This is a continuation of threads I'm doing on the subject of MPG. The object is to teach how to get more MPG, and how not to get ripped off. Because when ever there is a gas problem, price or supply, the scam artist come out of the wood work to rip off unknowing consumers.
So this thread is going to be on oil additives and some other scams.
Just about every oil additive will claim 2 things:
1) More MPG.
2) Less engine wear.
But are they as good as they claim? And will they hurt your engine in the long run?
First you have to understand that every oil is manufactured to do a certain job. The oil contains a specific oil additive package that has been tested to protect your engine. Think of it like a baking recipe. If you are baking a vanilla cake, you have certain ingredients you most use to achieve the final results.
Adding an oil additive to an oil that is already formulated and tested to do a certain job is like adding chocolate to a vanilla cake and still trying to claim it is vanilla.
Adding the additive changes the way the oil will work in your engine. And because the oil additive package is balanced to work together, the additive throws off that balance. And the tests written on the bottle that the oil passes no longer apply because of how much an additive can change the oil and it's performance and protecting ability for your engine.
Well when I put the additive in my car ran so much better. Isn't that a sign that my engine is being better protected?
Nope. Over 90% of all oil additives use what is called "Chlorinated-paraffin". It is the main ingredient along with a cheap filler like kerosene or mineral oil. Chlorinated-paraffin is a technical word for chlorine which is basically the same stuff you put in your pool.
When oil first came out, this was one of the ingredients used in it. It was a cheap extreme pressure additive that would leave a protective coating on metal under extreme pressure conditions. But there were problems down the road with using this ingredient. This is because Chlorine is the precursor to hydrochloric-acid ( hydro = water, chloric = chlorine, the two combined = acid). Where does the water come from? When an engine is shut down and cools off, the inside will sweat just like a cold glass of ice tea. This water collects and ends up in the oil. This moisture mixes with the chlorine from the oil additive and makes hydrochloric acid. Which raises the acid content of your oil. About 50% of this water will evaporate when the engine heats up, but what is left behind is what does the damage when the ingredient from an additive is present.
Acidity percent beyond a certain level starts another type wear in an engine known as chemical wear (corrosion). You combine this with normal wear, cause by friction, and the wear of you engine increases. Yet all the while your engine may run better than before, the wear inside has increased because the acid content has increased. And you don't know this until the damage is done.
Teflon or PTFE (same thing) as an engine additive. First off understand that in order for either to bond to any metal surface, heat at around 700 degrees has to be produced. Bearing surfaces inside a motor are made from lead. The melting point of lead is less than half this temperature. So to even get Teflon or PTFE to bond, your bearing surfaces would have to melt. So the claim that this happens is bogus.
Also, Teflon and PTFE actually contain as an ingredient chlorine. So we are also back to the previous subject of acid content in your oil.
Here is a list of companies selling oil additives that got into trouble for making false claims.
Slick 50: http://www.ftc.gov/o...6/07/slick.shtm
Motor up: http://www.ftc.gov/o...4/motorup5.shtm
STP oil treatment: http://www.ftc.gov/o...995/12/stp.shtm
Remember some of those crazy commercials where they drained the oil out of the engines. Pour dirt and water into them and they still ran? Well, it was all a hoax. And because the media companies who did the commercials knew this (they conspired with them to make the bogus commercials), they also get into trouble.
So just about every oil additive has been into trouble for making false claims. The ones that have not, are just lucky so far that the FTC has not noticed them yet.
But oil additives are not the only scam. How about spark plugs?
Remember split fire plugs? Yeah I bought into that hype too so don't feel bad. But after studying ignition theory I found that their claims have to be bogus.
Remember the pics of a spark being split right on the plug? Two sparks are better than one right? Wrong. When you ignition system only produces one spark each time, and that spark is split some how. The voltage and heat generated also splits. Which means that the sparks are cooler than normal. And by the way, the picture of the split spark was trick photography. Delayed exposure caught two sparks in the picture from two separate zaps. Not one. So the picture and the claims were all bogus.
But, it did help some cars, right?
The older ignition cars that used lower voltage less heat sparks, the split fire plugs did improve the spark heat by concentrating the spark. But the newer ignitions have 10-20,000 more volts over the older ones. So the plugs did nothing. some cars it made them run worse because the ground electrode was so huge, it messed up the mixture circulation in the combustion chamber. Which is a bad things for lean burning engines we have today. Mixing the fuel and air correctly is a must for an even burn (fuel that burns at a continuous rate). Uneven mixture areas in your combustion chamber can make your fuel burn like low octane cheap grade gasoline, which will make your engine knock.
Split fire plugs: http://www.ftc.gov/o...2/splitfir.shtm
More Mpg Scams.
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