

    Toilet paper is very good for certain things, but oil filtration in a modern engine certainly isn't one of them. What a gyro-gearloose idea, and what a way to "save" money!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, by itself the Mallory wouldn't have made much difference without other modifications except maybe at very high rpm where the dual points and better quality(?) would have given a fatter and more consistent spark.

    But the different advance weights could have given you a faster advance for better throttle response, and there may have been less mechanical advance built into the Mallory so you could add more initial timing, also for better throttle response.

    All of that could have required a higher octane gas but in those days it was available. In the early '80s I was putting Mr. Gasket curve kits in stock Delco distributors and it definitely sharpened throttle response. But by that time the best gas available was Union 76 92 octane and you needed to add octane booster--or mixed gas with different octanes, or installed water/alcohol injection--to get the most out of the kit.

    The other drawback of the curve kit was that you had to disconnect the Delco's vacuum advance, something I don't think the Mallory had. You could use vacuum advance with the curve kit around town, but at wide open throttle you lost manifold vacuum and with it maybe ten of the 40 or so degrees of advance you were running.

    I put my first kit in a '67 GTO on a Wednesday afternoon, then drove it to the strip for grudge night races. The car felt stronger until I nailed it at the lights and it turned into a Fiat 850 with bad rings--got my doors blown off by an Econoline van. The fix was simple, just cut out the vacuum advance and put more mechanical advance back into the distributor.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    If the Mallory kit made a difference I couldn't tell. Back then, I used to advance the timing more than specified. I remember using Chevron Supreme gas or it would ping.

    How we complained about paying 38.9 cents a gallon for that stuff!
  • egkellyegkelly Member Posts: 17
    I remember seeing ads for this fraud back in the 1970's. It was an ordinary ignition coil, but claimed to be a "see-dee" (ie capacitive discharge ignition system).In reality, it contained a capacitor, and a zener diode-both of which were unconnected!They advertised the device as "solid state"-which it was (since it DID contain a diode)! I guess the fedral Govt. finally put them out of business!
  • andy356andy356 Member Posts: 12
    I recall that an old VW air cooled beetle that I owned had a magnet drain bolt in the trans. When I changed the trans oil the bolt was loaded with crud. I assume it came from gears and bearings, because the case was aluminum. Also, the Porsche 356 engine oil drain plate has a magnet in it. Don't know about the 911 Porsche. Maybe this is where the "Magna-Plug" people got the idea. (Not sure of the official name)

    I also recall reading that GM dealers had a listing for magnet drain bolts in their catalog. Haven't asked at a GM dealer. Has anyone on this list heard of this?

    One more thing: The road to a friend's house is never long.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The drain plugs are a good idea....nothing "gimmicky" about's only when they start using magnets to boost fuel mileage and "ionize the molecules" that you have to start rolling your eyes.
  • andy356andy356 Member Posts: 12
    Your credentials are impressive. Are you aware of any recent tests of the magnetic drain plugs on new vehicles? Not much iron in a new engine, so I believe that there would not be many iron particles to stick to the magnet. Seems like a high quality oil filter would trap small aluminum particles that wore off of the engine.

    Do any current manufacturers use magnetic drain plugs in their engines or transmissions?

    And, are there any after-market magnetic plugs available?

    Thanks in advance,
  • 20992099 Member Posts: 63
    Mr. Shiftright,

    Just saw an ad in Used Car News (trade paper for dealers. I used to be in the business and still subscribe) touting a smokeless motor oil. Supposedly you drain the oil, change the filter and add this "synthetic lubricant" instead of regular oil and your car will never smoke from the tailpipe again. Just wondering if you ever heard of this stuff and what it is.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I had several cans of it in my Corvair's crankcase the last night it ran--it was called STP. Stopped the smoking but I noticed the oil light went on every time I went around a corner. I solved both problems that night by totaling the car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Smokeless oil---well, considering that oil burns because of a worn engine, and considering that nothing in a can is going to cure metal worn off piston rings or cylinders, then I can only presume that this stuff, if it works, simply doesn't burn...that is, is non-combustible. Being a lubricant, I find this hard to believe....also, unless you put 5 quarts of it in, I don't see how it's going to stop oil from burning...what does it do, wrap it in asbestos?

    I find the whole concept absurd.....I agree with the above, it's some kind of temporary GUNK that slimes up the engine long enough for the poor chump who bought the car to get home without seeing too much smoke.

    Magnetic Plugs--I always thought this was SOP on most modern cars, but of course I don't remove too many strangers drain plugs, so I don't know. All my cars always had them as far as I can recall.

    Special Oil Filters---here's my logic on this. Most modern engines run a gazillion miles already on regular oil and OEM filters. I don't much see the logic of presuming one is going to extend this life very much. If anything, the engine life of a modern car already exceeds the ability of the paint, upholstery and body parts. I also think there is a negative factor in these "longer-life" products, in that they make the owner complacent about maintenance..."oh, it's okay, I don't need to change oil as much or filters as much....I've got the "long-life" durofilter with Kryptonite Synthetic Oil. I don't think these products, even though they can be good, really allow you to slack off on your car care without major consequences.

    There are simply no miracles products out there. I'd give up on that concept myself.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Re egkelly's post #44, I confess. Back in the late '60's I found the literature about the latest and greatest gizmo too fascinating to resist. This was before compact disks and certificates of deposit.

    I installed a CD (Capacitive Discharge) ignition system in either my MGB or FIAT 124 Spyder (can't remember). I can't remember the brand either. It was supposed to boost performance and mileage (of course). At least it didn't blow up the engine.
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