By Segun Adebayo (Technical Sales Executive, Carbon Cleaning Nigeria)
Base engine oils (organic oils) are very poor lubricants. In fact, the basic lubricity of base oil (including synthetic oil) is so poor that without additives, modern engines would only last a few hours before collapsing. This is why engine oils are usually mixed with oil additives (15-30%) before they are sealed and sold to motorists.
Adding additives to oil is not simply for aesthetics and/or coloring, it performs several functions in the engine. Motor oils naturally degrade over time due to oxidation and decomposition. Additives in the mixture help prevent this from happening by acting as the sacrificial material in place of the oil. This is why regular oil changes are required to sustain the engine’s health, strength, and vitality.
Lower-grade engine oil with little or no additives is currently being sold in the market today. These grades of engine oil easily lose their lubrication properties and end up causing wear and tear of the engine parts leading to more serious problems for the engine. This is one of the main reasons why aftermarket oil additives are necessary for prolonging engine life. There are several other reasons why using an aftermarket oil additive will benefit your engine and this would be discussed later in this article.
This article would take a closer look at what oil additives are, the roles they play in an engine, the different types, their benefits, and if they are necessary for your car. By the end, it would be clear why it is necessary to use oil additives in your engine.
What are Oil Additives
According to Wikipedia, oil additives are chemical compounds that improve the lubricant performance of base oil (or oil “base stock”). Interestingly, oil additives perform several other functions on the engine apart from just improving the lubrication.
Different oil additives can be selected to enhance the desirable properties of a particular oil and for specific applications. For example, engine oil additives may be used to help a dirty diesel engine run cleaner or to improve seals and block leaks in an older engine. Engine oil additives can work as corrosion inhibitors, reduce the formation of sludge, prolong engine life, and also improve fuel economy. Incorporating aftermarket oil supplements further enhances the oil and engine operation.
The Roles Oil Additives Play in Engines
1) It improves the lubricant’s thermal stability with viscosity improvers and pour-point depressants. This improves pumpability under all operating conditions (i.e. whether in hot or cold temperatures. It also improves the ability of the oil pump to pump the oil easily.
2) It enhances the base oil properties with antioxidants, corrosion inhibitors, anti-foam agents, and demulsifying agents.
3) It imparts new properties to base oils with extreme pressure (EP) additives, detergents, metal deactivators, and tackiness agents.
Types of Oil Additives
There are several types of oil additives, but I wouldn’t go into details about them. I would list the primary agents that are incorporated during manufacture or sold as an aftermarket product. You can read more about them on the internet. They include:
1) Viscosity improvers and pour-point depressants
2) Corrosion and rust inhibitors.
4) Anti-wear additives.
6) Anti-foam agents.
7) Seal swell agents.
8) Tackiness agents.
Are Aftermarket Market Oil Additives important for Vehicles?
The benefits of performance additives should be clear by now. But you may still be wondering, “Why do I need an oil additive if most motor oil already contains these important additives?”
Aftermarket oil additives are not required for your car to run, but they provide significant benefits that can help prolong your engine life and improve its performance. When you choose the best engine additive for your application, such as JLM oil additives, you can enjoy more reliable long-term vehicle operation as well as longer service intervals. For older vehicles and those with high mileage, oil additives can even help restore the engine to previous operating conditions.
Here are some examples where your engine would benefit from an oil additive:
1) In Old Vehicles
It is a fact that as vehicles get older, they become more prone to breakdowns. A minor fault could easily lead to major damage to the engine. This is due to wear and tear of engine parts, carbon buildup, corrosion, and rust. No one wants to get stuck on the road while driving. How do you prevent this? One good and proven way to do this is to use original oil additives like those from JLM Lubricants.
Getting the correct oil additive helps reduce oxidation which causes corrosion and rust in engine parts. It also enhances lubrication which removes impurities, preventing them from clogging working parts and forming sludge.
2) High Mileage Vehicles
Driving vehicles on highways with little or no traffic is very crucial in sustaining an engine’s health because it allows the engine to run hot enough to burn off some carbon buildup. For high mileage vehicles often sitting in “go-slow” (traffic), using oil additives can significantly improve engine performance.
Over time, as you use your vehicles without oil supplements, oil deposits and particles easily stick together to form sludge which greatly inhibits oil flow. The result is a drop in engine performance. Vehicles with high mileage also may consume oil faster than normal and may also need oil change more frequently. This equates to more expenses on engine maintenance.
Pairing aftermarket supplements with oil additives can keep a high mileage engine at its best operating condition.
3) Vehicle with Diminished Performance
Bad oil maintenance can lead to high fuel consumption. This friction in the engine leads to a 12% increase in fuel energy usage. This is why the engine oil needs to be taken seriously.
The way to restore or improve engine performance is through the use of high-quality additives. They tackle the issue of wear and tear, friction, and oil deposits.
4) Vehicles with Engine Rust
When you start perceiving a foul smell in your engine, or hear strange noise, or see black smoke coming out of your engine; this is usually the result of rust or corroded engine parts or due to wear of the engine parts.
Oil leakage is also not good for the engine as it leads to an increase in expenses from having to refill your engine oil often and replace mechanical parts. The best way to go about this is to prevent it from occurring in the first place and this prevention comes by doing regular oil maintenance and also through the use of oil supplements that enhance the oil lubrication and slows down engine wear.
The benefits and function of oil additives in an engine.
1) Lower Engine Noise and for protection: Additives coat internal components of your engine to improve lubrication. Better lubrication in your engine makes it better able to absorb and cushion mechanical shocks. This results in significantly quieter operation, especially in older and higher mileage vehicles or those showing signs of wear.
2) For Engine Protection: Additives induce beneficial chemical reactions inside the oil that slow down oxidation so stopping corrosion and rust from taking place.
3) Restore compression and improves fuel efficiency: High-quality engine oil additives seal valve guides and piston rings in your engine. This helps restore engine compression, which reduces oil consumption and improves fuel efficiency.
4) Improves Performance: In vehicles with high mileage, engine oil additives also help restore torque and horsepower. When your engine operates more efficiently, this also reduces exhaust smoke and keeps your engine healthier
5) For Engine Protection: Lubricating oil additives also coat metal surfaces inside your engine through chemical reactions. About 75% of friction occurs when a vehicle is started. When the vehicle is started, after adding an engine oil supplement, the additive mixes with the motor oil and is pumped through the engine. Oil additives with superior film strength will cling to the internal components of your engine. The film created by anti-wear oil additives has a lower shear strength than the metal components. This allows it to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Effective oil additives cling to the walls of your engine and engine parts long after your engine is shut off. This enables oil additives to create a lasting protective coating in your engine and end start-up wear.
In conclusion, oil additives are beneficial to stabilizing oil in your engine system. It also improves engine health, stamina, vitality, and performance.