Age Defying Solutions: Exploring the Best Oil Additive for Older Engines

As engines age, wear and tear on their components can lead to decreased performance, increased friction and potential oil-related problems. To combat these challenges and revitalize older engines, oil additives have emerged as a popular solution. In this expert article, we delve into the realm of automotive expertise to uncover the best oil additives specifically formulated for older engines. By understanding the benefits and considerations associated with these additives, enthusiasts and car owners alike can make informed decisions to optimize the performance and longevity of their beloved vehicles.

Understanding the Role of Oil Additives

Oil additives are specially formulated compounds that are added to engine oil to enhance its performance and protect engine components. While engine oils already contain additives to meet standard requirements, specific oil additives are designed to meet the unique needs of older engines. These additives work in synergy with the base oil to address common problems such as reduced lubrication, increased wear, oil leaks and sludge formation.

Choosing the Best Oil Additive for Older Engines:

  1. ZDDP (zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate): ZDDP is a well-known and highly effective oil additive for older engines. It provides critical anti-wear protection by forming a protective layer on metal surfaces, reducing friction and minimizing wear on engine components. However, it is important to note that modern engine oils have reduced ZDDP levels due to environmental concerns, making ZDDP oil additives a valuable addition for older engines.
  2. High-quality seal conditioners: Older engines often have problems with seals and gaskets, resulting in oil leaks and reduced performance. High-quality seal conditioners can help rejuvenate worn seals and gaskets, restoring their flexibility and reducing oil leakage. Look for additives that include seal conditioners specifically formulated for older engines.
  3. Detergent and dispersant additives: Over time, older engines can build up deposits and sludge that can affect performance and oil circulation. Detergent and dispersant additives are essential to combat these problems by cleaning and removing deposits, preventing sludge formation and maintaining oil system cleanliness.
  4. Viscosity stabilizers: Older engines can experience increased oil viscosity degradation, resulting in reduced lubrication efficiency. Viscosity stabilizers are additives that help maintain a consistent oil viscosity over a wide range of temperatures, ensuring optimal lubrication and engine protection.
  5. Anti-foaming agents: Foaming can occur in older engines due to increased wear and oil degradation, compromising lubrication efficiency. Anti-foaming additives help reduce foaming, maintain a stable oil film thickness and prevent air entrainment.

Considerations and Recommendations

Before selecting an oil additive for an older engine, it is important to consider factors such as specific engine requirements, operating conditions, and oil compatibility. It is recommended to consult the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines and seek expert advice or recommendations from reliable sources such as automotive professionals or reputable additive manufacturers.


Choosing the best oil additive for an older engine can breathe new life into its performance, enhance its protection and extend its life. By understanding the role of oil additives and considering factors such as ZDDP content, seal conditioners, detergent/dispersant properties, viscosity stabilizers and anti-foaming agents, enthusiasts can make informed decisions to optimize their older engines. With the right oil additive, older engines can continue to provide reliable performance and enjoyment for years to come.


What is the best oil additive for older engines?

Anyone who owns a classic or youngtimer particularly appreciates the fascination of the automobile and wants the vehicle to remain in excellent condition for as long as possible. Only the best is good enough here. Whether inside or out, negligence in maintenance and care can lead, for example, to tears in the upholstery, rust and brittle plastics. This reduces the fun of a ride and the value of the actually so sacred sheet metal.

7 Of The Best Oil Additives For Older Engines

  • STP Oil Treatment.
  • Prolong Super Lubricants Engine Treatment.
  • Marvel Mystery Oil.
  • Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer.
  • Liqui Moly Cera Tec Friction Modifier.
  • Restore Engine Restorer + Lubricant.
  • Seafoam High Mileage Motor Treatment.

Do engine oil additives really work?

Adding aftermarket oil additives can sometimes improve performance, but too much can cause problems. Using the right amount of oil additives can improve your engine’s performance, lengthen its lifespan, reduce the need for repairs, and improve your fuel economy.

