If you want to keep your engine in optimal condition, you need to keep it topped up with a high-quality oil – and to improve its performance even more, you should consider using an additive. To help you choose the right one for you, here are our top picks for best oil additive.
The Best Oil Additive on the Market 2020
1. Competition Cams 159 Engine Break-In Oil Additive
This oil additive is specifically designed for use during the break-in period for a new engine. Due to government regulations, off-the-shelf oils no longer contain enough zinc, so using additives is necessary during this period, and this product is an ideal choice.
Contained in this additive are essential components such as zinc, molybdenum and detergents that can help protect an engine during this critical time. It helps improve the surface mating to the rotating assembly, rod journals, pistons etc., and protects internal engine components.
If using this additive, you will not need to use any further additives or supplements in your oil. It is fully compatible with gasoline, methanol and high-octane race fuel and will help extend the durability of your engine and all its moving parts.
It is made to be safe for use with flat tappet and roller valve trains, and it is a perfect additive for rebuilt as well as completely new engines.
Note, however, that this oil additive is only designed for use during an engine’s break-in period. It is not supposed to be a general-purpose oil additive, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this is not the product for you.
All in all, this is a quality product that will help protect your engine at the time when it is perhaps at its most vulnerable to damage. This product sells for a very reasonable price, making it a great choice for use during the break-in period.
2. XADO Engine Oil additive
This oil additive from XADO features a 3C effect – it contains three components that work to restore the worn surfaces of your engine’s parts while compensating for wear. In this way, it can help improve performance and increase your engine’s life.
The 2D sliding agent in the additive provides extra-light sliding between engine parts while the revitalizing component creates a special ceramic-metal coating that helps to restore and protect the moving parts in the engine.
The third component is a metal conditioner, which also helps to improve the lubrication within your engine. These three components work together to restore compression and protect against overload and overheating while also lowering fuel consumption.
One application of this oil additive will last around 60,000 miles, helping to protect your engine for longer, and it is compatible with gasoline-powered, natural-gas and diesel engines.
The main downside is the price since it is not a cheap option – and as the treatments need to be repeated to maintain the effect, this can work out as a relatively expensive option.
However, it is an effective additive that does what it claims, so if you value high performance and you want to help protect your engine, we feel it’s a price worth paying, making this a top product as long as you are willing to spend the money.
3. ZDDPPlus ZDDP Engine Oil Additive
Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate (ZDDP) was once one of the most important components of quality motor oils and is essential for extreme pressure, but since the 1980s, motor oils no longer contain nearly as much as they once did.
This additive is designed to replace the ZDDP in the oil that older cars require, making this product a good pick if you want to protect the engine and improve the performance of a pre-1989 vehicle.
Increasing the ZDDP content of your engine’s oil will reduce the friction and wear due to metal on metal contact, essential for prolonging your engine’s life.
All you have to do is empty one bottle of the additive into your regular engine oil when you do an oil change. It is compatible with synthetic and conventional oils, making it convenient for anyone to use.
Its relatively low price point makes it an affordable option for protecting older engines every time you change the oil.
There are not many downsides to this oil additive that we need to point out since it does exactly what it was designed for. The only thing to bear in mind is that this is not a general oil additive for more modern cars – it’s mainly useful if you drive an older model.
Other than that, this is an effective additive and an obvious pick if you want extra protection for an older car’s engine. If that’s what you’re looking for, this should be high on your list of options.
4. Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive Our Top Pick
If you are looking for a general-purpose oil additive that can help protect your engine from excessive wear and extend its life while improving performance and efficiency, this one from Archoil could be a good pick.
You simply add it to your regular oil with each change, and it is formulated to protect the engine as well as to reduce engine noise, vibration and heat caused by friction. It is also a good option if you need something to help with cold starts.
Specifically, this additive works by allowing the oil in your engine to form a solid layer of lubricating film on surfaces that are subject to friction. This helps protect them while also enabling the parts to move more freely.
Other benefits from this additive include improving power and response, preventing deposits and extending the interval between each oil change.
If you are looking for an additive that is suitable for a range of uses, this could be a good pick, too, since it’s a versatile product. It can be used in gasoline and diesel engines as well as in gearboxes, hydraulics, differentials and power steering systems.
This is an all-round oil additive that does what it’s supposed to so there’s very little to dislike about it. The only issue is that it is a touch expensive, but this is a price most people will be happy to pay for all the benefits it offers, so this is hardly a dealbreaker.
