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12 comments

What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

Posted June 08, 2009 11:21 AM by CarDomain

You know the kind of products I'm talking about. Your rational brain says they can't possibly work, but dump them in and you can't help feeling they make a little bit of difference. Not enough to perceive even with the most sensitive of scientific instruments, of course, but enough to keep you buying like a sucker.

I'm partial to Water Wetter, which promises to reduce your engine temp by 30 degrees, but which actually – under real-life circumstances, maybe – cools it down by about 3. I'm encouraged in my addiction by the fact that my favorite hardcore machine shop actually stocks the stuff.

How about you? What automotive snake oils do you buy?

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#1

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/08/2009 12:54 PM

If you read the claims on Water Wetter, you will notice that it is designed to be used in racing applications with only water. If you use it in solution with glycol anti-freeze, it will not work as well.

Just saying.....

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#2

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/08/2009 4:36 PM

This product may increase heat transfer from the block to the coolant and from the coolant to the radiator. But the temperature is controlled by the thermostat so I doubt it would be useful in a standard automobile engine. To drop the temperature you need to change that.

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#3

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 4:07 AM

Dehydrated water for emergency

www.buydehydratedwater.com/free.htm

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 1:17 PM

Love that link. I'm gonna order 1,000 units. right after I give them my credit card, soc, security number, and DOB.

BTW: I use 'Techron' in the gas, and Marvel Mystery Oil occasionally in the crankcase. Like medicine for a sick engine, or to keep it from getting sick.

"Back in the day" we would add oatmeal to a growling manual transmission, and drizzle STP in the carb to stop the tailpipe from smoking before we tried to sell the beater.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 1:53 PM

These days using synthetic lube in the old buggy is like money in the bank.

Synthetic will contribute to a per/mi fuel savings of about 3mi per/gallon on average meaning between change cycles you save about $90 in fuel after subtracting the additional cost of the synthetic

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Commentator

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#4

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 8:59 AM

I remember my father buying Slick50. I'm pretty sure it did not work any better than conventional oil.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 1:06 PM

Actually slick50 when used as directed is far superior to conventional oil, it is superb as a gearbox lubrication enhancer. It doesn't fair well in upper cylinder lubrication of IC engines because of temperature limitations though.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 1:11 PM

I was young at the time when he bought it and unsure of the quality. Is Slick50 a synthetic?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 1:49 PM

Slick50 is comprised of conventional oil with suspended Teflon, when used the Teflon fills the anomalies in bearing surfaces creating a slickness. Back in the day manufacturers machining capabilities very less than today, the clearances were greater and the finish qualities for production courser.

Photo #1
This photo shows the raw untreated roller bearing surface magnified 290 times. This shows the irregular, pitted surface of the metal. This "roughness" is the primary cause of friction between metal surfaces.

Photo #2
Here is the same bearing as photo #1 using 30 wt. oil in the brake test. The right hand portion of this photo shows the raw untreated bearing while the left hand 2/3 portion shows the wear and actual flow pattern of the metal as it is "pushed" like waves away from the rotating race on the brake machine. The friction and wear is a result of the failure of the oil to adhere to the metal surface due to the extreme pressure applied during the brake test.

I've experienced good results using Pro-Tech lubrication products regardless of the hype. All I did was meticulously follow the directions

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/09/2009 6:25 PM

Yeah, I heard about the problems with Slick 50 when used as a motor oil additive. That's why my local auto supply stopped selling it. It wasn't recommended during initial break-in anyway.

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#11

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/10/2009 1:09 AM

I always used 50 weight oil, in old cars, during the summer. Seemed to help the compression, and last longer. Also tried something called Motalloy, which was probably just blobs of aluminum. It was supposed to renew the cylinders. You put it in the gas tank. I still add Gumout or some similar cleaner once in awhile.

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#12

Re: What's Your Favorite Automotive Snake Oil?

06/11/2009 6:32 AM

Seems that there is a device that contains a permanent magnet and is snapped around the fuel line. It is advertised as a monopole magnet (yeah, right!). Some claim that the device will align certain molecules in the fuel line that will increase fuel economy. Others claim that long molecules are broken into shorter ones (a magical catalytic cracking unit) and will also increase fuel economy. Hogwash! Some independent tests had concluded that fuel economy had actually risen by 1/2 to 2 mpg. I'm skeptical.

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