Oil Additives Can Offset the Careful Balance of a Well-Formulated Motor Oil

An overabundance of anti-wear agents, for example, can lead to reduced resistance to corrosion.

One of these things is engine oil additives. The auto shops shelves are groaning under the weight of engine oil additives.

It seems almost any internal engine problem in the world can be solved simply by using an engine oil additive. “Restores engine life, eliminates dry starts, eliminates engine noise, restores parts’ surfaces and compensates current wear!”

Too busy or just not interested in taking care of your vehicle? Just wait until you have a problem and then buy a solution at the local parts store and you are back in business. Our instant-gratification culture pushes us into believing in quick solutions. In reality, there are very few quick solutions that can correct years of neglect in any area of life, including your internal combustion engine. Very few, if any, engine oil additives solve engine issues overnight or somehow restore engines to their original condition. So how do you get the longest, trouble-free life out of your engine? Use a high quality, trusted brand of synthetic motor oil regularly and don’t add any engine oil additives.

Formulating a motor oil to perform all the critical jobs required by your engine is a balancing act. You can’t just focus on improving one property without testing and evaluating the impact on all critical oil properties. Many times, use of additives improves one property, but causes other properties to degrade.

Formulating synthetic motor oils is a core strength developed over the past 40 years at AMSOIL, and it is not an easy task. Motor oils need to protect engines against:

– abnormal wear

– excessive varnish

– sludge

– rust

– corrosion

– damaging foam


Motor oils also need to remove:

– heat

– help meet fuel economy standards

– keep engine seals from leaking

– keep catalytic converters working effectively over their projected lives


Many negative outcomes derived from using engine oil additives have been documented over the years, including accelerated corrosion, excess oil thickening in cold temperatures and increased deposit formation. Most of these negative outcomes are relatively complicated chemical interactions, but just like your family is interconnected, so is the chemistry in your motor oil.

The chemicals in motor oils are all interconnected and work together like a family unit to provide all the important properties required to keep your engine operating well. Most motor oils are designed with a measured amount of wear protection and deposit control. The problem comes when you add a whole bunch of extra or new wear protection or deposit control, and it ends up creating corrosion or destroying cold temperature properties.

If you want a more detailed explanation by industry experts, a recent Noria announcement outlined that “Aftermarket oil additives can backfire.” In the book, “Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication,” the following description is listed:

“Increasing the percentage of a certain additive may improve one property of an oil while at the same time degrade another. When the specified concentrations of additives become unbalanced, overall oil quality can be affected. Some additives compete with each other for the same space on a metal surface. If a high concentration of an anti-wear agent is added to the oil, the corrosion inhibitor may become less effective. The result may be an increase in corrosion-related problems.”