Research Points to Potential Dangers of Slick 50 and
Other Teflon Based Oil Additives
When teflon based oil additives were put
on the market in the 70's they were hailed as "magic elixers" for motor oil.
Slick 50 is a teflon based oil additive, which combines PTFE (polytetraflouroethylene) and
teflon in a carrier fluid such as conventional motor oil. Manufacturers of Slick 50 claim
that it coats the internal engine mechanical components with PTFE and lasts up to 50,000
miles. Other teflon based oil additives make similar claims to reduce wear, increase fuel
economy, and cut oil consumption.
Recently , however, a growing number of experts in the automotive industry have begun to
speak out about these additives.
*General Motors has issued an internal bulletin to its dealers warning against the
use of teflon based oil additives in GM engines. In the bulletin, HM warns about problems
with accelerated engine wear after use of PTFE oil additives.
*Dupont, maker of teflon, formally announced that it would discontinue selling
Teflon powder to companies using it to forify oil. DuPont has reviewed extensive research
by its own scientists as well as others and concluded that teflon is not useful in oil
*Two major airplane engine manufactures. Avco Lycoming and Teledyne Continental,
came up with the same findings. "We've tried every additive, and for the most part,
A number of research studies have also sound that teflon based additives add no benefit.
In some cases, actually harm engines.
*The NASA Lewis Research Center found "In types of bearing-surface contact we
have looked at we have seen no benefit. In some cases, we have seen detrimental effects.
*North Dakota State Lab states "The theory sounds good, the only problem is
the products don't work." A University of Utah study found that there was a pressure
drop across the oil filter after using teflon additives.
*The department of the Army recently issied a memorandum strongly reccommending
that these lubricants not be used in military administrative or combat/tactical fleets.
In addition, many consumers have reported the problems they have experienced as a result
of putting Slick 50 in their engines. These consumers claim that teflon based additives:
*Plug upoil filters, depriving the engine of clean oil.
*Plug up oil passages, leading ti piston wall scruffing.
*Burn in the combustion chamber, causing formation of hydroflouric acid which
corrodes the exhaust system and is harmfull to the environment.
According to Nutz and Bolts, an automotive consumer magazine. Teflon powder doesn't
coat anything unless it is chemically bonded tot the metal. Even if it were possible to
make PTFE stick to internal parts, it would be scrapped off by the motion of the piston
rings against the cylinder walls, similar to a metal spatula scrapping a teflon pan.
Based upon this information and the serious questions it raises, QSML discontinued
carrying Slick 50 in all company stores on May 1. In addition, use of any additive,
including teflon based additives will void the Quaker State 250,000 mile warranty. Because
Quaker State runs its oil through required tests for API service designation, adding any
substance to the oil requires engine testing ti maintain the license. Placing additives
into other manufactures oil may also void their warranties as well.
Slick 50 Website - Check out the slick-50 website
for a counterpoint to this article.
Personal Note... I've used Slick 50 before and have never had any problems. Although I
never really noticed much difference in the engine either except that it seemed to start
smoother than before. I guess we'll never really know for sure about the stuff.
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