Slick 50 is one of many gasoline engine oil additives (see also snake oil) available on the market. Slick 50 is claimed to reduce startup wear and friction during engine operation resulting in higher performance, better gas mileage and entended engine life.

Slick 50, as well as other engine additives such as Prolong basically contain PTFE powder suspended in a regular, over the counter 50-weight petroleum or synthetic oil. PTFE, as we all know, is short for PolyTetraFluoroEthylene, or Teflon.

Now let's consider a few points:

There's a problem with putting PTFE in your oil, and that's that PTFE is a solid. The additive makers claim this solid "coats" the moving parts in an engine (though that is far from being scientifically proven). However, such solids seem even more inclined to coat non-moving parts, like oil passages and filters. After all, if it can build up under the pressures and friction exerted on a cylinder wall, then it stands to reason it should build up even better in places with low pressures and virtually no friction. Next, think about why you have an oil filter on your engine. To remove suspended solids, right? Right. Therefore it would seem to follow that if your oil filter is doing its job, it will collect as much of the PTFE as possible, as quickly as possible. This can result in a clogged oil filter and decreased oil pressure throughout your engine. Can you say spun bearings?

Dupont (the manufacturer of Teflon) does not recommend Teflon for use in internal combustion engines, so why put it there?

Consider also that oil companies spend billions of dollars in research and development on engine oils that work best in your engine. Don't you think that if there was a "mystery additive" that would improve the anti-wear properties of engines, that your run-of-the-mill Valvoline or Mobil 1 would already contain it?

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.