The high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation methodology employed in the study of polyalkene additive compounds by atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry (API-MS) was undertaken. Both atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) were examined. APPI (including dopant-assisted APPI) was found to be an inferior ionization technique to APCI in all cases. APCI ion responses were found to be highly dependent upon the organic solvent type used in the HPLC separations. Namely, employing a water/methanol gradient in place of a water/acetonitrile or a water/acetone gradient yielded improvements in analyte ion intensities between 2.3- and 52-fold for the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) experiments. Analyte and mobile phase solvent ionization energies were found to be only partially responsible, whereas mobile phase cluster formation and hydration was also implicated. Mobile phase component modification is demonstrated to be an important consideration when developing new, or modifying existing HPLC separations for use in LC-MS experiments in order to enhance analyte sensitivity for a wide variety of common polyalkene additives.