Oil additives increase the longevity of your vehicle and improve engine performance. While there are motor oil additives designed to enhance specific components of your vehicle’s performance, it should be noted that common engine oils sold in stores already contain additives. These additives help to keep your car in good shape by enhancing the base oil to provide added protection for your car’s engine.
What is the purpose of motor oil?
The main purpose of motor oil is to lubricate the moving parts of your car’s engine. The oil minimizes friction and helps to protect the metallic surfaces of your engine from corrosion. Motor oil can’t really do this effectively on its own. The additives that are placed in engine oil provide the base oil with the extra chemicals that are necessary to perform this function.
What additives are typically added to motor oil?
- friction modifiers
- viscosity modifiers
- rust inhibitors
What do these oil additives do for your car’s health?
- Detergents – These help to keep your engine clean by moving sludge and contaminants away from your engine’s metal surfaces.
- Dispersants – These work in conjunction with detergents to help move and suspend impurities like dirt and soot away from metal surfaces. This prevents the impurities from causing damage to the metal surfaces.
- Antacids – This covers a wide range of additives that work to neutralize the acids that are produced inside the engine. The anti-acids prevent the acids that are produced in the engine from causing corrosion and damaging the inside of the engine.
- Friction modifiers – These improve the ability of the oil to handle high pressure conditions. One of the most commonly used friction modifiers is ZDDP. Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate contains phosphorus components and zinc. These components work together to provide anti-wear protection for your engine. They also reduce lubricant breakdown in the engine.
- Viscosity modifiers – These help the motor oil in your car to maintain the best viscosity possible across a wide range of temperatures and conditions.
- Rust inhibitors – These chemical compounds decrease the corrosion rate of metals and alloys in your engine.
- Zinc – Zinc is used to protect engine surfaces.
Do you have to add other additives to your car?
It really isn’t necessary to add extra additives to your motor oil because additives are already included. Motor oil additives that you add for yourself claim that they will improve the performance of your car’s engine. This is supposedly achieved by enhancing the motor oil’s performance even more so than the additives that are already included. These extra additives won’t make that much of a difference in your car’s health unless your car’s engine has special additive needs. If your engine does have special additive needs they will be listed in the owner’s manual for your car.
Some car manufacturers suggest that car owners shouldn’t use extra additives in their motor oil at all. This is because they believe that the additives that are already included in the motor oil are enough. Even so, some oil additives may still add a small amount of performance enhancement to older car engines. Extra motor oil additives may also have a beneficial effect if the motor oil you use is a really cheap nonstandard brand. Extra oil additives really aren’t necessary for newer engines.