Thrown Rod...Can Mystery Oil Cause This?

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Thread: Thrown Rod...Can Mystery Oil Cause This?

  1. #1
    Junior Member FRS-girl-86's Avatar
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    Mar 2019

    Thrown Rod...Can Mystery Oil Cause This?

    I have a 2013 Scion FRS with about 70,000 miles on it. I let my friend borrow it for a few days and on the day that he was giving it back to me he said he was going to change the oil and then he called and said the car would not start. It turns out that it had thrown a rod! I had to spend $6000 on getting a used engine put in it. I just got it back about two weeks ago and I was going through the trunk and I found some Marvel mystery oil and some engine and oil performance booster that he had apparently put in the engine. Could either of these have caused my car to throw a rod if he didn’t follow the directions correctly? I have gotten my oil changed every 7,500 miles. It just seems weird to me that my car is running fine and then he changes the oil and all of a sudden a rod is thrown. Just trying to figure why this happened. And yes, I learned my lesson about letting other people drive my car.

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  3. #2
    ADMINISTRATORcolor> TrailDust's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Your issue is a tough one to analyze without being there myself and knowing all the extenuating circumstances. First question (and don't take offense) is how hard have you driven your FR-S over the years? You need to be honest, because I've seen people I know abuse their vehicles and they swear they're not hard on them. Given that you changed your oil regularly, although my personal belief is 7,500 is too long an interval and 4K should be the max, if you have not been hard on your engine then it does put the onus on the person you lent your FR-S to. Because of the alloys used today in engines, as well as the manufacturing techniques and mechanical tolerances, throwing a rod is a much rarer occurrence than decades ago. IMO, without any evidence to back this up, I suspect your borrower over-revved the engine while having some fun behind the wheel. Sure, there's a chance a failed intake valve might have caused the rod failure, but regardless the cause I still suspect the borrower damaged the engine, and, no pun intended, is using the oil change explanation as a smokescreen. That's just an opinion, FWIW.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Every vehicle has their own parameters the manufacturer guides about it when they hand over vehicle to the owner, i have a ram truck 1500 which i use for 24/7 towing companies near me, so i changed their oil after 4000 miles cause its a heavy duty truck which produce more power and have a diesel engine also.

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  6. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    NE Florida

    Beaten Like a Rented Mule

    Sorry to read about your engine.

    I agree with @TrailDust's comments. It's hard to throw a rod these days, but over-reving is still at the top of the abuse list. I hope your "friend" (with or without admitting guilt) has contributed to your financial cause. Has he posted any corroborating videos to any of his (or his friends) social media sites?

    I haven't used Marvel Mystery Oil or any other chemicals (except maybe starter fluid) since the 1960s. Those "performance boosters" didn't seem to make a difference back then and I sure wouldn't put any strange stuff in a perfectly good engine now. If you're using the recommended grade of synthetic oil in your engine, it should easily last 9-10,000 miles, depending on your climate and driving habits. I used to do my oil changes somewhere around 5-7,000 miles (old habits die hard). Now that I'm retired and drive a lot less, I change the oil annually (around 4,500 miles).

    And, to answer your original question - Mystery Oil wouldn't likely cause the problem, but it could contribute to the problem depending on how much was added to your oil and how hard your friend beat the mule. Same goes for those other performance boosters. Nobody knows what could happen when an unknown cocktail of chemicals is introduced into your oil or fuel system. The chemical manufacturers claim wonderful results, but their laboratory tests, and corresponding results, (written by lawyers) are dubious at best.
    Last edited by OpenRoad; 09-19-2019 at 08:52 PM.

  7. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gainesville, FL
    Did the borrower say he put that stuff in your engine? Or why? Why would you need performance enhancing products in your engine if you are not RACING the vehicle?

  8. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    It does sound fishy, especially if he only had the car a few days, why would he need to put that stuff in? Perhaps he heard the rod knocking and thought those products could stop the noise? Since our cars have RPM limiters on the engine, I doubt he over revved it and caused the rod failure.

    On the other hand, after having my 2013 FRS go through the warranty head service, I read of others who, after having the same service had the lower ends of their engines fail. Coincidence? All I am saying is perhaps your car was having one of the rumored lower end failures when your friend borrowed it and he thought he could fix it with the additives.

    …..or, he beat it very badly while driving it.

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