We all know that engine oil is a key ingredient in a smoothly running engine. It lubricates moving parts, it cools and transfers heat – it performs a very important role. But just like any engine element it is always possible to look for an upgrade to boost performance.
That is where engine oil additives come in. They work to enhance the existing positive elements found in your engine oil and to suppress any negative traits that can come up in certain performance situations. The best oil additives on the market do all that whilst also imparting their own performance enhancing characteristics, providing an all round boost to engine performance for just a few bucks.
For that reason, engine oil additives can be a cheap, simple but highly effective engine upgrade. In this review we’ll take a look at some of the best additives around right now, then help you to decide which is the right one for you.
The Best Oil Additive
Sea Foam sf16
This comes with 16oz, with larger packs for a bulk deal available exclusively through Amazon. Sea Foam consists of 100% petroleum, and is a PEA as well as EPA registered product for environmental friendliness.
Sea Foam works to eliminate buildup in your engine in the form of gum, varnish deposits, and contaminants found inside your internal engine. Users with older vehicles (250,000+ miles) enjoy drastic improvements, such as increased power, decreased drag, and a quieter motor. Sea Form is usable for either gasoline or direct oil injection.
Eliminates varnish deposits
Increased performance in older vehicles/engines
Quiets vibrations and “chatter”
- BrandSea Foam
- Weight1 pounds
Outfitted primarily for diesel engines, Archoil comes in a 16oz container, bringing a volley of benefits in a small package. Your engine noise, vibration, and friction decrease with Archoil flowing through it. This is known to fix 6.0 and 7.5L PowerStroke Cold Start Injector problems; a very simple fix for otherwise costly repair/maintenance to your diesel engine.
Archoil reduces the wear-and-tear on your vehicle while extending the life of other components, due to its lack of high zinc levels. If you were to use this in your gasoline system, you would see optimized performance in your gearboxes, power steering, and hydraulics.
Optimal for diesel engines
Hydraulic improvements in gas engines
- Weight1 pounds
Liqui Moly Cera Tec Friction Modifier
300ml of additives, perfect to blend with any commercial motor oil. Whatever your preferred oil is will work perfectly, so you don’t have to compromise between the two. Liqui Moly works extremely well for long-distance travelers and those who live in extreme climates. High or low temperatures, it will perform consistently throughout.
Compatible with nearly every filter system
Blends into every single commercial motor oil brand/viscosity
Controls temperature performance
- BrandLiqui Moly
- Weight10.6 ounces
Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer
One full gallon ensures that you won’t need to make another purchase for quite some time (2 years on average, and at a lower cost than most leading oil additives). This high-performance oil additive elongates your oil’s life expectancy as much 50%, spacing out time between oil changes, which saves you time and money.
Your oil consumption rate decreases as well, optimizing your engine in every aspect. Lucas oil is made in the United States, eliminates dry starts, and gives you more power for your MPG.
Reduced oil consumption rate
Increases oil life expectancy by 50%, meaning less oil changes
Bulk value for long-term consistent results
- BrandAI Innovations
- Weight7.7 pounds
Genuine Ford Fluid XL-3 Friction Modifier
If you’re a proud Ford owner, then you’ve had problems with your engine’s friction in the past. Ford’s 4oz oil additive reduces metallic surface friction while reducing hypoid gear loudness and chatter on your differentials.
This oil lubricates your injectors as well, and works exceptionally well when quieting the rear of most Ford GT and Mustang models. A tapered neck makes it easy to pour right after opening the packaging. Your car could be performing better within five minutes of receiving this in the mail.
Near immediate results in Ford models
Reduces metal-to-metal surface friction
Quiets motor through multiple means
- Weight4 ounces
Red Line Break-In Oil
16oz (available in 12-packs) gives you the perfect measurement to treat two oil changes with a single bottle. Slick oil is reduced on your pistons, allowing their rings to properly seat. Startup performance increases with less chatter, and a noticeable change in power (usually apparent after the second time you start the car up, once it’s had some time to run its course).
This additive contains high levels of zinc and phosphorus, making it extremely important to only use what’s recommended for your vehicle. Too much zinc can slowly degrade the smaller working parts of your motor, as we explain a bit later. Red Line decreased metal-to-metal contact, boosting your performance.
Repairs piston ring seals
More power per MPG after second oil change
- BrandRed Line Oil
- Weight13.6 ounces
BG MOA Oil Supplement
In an 11oz can, you get lowered RPM, increased acceleration and engine performance, and a better exhaust note. BG is designed to work alongside your high-performance truck engine, giving you the strength that you need to get the job done.
BG increases time between oil changes. Users reported changing oil at each 5,000 mile mark without encountering issues, while noticing a smoother transition after their second startup post oil change. Reduce sediment deposits and resist corrosion for high-performance vehicles.
Increases oil life expectancy y up to 67%
Eliminates sediment deposits
Designed for high-performance trucks
- ModelBG MOA 110
- Weight12.8 ounces
Rev X Fix Oil Treatment
Reduce stuck fuel injectors with ease, while avoiding harmful, corrosive chemical strippers. Rev X works with the most efficient additives, so you don’t end up doing more harm than good when you use their products. Turbo chargers will benefit from mild repairs due to the viscosity of the additives.
