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engine oil additives

wcsfwcsf Posts: 1
OK changing oil regularly is good for you, but what if you're brainwashed and think additives will increase life of your engine? Has anyone with real life experience with any of the hundreds of products out there? Do they actually help decrease friction and extend engine life or are they a waste of money? At one time I used to use Marvel Mystery Oil that seems to actually help remove sludge from engine and made it run better. Anyone tried anything of use?


  • redsilveradoredsilverado Posts: 1,000
    i know a lot of people who are using Marvel, and swear by it, myself included. having raced model plyon racers (mini airplanes) that use 2 stroke motors which run in the 24,000 rpm range, i can tell you this, in between heats we always shot some marvel in em to get the bearings lubed up. always noticed that when turning the engines over that the compression felt stronger after a couple of shots of marvel. tells me it works. only engine oil additive i found that i actually saw results was the stuff called "Restore". it's sold in three different sizes, depending on whether you have 4,6 or 8 cylinders. we threw some in an old tired forklift, and actually noticed that it had a little more poop. not a lot, but just enough to get the work done. ran this thing for 3 more years and it never changed. all the other gimics, are usually just that. i tried Z-max in a car and saw no results. their guarantee is that if you change your oil and use their product as specified, that if you have an oil related failure within 100,000 miles, they will cover the repairs. there's no way that you can experience an oil related failure unless you lose all the oil or the oil pump fails and you continue to run the engine. i took my used containers of Z-max back and got my money back. everyone will tell you this or that works, but do your homework first, as a lot of these additives are design to do different tasks. some even tell you that they will quiet a noisy engine. probably will, but there may be side effects to what this thicker oil is actually doing.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I think you are wasting money using additives in engine oil. I am not a great believer in the "manufacture's knows best bit" but If you want the best for your engine syn oil will be beyond any conventional engine oil with any additive. I personally feel Mobil 1 is the best and they have the resources to put in anything which makes it better. Just my opinion though.

    Also there is no proof that the additive does not interfere with additive packages of individual oils. That's really the crap shoot of the entire matter. Better to trust that the oil has the additive package it needs.

    On the other hand-I use MMO in my gas and find that it gives better gas milage. It stands to reason it will cut friction in the cylinger. I have heard others on this board which claim it reduces oil consumption. That makes sense because it would help sealing in the ring/cyl.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    My take on additives is that they are almost always unnecessary and some may be counter-productive or damaging. The 'miracle' oils additives are snake oil and their manufacturers are all being sued by one group or another. Prolong is one I used but I'll never use again.

    STP or other oil thickeners may be OK for engines on their last legs but they can goo-up your motor with sludge if you leave them in too long. Most of these contain ZDDP, a useful additive that is already in all cureent oils (albeit in lower quantities these days). I wouldn't use this stuff in newer cars. It just isn't necessary and the thicker oil may reduce your mileage and/or higher-RPM horsepower.

    I like Marvel Mystery oil ... but added to gas, not oil. Sure, you might find some useful uses for this stuff where a light lubricant is needed but you should NOT thin down motor oil with this stuff. Use the proper weight to begin with. Even added to gasoline, I'm leery about Marvel Mystery oil. Could this stuff, under certain circumstances, clog fuel injectors? I know they sell a fuel injector cleaner now ... but I'm still reluctant to use this stuff regularly in a newer car. In an older, carbureted engine, I've seen this stuff reduce oil consumption, cause a motor to run smoother AND increase mileage. The last two effects were slight, but noticeable. I love this for home & garden power equipment.

    As for Restore, I had a buddy with an Integra which had 200,000 miles worth of hard miles on it. It had what I figured was a broken oil control ring or two and consumed mass quantities of oil. The rear end of this car was always covered with a thick layer of oil spray as a result. My buddy tried the Restore and he figured it cut his oil consumption in half. I'd only use this stuff on an engine that was on its last legs, though.

    --- Bror Jace
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Posts: 183
    Here is a recent statement from the FTC when they brought suit. It appears that their wonderful product is simply colored baby oil. Here is a summary. The actual lawsuit pleadings sound much worse to me.

