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What's the best oil additive on the market?
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I work for a company out of Bluffdale, UT. and we manufacture an additive that boasts similar claims to that of zmax, dura lube prolong, and those sort of campanies. We are new and still getting testing results completed, but we have had very positive feedback thus far. What additives are most used and trusted out there by large fleets and why?
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Bluffdale, UT. USA | Registered: Fri April 23 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Most used, or actually most effective?


Lucas products are probably among the most used in industry. Their fuel additives are OK, if Techron and Seafoam are unavalible they are a decent second choice. I've seen a pretty amusing test showing the anti-foam characteristics of gear and engine oil dropping do to the Lucas oil additives. If you're interested, I'll look for the link.

The snake oils like Slick 50, prolong, etc really get their butt handed to them in objective tests, I think that they've all been fined by the FTC at one time or another. Some summaries of the court cases involved are here:

http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/legal/index.html#snake



Most of the snake oils do have some effect...some thicken oil a bit, etc. But none of them really do that much good compared to starting with a quality oil and leaving it alone. Oil adds are almost entirely a waste of money.


Marvel Mystery Oil and Rislone are perhaps the most respectable of the oil additives sold in auto parts stores. Neither one claimes much, and they're very low tech solvents, but they occasionally do a bit of good.


Oh, almost forgot Auto RX, which does actually work pretty well to slowly clean a sludged engine/ stuck rings. There maybe a couple of products that use similar chemistry to good effect, such as Neutra, but I can't speak either way about them.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am surprised to see that in today's age of high tech oils with extended drain ratings some really good long lasting synthetic oils, people would still have to resort to additives. If one already pays a high price for the cost of allegedly good oil, why pay extra for an aftermarket additive? Years back, when synthetics werent there or very high priced, I would use regular mineral based oils and add STP Oil Treatmentspecialy while driving in summers. Would keep the oil quite stable but after switching to Mobil-I, I never felt the need for that.
 
Posts: 138 | Registered: Sat April 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not to sound like an ingrate, but I don't have the equipment or the time to test an additive rigorously for fun. I can suggest to you how to convince me of its merits:

The timken test that you did comparing it to lucas is interesting, but not horribly impressive alone. It is fairly well accepted that timken tests, and the 4 ball wear scar test show interesting things, but do not necessarily illustrate what will happen to a lubricant in an engine. The tests are in fact much more useful for greases and similar lubes that are not exposed to combustion byproducts and temps. An example of this would be the Teflon based snake oils which perform well on the Timken, and even cut some friction inside the engine, but at the price of greatly increased wear, and a risk of clogged passages and filters.

Obviously, your firm will consider the exact composition of the additive secret, but you could at least tell me what I could learn from getting a standard specro analysis of a virgin sample. Everything that you have to disclose on an MSDS sheet, you might as well tell me also.

I'd be curious as to the effect on the anti-foam characteriestics of the base oil. The link I mentioned earlier may give an idea of how to test that:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm


Obviously, you also need to check for how your additive alters the other physical properties of the base oil: Cold Cranking Simulator, Flash Point, TBN, TAN, viscosity, etc.


Finally, if it checks off on all of those, you need to run a controled test, preferably thrid party via a university or similar on test engines. Even a series of Briggs lawnmower engines will be a start, but in the big picture, you'll need to test across an statistically significant number of cars or trucks in the same driving conditions, such as Taxi cabs, rental cars, etc. To be convincing to hard core skeptics like me, you should ideally have the tests done by a third party. At the minimum, they need to be double blind tests where neither the mechanic nor the drivers know which cars are recieving the additive. (You'd have to premix the oil for this).


Finally, if you have any questions, ask them! I eagerly await more information from you.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Alaco,

Many thanks for your offer, I have heard a lot of good things about the Lucas additive but unfortunately the Lucas dealers out here in India have no idea about this. I would love to try out your product as well as try and market it here. If you can send me the details by mail on cost as well as a spec chart, I would be much obliged. Since you claim that your product is better than Lucas, I am really intersted now.
 
Posts: 138 | Registered: Sat April 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Alaco,
Would you like to try selling your product to Chevron, Mobil, Shell, Valvoline, or other large oil manufacturer? And what product they makes with your additive with easy money?


