Do I Need Zinc in My Car’s Oil?

Car engines have changed dramatically over the years, and so has the oil we use to keep them lubricated and protected. One significant difference in the composition of engine oil today, compared to a few decades ago, is that it contains much lower levels of zinc and phosphorus.

Modern motor oil is suitable for servicing and maintaining most automobiles built since the 1980s. But it does not provide the necessary level of protection for most classic cars, hot rods and other engines put under extreme stress of heavy-duty applications.

Do you need zinc in your car’s oil? It depends on how old your engine is and how you use it. A zinc oil additive will provide improved wear protection for just about any engine, and is an absolute necessity when it comes to older models, especially those with flat-tappet camshafts.

Why Put Zinc in Oil for Old Engines?

Zinc or zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP) in motor oil creates a protective coating on metal surfaces in the engine so it can stand up to the stress put on the camshaft and other components. Your average oil produced today provides enough protection for most cars used in normal operating conditions. Older classic automobiles, high performance engines and almost all non-roller cam-designed models need a more robust line of defense. That’s where zinc comes in.

High zinc oil or zinc oil additives deliver the extreme pressure wear protection to get the best performance and longevity out of your engine. It protects and eliminates wear problems with the cams, lifters and rocker arms. Zinc in oil also helps older engines start smoother in cold temperatures and maintain peak horsepower and fuel efficiency.

Choosing a Zinc Oil Additive

High zinc oil has many positives, as well as a few cons to keep in mind. The reason why engine manufacturers started asking motor oil companies to reduce ZDDP levels is because it can create build-up in the catalytic converter, which can have a negative impact over time. Oil with lower levels of zinc is also better for the environment.

Rather than finding out which motor oil has the most zinc, a smarter solution is to choose a zinc oil additive that gives you everything ZDDP does, but does not contain zinc or phosphorous. Zinc Replacement Additive from Rislone is a top-performing product that’s reliable, effective and affordable. Formulated and made in the USA, our innovative ZDDP replacement is environmentally friendly and safe for use with virtually any type of engine.

Get the Engine Protection You Need Today

At Hy-per Lube, we’ve been providing our customers with high-end, stress-tested coolant treatments, lubricants and fuel system cleaners for over 50 years. We’re focused on helping you find the products you need to quickly and inexpensively solve issues with your cars and engines.

For more information on zinc in oil for old engines and our ZDDP supplements, get in touch through our online contact form or use our store locator to find the Hy-per Lube in your area today.