10 Best Oil Additives | March 2017

10 Best Oil Additives
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Best High-End
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We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you want your vehicle to last for as long as possible with minimal maintenance issues, you have to take care of it. When it comes to your fuel system and motor, the easiest way to do that is with one of these oil additives. They can increase horsepower, keep engines smooth at high RPMs, improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, eliminate dry starts, help piston rings set properly, and more. Skip to the best oil additive on Amazon.
10
Adding some Liqui Moly Anti-Friction treatment to your car's engine is like giving it a soothing, relaxing bath that eases the joints and reduces tension in the muscles, except in this case the joints and muscles are rods and pistons.
  • forms a load-bearing lubricant film
  • not recommended for motocycles
  • too thick for some filters
Brand Liqui Moly
Model 2009
Weight 14.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
This Rislone Supplement Concentrate represents a preemptive -- and affordable -- solution for sustaining the health of your vintage car. It's not, however, recommended for use in your everyday vehicle, since its high zinc composition can degrade delicate engine parts.
  • reduces piston scuffing
  • good for dirt bikes and atvs
  • also comes in pack of 6
Brand Bar's Products
Model 4405
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
8
The fast-acting BG MOA Part #110 supplement only needs to cycle through for a couple of minutes before helping most engines run more smoothly and quietly. You'll enjoy a more comfortable ride but also one that lasts longer, thanks to your suddenly enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • offers long-lasting protection
  • trusted by automotive experts
  • not ideal for breaking in new motors
Brand BG
Model BG MOA 110
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
This zMax 51-212 Engine Formula is marketed as a "micro lubricant" that allows your oil to get into small spaces between metal parts and ultimately do its job better than it would on its own. Try it out with sensitive, complex engines in foreign or older cars.
  • helps reduce emissions
  • can extend engine life
  • may not improve mileage
Brand zMax
Model 51-212
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
The formula inside a bottle of BestLine Lubricants Engine Treatment is safe for use with all gasoline vehicles and all types of oil, including extended-life synthetics. One bottle per oil change should be enough to keep your motor clean and protected.
  • resists friction and wear
  • good for boat engines
  • some users report broken seals
Brand BestLine Lubricants
Model 853796001047
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
5
The all-purpose Archoil AR9100 Friction Modifier can address a range of common engine problems, including rough idling, ignition times during cold starts, cylinder misfires and loss of power and acceleration. It's also safe for both gasoline and diesel motors.
  • fixes stiction issues
  • can be used on hydraulics
  • a little expensive
Brand Archoil
Model AR9100-16
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
4
Not only will the Marvel MM13R Mystery prevent valve sticking and reduce friction, but it will also keep varnish and gunk from building up in older and high-mileage engines. Plus, it's equally suitable for use as an oil additive as it is one for fuel.
  • protects oil under extreme temps
  • comes in gallon and 16 oz bottle
  • safe for catalytic converters
Brand Marvel Mystery Oil
Model MM13R
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
3
On a per-ounce basis, the formula you'll find in a bottle of Rev-X Engine Oil Treatment is one of the most expensive options out there, but it's also far and away one of the simplest, most effective ways to protect your engine and improve motor function.
  • helps increase horsepower and torque
  • improves cold start operation
  • suitable for diesel engines
Brand REV-X
Model 2BTLREVX
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
2
If you've just got a new car or replaced critical engine components, you'll want to consider treating your vehicle to a bottle of Red Line 81403 Break-in Additive. The formula includes zinc and phosphorus, both of which protect against camshaft and valve train damage.
  • good for high-performance cars
  • one bottle treats 12 quarts of oil
  • excellent value for price
Brand Red Line Oil
Model RED81403
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
From one of the most respected names in oil products, the Lucas 10002 Heavy Duty stabilizer won't let you down. It's the ideal choice for truckers, but is sure to satisfy all serious drivers looking to reduce their fluid consumption and get the most out of their machine.
  • manufactured in the usa
  • stops smoking and knocking
  • controls engine temperatures
Brand Lucas Oil
Model LUC10131
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Benefits of Oil Additives

The job of oil is to lubricate and protect the engine. Additives are often mixed with the oil to supplement this job, not replace it. There are a few different types available on the market, so it is important to understand what each of these additives does in order to choose the correct one.