Mikhail
 
Posts: 38 | Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan | Registered: Sun January 18 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim,

Having sold Castrol Industrial lubes in India for over 17 years I feel selling additives is the a much tougher job and you have lot of work ahead of you.

From what I know, Lubrizol, Ethyl, Infenium are the top Engine oil additives in use in India and I am sure they would be among the top five in US as well. The main choice is brand; service and price thereafter.

As far as introducing new additives are concerned I would like to share my experience of the 90's. Castrol Marine introduced a new range of oils for use on auxilary engines on board and on land for use on Diesel Generating sets. Wartsila ( in India) one of the leading marine engine manufacturers made a racket; and demanded a complete set of performance tests and 10,000 hrs plus endurance tests prior to use by its customers. Fortunately Castrol had been doing series of test worldwide prior to its launch and was able to support its claims.

The fact of the matter that many OEM's "delist the approval" if there is a change of blend or formulations in the "approved" lube oil.

Tim, if I were a quality conscious Technical/QC manager of a Lube company I would not accept your samples. I would ask you to conduct and pay for the series of performance test (like various API - CF4 tests in toto.) and simultanously run endurance tests. All this would take months and months and only after satisfactory performance would I agree to use your product. There would also be another little test of compatibility with other additive pcakages in the "formulation." After all this, I may still have to seek re-approval from (say GM) for the (say CF4 Engine oil.)

On the other hand, smaller and growing companies may take the challenge and use a newer product at face value. That then, should be your target. And after establishing yourself, you can approach the bigger brands.

Hussam Adeni
 
Posts: 257 | Location: Singapore & Manila | Registered: Wed February 11 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hussam,

Are you happy with the quality of Castrol oils in the recent past. My last experience was with their RX Plus Turbomax and it was not a really good one. The oil thinned out in under 3000Km and had to be changed. I also read about an impending case with Castrol India and Chandigarh Trasnport, CTU alleged that Castrol India send them re-cycled oils which detiorated when used and casued premature engine failiures in their buses.
 
Posts: 138 | Registered: Sat April 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. Thanks for the MSDS sheet, and the other information. I eagerly await test resaults and more data.

The fact that it doesn't contain any ptfe is extremely good. Same, I suppose goes for Moly, as adding high levels of moly only seems useful for extending drain intervals, normal levels protect at normal intervals as well, or better than high treat rates do.

To speculate about your product, I hope that is isn't a chlorinated pariffin, which is about the only typical snake oil approach that you haven't eliminated. chlorinated pariffin can turn in incredible timken and 4-ball wear tests, but turn very corrosive when exposed to moisture and combustion by-products. They also attack the ZDDP additives in good oils.

So...is your additive a chlorinated paraffin?

Best case, since we know that your additve isn't a metal, I'd guess that it could be an organic ester of some type.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I should add that there are MAY be some long chain chlorinated compounds that are stable. AFAIK, all of them that have been commonly added to engine oils as snake oil additves have not been.

A classic example would be zMax's additive that in FTC testing doubled bearing corrosion!

So, it is possible that your product has chlorinated compounds and doesn't cause corrisive damage, or chemically fight the additive package of the existing motor oil.

But if you are using a chlorinated coumpund, of any type, no matter how good your anti-corrosion chemistry, you'll want to heavily test for corrosion...and seal compatibility.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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From the MSDS:

"Specific Gravity: 1.35 @ 50° /25° C"

= Chlorinated hydrocarbon product. Been there, done that. Don't like the results. Snake oil.

If the additive is too stable it will not be a good EP agent since the chlorine needs to chemically react with the iron surface to work its magic. If it is a good EP agent, then it is too unstable as far as corrosion. Classic catch 22 for this type of additive.
 