Engine oil for classic cars – the most important keywords

  • Additives: manufacturers mix base oils to influence their properties. Typical multigrade oils contain viscosity index improvers (10%), detergents (3%), dispersants (5%), wear minimizers (1%) and additives such as antioxidants (3%) in addition to the base oil (78%).
  • ACEA: “Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles”. The association of European car manufacturers has been developing test standards and quality classes for engine oils since the 1990s. Class A designates oil for gasoline engines, with the following number the test requirements increase.
  • API: “American Petroleum Institute”. The largest association in the U.S. oil and gas industry has been defining minimum requirements for engine oils since the 1940s. The further in the alphabet the letter following the S, the higher the specification. SA stands for unalloyed oils for gasoline engines, SC for the first multigrade oils, and SG and higher are tested for shear stability. The standards are backwards compatible.
  • Detergent-dispersant: refers to a combination of cleaning additives and those that enclose dissolved dirt particles and keep them in suspension in the oil. Like VI improvers, standard ingredient for engine oils since the mid-1960s.
  • Monograde oils: have a clearly defined viscosity at a reference temperature. The larger the number after the abbreviation SAE, the higher the viscosity. SAE 50 is therefore more viscous than SAE 10 at the same temperature. The more viscous the oil, the more stable the lubricant film. However, the viscosity changes considerably with the temperature in the engine. Winter oils have a “W” after their viscosity index, for example SAE 10 W. Due to their chemistry, they thicken less in cold conditions.
  • Alloyed: are oils modified with additives. Oils free of additives were standard only until the 1930s.
    Multigrade oils: have been on the market since the early 1960s. Advantage: their viscosity tends to remain stable over a wide temperature range. They owe this to additives. These are polymers, long-chain molecules. They stretch the viscosity of the oil over several ranges because they themselves change their properties depending on the temperature. The polymers, however, wear out during operation. With distance, therefore, a multigrade oil tends more and more to its base viscosity.
  • Mineral oil: is produced from crude oil by distillation and refining. Mineral oils are in themselves monograde oils with a viscosity that results from the mixture of different base oils. Only additives turn mineral oils into multigrade oils.
  • SAE: Society of Automotive Engineers. The Society of Automotive Engineers has been classifying the viscosity of automotive oils (SAE 0, 5, 10, et cetera) since 1911. Reference temperature: 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Shear stability: must be demonstrated by an engine oil, especially at points such as the lubrication gap between the cylinder bore and the piston. Monograde oils cope well with extreme speed differences; they are shear stable. The shear gradient stresses above all the VI improvers in multigrade oils. It can even tear them apart. The result is loss of viscosity.
  • Specifications: are laid down by various associations such as API, ACEA, ILSAC, JAMA, JASO, oils are then tested for their performance and compliance with the standards using increasingly stringent test procedures. The specifications have nothing to do directly with viscosity, but they do have something to do with its stability. In addition, some car manufacturers define their own oil specifications for their vehicles.
  • Synthetic oils: differ from mineral oil in terms of production processes and properties. Synthetic oils are also based on the hydrocarbon compounds in mineral oil. However, these are split up and reassembled in a new size and order in order to directly influence the properties of the oil. Mineral oil can be modified by mixing the base oils and additives.
  • Viscosity: describes the flowability of a liquid, i.e. the property of resisting its deformation. The flowability increases with the number after the letter combination SAE. SAE 10 is thinner than SAE 60.
  • VI improvers: are polymers that make the flowability more temperature stable. When cold, they are curled up, which means they do not get in the way of the oil molecules’ movements. When the oil temperature rises, the molecules of the VI improvers unfold and form a network that stabilizes the oil. Accordingly, viscosity is less sensitive to engine temperature.

Additives and other lubricants

Replacing the transmission oil is recommended from time to time, especially for automatic transmissions, e.g. with the highly effective Gear Tronic and the ATF Top Tec 1100 or 1300 suitable for classic cars. For those who want a quieter and smoother shifting transmission, the Transmission Oil Additive is highly recommended. As in the Oil Additive, the variant developed for transmissions also contains the additive MoS2. Result: Smoother running and smoother shifting.

The lead substitute lubricates and protects valve seat inserts in vehicles that originally used leaded fuel. It reduces wear on the cylinder head, ensuring optimum compression. It increases operational reliability and prevents engine damage.

Older vehicles in particular still have carburetors. Here, the mtx carburetor cleaner is an advisable companion. It removes deposits in the carburetor, on valves, spark plugs, and in the combustion chamber, and prevents them from forming again.

Ideal for diesel: the super diesel additive. It removes deposits in the diesel injection system and in the combustion chamber and prevents them from forming again. It also cares for all components of the diesel injection system and prevents nozzle needles from burning and gumming up.

