Do you use any of the various engine/trans/fuel system treatments? Do they work? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:59 PM
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Do you use any of the various engine/trans/fuel system treatments? Do they work?

I'm not really talking about the engine/trans/radiator stop leak products or curative type products like that, I'm talking about the different chemical treatments that are supposedly preventative. Maybe a new thread should be started for curative treatments and stop leak products.

Anyway, In any auto store, there is a whole shelf of different treatments for your car's drivetrain. I was looking at fuel system treatments, and I'd see a certain brand that was selling 4 of the same size bottles with different treatments like: 1. Injector treatment 2. Injector and valve treatment 3. fuel and injection treatment 4. Complete fuel system treatment....

So, at first it seemed that buying the 'complete' fuel treatment was the smart move, but then I wondered if maybe since it had to treat every part of the system instead of specializing on one part, that maybe it wasnt as good at cleaning each part as the treatment that only cleans each individual part of the system would be. It was confusing, so I didnt buy any of it as usual.

Then I noticed that some were made of the same chemical, but others were very different. Most claim to extend life, raise fuel mileage, clean your engine/trans, etc., add horsepower and solve all your marital problems, etc.

But people have always sold 'snake oil', and sometimes it does more damage than good, and so I wonder if some of this type of stuff might either not work at all, or make things worse even.

Some of the fuel system cleaners contain petroleum products, but your car has petroleum going through it every time it runs, and petroleum products like gas are solvents, so shouldnt the regular gas you use in your car work just as well to clean out your fuel system as these petroleum based fuel system cleaners? The fuels sold today supposedly contain detergents already after all...... Do we need more?

What about the octane boosters....... Do they really boost your octane to 108 or 114 like they claim, or would you be better off just adding a little high octane racing fuel to your tank with regular fuel to raise the octane? Are they bad for engines?

I have not mentioned the transmission treatments, do they work?

What if any of this stuff do you use?

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Old 09-03-2011, 08:04 PM
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I used to buy the yellow stuff- gumout I think. Haven't bought any in awhile. I tried motorup once. Didn't see much improvement. Some time ago, I put Zmax in and all it did was make a different noise than before.
Don't know what to tell you.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:01 AM
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I don't believe in any of those "snake oil" treatments.

Vince
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:25 AM
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HEET does work.(water remover) Also, sta-bil is a good product. My car sat since @ april and it started easily(after charging the battery overnight).
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:32 AM
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When you think about it - say a 12 ounce bottle of injector cleaner and percentage per 25 gallon tank of gas - it's a bit of a stretch to think that it would have much of a cleaning effect especially if you have ever tried to clean them by hand.

Then there is that crap Carroll Shelby prostitutes himself to sell - Z-max, I believe. The ad says that it 'penetrates' the steel. Not gonna happen.

One RV forum thread I killed a while back, adding ATF to a gas tank -

"Additives to a gas tank are so diluted that any benefit is lost by shear volume. A typical 30 gallon pick up truck gasoline tank converted to ounces is 3840. A bottle of Techron is 12 ounces if I recall. 3840 divided by 12 is 320 ounces of gasoline serviced by one ounce of solvent - .003125%. Makes it kinda useless IMHO

ATF in gas - and 3/4's cup (6 oz) - every 6 months - my calculator wont figure that many places to the right of the decimal point. Will it hurt - no? Will it help? Figure that if you can, and if the user is happy using it - go for it "

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Old 09-04-2011, 09:43 AM
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The only thing I use is Seafoam. Connect it up to a vacuum line with a limiter and let the engine idle and draw that stuff in like sips. When it`s finished, rev it and smoke the neighborhood out. Afterwards I notice the pinging is gone and acceleration is smoother. The rest of that stuff like restore and etc. that`s snake oil mechanic in a can, and I used to hear all the time when you find a mechanic in a can ya better let`em out. I also use it in the oil when I`m about to do a oil change. I usually only do this on chevy engines with hydraulic roller tappets that seem to be prone to getting trash in them and tapping. I`ll pour it in the oil, let it idle 20 minutes then change the oil. In almost every case afterwards the lifter tap is gone. On my vehicles with a carb I use it in the winter months as a anti icer, as none of my carbed vehicles have a stove pipe on them or heat from the intake to combat the issue.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:12 PM
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Granular Copper Snake Oil?