Posts: 97 | Location: USA | Registered: Mon February 02 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok, just to make sure, is the compound halogenated, or chlorinated not technically a parrafin? One or another of the existing snake oils trys to claim they're better than the Chlorinated Parrafins, while they use, I think, chlorinated alpha-olefin, though there are quite a few other halogenated or chlorinated Ep additives.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I see no reason to play with the chemistry of good oils. There is so much written in SAE papers for the testing of the oils for CH-4 and CI-4 that I don't think we are qualified to try to mix anything.
That having been said, there are three types of additives I use or recommend:
Fuel: We have lousy fuel. I use Techron every 5,000 km in my gasoline vehicles and a Diesel Additive in every tank of diesel
Cleaner: I use a product similar to AutoRX when the engine is noisy. Eliminates engine noises incredibly. But just once every 80,000 km or so.
Seal Swell: When Automatic Transmissions are acting up or leaking, power steering leaks, differential leaks.
 
Posts: 77 | Location: Bolivia | Registered: Sun May 02 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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widman,
Additives modify certain fluid conditions, do not solve mechanical problems.
Yes I also use one inyector cleaner additive every other fuel tank in my gasoline car. However if my Automatic Transmission leaks, I buy a new gasket. AT additives deform the gasket size afecting the gasket basic chemistry. Bigger gasket means no leak? wrong, this is an ongoing process, you will have a leak soon. If your AT is not performing well, make an oil and filter change, by the way and install a new gasket.
 
Posts: 84 | Location: Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela | Registered: Thu March 04 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Alaco, if your product contains chlorine it will not be met with acceptance. You have so far avoided answering that question, so all we can assume is it does contain halogenated compounds as evidenced by the high density of the product.

Passing a corrosion test does not prove anything other than it passes the corrosion test under the conditions it was run at. If you run the test at a slightly higher temperature it could fail quickly. Carbon - halogen bonds tend to be stable at a certain temperature, but raising the temperature 10 degrees C could result in rapid decomposition and metal attack. Lab tests are useful for comparison between different products, but usually don't reflect real life operating conditions. In many cases these lab tests were developed to explain the mechanism for field failures. The conditions were set to differentiate betweent he problem material and the material that fixed the problem.

Any potential compromise to long term durability will negate any short term benefits from friction modification.
 
Posts: 97 | Location: USA | Registered: Mon February 02 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some things are not adding up on this MSDS.

A S.G. of 1.35 is heavier than water meaning this product will sink yet the description says that it will 'float'.

If something as basic as this is incorrect, why should we believe anything else on this MSDS?
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Thu April 15 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. The owners manual in new cars tell you not to put any additives in your engine oil. But, to use a quality API certified engine oil.
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Hesperia, CA, USA | Registered: Thu February 05 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been reading all the threads on this subject and I am interested in knowing more. I would like to know what the product that you are discussing. I have been doing some home work on the subject and am amazed what I am finding out. I am impressed with the knowledge here and I want to learn more I too have been introduced to an additive and have been checking it out for over a year now. I have been impressed with the results but still need further research. This subject is open to as much ridicule as is out there. I hve run across simular products such as motorkote, if you can give me more info on this I would appreciate it. Please contact via e-mail provided in profile. I hope to here from you soon
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: Mon May 17 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just a little anecdotal input. I emailed Tom Gooch asking about a clue to the chemistry behind the product and he sent me a brochure and a couple bottles of the product. The literature still did not give much information as to how this stuff works except that it treats the metal and not the oil, with some photos of the wear scars on a four ball test. I suspect it is a boron derivative. I did put some into my vehicle (1999 Olds Bravada) to see if there was any improvement in fuel economy (with gas prices as they are I might try anything). I did not collect alot of data prior to putting the product into my vehicle but I do keep an eye on the current fuel economy on the vehicles computer. I was averaging 16-18 mpg at highway speeds 75-80 mph in North Dakota and now after over 300 miles with the product in the engine the computer shows 18-19 mpg. At 60 mph I am showing 23-24 mpg. Not a great improvement but not insignificant either, 5% isnt bad. Just my observations and by no means a scientific test.
 
Posts: 162 | Location: Midwest, USA | Registered: Tue April 13 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back when the MSDS was posted, Alaco specifically said that it doesn't contain metallic antiwear additives. I tool that to include Boron based stuff, as well as the various others like ZDDP, Ca, Mg, etc.

Boron additives definitely do work...BUT there is a relatively small range of concentrations that are effective...so the trap here might be if you add too much to a high Boron level oil (Mobil 1) you may go out of the top end of the range.
 
Posts: 103 | Registered: Tue February 10 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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