If you’ve owned your vehicle for any extended period of time you know the importance of doing regular oil changes in order to keep your engine running as smoothly as possible. But do you know about oil additives and their role as an oil enhancer?
When you combine a quality oil with a quality oil additive, you really have the best of both worlds. Oil additives are synthetic chemicals that can greatly enhance your natural oil’s ability to reduce friction between the moving parts in your engine, reduce emissions and even help to prevent any heat damage that can occur in some motors.
But are they really that important over a long period of time? And if they are, exactly why is this the case? That’s exactly what we’ll be writing about below, so get out a pen and paper and be prepared to take some important notes.
Understanding Oil Additives
The first thing you need to understand is what oil additives are exactly. Simply put, oil additives are synthetic chemical compounds that are manufactured with differing ingredients depending on the needs of the car owner and added to your car’s oil to improve it in some way.
How the oil additive is formulated to help your engine depends a lot on their intended use and of course the manufacturer. But there are more common types of oil additives that we’ll list here for your reference:
Viscosity modifiers: Viscosity means how thick or thin your oil is at a certain temperature. If it’s very cold and your oil is too thick, it won’t coat the engine parts correctly resulting in extra wear and tear to the engine.
Detergents and dispersants: These two additives often work in conjunction with each other. One part cleans the inside of the engine, while the dispersant suspends all the dirt the detergents loosened up in the oil so that they can be flushed away during an oil change.
Friction modifiers: These chemicals help to reduce the amount of friction going on in an engine which has a ton of benefits like reduced wear and tear as well as better gas mileage.
Anti-wear agents: As the name suggests, these chemicals are designed to stick to the metal parts of an engine and increase lubrication of all the moving parts, therefore reducing the wear and tear the engine sustains during its lifetime.
Extreme pressure additives: These are more specialized additives and are used for extreme environments like in engines in Alaska during winter months. Working engines, particularly diesel engines can often benefit from using these types of additives.
Pour point depressants: Again, an additive that works extremely well in cold weather environments where untreated oil will often thicken to a point that it can longer lubricate correctly.
Antioxidants: These additives are designed to stop any sort of oxidation that can occur in an engine that is exposed to too much heat or somehow has gotten water inside the engine block.
Corrosion inhibitors: Heat plays a big part in metal parts becoming corroded. These additives help protect against corrosion by chemically binding to metal parts and creating an additional protective layer to the oil itself.
Importance of Using Quality Oil Additives
You should always use quality products in your car when possible, and oil additives are no exception. Here are a few of the main reasons why spending a little extra can really make a big difference.
Engine protection: A quality oil additive can help keep an engine running smoothly for a long time to come by protecting the engine from damage caused by friction, heat, and corrosion.
Increased efficiency: Oil additives can help to improve engine efficiency, resulting in better fuel economy, higher power output, and smoother engine performance.
Extended engine life: When you use an oil additive that is designed to minimize the amount of wear and tear on your engine, the biggest benefits are an engine that lasts longer and needs fewer repairs over the life of the engine.
Reduced emissions: Emissions are always a concern and oil additives are formulated to reduce harmful emissions giving you a cleaner and safer car for the environment.
Fuel economy: When your oil additive is doing its job correctly, it is reducing friction on the internal parts of your engine. Reduced friction means less fuel needs to be used in order to get the same amount of miles as far as driving.
Cost-effectiveness: Although oil additives aren’t free, they can literally pay for themselves when you look at all the benefits you get from them like increased gas mileage or less frequent trips to the auto repair shop.
So looking at our list of benefits above, it should be a bit clearer how using these additives can actually save you money in the long run.
Choosing the Right Oil Additive
But with so many different types of oil additives available at any auto parts store, how do you know which one to buy?
Engine type: Each and every oil additive is different just like all engines are different. Make sure that if you have a diesel engine that the product you’re ready to buy is designed for diesel engines and not gasoline. Be sure the additive matches your engine type.
Oil type: Your oil must also be compatible with the additive you want to use. There are huge differences between synthetic oils and natural oils. And even brands of one type can be different.
Oil additive compatibility: Try not to add more than one brand or type of additive at a time as they might not be designed to work together. Remember, each brand formulates their additives differently.
Additive performance levels: Performance levels are like different grades of gasoline. If you have a newer car you may not need an additive that is super strong so you can purchase one with a lesser performance level thereby saving you a few bucks.
Budget considerations: Of course the price you’re paying for the additives always plays a part in deciding which to use. But just don’t go for the cheapest bottle r it may not live up to your expectations. Just buy a reputable brand.
So yes, there are a few things to consider when buying the right oil additives for your vehicle, but with our list you should be a lot more confident that you getting what you really need.
As always, quality wins. Whether it’s the oil you chose or the gas you pump into your car, if you want your car to last and leave you with the least amount of hassles, the always use quality products and that’s half the battle.
Just be sure the oil additive you choose is compatible with your car’s oil and engine type, and you’re getting a recognized brand of additive and you should be ahead of the game already.