Is it possible to go oil-change-free with a roll of toilet paper?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

Please don't think this is a crank letter. This is for real. I have a
friend who has a 1979 van with over 110,000 miles on it, and he's never
changed the oil! He put something on the filter that holds a roll of toilet
tissue, then he just changes the roll of toilet tissue every so often and
adds a quart of oil. It's still running well and it doesn't burn any oil.
I'm not a mechanic, but I can't fathom anything like this. -- Howard

TOM: It IS hard to believe, isn't it? I mean, that a guy would actually
change a roll of toilet paper. Our wives have never heard of another
instance of this taking place anywhere in the free world.

RAY: Actually, the device you speak of is called a Frantz oil filter.
Frantz is a little company out in California someplace, where all the other
wackos are. And the device does exactly what you say. It uses a roll of
standard-issue (preferably unscented) toilet paper as either a primary or
extra oil filter. The oil gets filtered through this roll, which Frantz
claims filters out dirt and small particles better than traditional oil

TOM: And we know people who claim it works, too. But who really knows? The
kind of people who would use a device like this to extend the life of their
engines are probably people who are extremely finicky and careful about
their cars in the first place. They probably drive them gently and do a lot
of regular maintenance. And who knows whether the car is still running
because of that stuff or because of the Charmin next to the engine block?

RAY: We have to assume that the major automotive companies are familiar
with this product, and continue to believe that modern-day oil filters and
regular oil changes are more effective ways of increasing the life of their
engines. But we'll keep our eyes on the Wall Street Journal.

TOM: And if we see Ford, Chrysler or GM make a hostile play for White
Cloud, we'll assume Frantz is onto something.

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