Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by John Robinson
An oil stabilizer will add a coat of VCI (vapor corrosion inhibitor) to key metal components in the engine. This includes the engine block, crankcase, and cylinder heads. This means your engine will last longer, run smoother, and the oil’s life will be extended.
A VCI essentially prevents friction and stops the engine from corroding too quickly. Furthermore, the oil stabilizer has the possibility of sticking to the metal for much longer, even when it’s not running.
For older vehicles and those drivers who like to clock longer mileage, an oil stabilizer is ideal for helping keep their engine running at optimal performance.
How to use an oil stabilizer?
Each stabilizer is a unique mix – so check the instructions and read them carefully before adding them to your oil. Some stabilizers, like Lucas Oil, do not void your vehicle’s warranty. If you’re using Lucas Oil specifically, here is a quick list of steps you can take to add your additive.
- Use a one-quart stabilizer in each oil change or 20% of the total volume on newer engines and those engines with a bit of wear and tear.
- After you’ve added the stabilizer, be sure to use it again in every oil change
- Use the synthetic blend for lightweights like 5w30
- If the engine is older and has been through the wringer, speak to your local auto-mechanic and let them advise you on what you’ll need to get your engine running smoothly again.
Can frequent oil changes prevent sludge?
Oil sludge is formed when the oil starts to break down in the engine and becomes contaminated.
If the oil is used too long, it can get contaminated by dirt and debris or condensation, which puts moisture in the oil and hurts the viscosity. It can also pick up metal parts from engine wear and tear. So, the longer it’s in use, the more likely it will become contaminated, and then you’ll have a sludge-up engine.
By frequently changing your oil, you can prevent contamination and keep your engine running smoothly.
If you already have sludge in your engine, you will need to use an Engine Flush, a product mixed with your oil. After adding it idle your car for about 5 – 10 minutes. This gives the solution enough time to solvate the sludge and draws it into the oil.
How long does it take for oil to turn to sludge?
This depends on the engine, the oil, and the temperatures. But usually, sludge can begin to form at around 3000 to 5000 miles. But keeping up with your yearly maintenance checks and consistent oil changes will prevent it from forming.
Should I use synthetic or conventional oil?
If you have the option, instead buy synthetic oil.
Synthetic oils are much more resistant to sludge as they don’t break down as quickly as their conventional counterparts. They don’t evaporate easily, and they’re not as susceptible to temperature changes. So, they offer better protection against extreme heat for much longer.
They also help your car start more consistently in cold weather and reduce the wear engines experience when you need to run it cold.
Conventional oil breaks down faster and is much slower in coating the inside of your engine. However, certain cars require conventional oil; instead, double-check with your auto-mechanic before switching.
Will synthetic oil make my engine last longer?
No, unfortunately not.
Synthetic oil cannot extend the life of your engine. What it instead does is take better care of your engine to prevent it from breaking down quickly.
If you use good conventional oils and change the oil regularly, the result will be the same. The significant difference between traditional and synthetic is synthetic lasts longer, doesn’t break down as quickly, and doesn’t result in sludge as easily as conventional oil dies. It also offers better protection in freezing temperatures. So there are certainly benefits.
But synthetic oil cannot extend the life of your engine.