Q: Greg, I've seen so many TV ads for oil additives it is starting to drive me crazy.
There's a new one out now with Carroll Shelby telling people "it works and he puts his name on it" and it's called zMAX.
Is this stuff different than, say, Slick 50? Paul, Pottsville, Pa.
A: Paul, I'm not real familiar with zMAX, but they advertise the product as being in a class of its own (as most of these products do). They say it's not an oil additive or an engine treatment because it contains no solid or liquid additives such as chlorinated paraffins or Teflon.
ZMAX is a pure petroleum product that they say works by micro-lubricating metal parts, thus reducing friction and allowing better performance and economy. zMAX has both a fuel and engine formulas available, and other products, too. You can check it out at www.zmax.com for more information.
I won't get into any debates about these type of additives (or whatever they are called), so here's the bottom line: these products, which are not cheap, will in no way harm your car or cancel any warranties.
Most probably add an extra measure of protection, too. However, I use synthetic brand motor oil in all my cars, and don't currently use any additives like zMAX, Slick 50 or Marvel Oil in the crankcase.
Have I used oil additives in the past? Sure, as most of us have.
With this said, if you feel you want to spend the money to buy this product, and you’ll sleep better at night, do so. If you don’t, your car is still well protected by whatever the manufacturer recommends you put in your crankcase.
In ending, I’d much rather recommend a $4.99 oil eater than an expensive engine treatment!
Thanks for your letter.