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Snake oil which ones actually work

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Snake oil which ones actually work

 
  #1  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:27 PM
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Snake oil which ones actually work

With so much different additives, leak repair and cleaners out there.

Which ones do you all find worth buying.

The 80s had Slick 50 and today we have Seafoam.

I donʻt know if these "repair in a can" methods are mostly

just for marketing and making money.

Sometimes the only repair is a true mechanical repair, sometimes

these "repair in a can" may cause more harm than good.

Please list what you found that actually works or doesnʻt.
 
  #2  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:55 PM
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Most of my info is from reading, and most of that is from 10+ years back(even shudder into the 70s) reading car mags.

I use synthetic oils so I never need to use additives so my experience is limited. But I have been tempted by the siren songs of a few additives, with nothing to show for it.


The general recommendation of car mags, oil manufacturers and automobile manufacturers is to use the appropriate grade and weight of good oil and NO ADDITIVES.

From foggy memory...

The only two additives that I have read some positive info about in the magazines is GM engine oil additive and Techron fuel additive.

The GM additive supposedly has a lot of ZDDP and other antiwear high pressure additives which are good for breaking in engines and older worn engines and for newly rebuilt engines with non roller cams. The non roller cams require more antiwear than is currently in the most upto date oils. I think they removed the anitwear additives due to issues with smog gear not liking the combustion by products.

Techron fuel additive is also recommended by the car mags as a once in awhile fuel system cleaner. It is usually best to use in the last tank full before you do an oil change, so you get rid of any combustion byproducts in the oil. It does do a good job of cleaning things up according to the mags.

I have read from other web sites that a product called water wetter is good for additional cooling protection.

There are tons of other additives that essentially are just kerosene, automatic tranny fluid disguised as an oil cleanser, fuel system cleaner solvents etc. And of course the snake oil teflons, magic metal restorer etc.

As far as I have read most additives are either bandaids to hide a problem, like high oil consumption, or a harsh cleaner that can clean to much too fast, or a snake oil. very few of them are worth the cost.

One problem with oil additives is that each major brand of oil is carefully designed with a specific additive pack. Adding a "foreign" additive pack can upset the balance and may even have negative effects on a good oil. More is not always better.

The key trick with most additives is 1) Either they do very little, so no harm done, or 2) It takes so long for most damage to become apparent, you never make the connection. That is why you see lifetime gurantees against engine damage with several brands of oil. Nothing wrong with the oil, but they know any engine damage is highly unlikely in the average time most people own an engine and engines now last a LOT longer than they used to. 100K miles used to be quite a milestone and those cars were often beaters. Now 100K is middle age.

There are additives out there that are suspected of causing long term damage. The teflon additives are typical. Dupont, the manufacturer of many teflons had sued some of the snakeoil makers years ago to not use their name or trademearks since Teflon is NOT meant to be an oil additive. You would think Dupont would love to sell more teflon if it didn't harm their good name.

I always like the claims made by additives that claim to "just fill in the rough spots" in old worn out engines. I always wonder, "how does the additive know what cracks and rough spots to fill in and which ones to leave alone?". For example teflon, molybdenum, graphite, and "magical metal stuff" also can clog oil passages, filters etc. The key is the engine that usually gets this treatment is often on it's last legs anyway and is pretty loose on clearances so a little clogging may actually help, or it takes a long time for this kind of buildup to result in failure.

I saw build up issues with two additives I used to love... Alumaseal and Copperseal radiator leak preventer. I used to put this stuff in my coolant at every change and never had a leak etc, But over many miles I noticed a really pretty silver buildup on the coolant passages of my radiator and eventually my engine would run hot even though every thing else was OK. So that stuff was OK as a bandaid but not a long term habit.


Last thought, with all the competition for EPA mileage, low warranty claims, engine life etc... Do you think the big automakers would add these additives if it gave them a slight edge? Don't see that very often. They just use a good grade of oil meeting specifications and tell you in the manual to do likewise.

Just my thoughts on reading stuff and not having blown up an engine yet and using a few additives over the years with no noticable benefit other than my left buttcheek isn't so numb.

Jim Henderson
 
  #3  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:14 AM
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Back when the concern of ZDDP levels 1st started I spoke to Ron Iskenderian (Isky Racing Cams), and his opinion was , yes, in the pre-mod engies run 1 bottle of ZDDP with each oil change, in the mod engines, run about 1/3 of a bottle (a bottle is 9 oz IIRR).

I also use Marvel Mystery Oil in the fuel.......for vehicle storage, lawn mowers, etc to minimize varish creation & keep the carbs clean & I use it on a regular basis in all of the EFI vehicles to keep the injectors clean & lubricated.
 
