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Old 04-13-2012, 07:02 AM   #1
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Magic Motor Oil Additives

You know the ones. Slick 50, PTFE infused this and that, Z Max. All snake oil to me but I thought I would ask folks if they use them and if they've seen any real measurable results from them. Me personally, nothing but good motor oil, usually synthetic for the toys at the manufacturers recommended weight.

I do however use a little additive in the fuel. Marvel Mystery Oil. Helps clean the injectors and generator carberator. This stuff actually works. When we got our motorhome a little over a year ago, it had sat for some time after being repo'd. The generator missed and skipped. I found out Onan carberators were very sensitive to varnish deposit's if they sat to long. The MMO caused it to run really erraticate at first, but after a few hours it smoothed out and runs like a champ to this day.

Harley Ultra Classic (Geezer Glide) Rider, Retired US Army Paratrooper, fisherman, shooter. Proud to have served, proud of those that still do, or have done so with pride.
2005 National Dolphin 34'
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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When we purchased our Toyota Yaris 3 years ago, I put MotorSilk into my engine and transmission about 3 months after we got it home. The listed Highway MPG for the Yaris was 33, I regularly get 35 (I keep track of every fill-up and calculate the MPG) (@ $4/gal thats ~+$.17/m). When we got the MH ('05 National Dolphin) I put it into the engine oil and when I have to change the transmission oil I have a bottle for it too. I notice a little less than +1 MPG in the MH in a recent trip from Atlanta to Tampa Bay.

This is the ONLY additive I would recommend.

J.J. Hayden (KN4SH)
Covington, GA
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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Cognitive dissonance.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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I have a 2000 Dutch Star Motorhome and my brother in-law told me about this company that sells all kinds of products for gas and diesel engines. I bought some diesel motor oil and diesel fuel treatment and I have notice a 1.6 mpg increase so far and itís been about a year and 5000 mile on it. The oil is synthetic and after a couple of oil changes you can get more mileage on your oil. Check out the website (schaefferoil.com) they have all the information and msds on all the products. If you are interested in looking for a sales rep for the company contact me.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #5
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Confirmation Bias

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Some additives might help, others probably do nothing more than lighten your wallet. The Owners Manual for my wife's Windstar van specifically says NOT to use any sort of oil supplements so at least some engine makers recognise that there is plenty of 'snake oil' out on the market.

Synthetic motor oil is a good thing and any of the brands will net you 1 to 2 mpg improvement in MPG, but only in a car. In a motorhome - good luck!
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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IMHO, it's ALL snake oil. The manufacturers say don't add anything, and that's what I add, nothing.
2008 AC Allegiance 42G, Spartan, ISL
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Well, let's be realistic. I'll go out on a limb and bet there is not a single RV'er out there that 1) has the controlled test conditions and 2) the precision enough equipment to even begin to discern a "measurable" difference in additives real or otherwise.

It's all good.

Perception IS reality and we belive what we want to believe - whether scientific or not.

If an additive seems to work for you, by all means use it. If not, then don't!
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Does anyone out there remember "Steed???" Now there was some packaged snake oil and a pyramid scheme all rolled into one!.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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there are occasions to use oil or gas additives, such as when the engine has been mis-treated (by the prior owner, of course). cleaning out deposits, whether they are sludge or varnish, is a good thing. as long as the deposits don't plug something up on their way to the sump or filter. this also assumes that the sludge/varnish wasn't acting as a sealant and holding all the oil/gas inside the engine in the first place

regular oil changes and stabilizer in the fuel goes a long way towards keeping todays engines (and well maintained older engines) in perfect shape.
1999 Winnebago Minnie 29', Ford V10, Close to stock.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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I don't use it in my engines, but Marvel Mystery Oil is really good stuff to use in your air operated impact wrench (rattlejack),10 or 12 drops down the air intake port once in a while is all it takes to keep the water at bay and things operating smoothly.It also is an excellent oil for using on your firearms, long lasting, and rust doesn't stand a chance. In my opinion, oil doesn't need additives if you use a good quality oil and change it regularly. As to fuel additives, maybe a moisture inhibiter for gasoline in some parts of the country, and an algaecide for diesels as a preventative measure. The rest are just so much snake oil. As usual YMMV.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #12
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My father in law always uses slick 50. He has gone thru 3 MH engines 2 cars and a small truck engine. With the small passage ways that oil has to go thru I worry about coating them with something and closing up the passage ways some. I just change oil a lot.
Bob & Rita Bazley, the pups Tia & Kali ( shi-poohs)
97 Dolphin 36'
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #13
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I am third generation in the oil industry. My wife's father had a Master's in ChemE. and was quite high up in a competitor oil company. We were having this discussion on time around the dining room table and his quote was : "Do you think for an instance that if an oil company could add something to their product that would give them an advantage over another company they wouldn't?" He went on to say that if there was a company out there that had the "magic" formula they would be snatched up in no time. Made sense to me.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MaverickBBD View Post
..."Do you think for an instance that if an oil company could add something to their product that would give them an advantage over another company they wouldn't?"...
Exactly. Same for Detroit. Now, if only I could remember where I put that magic magnetic fuel line MPG maximizer? Hmmm... Guess I'll have to look in the back pages of Popular Mechanics to buy another one!

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