Best Oil Additives: Reviewed For Car Engine Performance

You want to take care of your vehicle’s engine to help it provide years of service. This includes using the best oil additive for your engine needs. What is the best oil additive for cars? We review the top choices and help you understand what to look for.


Preview

Product

Size

Engine Compatibility

Check Price

Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment - 16 oz.

Sea Foam

8 oz.

All engine types

LUCAS LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment - 1...

LUCAS LUC10013

Gallon

All engine types

Lucas 32 Ounce 10001 Heavy Duty Oil...

Lucas Oil 10001

32 oz.

All engine types, except Ford PowerStroke

Lucas Oil 10002 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer, 1...

AI Innovations LUC10002 Lucas

Gallon

All engine types, except Ford PowerStroke

ZDDPPlus ZDDP Engine Oil Additive Zinc &...

ZDDPPlus ZDDP

(2) 4 oz.

Classic car engines

Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R - 16 Fl Oz. (Pack of...

Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R

16 oz., 32 oz., gallon

All gasoline, older diesel

Slick 50 750002 Recharged High Mileage Engine...

Slick 50 750002

15 oz.

Most

REV X Stiction Fix Oil Treatment - Two 4 fl....

REV-X

4 oz. (2)

All

Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System...

Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1

15 oz.

All

Archoil AR6200 (16 oz) Fuel Treatment -...

Archoil AR6200

16 oz.

All

Lucas Oil 10278 Engine Oil Stop Leak

Lucas Oil 10278

32 oz.

All

Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Addtive (2...

Liqui Moly 20004

300 ml., 300 ml (2-pack) or 300 ml (12-pack)

All


How Oil Additives Work

The best engine oil additive blends with the motor oil to provide lubrication of every component it touches. With the right formula, you can expect it to reduce friction and offer additional protection to the metallic parts. The best motor oil additive improves the quality of engine oil, reduces knocking engines, clears out carbon deposits, reduces noise, and increases performance. 


Benefits of Using Oil Additive

There’s a variety of reasons to use oil additives. If you are struggling with an engine problem, such as knocking, smoking, or noises, you might find that engine oil additives will help resolve the situation. In addition, these motor oil additive options are often useful for improving engine efficiency and increase fuel mileage.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Oil Additives

Purpose or Range of Use

What is your goal in buying the product? Are you hoping to find a stop leak oil additive, or do you need an engine oil cleaner additive? Some formulas will help you accomplish multiple purposes, but you want to know what your goals are. After all, it won’t do you much good to purchase an oil leak additive if your vehicle isn’t leaking right now.

Chemical Composition

Are engine oil additives good or bad? It depends on what formula you choose. Zinc is a common ingredient used in conjunction with phosphorus. Both of these reduce engine wear, but can also cause damage to the catalytic converter over time. Read through the reviews and ingredients list to determine if it is the right composition for your needs.

Oil Viscosity

You might find the best additive for oil consumption, but if it isn’t designed to work with your oil viscosity, it won't do you any good. Your car engine requires a specific thickness to ensure proper operation. If you don’t know what this is, you should look at the owner’s manual. If you use something other than what’s recommended, you might create further damage to the motor.

Rust Prevention

If you want the best engine oil cleaner additive, you need to look for a formula with specific detergents included. Not only will this remove the sludge, but it also helps to protect the motor from future rust and damage. That’s because a thin protective layer is left on the engine components after cleaning to ensure additional security.

Climate Adaptability

If you live in a hot, humid environment, you don’t need an additive meant to work well in the cold and vice versa. Research the additive before you purchase it to ensure it will work in your climate and environment. Ideally, you want a versatile product that can be used in a variety of situations.

Engine Compatibility

Most engine additives are useable in a variety of vehicle motors. Some can also be used with your four-wheeler or motorcycle. With some other products, you will only be able to use them with a particular fuel or oil, so make sure you read the bottle carefully before using it.

Activation Speed

Not every engine oil additive is going to work the second you put it in the motor. It might take a few cycles, or even require an oil change to receive the full benefits. If you want immediate results, you will want to read the other oil additive reviews to find the formula that's right for your vehicle.


12 Best Oil Additives Reviewed

1. Sea Foam

Our Top Pick

Size

8 oz.

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

100% Pure Petroleum

Engine Compatibility

All engine types

Are you looking at oil additives for lifter noise? Your engine is likely suffering from sludge and buildup. Thankfully, Sea Foam is one of the best ways to reduce that residue and our top pick. It cleans the carb jets, injectors, and passageways. You can also count on this formula to clean and lubricate the pistons, cylinders, and intake valves. Furthermore, it cleans and dissolves the fuel residue leftover in the system. If that's not enough, count on Sea Foam to dissolve oil deposits that are found in the crankcase.

