Snake Oil Additives

Each car you own is a huge investment, one of the biggest you’ll ever make. It stands to reason that you’ll want to take proper care of it, to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Yet, most of us don’t know all that much about proper automobile maintenance. (I’m grateful for a wonderful son-in-law who is an expert in these things.) There are plenty of companies who are eager to take advantage of our ignorance.

Ads for oil additives target our concerns about engine longevity. By claiming to reduce friction, add a protective coating to the metal, and/or prevent the build-up of engine deposits, and they supposedly protect damage incurred by “cold starting” your car, as well as increase gas mileage and horsepower. Wow, that sounds great!

So, should you be buying those cans of Slick 50, STP, and Tufoil? Do they actually do what they claim to do, or are they a waste of money? Worse, can they damage your engine?

I found a very helpful article that answers these questions. While I certainly can’t recommend everything* on this website, in this case, I think the author is spot on.


* Sadly, author Robert T. Carroll denies the existence of God and clearly holds His followers in disdain.