Rev X is optimal for diesel engine or gas engine use thanks to its simplistic formula. For gas, use 4oz of the 8oz bottle, for diesel, use the entire bottle. Performance improves as early as the second startup (after you’ve let it run about 15 miles).
Excellent for gas and diesel
Repairs turbo chargers
Contains no harmful or corrosive materials
- Weight8 ounces
Lucas Oil Stop Leak
This product reduces oil consumption, while increasing oil pressure for optimal performance. Worn seals get a revitalized boost, eliminating the possibility of future corrosion while repairing seals as well as they can be repaired.
This additive is compatible with petroleum, semi-synthetic and full synthetic oils, roughly 97% of the market’s oil base. No harmful solvents are included (which reduces odor when opening the container), which aids in a quick fix to your engine oil leaks as well.
Stops engine oil leaks fairly quickly
No harmful solvents
Works with nearly every type of motor oil
- BrandLucas Oil
- Weight1.25 pounds
BestLine Premium Synthetic Engine Treatment
Reducing friction and general wear-and-tear of your engine, this additive also improves your fuel performance and economy. On average, after your second oil change using BestLine, you can see a 40-50 increase in mileage on a full tank.
Harmful emissions are reduced as well. This oil additive is optimal at 10-15% oil volume (a bit higher than the standard 5% for most additives, though the performance increase is worthwhile). Engine chatter and vibration is reduced after your second startup while slightly increasing oil pressure.
Increases overall mileage per tank
Reduces engine “chatter” and startup noise
Minimizes harmful emissions
- BrandBestLine Lubricants
- Weight1.2 pounds
Oil Additive Buying Guide & FAQ
As with any crucial part to your car’s performance, there are a lot of questions that arise. We’re about to breakdown what oil additives are, how they’re effective, and how to select the perfect oil additives for your vehicle going forward.
What are Oil Additives?
There are two primary functions of oil additives: to prevent corrosion (rust) from destroying your engine, and to keep everything operating efficiently. Oil additives blend into your motor oil, better lubricating every part that it touches, reducing friction and provides protection for metallic surfaces within your vehicle.
Thes additives essentially improve your preexisting motor oil by enhancing up to 5% of their total volume. A little goes a long way. It sounds like a simple fix, but there are multiple things to consider when selecting the right oil additives.
How do Oil Additives Work?
Viscosity is the measurement of you motor oil’s performance. If it’s too viscous, it will gunk up your engine. Too flowy, and it will run like water, and miss its mark. Oil additives alter the viscosity to function better for your engine. Your oil’s viscosity is also affected the temperature, bot external (a bad snowstorm) and internal (a piping hot engine block).
You can run your car without a muffler, you can run your car without a door, but your engine is one thing that needs to be at peak performance, 100% of the time. Oil additives have been known to elongate the life expectancy of older motors by optimizing their use. Temperature regulation and a fluid use of all moving parts are essential to your engine.
Are Oil Additives the Same as Fuel Additives?
They are not the same thing. Oil works throughout your engine to allow your engine to run, which then utilizes fuel to actually move the car. Fuel, or gasoline, can only be altered so much to increase performance
Fuel additives are used to alter the octane rating or corrosion inhibitors for parts associated with your fuel. Some fuel additives have been known to support proper lubrication, which can increase your highway and city MPG.
Choosing the Right Type of Oil Additives
Firstly, you need to understand the different chemical compounds found in leading products of most oil additives. Understanding specific components will allow you to better map out what you need for your vehicle now, and in the long run.
Zinc - This degrades smaller working parts of your engine faster. When you see this included in your oil additive preference, it exists as a performance booster, which older engines can really benefit from. Simply pay attention to your usage and don’t exceed the recommended amount, and you will have nothing to worry about.
Phosphorus - You will see zinc and phosphorus in ZDDP quite often, as it’s one of the most common additives. Phosphorus is used to improve performance through wear-and-tear protection, limiting metal-to-metal contact.
Those are the two most common ingredients found in most of the market’s oil additives. However, what benefits should you be receiving from your oil additives? There are three main performance increases you should see to make it a worthwhile investment.
- Friction Reduction
Metal-to-metal interactions can chip away and grind down key components of your engine block. Your oil additives are there to prevent wear-and-tear over time, prolonging the life of your engine.
- MPG Increase
You’re optimizing your engine, so you should see at least a 1-2 MPG increase after your second oil change. Less stress on your motor, more money in your pocket in the long run. The definition of a sound investment.
- Rust Inhibitors
It isn’t just wearing down and chipping; you want to prevent corrosion. Your oil additives need to keep your engine running smoothly; if it doesn’t aid in corrosion prevention, it isn’t worth your money.
How Often do I Need to Change my Oil Additives?
Oil additives meld into your existing oil, so when the oil gets changed, you’ll need new additives. Garages (and especially dealerships) will charge you an arm and a leg for oil additives that they claim are high-quality, high-performance products.