You may have walked into your local auto parts retailer and seen something on the counter showing you the before and after models of an engine part that uses some type of oil additive versus one that never has. The contrast can seem dramatic, even fear inducing.
First, most oils today are not strictly “organic”. In other words, every type of oil, conventional or not, requires a certain amount of ‘additives’ in order for modern engines to operate efficiently. The most important additives are the ones that help maintain viscosity, lubrication, regulate contaminants, and help maintain proper seals within the engine preventing leaks.
Oil additives typically sold as a separate product to conventional or synthetic oils are considered true “additives” because you are adding something to the main product. Essentially additives claim that they will make your car live longer, drive faster, and maybe even help you win the grand prix (okay, we threw that one in there). Unfortunately, many oil additive companies have been subject to lawsuits as a result of making false claims about what their product can accomplish. Sadly, the lawsuits seem to be the only consistent thing among these companies.
So, would we recommend oil additives? Generally speaking, no. There might be some exceptions, but by and large oil manufacturers are on top of their game and the additives that your car needs are already in the standard conventional and synthetic oils you already use.