All in all, a good pick if you need a versatile oil additive that you can trust. A recommended product.
5. REV X Stiction Fix Oil Treatment
This oil additive is specially formulated to deal with the problem of “stiction” – static friction – that is common in diesel fuel injectors, something that can be a problem especially in colder temperatures.
By adding this product to your car’s oil, you can significantly reduce the issue of stiction, greatly enhancing your vehicle’s efficiency and performance levels.
The list of benefits is long and includes increased horsepower and torque, increased turbocharger performance and quieter operation. It also helps to reduce heat caused by friction and can increase the lifespan of components.
Specifically, it will reduce the kind of problems associated with stiction, such as trouble with cold starts, high fuel consumption, power loss and other similar issues.
It is also a versatile additive that brings many other benefits to your engine and is compatible with gasoline engines, high-performance applications and heavy, medium and light diesel engines.
Another thing we like is that it is free of dangerous chemical strippers, making this a more environmentally-friendly option than many alternatives.
One thing to point out could be that, depending on your vehicle, it might not eliminate stiction entirely – although if it doesn’t, it will certainly do a good job of reducing it.
Other than that, as with many top products, it isn’t cheap – but for us, it still represents good value for what it is due to the increased level of performance it can deliver. This is a product we like, and it gets a big thumbs-up from us.
6. REV X ZDDP Oil Additive
Here we have another additive from Rev X, but this time it’s a product that’s specially formulated for the break-in period of new engines.
It contains ZDDP, the ingredient that new engines require to protect them. This is because new engines need the piston rings to be sealed correctly, and the lifters need to be set to a new cam – and the zinc in the ZDDP is the best substance for this process.
ZDDP is also important for flat tappet crankshafts and valve trains for the same reason – these parts need the protective covering zinc provides.
Finally, if you have an older car, this additive will help too since older cars require zinc in their oil, something that is absent in off-the-shelf oils nowadays.
With this additive, you can also protect high load components, making it a good choice for racing vehicles as well. It can be used with both mineral and synthetic oils, making it a versatile additive with many uses.
It should be used with every oil change, but since it’s an inexpensive product, that’s hardly a problem.
There’s little to dislike about this oil additive. The only point to note is that if your car doesn’t come under any of the categories we’ve mentioned (racing car, old car, new engine etc.) and you just drive a regular modern road car, then there are probably better options available.
However, if you need an oil additive for any of the purposes this one was made for, it’s a winner and should be high on your list of possibilities.
7. Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R
This is an engine oil additive that’s been around for a while – since 1932, in fact – and as you might guess from the name, the ingredients are a closely-guarded secret. However, the fact that it’s still being made today shows how much of a solid and reliable product it is.
Marvel Mystery Oil can be used in all gas, diesel and ethanol fuel blends, making it a highly versatile product, and it has a long list of associated benefits. It can clean and lubricate fuel injectors and carburetors as well as reducing or preventing the build-up of gum and varnish.
It helps prevent valve sticking, it prevents oil breakdown, it helps improve fuel efficiency and can also improve engine power and compression by up to 25%. Another advantage is that it reduces wear under heavy loads, and it also reduces harmful emissions by up to 11%
Another big positive here is the price – this is an exceptional product, but it sells for much less than many other similar products, making it a top pick if you don’t want to spend more than you need to.
We like this product a lot, and we have few complaints. The only point to mention – although not really a negative – is that it’s not recommended for new cars. If you are driving a car with a new engine, there are other more suitable products to choose from.
Otherwise, this is a top product and one that’s well worth checking out for anyone who needs an all-purpose additive for a range of uses.
8. Hot Shot’s Secret HSS32Z Oil Additive
Hot Shot’s Secret Oil Additive is another product that’s designed to deal with problems associated with stiction. It features a synthetic cleaner and a proprietary carbon nano lubricant that removes engine deposits that build-up due to burnt oil.
This helps reduce or eliminate stiction – in 100% of engines, as the company that makes it claims.
In doing so, it can help improve engine power and compression and increase fuel efficiency. At the same time, it also works to reduce wear – by up to 62% – on engine components due to friction, increasing the engine’s lifespan.
Another benefit is that it helps reduce harmful engine acids, and it can restore nine out of ten injectors.
Something else we appreciate is that this additive is compatible with almost all engine types, making it a versatile product for many uses.
