Oil Additives. MATE!!! this is such a mine feild. I could only ever scratch the surface of this topic.
OK, so firstly a little qualifier. I used to work as an industrial techincal sales rep for Wynnes here in NZ. I'll leave the company name I represented out of it. It has now cahnged hands anyway. so I have a great deal of trainign and experiance with additives and was even on the side of additives for sometime. Now having learn't a great deal more for both sides of the story, I am not so sure.
The two arguments are,
Additive supplier.... Oil companies don't want additives in their oil because it suggests their oil is not as good as it could be. They don't put addition additives in their oil, because they are there to make a profit and they will not wast money, so they put in JUST enough to meet the spec.
Oil Company......We want a supperior oil from that of our competitors, so if we thought a simple additive could do that, we would put it in. The balance of Additive to base oil is criticle and huge amounts of R&D have gone into working out the balance of additives to the Base. By altering the Additive/Base balance, detrimental affects can result with the outcome being an unstable lubricant that can result in seriuose damage to an engine.
Both are very good and valid arguments. So who's right???? Well the only way to look at this is from experiance of what has happend in the industry.
Firstly, there are ruffly four groups of additives available.
1: Regular motor
oil with standard additive base, usually about a 50W oil. And PTFE (Teflon) added.
2: Regular 50W oil once again, with additional Zinc diasomelongwindedname added.
3: Once again a Base oil product but with the actual additive packs that most oil companies are using anyway, so you are just upping the ratio.
4:Base prodcut once again, but with high quantities of solvents /detergents.
When I sold Wynnes, I was taught that all the products contained a "special space industry formulae". Sound familiar!! It was a special chemical that treated the molecular surface of the metal and softend it so as the microscopic metal peaks bent over and filled in the microscopic troughs, thus make the metal surface reduced in friction. They sell the "special" additve as the name "friction proofing". Now this was how the company in NZ sold the stuff, so I can't speak for anyone else around the world.
Were am I going with this?? well it's this "Space industry, or developed by NASA and other such claims that get me here. In the actual Space industry, they have never heard of any of these lubricants out there. Often the emblems that show rockets and NASA and what have you are totaly Bogus. They have nothing to do with anybody in the space industry.
As I said above, it is mostly addition quantities of the additive packs that have been added.
No1. touches on PTFE. This seems to be products out on their own. The story behind this, is that there is no "secret formulations" of PTFE. There is only One company in the world that makes the stuff. Du Pont Chemical Corp. Now the main guy behind the development of PTFE for Dupont, tested this product in the application of an oil additive. The official conclution from the company was, "Teflon is NOT useful as an ingrediant in oil additives or oils used in combustion engines"
They trhen went on to distance themselves from additive manufacturers using Teflon, incase they got tied up in a lawsuit. They even went as far as banning the sale
of Teflon from these users, but a later legal
ruleing was that they couldn't stop people from buying
In the endevour to keep this not to long winded.
Just about every additive company has claimed "miricles" with there products that have not been able to be consistently reproduced in the real world. I was taught some rather "interesting" way's of demoing our products, that now in hind sight, I understand as "stacking the odds" in favour of our product looking supperior. I even had a 202 Holden motor
cut away so as you could see all the inside workings of the engine and I too would drain all the oil and leave her running all day on display. But the Boss of Wynnes NZ tried on two occasions to drive a car some distance on and empty sump. The car got a few miles before Siezing on both attempts. There is a big difference between an engine underlaod and one on display. Plus, the odds can be well stacked in your favour if you simply know the tricks.
Lastly, there are dozens of additives out there on shelves. Here's the real catch. MOST are actually made by the same perant company and just marketed in a different bottle, different name and different claim.
Nearly ALL of these Parent companies have had major lawsuits against them for failure of their product to make the claims stated by their products.
Here is my take on it. Engine lubrication does several important things. It takes heat away from engine components, it washes the engine of harmful combustion by products, it carries those products away for scrubbing by the filter and it maintains a film to keep close tolerance parts
away from each other. A failure in any of those performance critereas results in engine wear. Mineral Oil is good at doing all those jobs, while the oil is in good condition. But minerla Base oils breakdown and so have a limited working life.
Synthetic oils simply do exactly the same job. There is no miricle antifriction property. They simply don't break down and the EP strength(that's the little thingys that stop parts from touching each other)can be very strong. The advantage on synthetics is that they last considerable longer than mineral. But the majic is NOT in the Synthetic, the Actual majic is in the filter. Keep the oil clean and you have little wear. Eventually the acid build up fule leagage becomes so high, you have to change the oil no matter what it is, to keep the metal parts safe from corrosions and oil dilution.
So my conclusion is, don't waste money
on additives. They are expensive and exactly the same result can be achieved by using a good oil rating, regular religouse oil cahnges based on cycles determined by wether the oil is synthetic or mineral and good filtration with very regular filter changes.
I'll finish there unless someone has another question. I have screads of info on this subject. It just goes on and on, but the conclusion has been made by most in the industry that should know what they are talking about, that additives are not the miricle cures they are cracked up to be, and don't waste your money.