Should you put thicker oil in an older engine?

A: Yes. This is a practical method to improve oil pressure in an older, high-mileage engine. The slightly thicker oil film from the heavier base weight oil — 10W — can help protect worn engine bearings as well.

Is Lucas Oil Stabilizer good for older engines?

Lucas High Mileage Oil Stabilizer creates a coating that clings to metallic surfaces, eliminating dry starts that create the most damage and wear in an older engine.

What grade oil is best for older engines?

While contemporary engines are designed internally to live on such lightweight lubricants and improved sealing technology prevents leaks, we believe vintage engine are normally better served by heavier 10W-30 or 20W-50 synthetics.

Can you mix Lucas Oil Stabilizer with synthetic oil?

Since Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer is 100% petroleum, it can safely blend with all other automotive lubricants including automatic transmission fluid, mineral oil, petroleum oils, and synthetic oils. As an added benefit, it can be used with every oil change and safely extends oil life 50% longer.

Does Lucas Oil Stabilizer raise oil pressure?

The primary benefits of Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer are as follows: For preventative maintenance, it virtually eliminates dry starts and wear. It extends oil life and lowers oil temperature in any engine, gasoline or diesel. It raises oil pressure, reduces smoking, leaking, knocking and blow by in worn engines.

Can I add oil additives hurt my engine?

Are oil additives bad for your engine? Not really, no. People think that they need an oil additive to “improve the lubrication” for their oil. But they don’t really need that because today’s high-performing oils do that job plenty well.

Do you need oil additive with synthetic oil?

If your vehicle has high mileage or oil leaks, you may derive benefits from aftermarket oil additives targeted for your specific issue; however, those generally should not be used if you use a synthetic oil in your car. Keep up with your oil changes with the assistance of Emission Time.

Is full synthetic oil good for older engines?

Myth: Full synthetic oil is not good for high mileage cars or older vehicles. The myth is rooted in the idea that synthetic oil is “slipperier”—lower in viscosity, or not as compatible with seals and will therefore leak or leak more in places conventional oil might not. Again, completely untrue.

Is it OK to use fully synthetic oil in older cars?

It protects better, performs better, and lasts longer, and it’s no longer made with a chemical compound that could hurt older vehicles.

What happens if you use 10W40 instead of 5w30?

What will happen if I put 10W40 instead of 5w30? Being a thicker oil 10W40 can harm your engine if your engine requires a thinner oil. Although a bit of interchange in engine oils can be good, it is highly recommended not to use one to replace another.

Should I use Lucas Oil Stabilizer every oil change?

It is recommended that you add the Oil Stabilizer with every oil change (20% Stabilizer, 80% Oil). You may also use the stabilizer to top off between oil changes in order to help reduce oil consumption in an older engine, or maintain peak performance in a new engine.

Where do you put Lucas Oil Stabilizer?

Quote from video: And add a quart to your motor oil today replace one quarter of your motor oil with one quart of synthetic stabilizer to help reduce temperatures.

How do you use Lucas Oil Stabilizer with high mileage?

Best Oil Additive In 2022 – Top 10 Oil Additives Review

Is Lucas Oil Treatment good for your engine?

A: Yes, In addition to being great for your engine, you can also mix it 25% / 75% a manual transmission and 50% / 50% in the differential. Lucas Oil Stabilizer blends with any petroleum-based or synthetic oil, and is formulated for gasoline or diesel engines.

What does Lucas Oil Additive do for your engine?

Lucas Oil Stabilizer is a 100% petroleum product formulated to eliminate dry starts and reduce friction, heat and wear in any type of engine. It allows motor oils a higher degree of lubricity which reduces oil consumption and operating temperatures.

Is Lucas Oil Stabilizer safe?

Lucas’s official instructions also note that you can use the stabilizer in greater quantities than directed for new vehicles if necessary. Specifically, it is safe to use up to 60% stabilizer in vehicles with significant engine wear.

How long does Lucas Oil Stabilizer last?

12 months

In doing so, Lucas Fuel Stabilizer effectively preserves your fuel for up to 12 months or longer.

Where do you put Lucas Oil Stabilizer?

Quote from video: And add a quart to your motor oil today replace one quarter of your motor oil with one quart of synthetic stabilizer to help reduce temperatures.

Does Lucas stabilizer work?

Quote from video: And cylinder deactivation. The direction state add to engine.