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Old 05-17-2007, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
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Bardahl Stop Smoke - solution or snake oil?

I'm trying to find a quick solution to my intermittent blue smoke problem (well, if I let it annoy me, which unfortunately, I can't help).

Background: I accidently overfilled the oil by about 1/4 - 1/2 liter just before a 300 mile trip, a couple of weeks ago. I noticed several times that acceleration would blow a cloud of smoke out the exhaust. The most memorable was just after going down a small hill, then stepping on it to go up a steeper hill. This was on the trip. I still get smoke noticeable on occasion idling, and while driving after accelerating.

I replaced all the valve stem seals myself (with dealer-supplied seals) about 2 years ago. This was to stop an annoying smoke cloud at start-up. Things seemed to be OK until this year, but I don't know if the issue was caused by the overfill or not.

Now to the nub of this thread: has anyone tried this product, and if so, what were you trying to cure (what kind of oil smoke) and what was the result?

I'd like to hear from the armchair theorists too, if they can provide a rationale for why I shouldn't use this stuff, but I'd really like to hear from folks who have actually used it in their Mercedes engine.....
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:31 AM
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IMHO ALL of those products are snake oil. Sorry.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:19 AM
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some extensive reading about specific automotive related products. If you are not into long reading it's basically what brewtoo said above.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:43 AM
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The stuff is like molasses. It just thickens your oil. It does lessen smoke for a while. I tried it in a Chevy I no longer care about (hint)
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:08 AM
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It may be time for new seals again. Sometimes if there is excessive play in the guides, seals will stop the oil leak but it's only a temporary measure. As the valves move around due to the play, they stretch the seals and cause them to eventually fail again. 2 years sounds about right. If it were me, I would just do the seals again for about $30, and forget about the guides.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:32 AM
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If you over-filled by 1/2 liter, I would suggest you take the excess oil out asap., and see what happens after.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by manny View Post
If you over-filled by 1/2 liter, I would suggest you take the excess oil out asap., and see what happens after.
Yes..take out the overfill until the dipstick reads halveway line , [and no more,maybe less]...with coolant temp Hot.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:33 PM
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Gee, I assume you did that?? !!! Otherwise you'll be soaking the piston skirts/walls in oil and it will defitnely make it past the rings. Additionally, if the crank has been swinging through the oil and foaming it, I'd put fresh in myself.

Last edited by WINGAS; 05-17-2007 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:55 PM
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can't remember off the top of my head if that car has one, but if your transmission has a vacuum modulator, make sure it's not leaking. a bad modulator diaphram can cause the symptoms you describe.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:23 PM
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Yeah, i'd go with reducing the level of oil as well.

As for the stop smoke products, the only time I would use this is if I was trying to flog a car off quickly. Ive used it in an earlier 230E and worked for a very short period (Weeks) and then the smoking came back. Or it may have been a coincidence.

Don't fix the symptoms - fix the problem.

Judging by the syptoms you gave it sounds like valve stem seals leaking or it could just be the overfilled oil.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:03 PM
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I just can't believe that 1/4 - 1/2 liter of extra oil would make any difference.

At worst, it's barely more than 1/2 quart.

Spread across the oil pan it might raise the level, what, maybe 1/2 inch?
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:48 PM
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the newer cars are a lot more critical than the older ones. i would occasionally overfill my 240s or 300s 123 and nothing would happen.

on my 350sdl though i once over filled oh maybe a quart and i noticed that on the highway the temp of the engine would rise....but if i slowed down five or ten mph it would drop back to normal.

i felt the oil was foaming and causing the cooling effeciency to drop.

the newer cars have everything compacted vertically to reduce hood height i think and so the normal level of the oil in the pan is closer to the crank. for this reason the newer cars have an oil level sensor too, i think, as the level is more critical and there is less room for error.

tom w
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:21 PM
John Holmes III
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A leaking brake master cylinder and a bad brake booster will let the engine burn brake fluid.

Though I think the valve guides are probably well worn.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:58 AM
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'Contains: OIL (mineral or synthetic)
'Anything else is a contaminant.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:34 PM
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Location: NB Canada
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Sorry to resurrect this, but I just finished a major 'mechanic in a bottle' treatment this morning on my '85 380SE. The smoking out the pipe I originally posted had gotten REALLY annoying, to the point that cars following me were dropping back to avoid a cloud when I accelerated from a stop-light! It was pumping out a steady blueish flow at idle too, worse when I stepped on the gas, and when the engine warmed up.

OK, so what I did was:
- Drained out about a liter of oil, so the dipstick reading was about 1/8" below full-max marker.
- Put in a 354ml bottle of Pennzoil 'Engine Flush', ran as instructed for 10 - 15 minutes, then drained out all the old oil (except the filter, which I left in in case I needed to repeat the exercise).
- Re-filled with fresh 10W-30 Quaker State, ENSURING the level was bang on the max-full mark.
- Poured 1/3 can of Seafoam treatment (as specified for 8 cylinders) slowly into the throttle plate opening, shut the engine down for 10 - 15 minutes, then started it up, with huge billowing clouds of smoke coming out the tailpipe, as the Seafoam can said it would.
- went for a nice long drive and returned home to what has, so far, been an almost completely smoke-free tail-pipe! Hooray!

I don't really know if I'd have gotten the same results if I'd simply drained the oil and re-filled to the right level. Probably would have, as it would seem that the excess oil I stupidly put in in the first place simply raised the oil pressure enough to force it past the oil rings and into the combustion chamber. This is also consistent with the increase in blue smoke after the engine had warmed up, and with the noticeable lack of appreciable smoke on start-up after sitting overnight (which was why I put in the new valve seals 2 years ago).

This sure isn't an endorsement for Bardahl Smoke Stop, but it isn't a condemnation either. The lesson is maybe that over-filling the oil creates SERIOUS smoke, which is very unnerving, but in the end is probably no real biggie either.....
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