    FTC Sues Speedway Motorsports and Oil-Chem Subsidiary

    Performance Claims For ZMax Auto Additives Are Unsubstantiated, FTC Charges

    The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit in U. S. District Court seeking to halt false and misleading advertising for zMax auto additives and has asked the court to order refunds to consumers who bought the products. The agency alleges that enhanced performance claims for the product are unsubstantiated, that tests cited to support performance claims actually demonstrated that motor oil treated with ZMax produced more than twice as much bearing corrosion than motor oil alone, and that the three different products -an engine additive, a fuel line additive and a transmission additive - were all actually tinted mineral oil. (02/01/01)

    I think that the FTC can get carried away, but if these statements are true, I find these statements frightening. I won't put it into my car until some real proof can be shown.
  • lwittorflwittorf Posts: 96
    Has any body used the product called tuf oil? My brother in law just purchased a 96 dodge diesel with 100k on it and the guy he got it from has used this additive in it since new and says he has used for about 15 years in different rigs and says he hasen't had one to use oil yet with that in them. according to their web sight on the ball bearing test they were able to go like 15 days with the roll test where prolong went like 18 hrs.
    any other real life experances?
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Read brorjace's post above and then substitute the word "tuf oil". These products are hype snake oils. Was this a certified test???against Prolong (also proven to be a fraud) Did they test against a syn oil???

    rayfbaird: the gov. doesn't have the resources (except for lining pockets) to prosecute all these snake oil guys. They are sending a message. Hide-and-watch; the same is coming for food supplemnts.
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Posts: 207
    Makes a great lubricant for air tools and a good penetrating oil on frozen bolts, but I don't think I would add it to my engine.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    On a 1985 Volvo, unlike prolong etc. you only add about 8 ounces initially then 4 at every oil change. After about a year of use my main bearings had to be replaced at 85,000 miles. Coincidence, I don't know but I swore of oil additives since, use only synthetics. It did increase mileage about 2 mpg though! I beleive it contains teflon and we all know that DuPont has never endorsed teflon as an oil additive!!!!. No engine can get hot enought to have it bond to metal etc.
  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51
    Tufoil™ is the trade name that Fluoramics of NJ uses for their teflon suspension. Its most spectacular success was with my 1982 SAAB 900 manual transmission. At about 100,000 miles the choice was to have it rebuilt, or add something, so 4 fluid o. of Tufoil went down the dipstick hole. During the course of two weeks, the transmission began to shift better than when new, and continued beyond 122,000 miles when I traded.
    In our 1990 Voyager with 3-L V6 from Mitsubishi the fuel consumption commuting changed from 17.5 mpg to 19 mpg, and acceleration was a little better. Engine still fine at 165,000 miles with new owners, no engine work.
    In a 1995 SVX that made 16 mpg commuting Tufoil brought that to 20mpg, and with 5-10% better acceleration. A second SVX went from 17 to 19 mpg on same route.
    The only car that did not like it was a 1993 SAAB 9000 SC turbo. The turbo was unhappy for a week, but no problems afterwards.
    I actually obtained these results on 1/2 the volume of Tufoil recommended by the mfgr., so you can bet that we are not connected.
    With Valvoline fully synthetic oil used for 10,000 mile periods the cost of the Tufoil is minor.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    All of these additives that have teflon (except SynLube which claims theirs is in colloid suspension) claim that it bonds to the metal and protects better etc.etc. Fact is, the engine would seize prior to any bonding occuring, teflon has to be heated far beyond normal engine operating temperature for bonding to occur. Race car drivers endorse teflon productrs and studies show that for new engines that need the perfomance for a short period of time (race cars that are rebuilt after every race) and/or very old worn engines these additives may have a benefit. For normal engines running fine the probability of damage is far greater then the probability of improvement!!!!
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Does anyone know anything about Auto-Rx?

    It is supposed to be vegetable based,does not affect chemistry or viscosity at all. It is NOT an Additive but a engine cleaner that really works. It has a residual effect because it cleans the rings and valve seats and valve guide seals so well.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    I have a pen-oiler that is filled with Tufoil.

    Pen oilers are useful things and I've used this thing on all sorts of little projects. I believe this is merely a light lubricating oil with teflon in it.

    I wish Redline would make a pen-oiler.

    Maybe I'll e-mail them ...

    --- Bror Jace
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I much prefer a turbine oil than a motor oil for that type of application. Motor'oils mix with water and turn milky. The turbine oils don't. I have some Terrestic Syn oil left over from my working days. Works great.