To quiet noisy lifters, you want a formula such as this that cleans the timing chain tensioners and VVT actuators as well. It’s made from 100 percent pure petroleum. It’s even an EPA registered product, so you know it is isn’t going to hurt the environment.

You can use this product with gasoline or diesel engines, for maximum versatility. In addition, you will notice from the reviews that this product is a real winner, yet the price doesn’t reflect how well it works. It’s a budget-friendly product, allowing you to take care of your car engine without breaking the bank. The only downside is that it might take a few miles before you start to notice a difference.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Offers a complete cleanout
  • Reasonable price
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Takes some time to work

2. LUCAS LUC10013

Best Oil Additive for Engine Knock

Size

Gallon

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Petroleum

Engine Compatibility

All engine types

When you want to best out of your car engine, there’s likely something from LUCAS to solve the problem of engine knock. This additive for lifter noise doesn’t just lubricate the system but also cleans out the fuel. It neutralizes any low sulfur fuel problems. Instead of putting it in the engine oil, you are going to add it to the fuel itself. You will notice an increase in fuel economy because the system will begin burning any excess emissions.

LUCAS products are made in the United States. This particular formula will increase the life of your injectors and pumps. You can use it with your diesel or gas engine, whether it is fuel injected or carbureted. The slick oils combined with a high detergent solution allows your engine to work the way it should. If you need a little help passing a smog test, this might just do the trick.

You will purchase this by the gallon. Because of the larger package, you are also looking at a heftier price tag, but well worth it according to the LUCAS additive reviews. In fact, customers can’t seem to get enough of this product and are happy to purchase another gallon when the time comes.

Pros

  • Effective
  • Reduces emissions
  • Cleans out fuel system
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Have to buy a gallon

3. Lucas Oil 10001

Best Oil Additive for Noisy Lifters

Size

32 oz.

Cleans Sludge

No

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Petroleum

Engine Compatibility

All engine types, except Ford PowerStroke

While discussing Lucas products, we have to look at this high mileage oil additive as well. It is 32-ounces of oil stabilizer that’s simple to use. With this convenient additive, you can see a massive increase in the miles per gallon and power from your engine. It’s also designed to increase oil life by up to 50 percent and reduce consumption.

Because it raises the oil pressure, you can eliminate dry starts. Not only will it reduce the engine noise, but also prevent heat and wear. It is made from pure petroleum to blend safely with any other lubricant, including synthetics, mineral oil, and ATF. That's why you can use it with any engine configuration. Unfortunately, it is not the best oil additive for 6.0 stiction, because it’s not meant to be used with the Ford Powerstroke motor. With that said, you can’t find much better than this for an all-purpose additive.

The price is reasonable, especially considering the larger bottle size. According to the reviews, you will be able to see results almost immediately, so you will know that it is working. It has even been hailed as an exceptional oil additive to stop leaks because of how it increases the viscosity.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Stops leaks
  • Increases oil life
  • Customer favorite

Cons

  • Won’t work with PowerStroke

4. AI Innovations LUC10002 Lucas

Best Oil Additive for Older Engines

Size

Gallon

Cleans Sludge

No

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Petroleum

Engine Compatibility

All engine types, except Ford PowerStroke

The best additive to stop engine burning oil might be this option from our friends at Lucas. It’s clear by now that the brand is an industry leader, and this particular formula will increase engine oil life by 50 percent. It also reduces consumption, so you can stop topping off. With the petroleum solution, you will even notice that dry starts are eliminated as this product reduces friction, wear, and heat. You can use it with any engine other than the Ford PowerStroke.

Raise oil pressure and increase fuel efficiency with this American-made additive. The motor oil works at a higher degree of lubricity to further protect the metal components. If you have a higher-mileage vehicle, it’s the ideal way to ensure many more years of service.

Not everyone is a fan of purchasing this product as a gallon, but the reviews suggest you won’t regret it. When you consider how much you are buying at once, it’s clear that the price isn’t unreasonable either. This oil stabilizer is one of the company’s highest-rated products, and for a good reason. You will find an extended engine life by using it correctly. Will you become one of the company’s raving enthusiasts as well?

Pros

  • Increases oil life
  • Protects from friction
  • Near-perfect rating
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Must purchase gallon

5. ZDDPPlus ZDDP

Best Zinc Oil Additive

Size

(2) 4 oz.

