So, engine oil additives, are actually chemical compounds.
They improve, the lubricant performance, of a base oil in many ways.
Consequently, nearly all oils, already contain additives. Whether the oils are, synthetic or petroleum based.
So, engine oil additives, actually get added to the base oil, at the factory.
Engine oil additives, have three basic roles:
- Enhance, existing base oil properties.
- Suppress, undesirable base oil properties.
- Impart, new properties to base oils.
So, the best engine oil additives are, oil stabilizers and viscosity modifiers. Because, they help the oil last longer. As a result, they improve or extend, the oil’s extreme pressure protection. Viscosity, is the most important property, of a base oil. However, there is more to lubricants, than just viscosity.
Other Important Information, About additives:
So, more additive is not always better. The old saying, “If a little bit of something is good, then more of the same is better”. But, this is not necessarily true, when using oil additives. So, 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 engine oil additives, compete with each other, for the same space on a metal surface.
Consequently, the longer the oil remains in service, the less effective the remaining additive is.
When the additive weakens:
- Viscosity increases.
- Sludge, begins to form.
- Corrosive acids, start to attack bearings.
Basic Functions Of Engine Oil Additives Include:
- Anti-Wear Agents, Reduce friction and wear and prevent, scoring and seizure.
- Corrosion & Rust Inhibitors, Prevent corrosion and rusting of metal parts.
- Detergents, Keep surfaces free of deposits and neutralize, corrosive acids.
- Dispersants, Keep insoluble soot dispersed in the lubricant.
- Friction Modifiers, Alter coefficient of friction.
- Viscosity Improvers, Reduce the rate of viscosity change with temperature.
- Anti-Foaming Agents, Prevent lubricant from forming, a persistent foam.
- Anti-Oxidants, Retard oxidative decomposition.
- Metal Deactivator, Reduce catalytic effect of metals.
So, there is a lot of chemistry occurring in most engine oils. Consequently, mixing of different oils and adding additional lubricant additives, should be avoided.
So, take great care, in the selection of these products. Finally, if you want a better oil, buy a better oil.
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