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Oil Additives: Why Do You Need to Know Them And How They Can Help You



Doing an oil change

Most motor oils are formulated using a variety of chemical additives, which scientifically make up for any oil deficiencies and enhance the important beneficial properties of oils. It is worth noting that even the highest quality oils cannot guarantee total protection against the harsh effects of shearing forces, immense heat, wear and corrosion particles, water and chemical dilution, and more.

Oil additives help lubricants to withstand the extreme operating environments, making your regular base oils perform even better. With a high-quality additive, you can expect a boost in the performance of oils including extended drain intervals, extreme pressure performance, and multi-grade performance. Read along as we explore important aspects of oil additives and how they can help prolong the life of your motor.


These suspend and break up contaminants in the engine oil. As a result, the engine surfaces will be kept free of deposits and sludge. These are most effective for controlling the high-temperature deposits.

Corrosion and Rust Inhibitors

Forms a barrier of protection over the component surfaces, thereby sealing off water and a number of other contaminants. While most corrosion and rust inhibitors function by creating a barrier over the engine component surfaces, some corrosion inhibitors work by neutralizing acids.

Friction Modifiers

Widely used due to their ability to boost the slippery characteristics of oil. In engine oils, the friction modifiers enhance the lubricity with the objective of reducing the level of friction and improving fuel efficiency. When it comes to choosing oil additives for noisy lifters, June from A Quiet Refuge says you should ideally choose a product that is capable of forming a barrier around the metallic parts of the lifter. Some products incorporate highly advanced technology that ensures they stick to lifters to guard these parts from causing knocking sounds.

Foam Inhibitors

Cause a reduction in the surface tension caused by air bubbles, thereby causing foam to collapse.

Extreme Pressure Additives

Coat the metallic surfaces with the goal of preventing close contact engine components from stalling or seizing due to extreme pressures. These additives are activated by high loads and high temperatures and react to metal surfaces, thus forming a layer of sacrificial wear on the engine components.


Eliminate the accumulation of corrosive acids. These are most effective for use in controlling deposits that build-up at low temperatures.

Viscosity Index Improvers

These are long-term polymers which help by controlling the level of viscosity of motor oils (multi-grade). The Viscosity Index improvers expand and contract at varying temperatures. The high motor temperatures cause the improvers to undergo expansion thus reducing oil thinning. At low engine temperatures, the improvers contract and have minimal effect on the level of oil viscosity.

Like most engine products, oil additives are available in different qualities, meaning that you can choose the one that best matches your needs. The popular brands might present three or more types of oil additives that may be suggested for different jobs listed above, so consider what you’re trying to achieve before choosing an oil additive.

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