Cleans Sludge

No

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate

Engine Compatibility

Classic car engines

Do you want to protect your older car engine? This restore oil additive from ZDDP works well on older vehicles with the flat tapped lifters. It contains Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate, which has been an extreme pressure agent in all quality motor oils in days gone by. Since the 1980s, motor oils haven’t contained these products, so older engines are struggling.

If you want to prevent metal to metal contact and protect the engine, you want the best zinc oil additive for your classic cars. It's not difficult to use. You just empty the four-ounce bottle into the oil when you change it. This formula works with both conventional and synthetic oils. This product isn't designed with every car engine in mind but instead focuses on the older models. For this reason, it might not make sense to use this in a late-model car. 

Plus, the price is extremely high, considering you are only receiving a total of eight ounces. Classic car enthusiasts can't say enough good about it, and this is a better solution for them than most other products we reviewed. It really just comes down to what your needs are and if you have a newer or older vehicle.

Pros

  • Contains zinc for older engines
  • Friction protection
  • Highly rated
  • Compatible with all engine oil

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R

Best Oil Additive to Stop Smoke

Size

16 oz., 32 oz., gallon

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Mineral oil

Engine Compatibility

All gasoline, older diesel

If you want a fix for those noisy lifters, consider this option from Marvel Mystery. It contains properties that fortify your motor oil and increases the ability to prevent sticking. It also breaks down the harmful carbon deposits and sludge. You can use it with a newer or older car engine to improve performance as well. With the increase in performance, you can expect a boost in fuel economy.

There is a variety of sizes you can choose from. If you want to try it out, just invest in the 16-ounce bottles. If you already know that you appreciate this formula, save money and purchase gallon-sized bottles instead. Either way, you won’t spend more than needed, because this product has a fantastic price tag on it. With the exceptional reviews, you would expect to pay much more.

Most of the reviews have nothing but positive things to say, but you should know some people complain about a plugged fuel filter after using it. While this is a simple fix, you might want to pay attention after adding this formula. If it works like it is intended, you can expect a reduction in noise and smoke as well as an increase in engine life.

Pros

  • Fixes noisy lifters
  • Variety of sizes
  • Great price
  • Customer favorite

Cons

  • Might clog fuel filter

7. Slick 50 750002

Best Oil Additive to High Mileage Vehicles

Size

15 oz.

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Teflon

Engine Compatibility

Most

If you have a high-mileage vehicle, you need to take additional precautions to ensure the smooth operation of the motor. This solution protects against friction and wear, which reduces the life of an engine. Because it restores performance to the motor, it will also reduce oil consumption. If you notice a leak in the system, you can use this to bring the seals back to life. It’s also wise to implement this formula before a leak occurs, to prevent it in the first place.

The powerful detergents included in this product don’t just prevent oil sludge, but also removes it. You can use it during your oil change or add more in between service. While it comes in a 10W-30 oil grade, it is compatible with other formats. You can use it with most conventional and synthetic types.

This system comes in a 15-ounce bottle and is on the more expensive side. However, finding the appropriate treatment for high-mileage engines is often challenging, so it seems to be well worth the price. Even the reviews suggest that this product provides instantaneous results that are measurable and help to lengthen the car engine life. Put it in the motor with your next oil change to see how it works for yourself.

Pros

  • Cleans sludge
  • Ideal for oil leaks
  • Works on high-mileage engines
  • Fast results

Cons

  • Expensive

8. REV-X

Best Oil Additive for Cold Starts

Size

4 oz. (2)

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

64 active ingredients

Engine Compatibility

All

These two four-ounce bottles will treat up to 12 quarts of oil. Before you balk at the price, be sure you browse the exceptional customer reviews. This high-performance oil additive from REV-X is listed as one of the top choices among enthusiasts, and it solves a variety of problems, including cold starts. If you want to stop engine noise, this formula is a fabulous option. It cleans out the harmful deposits left in the motor. You can rid your car engine of sludge and buildup. Plus, there is a layer of protection left behind to reduce friction and increase engine life.

Unlike other products, this one is designed to remove stiction. If you have an engine with HEUI injectors, you will want to invest in this type of solution. You could consider using this with your Ford PowerStroke motor. The best part is that the company refrains from using chemical strippers, which are found in other products. These strippers are dangerous and harmful, so this company deserves to charge more for its formula.

Use it with all synthetic and mineral-based oils to make the engine components last longer. In a short time, you should notice a vast improvement in engine performance and possibly fuel economy as a result. Plus, it eliminates most cold start issues among diesel engines.

Pros

  • Works with Ford PowerStroke
  • Fixes stiction
  • Highly concentrated
  • Eliminates cold start concerns

Cons

  • Expensive

9. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-

Best Oil Additive for Burning Oil

Size

15 oz. 

