Chriscamaro loves playing sports, modifying cars, and playing video games.
Not All Additives Are Created Equal!
The additive business is a shark tank of competition where honest entrepreneurs and humble companies making high-quality products are drowned out by a smorgasbord of overpriced garbage designed to ruin your car, void your warranty and drain your wallet. The consumer is always the sucker because he doesn't have the benefit of experience with any of these products.
At least that was true until recent times. With the pervasiveness of the internet and video reviews on YouTube, it's getting harder for these frauds to rip people off. They'll still grab a quick buck off most people, but at least the more awake among us can do research in advance and avoid the snake oil.
Enter Motorkote, the Hyper Lubricant!
Oooo . . . sounds fancy. What's so hyper about it? I still don't know the answer to that, nor do I know why they insist that it isn't an additive, as if that's a dirty word. It is an additive, of course.
Motorkote claims to be able to reduce friction in any sort of fluid you put it in and it can also be used directly on any sort of moving parts. You can put it in engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, differentials, your lawn mower, your weed wacker, your garden shears, your gun, your laxative . . . I MEAN, NO, NOT THAT.
Motorkote claims to bond to metal to create a semi-permanent lubricated surface that water cannot wash away. In fact not much of anything can wash it away including brake cleaner. You pretty much have to sand it off.
Finally it claims that it has no solids in it and won't void your warranty.
OK, So What Can Motorkote Do for My Car (and My Wallet)?
Well, according to the data I collected, it can improve your gas mileage by about 9%, possibly add 4% torque at the wheels and save you $90 USD annually, assuming you buy more product each year to maintain your vehicle. The dollar figure is a conservative estimate in my opinion and the savings can be significantly north of that, depending on your car and driving habits.
I Did My Own Test of Motorkote
Where did I get those numbers from? Well, after seeing all the fancy promo videos from the manufacturer and then seeing independent tests verify those results, I was sufficiently intrigued to buy a quart of the stuff and do my own tests.
I took a test vehicle, a 2011 Impala with the 3.9 L engine and 4T65E transmission, and did the following tests on it:
- I picked two fixed points on the highway, set the cruise control at 70 with a full tank of gas, and recorded the instantaneous mileage between those points.
- I dyno'd the car.
- I added Motorkote to the engine oil, transmission, power steering, and a few pulleys on the accessory drive.
- I did the mileage test from step 1 again
- I did the dyno from step 2 again
- I compared Step 1 to Step 4 for changes to MPG and Step 2 to Step 5 for changes in ft-lbs.
- I determined the cost savings, based on the national average price of gas, a 15-gallon tank, and 500 gallons usage per year.
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Results of My Motorkote Test
Based on the tests, there was a slight increase in torque, a significant increase in mileage, and a net savings per year in gas costs. That's the skinny of it. The hard part is interpreting the data to determine what factors may have driven those changes, how much Motorkote contributed to that, and whether the results would have been better had the test been done differently (longer break-in period, different highway speed, broader RPM range on the dyno, etc).
Nevertheless the results, at least, are real, and that's more information than I had before doing the test, so we're getting there.
Why Should I Care About Friction?
Friction is really important in a car. It's the main reason why cars break down from use. It's also why you don't get 100% of the energy from the gasoline put down by the tires. A good 20% of the fuel energy in automatic transmissions and 15% in manuals is lost through the drivetrain. If you can reduce friction, you can recoup some of those losses, which means more power to the wheels. This is why dynos report "wheel horsepower" instead of "brake horsepower."
However, it's important to make a distinction here. Not all losses are friction-related. Some are due to the viscosity of the fluids used. All fluids have a viscosity, which simply means they are thick and take energy to move. Imagine pushing a gallon of honey through a straw in two seconds. Shear is the physics property that defines a fluid's viscosity, and the more a fluid shears, the harder it is to flow. However, viscosity helps a fluid cushion metal parts and stick to cylinder walls, hence the different grades of engine oil we use in our cars. The losses incurred due to fluid viscosity can't be saved with Motorkote, but the friction from rubbing metal CAN. That's what we're after specifically.
So Does Motorkote Reduce Friction?
Yes, absolutely it does. There is no question about it. The easiest way to verify this is to compare it against something we're all familiar with . . . like your typical 10W-30 engine oil for example.
One source I trust not to BS me is a channel on YouTube called Project Farm. He's very unbiased and scientific. He lets results speak for themselves, something I also advocate. He uses a lubricity tester (a machine that compares lubricants using controlled test conditions) to compare the wear marks on two bearings, one with 10W-30 and the other with Motorkote. The video clearly shows that Motorkote is MUCH, MUCH better at lubricating metal under load.
What Do We Know About the Risks and Benefits of Motorkote?
By the time I finished my testing I had already thought of ways it could have been done more thoroughly and more accurately, so it's not exactly case closed on this product.
It's also worth noting that some people believe that Motorkote contains chlorinated paraffins, which break down to produce hydrochloric acid that eats your car from the inside. If true, this could be cause for concern, even if the product is an excellent lubricant but I have to ask, how do they know the product contains these paraffins and how do they know that Motorkote goes through this decomposition into acid that actually causes significant damage to a car? So far I haven't seen these hypotheses vindicated with forensic teardowns of damaged cars or anything of the like, so for now this remains speculative and needs to be studied further in my opinion. Until then I'm willing to give the product benefit of the doubt, based on nothing more than what I've seen myself.
Maybe the product needs more time in the hands of consumers before these longer-term hazards become apparent but so far all I've seen evidence of are people's cars becoming less rough and noisy and getting better fuel economy. Project Farm's tests demonstrate that it has excellent film strength and lubricating qualities compared to engine oil, and that water won't wash it away. And my own testing shows a possible gain in torque at the wheels and a definite gain in fuel economy. In other words, everything is either positive or neutral so far, and given the cost of the product, these immediate benefits will save the customer money at least in the short to mid term.
Take that as it is. All truths are provisional anyway, so maybe some time down the road we will have to revise our conclusions about this product. Until then!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Have any tests been done on a high mileage 200,000 plus vehicles, before failure? It seems with the bonding to internal surfaces, it just might be a good thing for worn out wear parts what do you think?
Answer: The vehicle in the video attached to this hub has about 200k on it actually. I haven't run the engine that long with Motorkote so I don't have that data yet but it seems logical that Motorkote would benefit older cars more than newer ones because newer engines have tighter tolerances and less accelerated wearing of components.