Avoid the oil additives

June 1, 2011 | By Richard Prince


I heard on the trucking radio channel about a product called “Motor Kote.” It’s for all vehicle engines, including diesel, gas, marine, etc. It’s a fuel additive that is supposed to do everything. Also, it can be used to lubricate household items, tools, etc.

Have you heard if this is a good item? They are out of Gahanna, Ohio. I would appreciate any input you can offer.


I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me about an engine oil additive or a fuel additive!

My opinion, based on many years in the collectible car hobby and restoration

business, is that there is almost never a good reason to spend money on oil or fuel additives. Any of today’s name brand engine oils are excellent. Synthetic oil is particularly bulletproof.

As long as you use the grade and type of oil specified for your car in your operating conditions you will not have an engine failure or other problems because of some failure of the oil. The same is true for fuel. As long as you use the correct type of fuel for your application you will not suffer any failures or other problems because of the fuel.

This opinion has been formed not only as a result of all my time in the old car hobby and restoration business, but also as a result of the years I’ve spent working in the endurance racing world. Production-based race engines running way harder, longer and hotter than the engines in collectible cars ever should don’t need oil or fuel additives so I don’t think your engine needs them either.

Adding to my opinion that aftermarket additives are not worth their cost, don’t you think that if a few ounces of this or that chemical could boost fuel economy, prolong engine life, or do any of the other wonderful things manufacturers claim they can do, that all of the gasoline and oil companies would jump on the bandwagon and add these chemicals to their own blends?

So, while I have used certain additive type products in special circumstances (for example, Marvel Mystery Oil to free stuck lifters), I do not believe in adding anything to the oil or gas in my collector cars on an ongoing basis.