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Polyether amines

Engine Compatibility

All

Red Line is a leader in the engine performance industry. If you need a product that cleans out the fuel systems and prevents corrosion, the Complete SI-1 is a winner. This 15-ounce bottle is meant to be used every 3,000 miles for the best results. If you drive a lot, treating your engine can become slightly costly, but the overwhelming amount of positive reviews reaffirms that you are making a good choice.

With this formula, you can expect the engine to be cleaned and protected. It works to clean injectors, valves, the combustion chamber, and carburetors. It's made from low-temp and high-temp detergents to clean out the engine, no matter what temperature it is operating at. In addition, this solution enhances gas stability for a more efficient fuel burn. Overall, this will save you more money at the fuel pump.

The company claims that using this additive cleans the entire system after just one treatment, and the users seem to agree. Maybe that’s why the company has been in business since 1979. Unlike some products, this can be used continually without risk of engine damage. You can also use this product in other engines, for complete versatility. Consider applying it to your ATV, motorcycle, or watercraft as well.

Pros

  • All engine compatibility
  • Cleans fuel system
  • Effective detergents
  • Reputable company

Cons

  • Might take time to work

10. Archoil AR6200

Best Diesel Oil Additive

Size

16 oz. 

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Organometallic catalyst

Engine Compatibility

All

At first glance, this option from Archoil looks overpriced, especially considering that it is only 16 ounces. However, you will notice that this treatment works for up to 500 gallons of diesel or gasoline. In fact, you only need to add one milliliter per gallon of fuel, making this product an exceptional value. Yes, you will have to pay more upfront, but you shouldn’t run out of this solution anytime soon.

If you want to see a torque or mpg improvement, Archoil has what you need. In the process, it also reduces carbon deposits and soot building in your car engine. Once this is removed, the motor can produce a complete burn.

This improves fuel economy and reduces emissions. This additive also works to stabilize the fuel for maximum protection over the system. It reduces wear, microbial growth, and deposits. Because it also removes the water from the fuel, you also won't need to worry about corrosion or damage.

Few products can claim to be a combustion modifier, lubricant, detergent, stabilizer, corrosion inhibitor, and demulsifier in one. With all of its capability, it’s clear why the customers continue to rave about the effectiveness. Use this best diesel oil additive in your diesel or gasoline-powered vehicle to experience the difference.

Pros

  • Heavily concentrated
  • Mpg improvement
  • Reduces wear
  • Lessens microbial growth

Cons

  • Doesn’t always work immediately

11. Lucas Oil 10278

Best Oil Additive to Stop Leaks

Size

32 oz. 

Cleans Sludge

No

Reduce Friction

No

Chemical Composition

Petroleum

Engine Compatibility

All

After reading through the oil additive reviews, it’s clear that Lucas products continue to make the list, because of the effectiveness. This is just one more option from the highly-rated company. If you are struggling with engine noise or oil leaks, this additive might just do the trick. It’s available in a 32-ounce bottle and is priced reasonably considering what it might cost to fix that leak instead.

You can use this stop leak product with any petroleum or synthetic motor oil, making it extremely versatile. If a worn-out seal causes the leak, this Lucas additive renews the materials to increase resiliency without causing further damage or corrosion. As it raises the oil pressure, it also reduces oil consumption and engine noise.

The only downside that we see with this product is the lack of detergents. You can find other leak stopping formulas that also help to clean out the system. Sure, you might pay a little more, but it provides a more comprehensive solution and acts as an insurance policy for your car engine. If you are in immediate need to just stop the leaks, then you might prefer this Lucas product instead. It works immediately to give you fast results.

Pros

  • Fixes leaks fast
  • Works with any oil
  • Reasonable price
  • Made by industry leader

Cons

  • Doesn’t clean or reduce friction

12. Liqui Moly 20004

Best Oil Additive for Turbo Engines

Size

300 ml., 300 ml (2-pack) or 300 ml (12-pack)  

Cleans Sludge

Yes

Reduce Friction

Yes

Chemical Composition

Molybdenum sulfide

Engine Compatibility

All

Do you need a solution for that bothersome lifter noise? This Liqui Moly Hydraulic Lifter Additive is designed specifically for that problem. In the process, it also improves engine performance, making it an exceptional value. Because it attacks the worn hydraulic lifters, noise is significantly decreased. Plus, it will not adversely affect the engine oil. Instead, it cleans out the bores, guides, and valves to further increase the motor life.

