Pros: Simple to use.
Cons: Didn't work, Price.
After watching all those zMAX infomercials and hearing so many good things about this product I decided to give the zMAX Power System a try. I purchased zMAX in hopes that it would increase fuel economy, restore lost performance, and help extend my car's engine life. I used this product in my 1989 Mercury Sable equipped with FOMOCO's 3.8 liter OHV Essex V6 which had 180,000 original miles. My Sable ran relatively good, the only problems consisted of poor fuel economy (around 20 MPG highway) and performance that was on par with a go-cart. Did zMAX Micro Lubricant live up to its claims by increasing fuel economy and delivering better performance?
In case you have not seen the infomercials, zMAX Micro Lubricant is an oil additive that is designed to soak into the metals inside your engine. ZMAX Micro Lubricant can be used in most types of engines where both conventional and synthetic oils are used. Whether you use this product in a V8 engine, turbo diesel engine, or just a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine, zMAX claims this product will be both safe and effective. ZMAX can also be used in 2-cycle and marine engines. ZMAX Micro Lubricant comes in a 12 oz. bottle that should be used every 6 months or 6,000 miles. One should also note that since zMAX soaks into the metals inside your engine, you don't have to worry about overfilling your engine's crankcase with too much zMAX.
By soaking into the metal, zMAX claims that their product will increase both fuel economy and horsepower while at the same time reducing emissions, engine heat, engine deposits, wear and tear etc., in both new and used vehicles. For a complete list of claims by zMAX I highly recommend visiting zmax.com.
When I started using zMAX in my 1989 Mercury Sable I was using regular 5w-30 dino oil by Mobil. Since zMAX is compatible with all types of oils and oil filters I did not need to change my favorite brand of oil or the viscosity to accommodate this oil additive. Adding zMAX to your engine is just as easy as adding your regular engine oil; just pour the 12 oz. bottle inside your engine's crankcase. Even if it has been weeks since your last oil change, you can still use zMAX without having to perform an oil change.
Unfortunately zMAX did not meet any of my expectations. Despite using 3 bottles of the Micro Lubricant over a period of 6 months and around 20,000 miles (results should be noticed within the first 5,000 miles of use) I did not notice any increases in fuel economy or gains in engine performance whatsoever. Fuel economy remained steady around 20 MPG and performance seemed to actually get progressively worse.
Was it really like pouring in a whole new engine?
Whether or not this was an adverse effect from zMAX is beyond me, however when my Mercury Sable reached approximately 197,000 miles I had to replace the head gasket (mucho dinero). Fuel economy also never improved, even after I had major work done to my engine. Since my car already had over 150,000 miles on the odometer I could not benefit from the generous iron clad warranty that zMAX offers.
If you have a vehicle with less than 150,000 miles and you use zMAX Micro Lubricant every 6 months or 6,000 miles, zMAX promises to pay for any applicable repair costs up to 150,000 original miles.
Price & Availability:
Once only sold on TV for $39.95, the zMAX Power System can now be purchased for about $29.95 (still higher than most systems) at most major automotive supply stores. This system includes a 12 oz. bottle of the Micro Lubricant, a 12 oz. bottle of the fuel treatment, and a 4 oz. bottle of the transmission treatment (good for both manual and automatic transmissions). As far as I know you can only purchase the Micro Lubricant in the power system package, I have never seen it for sale by itself.
ZMAX Micro Lubricant simply did not work for my car. My final recommendations is to look elsewhere for fuel savings or horsepower boosters i.e., using a K&N air filter, the use of high quality fuel treatments every 3,000 miles, performance mufflers, etc. I now use Mobil 1 full synthetic oil and have never been happier with the fuel economy and the reliability of my vehicle.
Want to learn about some tips to make your vehicle last as long as possible? Click here to read my review on vehicle maintenance.
-Thanks for reading