I can't recall the name of the engine snake oil additive which claims "very fine granular copper" engine additive some guys use. It's around $12\20 oz can; a mix of fine copper and oil. Is this more snake oil?

BT
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beertracker
I can't recall the name of the engine snake oil additive which claims "very fine granular copper" engine additive some guys use. It's around $12\20 oz can; a mix of fine copper and oil. Is this more snake oil?

BT
Sounds like the schnapps with the gold leaf suspended in it - in one end and, eventually, out the other with no positive results between.

(Hmmm. Schnapps. Gold leaf. I have some of that stuff )

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Old 09-04-2011, 01:30 PM
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Chevron injector cleaner works,I dose it heavy when I use it.remeber it has to go through the injectors to clean anything so you have to burn the fuel that it is mixed with.I dose it heavy,like one can to 1/4 tank, and I change the fuel filter first, were not trying to clean a filter are we?
there are plenty of additives for lots of things, Seafoam is a great injector/intake valve cleaner if used the correct way. For injectors, put it in the tank, for intake valves only(like a carbed car) do a drip as DoubleVision said.For great results do both.Seafoam is good stuff.
There are also things like shudder gaurd for transmissions, and polymer additives to enhance plain ATF so it performs more like synthetic ATF,they can work well, if you know what you are buying.
There is a new head gasket/block sealer on the market that I have used twice now (customer had no money, car was almost shot) it is called K-Seal.
It comes in a dinky little antifreeze looking bottle and it employs nano technology . I was amazed the stuff worked. You just dump it in and forget it.
I put some in a 2.2 cavalier a while back and inside of 5 minutes it quit using water and stopped puking out the overflow.I was pretty amazed,as I am a pretty big sceptic as most are.
Not all additives actually work,I am sure there are more out there that just clean your wallet of green stuff and do nothing in reality, lets just try not to discount the stuff that actually works.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:08 PM
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additives

My wife's Lexus periodically turns on its "check engine" light. The code it throws indicates "running lean".

So I put a couple of bottles of Techron into the tank. Lights went off.

BUT - as soon as I ran that (treated) tank through and refilled without additives - the "check engine" light came back on. I guess the 'stuff' resulted in enough unburned hydrocarbons to fool the O2 sensors into thinking all was OK, but it sure didn't CURE any problem. -

Tried a couple of other "magic potion" brands as well, including Seafoam. Same results.

I'm wondering if the actual issue may be a failing O2 sensor - and is so, which one? (The car has 4 of them!) Guess I gotta bite the bullet and get it looked at as I sure don't have the zillion bucks worth of diagnostic equipment to test it all.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:27 PM
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The good injector cleaner works, I have had mixed results with coolant system sealers. Only used them when as LAtech stated, customer had no money for a head gasket job. Had the best results with the GM pellets.
I have heard people rave about Lucas products. We tried them a couple times and the results were poor at best.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:44 PM
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Best stuff on the market....proven in lab testing.



http://www.crcindustries.com/auto/co...x?PN=05063&S=Y
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:15 PM
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Being an even bigger noob than I am now, I used/tested/fell for the following in the past:

1. Z-Max - Made the engine super smooth on my '96 Z28 and '94 Honda Accord. No change in fuel economy. Stopped using it after I tried Seafoam.

2. Lucas products - (oil "thickener"). Can't say they improved anything.

3. Restore - Have used it a few times, but not enough to say compression went up. Will try it on my truck starting with the next oil change.

4. Seafoam - Made the engine quite smooth on several older vehicles, at 1/3 of Z-Max's cost. I wana say it helped fuel economy as well. Definitely requires care because over use will damage parts. Ask me how.

5. Gunk Engine Flush - I'd say it does the job. The oil comes out thinner, quite dark and flows out quickly.

6. CRC Guaranteed to Pass - The car passed, so it did its job.

7. Stabil - been using it quite a bit lately and the vehicles start up with no issues despite sitting around for months at a time.

