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Car oil Guide: Additives


We list down the kinds of additives and how they can benefit your car's performance

Engine Oil Additives

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

We have all heard and probably used fuel additives. These are compounds that improve the performance of your engine by enhancing the quality and efficiency of fuel used. Different additives are available for petrol as well as diesel vehicles. These additives have several functions including, cleaning fuel injectors, reduction of emissions, prevention of corrosion in fuel lines/fuel tank, reduced knocking and lastly making cold start an easy affair. 

Octane boosters ensure that the combustion of fuel is a lot more easily hence increasing performance. Making use of octane boosters in your regular cars is not really going to enhance its performance as only high performance cars that run on high octane fuel benefit from octane boosters. High octane fuel is the right option for high performance cars. In India, high performance fuel is not available in all regions, so octane boosters are the ideal alternative. 

Engine oil additives

These sorts of additives are mainly used to boost the lubricating capacity of the engine oil, thereby reducing friction and ultimately enhancing the overall performance. The reduction of friction also tends to increase the overall life of the engine. Further, it prevents build-up of sludge and increases the life of the engine oil. They also improve engine operation under extreme weather and load conditions. However, sulphur additives can reduce fuel efficiency and damage catalytic converters. Also, some detergent additives can work against other additives that reduce friction. 

Gear oil additives

Reduction of friction on gears is highly essential for smooth shifts and it also increases the life of the gearbox. Also, since there is no pump that circulates oil inside a manual gearbox, gear oil has to be able to stick on to rotating gears. Gear oil, therefore, consists of extreme pressure additives that allow the gear oil to lubricate the surface of the gears without air bubble formation under high pressure between contacting rotating gears. To keep up its lubricating properties intact, gear oil additives enhance the thickness of the oil. This reduces friction and heat resulting in smoother gear shifts, less wear and tear and low maintenance costs. Synthetic gear oil is an alternative to gear oil additives. There are different gear oil additives for manual and automatic gearboxes.

Radiator additives

While fuel and engine additives are added to improve the overall performance of the engine, radiator additives are mainly to improve the ability of coolants to keep the car’s temperature in check under extreme conditions. They improve heat dissipation, prevent corrosion inside the radiator pipeline, and also act as acid neutralisers. Radiator additives are mixed with coolant inside a vehicle’s cooling system.

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