Thursday, September 16, 2010

Update to...An Experiment

Back in February, I started an experiment with an oil additive called Auto-Rx. I was having some lifter noise at start up in my 93 BMW 525i, especially when it was really cold (at least for the California High Desert). Read this post for more information.

Here is an update. I just finished the first rinse phase of the experiment. So far I'm pretty impressed with the results.

When I started this back in February, I was averaging about 25.5 MPG. As of right now, the last four tanks of gas have averaged me about 27.5 MPG. The motor seems to be running cleaner and I'm not burning/using anywhere near the amount of oil I used to before the first phase of the treatment. I know it's running cleaner because I don't get any soot build up on the tips of my exhaust pipes. Prior to the treatment, I was always wiping soot off the chrome tips, now none. I also used to burn about a quart of oil every 1K miles, last time I added, I had over 2K miles and it didn't even need a whole quart. Another thing is that nearly all of the little oil leaks I had before are gone. I get an occasional little drip, but nothing like it used to be.

When I did the first phase oil treatment, I also added the Auto-Rx to my transmission, differential and power steering according to their direction for each. Didn't notice much change to the differential, not saying it didn't benefit from the treatment, just that I didn't notice the difference. As far as the power steering, all of the little leaks in that system have gone away, and it feels a bit tighter in the steering too, that could be the new tires I put on a while back. But the leaks are history and I know that the Auto-Rx is responsible for that.

The big change came with the transmission. About 300 miles after adding the product, I was leaving work to go home one morning. I drove out of the parking lot onto the street up a slight incline. As I did so, it didn't feel like normal. Probably 200 yards from the parking lot the transmission downshifted extremely hard, went about another 50 feet and then did it again. I stopped along side of the road thinking I had just blown up the tranny. I got out of the car looked under to see if I could detect any problem, no leaks, so I figured I might as well try to see if it would drive. Much to my surprise, it acted like there was nothing wrong. I drove home, all 40+ miles without incident. After putting on about another 700 miles I changed out the trans fluid and filter per the instructions to get the product out of the system. I drove the car probably another three thousand miles, when I experience the same hard downshifting again, almost exactly in the same spot that it happened the first time. This time, when I got to the stop sign, I just kept going... no problems again. It's now about 2000 miles since the last incident, and it seems to be just fine. Better than fine actually. The tranny shifts much more crisply and doesn't hesitate like it used to. I'm convinced that the Auto-Rx treatment did wonders for that old Transmission. The car has over 200K miles on it, not sure if the trans has that many, but I know it was abused before I bought the car due to the condition of the fluid and filter the first time I changed it after I bought it.

So, I'm pretty happy with the results I've had in this car. When I did the treatment on this car, I also added it to my wife's 03 Honda CRV and my daughters 95 525i. The Honda was just starting to leak some oil, but stopped shortly after adding the Auto-Rx. My daughters 525i was averaging about 17MPG, mainly because she drives all short trips, no highway driving. I checked the mileage on it recently, and it is getting almost 19MPG now. I know she hasn't changed the way she drives.

Lastly, here are a few pictures I took yesterday of the oil filter housing top and retainer bolt, dip stick and inside of filter housing. I started the second cleaning cycle with this oil change. If you checked out the previous post, it doesn't look like much of the varnish had gone away from the pieces of the housing. I didn't take any pics of the dipstick and bolt the first time, but I can tell you that both of them were the same brown varnish color before the treatment. Now they are back to their natural colors.



Anyway, this is all FYI. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And, no, I'm not an employee of Auto-Rx. I just feel when you find a good product you should let people know about it.

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