    Have a great 4th!!!!
  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51
    ...of teflon in a liquid of equal density, just like all the other similar products. Armdtm in #11 is doing something very common in history, but unproductive — giving a theoretical opinion without looking anything up. The testing of Tufoil was crude, but effective — a half dozen cars with 60,000 - 100,000 miles on them were treated with Tufoil and they were driven up to about 200,000 miles when I saw the data. There were no failures. It is assumed that pressure will mash the teflon particles between two steel parts and that the extremely thin coating will reduce the friction even with regular oil always present. In my own case, the most miles I drove an engine with Tufoil in its oil was about 70,000, since I usually waited 20,000 miles to add it the first time. This is far more miles than in any race, and there have been no engine failures in my cars, either.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Of course, all that proves is that engines can go 200,000 miles, not that tufoil had anything to do with it....unless, of course, identical engines were run in a blind test, and those identical "blind" engines, run under identical conditions, all blew up before 200,000 miles. Then you'd have some pretty convincing evidence.

    Problem with all these "miracle" additives is that they don't dare do blind tests, because if they did, it would show (I suspect, but we'll see won't we?) that with or without additives, under exactly similar conditions, you'd get the same results.

    Sugar pill.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51
    ....of course you are correct about the lack of controls or placebo on engine life. There is still no doubt that Tufoil can "cure" manual transmissions of certain ills, that it improves fuel consumption, but probably no more than 7% in cars using 5W-30 oil, and that acceleration is faster with no change in max HP, and that cold starting is better, and that an engine can run at least an hour with no normal oil in it when it has been coated with Tufoil.
    In answer to an earlier post, there is no conceivable way that Marvel Mystery Oil can change the octane number of gasoline. However, this product, with its low viscosity, can get into spaces that normal oil cannot, and reduce friction. Its old claim to fame was loosening sticky piston rings. If carbon deposits had been the problem, the fix would last until more deposits appeared.
    Now we know why carbon in engines is so damn hard. After all, it is not amorphous, and it is not graphite, which is soft. No, it is or contains the buckminster fullerenes just recognized as new molecular forms of carbon in the 1980s.
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    The FTC has indicated that all of the major companies manufacturing additives, teflon or otherwise, have used deceptive advertising in order to mislead consumers into believing that their products offer advanced engine protection and performance over motor oil alone.

    The claims made for Tufoil are the same for the others that have been proven false. Has the FTC approved Tufoil? If it is simply a teflon additive as some of the others, then why does Tufoil work when the others don't?

    Here are some of the FTC complaints:







  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I wonder when these sanctions take effect. I'll have to watch more infomercials to see if they have changed. It seems as though I have seen that Prolong commercial less than 1 year and 9 months ago. They voted on it Sept 2, 1999.

    Thanks for the info. Good job!!!
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Posts: 183
    All but ZMAX agreed to change their advertizing and not make unsubstantiated claims. They have all been settled with out admission of liability.

    Nothing has been determined on ZMAX yet.
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Posts: 1,000
    thanks for those articles, really cracks me up to see how many people they fooled. the Slick 50 reminded me of my cousin who used it in his aging toyota pickup. after running it for a few hundred miles, the thing became mechanically noisier, sorta like it cleaned out all the gummed up junk that was holding it together. funny thing about X-Max was that right after i read about their junk, i saw another one of the commercials.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Retuning after several days away and.

    The one part of my message you failed to address is that teflon cannot bind to anything at engine operating temperatures. You have had good experience with Tufoil, I cannot say for sure it caused my premature main bearing loss. Almost everyone seems to concur, teflon as an additive has never been proven (independent lab tests) to do anything for an engine's longevity. As Arco proved in the seventies, graphite did nothing either!