With this formula, you should receive a longer engine life as the performance is optimized. You can also use it on a variety of engines, from gasoline to diesel. It’s even one of the few products that work with or without diesel particulate filters. You can even use it with your turbocharged engine and won’t need to worry about damage to the catalytic converter. The only vehicle you wouldn’t want to use this on is a motorcycle with a wet clutch.

In the end, you should notice less noise, better performance, a quiet start, and improved fuel economy. We did notice that this product isn’t as highly rated as some others. While customers still seem to appreciate the performance increase, it might take a little extra time to notice the difference.

Pros

  • Reduces engine noise
  • Can be used with any engine (except wet clutches)
  • Good value
  • Doesn’t harm catalytic converter or turbo

Cons

  • Not as highly rated as some others

Types of Oil Additives

Complete Engine Treatment

With a comprehensive engine treatment, you ensure a reduction in friction. The formula adds a protective layer on metal engine parts to eliminate unnecessary heat.

Engine Break-In Oil Additive

You combine this solution with the engine oil to protect the camshaft lifters. Sometimes, it is also used to provide lubrication to the valve train. This would be the best oil additive for lifter noise.

Engine Oil Stop Leak

With the best engine oil stop leak additive, you can stop leaks on the spot. This formula will produce a seal around the area of the leak.

Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer

With this oil additive, you ensure minimal friction of the metal parts. It heightens the lubrication and allows the motor to run smoothly for a longer life.

High Mileage Oil Stabilizer

Just like the previous stabilizer, this formula will protect the engine from friction. The only difference is that this type is specifically designed with higher mileage vehicles in mind.


Chemical Compounds in Oil Additives

LOAs, otherwise known as lubricating oil additives, often come with phosphorus in it. When combined with zinc, you can expect a performance boost. The solution might also contain molybdenum or boron. If you choose a formula with Magnesium Sulfonates, you can expect less sludge, protection against rust, and a reduction of oil impurities.

These might also have other extreme pressure agents included, such as potassium-borate, sulfur-phosphorus, or chlorine. Some companies use nanoparticles made from titanium oxide to increase horsepower and fuel economy, but without causing damage to the catalytic converter.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is synthetic oil good for older engines?

All vehicles benefit from synthetic oil, but older engines might experience some problems after switching. Because of the change in viscosity, it’s not uncommon to struggle with a leak in an old gasket after changing the oil. However, using synthetic oil will provide the protection that an older car engine needs.

Is it necessary to change oil for my car?

If you want your car engine to last, you must change the oil regularly. Otherwise, debris and contaminants start to build up, which leads to long-term damage.

How often should I change engine oil?

You need to look at your car’s owner’s manual to find the recommended interval for your vehicle. Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 3,000 to 15,000 miles, depending on the motor type and oil you use.

What does a bad lifter sound like?

Bad lifter noises sound like a tapping. If you are experiencing a ping or knock instead, you are likely suffering from another issue.

Will thicker oil help eliminate lifter noise?

It isn’t necessarily the thickness of oil that is the problem, but more likely, the rust and deposits left in the engine. A cleaning oil additive should reduce the lifter noise if it caused by contaminants.

Can noisy lifters cause damage?

Your lifters make noise to alert you to trouble. Not only are you having a lack of efficiency while this problem is occurring, but you might have a more significant issue. At the first sign of trouble, you should use an additive to prevent a larger repair bill. If something is mechanically wrong, you won’t be able to resolve the issue with an additive.

What happens if engine sounds are ignored?

Over time, the increased friction and reduction in efficiency will wear the engine out. It will become too late to fix the problem without an expensive repair.

What are some tips to protect your engine from knocking?

Make sure you only use fuel from a reputable gas station. In addition, you should use the highest octane that your vehicle will handle. Change the spark plugs regularly and use a quality fuel additive. Furthermore, you should reduce the throttle any time that you hear knocking or pinging.

Is it dangerous to drive with an oil leak?

You should never drive with an oil leak because it will lead to premature wear of the rubber hoses and seals. On top of that, it is a fire hazard, which leads to safety concerns.

How do I make a high mileage car last?

If you want the high-mileage engine to last, make sure you are maintaining it with regular oil changes. It also helps to reduce your short-distance drives and operate the vehicle with caution. Avoid any rapid acceleration or hard braking.

How do zinc additives affect older engines?

Zinc in an older engine helps to prevent wear of the lifters and camshaft.


Conclusion

What is the best oil additive to stop engine knocking? We recommend Sea Foam for most engine applications. Not only is it affordable, but it provides a wide range of solutions to the most common motor needs. Take care of your car engine today, and you will find it provides you with many years of service.