On Tue, 01 Dec 2009 19:00:01 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
Hey! It's got PTFE, the 'slipperiest substance known to man'. That's gotta
be worth something.
I tried Slick 50 a couple times, but I usually don't add it more than once
every 4th or 5th oil change, on cars with old engines. Won't put it in my
Scion for at least 15 years!
Here's how I got started. I have an '89 Mazda 626 with Hydraulic Lash
Adjusters. After I had the car for a few months, it started making this
horrible clacking noise. That's when I found out about the HLAs and found
a web site describing how to replace them. I had tried Castrol GTX, the
oil I have been using for 30 years, and tried Marvel Mystery oil, hoping
to free it up and 'fill' it with a lighter grade oil, both to no avail. I
was due for an oil change, so I went to AutoZone, they had the HLAs in
stock, $55 for four. The engine takes 12. I'll look for the collapsed one
and replace it. Then I saw the QS with Slick 50, so I picked up 4 quarts.
I changed the oil, disconnected the coil (I like cars with a single coil
just for this reason...), cranked the starter a few times until the OIL
light went off, connected the coil, fired it up and...NO MORE CLACKING!
I held onto the HLAs for a few more days and then returned them, and
haven't thought about replacing them since....they just don't clack any
the FTC and Slick 50
In 1997, three subsidiaries of Quaker State Corp. (the makers of Slick
50) settled Federal Trade Commission charges that ads for Quaker
State's Slick 50 Engine Treatment were false and unsubstantiated.
According to the FTC complaint, claims such as the following made in
Slick 50 ads falsely represented that without Slick 50, auto engines
generally have little or no protection from wear at start-up and
commonly experience premature failure caused by wear:
"Every time you cold start your car without Slick 50 protection,
metal grinds against metal in your engine."
"With each turn of the ignition you do unseen damage, because at
cold start-up most of the oil is down in the pan. But Slick 50's
unique chemistry bonds to engine parts. It reduces wear up to 50% for
"What makes Slick 50 Automotive Engine Formula different is an
advanced chemical support package designed to bond a specially
activated PTFE to the metal in your engine."
In fact, the FTC said, "most automobile engines are adequately
protected from wear at start-up when they use motor oil as recommended
in the owner's manual. Moreover, it is uncommon for engines to
experience premature failure caused by wear, whether they have been
treated with Slick 50 or not."
Guess you guys have been under a rock for the past 15 years or so?
All true, but all that goes only to the fact that these additives do
nothing good for your engine. It doesn't address the harm it can do by
virtue of the the teflon particles.
Bottom line, avoid these additives at all costs. I was actually amazed
to see that they are still on the market at all after all the problems
they had with the FTC. I guess it proves the old adage, "it's morally
wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money."
The feds didnt say that the product didnt work. They said that Slick 50 was
making claims they they could not substantiate. Not false claims, but
claims. There IS a difference.
I have seen no hard data that shows conclusively that Slick 50 does anything
That is not the way I heard it. All the testing that I have read does
show that slick 50 reduces engine friction. That means you can get
better gas mileage (something like 3% better IIRC). The problem is that
all the long term testing done on slick 50 also showed that it reduces
engine life. That is a paradox that is not completely understood (there
are plenty of theories). Some of the testing showed that using slick 50
can shorten the life of an engine by as much as half.
The advertising for slick 50 either implied or directly stated that
the reduced friction would result in less wear and therefore longer
engine life, but that conclusion was a pure leap of faith that wasn't
ever supported by any evidence.
Quaker state still markets it. Their current claim appears to be:
"reconditions engine parts and gives
your engine staying power, keeping
your engine performing at it best"
This thread started by raising the question "is an oil pressure problem due to
Fram oil filter?". Later on it was revealed the ownwr of the engine was also
getting regular slick 50 wallet flushes. But of course that has nothing to do
with the oil pressure issue.
I dont doubt that it might show some friction reduction. It WILL burnish
surfaces, of that I am positive. But I have seen no data at this point that
convince me that it is either a good or a bad product.
My uncle used it in his Kenworth grain hauler and reported engine
temperatures dropped 15 degrees or something like that and idle speed
increased something like 25 percent - indicating reduced engine
I tried it in one of my vehicles and found absolutely no improvement
in operation - no reduction in (minimal) oil consumption, no reduction
in fuel consumption, no reduction in operating temperatures (but it
was a 3.0 liter Aerostar - even with a good thermostat it needed a
"winter cover" to get any heat in the winter).
DuPont says do NOT put teflon (they are the manufacturer) into an
engine - and there have been reports of it (the teflon) being caught
in oil filters, restricting oil flow, so I choose not to ever use it
I think when my daughter had her old Nissan, her mechanic put some
shims behind the spring in the oil pressure relief valve and increased
her oil pressure somewhat. Dunno how practical that trick would be for
you - just a thought.
Sometimes the OPRV loses tension and the oil pressure drops. I have
seen Ford mechanics pull out the spring, stretch it,and reinstall on the
old 390/428 engines. That would often bring the oil pressure back up
That would be practical only when it increases the oil pressure. If the
reason an engine has low oil pressure is a weak spring in the oil
pressure relief valve that is certainly something that should be
addressed. Fixing a mechanical problem will always get you farther than
resorting to superstitious beliefs.
Typically if the oil pressure is low in an old engine changing the
spring isn't going to help because if the engine can't develop enough
pressure to open the regulator valve then increasing the spring tension
isn't going to affect the oil pressure.
If you use any brand oil filter and follow the maintenance
recommendations of the engine manufacturer it is extremely unlikely that
the engine will fail in any way before you reach that point where you
are no longer willing to keep the rest of the car running. So the
question of whether one filter may be better than another is completely
moot except to idiots who hold superstitious beliefs.
In the long run insisting on one brand filter over another is going to
have just as much effect as performing ritualistic dances and mumbling
voodoo incantations in an attempt to extend the life of an engine.
It's best to avoid brands of filters that are known to be so poorly
constructed that they have a history of failing catastrophically. It
really doesn't cost more than a trifling amount of money to use a decent
filter, especially if you plan ahead. I.e. I stock up on Toyota filters
when there's a $3.99 coupon from the dealer (which includes a drain plug
gasket as part of the deal, bringing the net cost of the filter to $2.99
since a drain plug gasket usually sells for $1 (must be the highest
margin part sold by dealers and auto parts stores).
Sure the odds are that even with a poor quality filter you'll get lucky
and not be one of the ones who has one fall apart, but why take the
chance when there's no real monetary savings in doing so?
All the filters on the market have about the same history for
catastrophic failures. One brand may have a large number people who
share a belief in imagined failures. Look up what the American
Psychiatric Association has to say about "mass hysteria". I believe that
organization is also peddling medications that they say will provide a
cure for this condition.
What about someone who doesn't have a Toyota?
Is it a matter of faith? If you believe then the filter won't fall
apart? Or maybe voodoo witch doctors cast bad spells on some engines if
one doesn't follow the true believers.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.