    The Host's comments are excellent. Also, if teflon were so great I would imagine DuPont would be on the bandwagon marketing this stuff as an additive but their own statement is to the neutral side, no evidence it makes any difference!
  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51 in a recent post. Many of the claims made for Slick 50 were not made for Tufoil by its mfgr. The Tufoil maker warned that it had to added with every oil change. I have no evidence of increased engine life. When these products appeared on the market, nobody used 5W-30 oil (at least in the lower 49), so I see the advantages of lower friction are less for 5W-30 users than for 10W-XX users. Still, in about 5 cars, I have no doubt of the benefits that I can measure.
    To armdtm: No bonding is needed, only the presence of mashed little teflon particles between two metal parts. I suppose that, if there were bonding, not more would have to be added. Another of Slick 50's defects.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    that's it's -- well -- slippery. My organic chemistry professor in college said that it was a wonderful product, but that it was so slick it wouldn't adhere to any surface.

    Teflon clearly wears off, how many of us have thrown frying pans away when their teflon surface peeled off.

    An independent University of Utah Engine Test with Slick 50 did find that more power resulted after it was applied. And you only have to add it every 50,000 miles. So what's 15 bucks?
  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51
    ....if PTFE did not adhere to any surface, we would not have PTFE-coated frying pans, would we?
    I checked the University of Utah findings: 12% better gas mileage at light loads, 4% better at heavy loads, 5-8% increase in horsepower, 13% reduction in friction. The mileage and power are what we call "hard end-points" in medicine. There was also a report of more iron in the oil when PTFE was used, and a pressure drop across the oil filter. These things are not good, but they are surrogate end-points. As soon as it is convenient, I will have one of the oil filters changed so I can cut it apart and look inside.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Years ago I used slick 50 one an oil change for my Ranger 2.3. I got approximately 27/28 mpg on a trip where I was never able to get more than 25 mpg. After the oil change the milage droped down to normal so I stopped using it. I now don't believe in any additives except for a little MMO in the gas. But I believe that the Slick 50 can up the milage.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Quote from Blackstone Labs.

    There are many types of after-market additives you can buy. Some contain unusual compounds that can cause confusion for the analyst who is trying to determine if your engine has a mechanical problem. One we know of contains a lead compound. Lead is a metal common to bearing inserts. Another type additive we often run across contains silicone (which is read as silicon by our spectrometer). Silicon is often found in the oil when a fault exists at air filtration. If we do not know there is an additive in use we can easily make an error analyzing the oil.

    If you are interested in having your engine oil analyzed by a quality lab, you will receive a better analysis if you avoid oils and after-market additives using elements we need to see clearly to do a thorough analysis

    So I guess if you analyze oil, avoid additives.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Given that just about any modern engine, treated to proper maintenance and driven with some care, will go upwards of 150,000 miles, if not more, and that only a miniscule number of car owners keep their cars to that mileage, what is the point of expensive additives even if they did prolong engine life (which I don't believe they do).

    And other questions abound?

    What is more slippery than oil?

    What microscopic crevice could normal hot oil not get into that Tufoil could?

    If Tufoil could increase a manufacturer's CAFE ratings 8% for $10 a car, what carmaker would be crazy enough not to use it? Just dump in a can before submitting the car to government testing, and gain 8% in fuel mileage across the fleet? Engineers would kill for such results for so little money.

    Obviously, it isn't true or it would be utilized by profit-hungry automakers in a red hot minute.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    That subject has come up before. The problem is that the car makers can not garanteee that the buyer will dump the stuff in and thus he will not get the milage specified. Of course how do we now he will even add oil or replace it as required?
  • carnut30carnut30 Posts: 51
    It took me a week to realize that your question: "What is more slippery than oil?" was not the proper question. It should have been" What has a lower coefficient of friction than oil? Teflon is not slippery, being a solid. It seems reasonable that two teflon surfaces can slide on each other more readily than two oil-coated surfaces because of the attraction (viscosity) of the oil to itself.
    Another advantage of a teflon-coated engine is that, on standing unused, the coating does not drain off, as happens with oil. It has been known for at least 40 years that major cylinder bore weak occurs during warm-up from cold starts, or starts after long standing.
    Meanwhile, I have verified that both SVXs went from 17 mpg at best commuting to 19 mpg at worst after addition of Tufoil, and the ngines accelerate better, like 10%.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    the teflon actually coats the surface??? It is in suspension remember and there is not enough heat to actually bind it to the surface as in a frying pan that has a teflon coating. this coating does not occur in an auto engine cylinder as the heat is simply not great enough for it to bind to metal. thus is simply drips off with the oil it is suspended in!!!!!! And most of it is trapped in the element of your oil filter!!
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