8.Tried a variety of fuel cleaners and leak-stopped along the way but can't say anything worked.

9. Gonna try Heet in the truck soon. Someone dumped water and and debris into one of the gas tanks. Poured in a bottle of Heet soon after. Will see how well it did it helping to clean it out when I drop it for full cleaning.

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:47 PM
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I have used a few of those fuel additives in the past. mostly stp concentrate in the black bottle. it seemed to run smoother after a heavy dose. now I use seafoam. I drive an avalanche daily and when I go to the lake it is a 5-6 hr drive, always loaded to the hilt and most of the time pulling a tournament boat (not light) . I usually get 600 kms to a 120 litre tank (ya I know, Canadians and their metrics). when I dump in the appropriate amount of the seafoam motor treatment I have got up to 830 kms on a tank, and the performance has increased slowly over the span of that tank and several tanks after. same truck, same road, same load, basically. now I dump it in the tank at every oil change just to keep the injectors and intake runners clean. I have done engine work on stuff that has seen seafoam on a regular basis and the intake system, from the injectors down, seems to be cleaner than an engine without the treatment. of course, that said, it could be that plain old atf in the tank on a regular basis would do the same there. I don't think it would increase the fuel mileage though. now just so you know, I am not a fan of the seafoam in the intake system. it is because if you are driving a vehicle with considerable carbon build up on the piston heads and intake valves, alot of that stuff gets loosened up at the same time and can plug up the catalytic converter. a buddy of mine that works at a GM dealer has said the same thing. in fact, he says the service writer would sign up a guy for the injector flush and intake system cleaner, then they end up installing a new cat shortly thereafter because it is plugged. I think it is better to use the in tank stuff for awhile first to help slowly get rid of the deposits rather than all at once. also, if the throttle body is dirty, you are better to remove it, take off the sensors and clean it properly with a spray cleaner and a soft plastic bristle brush, than to deluge the engine with intake cleaner. also clean the idle air bypass the same way. gaskets are cheap.
just some random thoughts. hope it helped and I don't sound like a seafoam salesman.(I'm not, just to clarify)
dsraven
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven
now I use seafoam. I drive an avalanche daily and when I go to the lake it is a 5-6 hr drive, always loaded to the hilt and most of the time pulling a tournament boat (not light) . I usually get 600 kms to a 120 litre tank (ya I know, Canadians and their metrics). when I dump in the appropriate amount of the seafoam motor treatment I have got up to 830 kms on a tank, and the performance has increased slowly over the span of that tank and several tanks after.
I can vouch for that. I saw this in my '95 Camry. After pouring in Seafoam into a near empty tank (when the "Low Fuel" light would come on; the gauge would signal "E" with 4 four gallons left in the tank), I would fill the tank until full (nozzle shut-off). I would then drive the car until the "Low Fuel" light came on again, and fill it back up. I consistently saw a longer cruise range (can't remember the exact number difference off the top of my head but I think I've got notes on it if anyone is interested in hard data). Of course, part of it could also have been that I drove more conservatively - or as conservatively as possible depending on the circumstances - while driving the car with the Seafoam-treated gas until the light came on. I would then return to my routine of filling up every 1/4 tank (approximately every 100 miles).





Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven
now just so you know, I am not a fan of the seafoam in the intake system. it is because if you are driving a vehicle with considerable carbon build up on the piston heads and intake valves, alot of that stuff gets loosened up at the same time and can plug up the catalytic converter. a buddy of mine that works at a GM dealer has said the same thing. in fact, he says the service writer would sign up a guy for the injector flush and intake system cleaner, then they end up installing a new cat shortly thereafter because it is plugged.
I know I did break the down-pipe on my '92 Toyota Tercel shortly after over-dosing it on Seafoam through the PCV (this car served as a guinea pig for quite a few additives). That happened right as I was getting ready to hand over the car to the new buyer. Had the pipe repaired and then it failed smog on a new catalytic converter. I couldn't for the life of me figure why a new catalytic converter would have gone bad so quickly. Now it makes sense...
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