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Reducing Friction In Engines

Reducing friction in engines relates to extending the life of the engine.  It also relates to squeezing out maximum efficiency from the operating system.

Extending Engine Life

Don't be fooled - the lubricating systems in cars and trucks today are admittedly pretty good at doing their jobs.  Anyone who claims otherwise is overselling their claims.  If you don't use an "oil additive", your car isn't likely to break down any time soon from lack of lubrication.

That being said, there is room for improvement in certain areas of performance.

  • You can get some mileage improvement through reduction of friction and engine operating temperature. You're not going to get 15% better mileage but you can gain a few percentage points.
  • You can improve compression and horsepower in older vehicles through the sealing of rings (if that's a problem). Again, you won't get a 20% improvement in power but there are some gains you can make.
  • Cold starting wear is the big culprit for engine wear in many engines. Once the engine is at normal operating speed, you don't get any real wear on the surface at that time. But in the period of time at startup before the oil is fully circulated, this is where the majority of wear in an engine can occur.

Most Oils Already Come with Additives

Unless you are using an oil that specifically says otherwise, you're pretty much guaranteed that the multi-weight oil you buy (such as 10W30 or 5W20) comes with an additive package already contained. These additives function to better protect the engine beyond the basic lubricating function that the base oil fulfills.  Contaminant dispersants and acid neutralization are basic functions of this package.

Of course, these additives have a limited capacity to do this job. That's why waiting too long to change your oil is so bad for your engine.

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