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Thread: Oil Additives? How About STP?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Oil Additives? How About STP?

    Maybe this topic has already been covered, but what the heck, lets start it up again.....

    For over 40 years, I have always added a bottle of STP oil treatment at every oil change. Old cars, new cars, everything in between. Now I can't prove it did any good, but hey, I ran several cars well over 200,000 miles and they never burned oil, never needed a valve job or any rings or major maintenance. Is it just coincidence? Does the stuff really work, or does it just make you feel like you are doing something? I did have a few cars that when the miles started to pile up and things started getting looser you could hear a little ticking from the valves or cams or something and the STP did quiet it down....I used the stuff regardless of climate, winter and summer....never had a car that wouldn't turn over in the winter even though the stuff apparently increases the oil viscosity. What say ye all here? Snake oil or useful stuff?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Oil Additives? How About STP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mase
    Maybe this topic has already been covered, but what the heck, lets start it up again.....

    For over 40 years, I have always added a bottle of STP oil treatment at every oil change. Old cars, new cars, everything in between. Now I can't prove it did any good, but hey, I ran several cars well over 200,000 miles and they never burned oil, never needed a valve job or any rings or major maintenance. Is it just coincidence? Does the stuff really work, or does it just make you feel like you are doing something? I did have a few cars that when the miles started to pile up and things started getting looser you could hear a little ticking from the valves or cams or something and the STP did quiet it down....I used the stuff regardless of climate, winter and summer....never had a car that wouldn't turn over in the winter even though the stuff apparently increases the oil viscosity. What say ye all here? Snake oil or useful stuff?

    I've used it as an oil thickener. Your extreme mileage is probably more because of regular maintenance. STP will probably help an engin with high miles and loose internal tolerances.
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  3. #3
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil Additives? How About STP?

    Like many chemicals and other items made for cars, there's no evidence that STP does anything useful at all.

    Ever notice what the can says it does? It says stuff such as "valves" "pistons" "rings" but it does not say it does a single thing to any of them. This is because they got sued for false claims.

    See:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STP_%28...oil_company%29

    "In 1976 STP faced a consumer protection order that required it to have scientific backing for certain statements and prohibited making false claims. In 1978 it paid $500,000 civil penalty over claims, and in 1995 $888,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of false advertising."

    -Don-

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Oil Additives? How About STP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mase
    Maybe this topic has already been covered, but what the heck, lets start it up again.....

    For over 40 years, I have always added a bottle of STP oil treatment at every oil change. Old cars, new cars, everything in between. Now I can't prove it did any good, but hey, I ran several cars well over 200,000 miles and they never burned oil, never needed a valve job or any rings or major maintenance. Is it just coincidence? Does the stuff really work, or does it just make you feel like you are doing something? I did have a few cars that when the miles started to pile up and things started getting looser you could hear a little ticking from the valves or cams or something and the STP did quiet it down....I used the stuff regardless of climate, winter and summer....never had a car that wouldn't turn over in the winter even though the stuff apparently increases the oil viscosity. What say ye all here? Snake oil or useful stuff?
    Here's a copy of a previous post of mine.

    Back in the heady days of my youth, when tuning engines for autocross and rally work I always used Duckhams Q20/50 with a can of STP (Scientifically Treated Petroleum) for assembly and initial fill and recommended that my customers stuck to that mix. That was the mix I used in my own cars and after a 20 mile fast run with (unknowingly) no water in the engine there was no damage to the engine. The fan belt had failed and taken out the bottom of the rad and dumped all the coolant. The temperature sensor was only picking up heat from the head through its body - all that I'd noticed was a very slight temperature drop which was creeping up again as I got home, a 'Wonder why' check soon showed the problem. Marketing hype or no, I swore by my Q20/50 STP treatment.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
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  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil Additives? How About STP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mase
    Maybe this topic has already been covered, but what the heck, lets start it up again.....

    For over 40 years, I have always added a bottle of STP oil treatment at every oil change. Old cars, new cars, everything in between. Now I can't prove it did any good, but hey, I ran several cars well over 200,000 miles and they never burned oil, never needed a valve job or any rings or major maintenance. Is it just coincidence? Does the stuff really work, or does it just make you feel like you are doing something? I did have a few cars that when the miles started to pile up and things started getting looser you could hear a little ticking from the valves or cams or something and the STP did quiet it down....I used the stuff regardless of climate, winter and summer....never had a car that wouldn't turn over in the winter even though the stuff apparently increases the oil viscosity. What say ye all here? Snake oil or useful stuff?
    I lean toward Tom's view on this - especially nowadays - because the quality of oil is so much better than it was 30 years ago. Provided you use a name-brand oil with the most current API service rating, I doubt additives of any kind are necessary. The only caveat here is older (pre-1980s) cars with flat tappet camshafts. For emissions control reasons, newer oils have a lower concentration of zinc/manganese (commonly known as "ZDDP") which acts as a friction reducer and which, if absent, may lead to faster wear and tear - even lobe failure - in these engines.

    There are pro and con arguments on this point - some say, for example, that the additive is necessary only in new/just rebuilt engines during the initial break-in... but I personally elect to err on the side of caution - and always add a bottle of the additive (Crane Cams sells it; GM used to also) to my '76 Pontiac. It was designed to use oil that had higher concentrations of the additives - and I don't want to risk potentially major problems over a $7 bottle of additive. Can't hurt, etc.



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