One of the more common oil additives is a viscosity index improver. These increase the viscosity of the base oil. When the viscosity of an oil is too high, it will not flow as well, and may leave some areas less protected than others. When oil viscosity is too low, it will move like water through the engine, and won't stick to the engine's components long enough to do its job. Add to this the fact that the viscosity of oil fluctuates with temperature, and it is easy to see the importance of improving the viscosity index.

Another common oil additive combination is that of the detergent/dispersant. These two work in tandem to break up engine sludge, dirt, soot, and other foreign contaminants that build up in the engine over time. If left unchecked, these contaminants can clog moving components or get stuck between two moving parts, causing destructive friction. Adding a detergent/dispersant mix to an engine which experiences a variety of weather changes is especially beneficial, but should only be done in conjunction with changing the oil itself. Clean oil with added detergent/dispersant will make much more of a difference to engine parts than dirty oil, even with the best additives.

Rust inhibitors are also very beneficial, and their function is rather straightforward. Rust inhibitors improve the oil's natural ability to keep rust at bay. This is usually achieved by increasing the level of various antioxidants to control the corrosive effect of oxygen.

How Do Oil Additives Work?

The benefits of additives come from the ways in which they interact with the engine. Oil additives are used to reduce friction and engine wear, which is a function of oil itself. Engine oil lubricates engine parts to prevent excess friction, and keeping these parts coated in oil prevents things like the oxidation process from corroding an engine.

Most oil will include the given base oil as well as various additives like anti-acids, dispersants, detergents, and viscosity and friction modifiers. The particular blend of a given oil will be equipped to meet the lowest recommended needs of the engine it is paired with. This does leave room for improvement, however.

In order to be beneficial, oil additives must mix well with these oils to enhance their natural abilities to coat and protect engine parts. For instance, most engine oil includes detergents to keep the metal surfaces clean and wick away contaminants. Adding a dispersant to the oil can aid in this job by pulling particles of dirt or soot away from the metal.

Viscosity modifiers are also added to most oils to help the oil maintain its viscocity across a broad range of temperatures and conditions that an engine may encounter. Complementing this with a friction modifying additive can also help keep the oil flexible enough to handle the high pressure environment within the engine.

Adding additional oil stabilizers and viscosity modifiers to new oil will also usually provide good results. This is because the additives help to raise the level of antioxidants in the oil, which in turn makes the oil last longer and perform better. The benefits of adding antioxidants to oil have been known for quite some time, but only recently has the popularity of aftermarket antioxidant additives risen.

It is important to understand that an oil additive is not meant to revitalize old or dirty oil. They are simply meant to augment the power and ability of the oil they are used in. Combining a high quality oil with a high quality oil additive is the best way to improve the life of a vehicle's engine.

Are Oil Additives The Same As Fuel Additives?

Oil additives and fuel additives are terms that are mistakenly used interchangeably. While an oil additive is used to improve the texture and protective ability of high quality oil, a fuel additive is something used to improve the vehicle's ability to use its fuel, or gasoline.

Some fuel additives are called octane boosters, because they work to improve the octane rating of the gasoline to which they are added. This causes an increase in certain performance parameters in combustion engines.

Fuel additives may also help the fuel burn cleaner. This simply means they help remove certain particles from the fuel that may not be good for the injectors or other engine parts. Cleaner burning fuel may also reduce the emissions of a vehicle.

Many people see fuel additives as a way to help reduce air pollution and rid the air of some of the chemicals produced during combustion. So, while both fuel additives and oil additives are beneficial for a vehicle's engine, they are definitely not the same thing.



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Last updated on March 30, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.


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