  #4  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:25 PM
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Not sure exactly which additive it was, if in fact they have more than one, but my local shop put some Justice Brothers transmission additive in my '98 Exploder 5 speed automatic, and it fixed the flare between gears.

This was a Ford trans replaced under warranty, with less than 25000 miles on it at the time.

Still shifting just fine, but this vehicle is now "local only" as my daughter is driving to to/from school etc.
 
  #5  
Old 10-03-2012, 08:27 PM
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Seafoam.

What is it and what does it do.

I hear about it and see it for sale everywhere and people swear by it

Here on FTE.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-2012, 02:33 PM
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Seafoam is a joke. I happened to have a buddy that had a bad a motor. We tore the engine apart and found the carbon build up then soaked it in sea foam. Nothing happened.
 
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeismadness View Post
Seafoam is a joke. I happened to have a buddy that had a bad a motor. We tore the engine apart and found the carbon build up then soaked it in sea foam. Nothing happened.
This is exactly why I started this thread.

Some liquids, SOME, just canʻt do the miracle repairs when an actual repair

needs to be make.

I know that leak stops are designed to re moisturize gaskets, but some gaskets

actually need to be replaced.

Marketing any item is a science, I feel that most companies just have to sell

to a few people and make a fortune whether the product works or not.
 
  #8  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:03 PM
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Add Bars Leaks to the list of ones that work, at least some of the time. Radiator and coolant hose fitting leaks can sometimes be fixed with a bottle of the stuff. A bad water pump or large crack in radiator or heater core its not going to help.
 
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
Not sure exactly which additive it was, if in fact they have more than one, but my local shop put some Justice Brothers transmission additive in my '98 Exploder 5 speed automatic, and it fixed the flare between gears.
If you are ever in Southern California, you might stop by Justice Brothers HQ in Duarte. The front lobby and front office of the company is actually a nice museum.

Racing Museum & Private Collection
 
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:11 PM
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I like & have had great success with many Lucas Products.
Craig
 
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeismadness View Post
Seafoam is a joke. I happened to have a buddy that had a bad a motor. We tore the engine apart and found the carbon build up then soaked it in sea foam. Nothing happened.
Same experience here on more than one occasion. Seafoam did not touch carbon but Berrymans dissolved it immediately. Have not found anything Seafoam really does well other than lightening the old wallet.


As far a s a "Snake Oil" the only one I really have any faith in is Marvels Mystery oil. Not for in the motor oil but for in the gas. It helps to keep fuel from going bad as well as an upper cylinder lubricant.
 
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:38 AM
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FWIW, I don't use oil additives in a good running engine that doesn't need it. The oil should have all the additives that you need, although modern oil may not have all the additives that an older high-lift camshaft needs. However, I have purchased some engines that have been extremely sludged. (A Mercury Zephyr that had about two inches of deposits on the lifter valley comes to mind) I've used MMO in the oil for a slow clean and Kreen (somewhat hard to get) for a fast clean. Once again, there is no reason to use either in an engine that doesn't need it. Forget about the $.98 gas additives that are house branded. Chances are they are nothing but kerosene.
 
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:29 PM
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OK.. I know I'll get lots of flack for this but though I would never use it in a mod motor I have used STP and Quaker 10-40 in my '89 5.0 'stang since it was brand new. It only goes out in nice weather now so it sits alot but with 120,000 miles on it the engine is still as quiet and strong and clean running as new and it has never had any work done on it. STP sticks to metal like **** to a baby blanket so I always thought that good for preventing start-up wear and giving high operating temp protction.
 
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:14 AM
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The STP and 10W-40 combo is essentially 10W-50. There is no real harm except in gas mileage. I have run 15W-40 in a 5.0 in starting conditions down to +20F. The argument you make about startup wear is pretty much the question of which is more important, getting oil pumping and flowing quickly or leftover oil clinging to the parts overnight. I dont think there is necessarily a 100% answer. Synthetics like M1 tend not to cling to metal at all, but flow best at low temperatures.
 
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
Not sure exactly which additive it was, if in fact they have more than one, but my local shop put some Justice Brothers transmission additive in my '98 Exploder 5 speed automatic, and it fixed the flare between gears.
What are flares between gears? My 2005 Mountaineer has a problem where you mash the pedal and instead of kicking down it hangs like in neutral, revs, then slams into gear. My shop said it's the aluminum bore, probably a speck of crud embedded in it and hanging the valve. I tickle the throttle, goose it several times till it goes in then mash hard.
 

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