Tuesday, 18 October 2011

XADO - Engine treatment tested and reviewed

XADO makes a lot of claims for their revitalising gels, and being inquisitive I like to test all products before agreeing to stock them at F2 Motorcycles Ltd. I am happy to admit that when I first read the claims, my initial reaction was sceptical but entertained.

The Claims.
I don’t want to just copy all the claims here so if you would like to read them in full they are on the XADO UK website which can be found here http://www.xado.co.uk/ There are more on the FAQ page and still more on the individual product descriptions.

The main claims are that by adding the revitalising gel to your normal oil the gel will work at an atomic level to restore, repair and recondition the metal parts of your engine using nano technology to produce a cermit coating 5 times harder than steel. It goes on to say that this will increase mechanical efficiency, increase the engine compression, reduce friction, reduce fuel consumption, reduce noise, and extend the service life of the engine. I am paraphrasing, but in a nutshell these are the claims.

There are some lovely illustrations of how the cermit coating will fill surface imperfections at an atomic level by bonding microscopic metal particles in your oil back to the metal and thereby rebuilding the surface structure to its original state.

My View Before Testing.
Metal is uneven at a microscopic level, this is a fact. Some of the explanation by XADO of how metals wear differs greatly from my understanding of this subject. I’m not saying they are wrong, but I do find it hard to completely understand why when two uneven surfaces slide across each other why it is the valleys (or low points) on each surface that wear out and why refilling these valleys with a substance 5 times harder than steel will restore your engine to as good or better than new. Even if the XADO explanation is correct I can not see how “revitalising” metal on a micron scale can have any measurable effect on compression. The wear present in bores, rings, and valve guides that cause loss of compression is measurable in 100th or even 10th of millimetres not 100th of micrometers which is the level XADO say it works at. Assuming it works I do not see how adding 0.00001 mm to a surface worn by 0.1 mm will help much.

Test 1.
The first test is purely subjective, no measurement, no results, but pretty much what the average buyer should experience. I simply bought some revitalising gel and added it to the Citroen Diesel I use to tow the motorcycle trailer with. This vehicle uses a 1.9 turbo Diesel engine found in many French produced cars and vans. It has just over 107000 miles recorded am I am in no way it’s first owner. Before treatment the vehicle performed well enough, a little grey smoke when it started from cold, and used a small amount of oil on longer journeys when towing. The treatment was carried out exactly as instructed on the packaging. After 1000 miles the Citroen was as reliable as ever, still smoked a little on start up and used pretty much the same amount of oil as it always had. I keep accurate records of fuel consumption, which did not change in a measurable way.  However I did feel it sounded smoother. This could be me wanting to believe it was working, or it could in fact have slightly reduced the friction in the engine.

Test 2.
The second test was made after a phone call to XADO to confirm that although the whole theory as explained on the web site relies on the gel being in the oil for a period of time, and the oil containing microscopic metal particles to be used to rebuild the original metal, it would still work if it was added to a 2-stroke. With this confirmed I treated my Jawa 350 2-stroke in accordance with the instructions for 2-strokes. This involves dispersing the gel in a little petrol and adding this to a full tank of fuel. This bike has a sidecar attached and is used daily. It had covered 9242 miles at the start of the test. To get some figures to compare I took compression readings on a cold engine. Several readings were taken and the results averaged. I used the right hand cylinder simply because it is easier to get to then the left hand cylinder, which has a sidecar in the way.
Here are the results.
At 9242 miles (zero miles of the test) the compression reading was 120 to 125 psi average on a cold engine
At 9326 miles (84 miles into the test) the compression reading was 120 to 125 psi average on a cold engine
At 9493 miles (251 miles into the test) the compression reading was 120 to 125 psi average on a cold engine
Obviously at this point the tank was empty and even at my most optimistic I would not expect XADO to carry on rebuilding my engine once it wasn’t there. Out of interest I did complete one final compression reading several hundred miles later just to be sure and the results had not changed. The bike felt the same, started the same, sounded the same. I have to conclude that there has been no measurable or noticeable effect on this machine.

Test 3.
The third test was carried out on a Ural 750 twin with a sidecar. This bike was not mine, but with the permission of the owner the treatment was added. This is a bike in almost daily use that is always serviced by me at F2 Motorcycles Ltd, using the same oils, the same settings and the same procedure every time. XADO advise treating dirty oil as it has more of the all-important microscopic metal floating about in it. But it was really important to produce results that could be replicated. If XADO is added to clean oil it may take longer to start working as it works better as the oil becomes dirty. It is supplied in a triple pack but the instructions on the site suggest that most people will be happy with the results from just one treatment. A compression reading was done immediately after our full service, which included carburettor balance, oil change and setting all valve gaps. The reading was taken cold, using the starter motor to turn the engine. The treatment was carried out after the compression reading by pre-mixing the gel with 50 ml of the synthetic oil use for the rest of the service.
Here are the results
At 26042 km (zero km of the test) the left hand cylinder compression was 95 to 105 psi averaged and the right hand cylinder was 95 to 105 psi averaged.
At 28738 km (2696 km into the test) the motorcycle was given a full service to ensure all settings were exactly as before. The left hand cylinder compression was 95 to 105 psi averaged and the right hand cylinder was 95 to 105 psi averaged.
The owner did report that he felt the motorcycle was pulling slightly harder up hills than before the XADO, so as in the case with my Citroen this could be wishful thinking or it could be that the XADO has changed the engine in a way that compression testing can not measure. However given the cost of XADO and the lack of positive results the second treatment was not carried out.

Conclusion and Comments.
I honestly would love to prove XADO lives up to all its claims. Imagine how great it would be to be able to offer our customers a magic gel that would restore their engine and give it a new life. I am only too aware that rebuilding worn engines is both time consuming and expensive. I get no pleasure at all in telling customers their engine needs to come apart and it’s going to cost real money. I was completely prepared to stock XADO if I though it would help our customers. I do stock some additives, but only ones I have tested and I have found to work. There are many testimonials on the XADO site saying this works and if you want to give it a go I do not think it will do any actual harm. If you are looking for errors in my testing you could say that I did not complete the test by adding the second and third treatment. In defence I would argue that the website repeatedly claims one treatment will often be enough and yet I found no improvement that could be measured. Don’t be fooled by the certificates from Mercedes, VW and other manufacturers found on the XADO site. These certificates are not endorsements from the manufacturers, they simply state that XADO oil products meet the minimum required standards for engine lubrication in those vehicles, but then any decent modern oil would. F2 Motorcycles Ltd will not be stocking XADO gels or other XADO products at this time.


  1. Extremely useful - exactly the sort of test I envisioned. Now I don't have to do it myself!

  2. The downside may be that one of the bases of the oil treatment is chlorine. When Rock oil did a very intensive examination of my used oil, after my trip to Mongolia in 2011 on a Ural Cross, it found that there were decreasing amounts of chlorine in the old oil. I brought 100ml of old oil back from every oil change. Rock oil told me that chlorine is not a good thing to put in engines.

  3. I use it and believe it has some benefit.

    1. As I say there does seem to be some "feel good" effect. People think it helps. See test 1 and the owners view in test 3. But I can not find any measurable effect.

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    1. Use a very good quality oil and change it often. In extreme conditions I also add Activ8 which does appear to reduce friction and heat between surfaces under extreme pressure. But really just use decent oil.