See How The Honda Odyssey Runs With Its Engine Oil Changed Only With Additives

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Motor oil is the vital lifeblood of combustion engines. It requires regular replacement, and disaster can happen without fluid. Additives, designed to relieve various engine ailments, can improve oil performance, but how well will they work without base oil? A new video from Garage54 found.

The team took a Honda Odyssey with the automaker’s F23 engine, which the company used in the 1990s and early 2000s, and drained the oil. They flush the engine before mixing a potent mixture of oil additives into giant jugs. It was a smorgasbord of chemicals that produced a greenish-brown oily substance which was then poured directly into the engine.

The Odyssey’s engine had not been primed before an oil change, with smoke billowing from the exhaust under heavy throttle. Additives don’t solve the smoking problem, and the van only gets worse. Smoke turned from blue to gray as the car was driven around town, and a large plume of black smoke burst from the exhaust pipe with a bang. Yet, through all the abuse, Honda survived the brief test.

To measure any changes to the engine, the Garage54 team tracks the oil pressure in each cylinder. Two crashed, one stayed the same, and a fourth increased, but these were negligible changes, and Honda left the shop for a long overnight ride. The Odyssey covered an additional 62 miles (100 kilometers) without problems.

The engine didn’t explode, so the crew decided to do the experiment in reverse. The team drained the additive from the van, which had turned black, and replaced it with new – and more viscous – motor oil before turning it around again. The van still smoked from the back, but running it on the additive didn’t seem to cause any major problems.

Every auto parts store goer has seen the magic fluid wall designed to keep cars on the road that may not age gracefully. Various products can enhance the beneficial aspects of the liquid or suppress unwanted results by adding to the oil formula. They can improve lubrication, modify viscosity, and keep engine components free of harmful deposits and sludge, which may be one reason why drained additives look so dirty.