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Question about an oil additive

I am looking into the oil additive called Motor Silk. Have you heard of this? It contains Boron which they say treats the metal, not the oil. It is supposed to give more power, better MPGs and protection for the engine. Do you recommend using this or does all oil nowadays have boron in it?

Thanks, Robert from Charlottesville, Virginia

Years ago, D-X gasoline, from the D-X Sunray oil company, advertised that its gasoline contained Boron and boosted gasoline mileage. There was a D-X station where I traded when I was a graduate student and sometimes bought gasoline there. I also bought gasoline from a cut-rate station. I couldn’t detect any difference in mileage or performance. I doubt that Boron does much, either in the oil or gasoline.

D-X merged with Sunoco thirty five or forty years ago. There was no more D-X with its super mileage ingredient Boron.

Thanks for the response. How about any other additive like maybe Zmax? Do you think any additive is worth using in oil?

The anti-wear, extreme pressure additives once found in all API rated SH-SG oil have been greatly reduced because the metallic additives that were used damaged catalytic converters. Cam and lifter design was changed so lower additive oils could be used without problems… High additive oils are still available but are labeled “racing”, “motorcycle”, “Marine”, “Diesel”, motor oils. Universal “fleet” oils, usually sold in 15W-40 grade, still has a robust additive package…

It may be good or it may be bad, but I can tell you that if you use an oil that meets the specifications from the manufacturer of your car (see owner’s manual) you don’t need anything else.

I wouldn’t bother. I have never seen an oil additive that does anything but reduce your wallet mileage. My father tried zmax years ago. It was expensive and made no discernible difference in anything. If you use the oil specified for use in your engine, and keep it filled, you have all you need to maximize your engine’s life and performance. There is no magical snake oil.

Oh well, I thought MotorSilk might be different than others because is says this on their website:

Boron CLS Bond? technology was developed for NASA at the U.S. Department of Energy Argonne National Lab researching ?extreme condition lubricants? for use in space.

You are not operating your engine in outer space.

The element boron, used in high temperature lubricants, does have some value. Atoms of boron can bond to pits and grooves in the metallic surfaces of moving parts. This can, in theory, reduce wear over the life of the engine.

But it is questionable whether it is cost effective to treat your engine constantly with an expensive additive over ten years or so to get an extra year of use from it. In any case, don’t expect to see immediate gains from a boron additive.

I support the contentions of the other guys – all you need is regular oil changes with conventional oil. Additives will do nothing for you.

I never use oil additives or endorse their use. I don’t know if they actually harm the engine but they don’t do any good either.