The main issue here, as with many other additives, is the price. The problem is, if you have an engine like a 6.0 Powerstroke, you will probably need two bottles of this stuff with each oil change to see the results, which will soon add up.
That said, in our opinion, the results are worth the money you pay, making this another worthy pick if you need something to help solve the problem of stiction and improve your engine’s performance levels.
9. BG MOA Part # 110 Engine Oil Supplement
BG’s MOA Motor Oil Additive is an established product that many people have come to trust. It is an all-purpose oil additive that can help to improve many aspects of your car’s engine.
With this oil additive, you can improve your fuel efficiency, reduce wear and tear on your engine’s components and allow your vehicle to run more quietly.
This additive is very simple to use. It is sold in conveniently-sized cans, and you just use one can with each oil change. Pour a whole can of additive into the oil when it’s time for the change and then enjoy the improved performance levels.
This item is sold individually, and the price is very reasonable, making it a good option if you want to buy just one can to try. However, it is also sold in packs of two, three or five, and buying like this gives you an even better deal, allowing you to save some cash.
If you are looking for an additive to help your oil do its job and you want an established product that many people have been using for years, this one could be an obvious pick.
10. Hot Shot’s Secret HSSFR332Z FR3 Friction Reducer
This oil additive from Hot Shot’s Secret is designed to help your engine by increasing the lubricity of the oil you use as well as increasing the protection of the moving parts against damage from wear caused by friction.
The additive achieves this by including three different synthetic lubricants that enhance the oil’s capacity for lubrication. They are said to work even better than PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity.
The inclusion of carbon nanoparticles that coat the moving parts also helps protect those parts from wear, increasing their lifespan.
This extra lubrication and engine protection together result in many benefits for your engine, including an increase in horsepower, better fuel economy, a reduction in the oil operating temperature, the restoration of lost compression and more.
You can use this additive with engine oil, but it also works for power steering and other hydraulic systems as well as some other applications, making this another versatile choice.
On the other hand, this additive is not suitable for new engines and should not be added if an engine has done below 2,500 miles. For engines in their break-in period, you should choose an oil designed especially for that.
Otherwise, this is another top product that can deliver exceptional results. If you are looking for an additive that will help improve lubrication in your engine as well as increase its overall performance, this is a product that could be worth a go.
First, let’s talk a bit about what oil additives are and why you would need to use one. Then we can give you a few pointers on how to choose the right one for your needs.
What are oil additives?
In short, oil additives are compounds that are added to engine oil (and oils intended for other purposes) to improve their performance. For example, many additives exist that are designed to improve an oil’s capacity as a lubricant.
There are several areas where an additive can help. As well as improving oils as lubricants, additives can help slow chemical breakdown, change the viscosity or help with contaminant control.
Additives are also mixed into oils to add ingredients that are lacking, such as zinc/ZDDP – we’ll mention this again in a moment.
Many people believe that off-the-shelf engine oils do not have all the required ingredients to function at an optimum level and that using an additive is needed to ensure the best protection for an engine as well as the best possible levels of performance.
Now let’s look at how to choose the right one for your needs.
What to look for in oil additives
Here are the two most important factors to consider when selecting an additive – choosing an additive that is suited to your needs and choosing one that is effective.
The first thing you need to think about is the reason you want an oil additive because there are several different types.
The most common types are the ones that increase an oil’s performance as a lubricant, and these general-purpose additives can be used with each oil change to help improve performance.
A second type of additive is designed specifically to help with stiction – static friction. If your car suffers from this problem, special additives exist that can cure it.
Another major type of additive is formulated for the break-in period of new engines. Since new engines have special requirements, mixing an additive into the oil can help protect it during this time.
Finally, older cars need additives with extra zinc since modern oils don’t contain enough for their engines.
In short, you should make sure you choose the type of additive that is designed for the purpose you need it for.
Some people believe additives are essential while others are doubtful of their efficacy. When choosing, make sure you pick a trusted product that will do the job it says it can – some products are highly effective while the usefulness of others might be doubtful.
To know if an additive is effective, you can look at factors such as its performance as a lubrication enhancer. Other indications an additive works well is if it improves fuel efficiency or reduces the noise an engine makes while running.
Plenty of options for specific purposes
As you can see, there are many options out there. If you need a good oil additive but are having trouble deciding which to go for, considering one of the appropriate additives from our review would be a great place to start your search.