Over the years, diesel fuel has been the leading choice in the industry. From powering heavy-duty diesel engines, pieces of machinery and automobiles, the fuel economy relies on diesel for its wide range of performance, efficiency and safety features. But with the rise of the cost of most commodities such as food, utility accompanied by the rising asking price for the fuel products, many consumers took the matter into their hand to find ways in improving fuel efficiency and mileage of their vehicles. Utilizing additives in diesel fuel has been seen as a very helpful solution to rectify the problem.
Within this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about diesel fuel additives including a detailed review of the best fuel additives in the market.
- Here are the top 6 best diesel fuel additive
- 1. Stanadyne Performance Formula | Best cetane improver
- 2. STA-BIL (22275) 360° Performance | Best stabilizer additive
- 3. Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment | Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
- 4. Howes Lubricator 103060 Diesel Treat | Best Anti-gel Additive
- 5. Opti-Lube XPD Diesel Fuel Additive | Best lubricity and stabilize improver
- 6. FPPF 00119 Killem Biocide | Best disinfectant additive
- What is a diesel fuel additive?
- Diesel needs additives to enhance its properties.
- How do all of these relate to a vehicle’s performance?
- More Reason to Add Additives to your Diesel: It’s environmentally friendly!
- There are times, however, that aftermarket diesel additives become an issue.
- Do also remember that there are no all-in-one additives.
- Our Pick for the Overall Best Diesel Fuel Additive
Here are the top 6 best diesel fuel additive
Some aftermarket additives may have impressive marketing claims that are often too good to be true, especially that no organization oversees the performance and marketing claims of diesel additives. In some cases, the commercial additives fail to function as it claims. There are still, however, the best diesel fuel additive that is manufactured with quality standards and mostly comes from reputable fuel marketers.
A careful research about what’s the best fuel additive out in the market is, therefore a necessity. But it doesn’t end there as you also have to choose according to your car needs as well as your preference. All of these are considerations that we have already done for the sake of your end. And because there is no ‘catch-all’ when it comes to additives, we have also included what each product is best for.
1. Stanadyne Performance Formula | Best cetane improver
Nearly all marketers claim an increase in power while saving fuel consumption up to 10 percent. However, Stanadyne is one of the very few brands that deliver as it claims. Each 8-ounce bottle of Stanadyne Performance Formula will treat 30 gallons of diesel fuel to up your cetane rating to 5 points, improve horsepower, acceleration, and torque. Independent testing has proven an almost 4 percent MPG gains — all while reducing harmful smoke emissions.
Stanadyne Diesel Fuel additive is one of America’s leading brands and is approved by most big motor companies such as General Motors, Ford, John Deere, Navistar and more. Besides being a performance-enhancing additive, Stanadyne Performance Formula has a blend of detergent and lubricants, blended to tackle some of the diesel issues such as gelling, wear and tear as well as deposits and buildup.
Diesel and Gasoline Fuel Additives
- Provides protection all-season
- A trusted brand by big motor companies
- Increases horsepower performance
- An impressive increase in fuel economy
- Easier starting and lesser engine noise
- Improves air quality by reducing emissions
- Filter/ separator friendly
- Free of alcohol and other harmful solvents
- Won’t cause negative effects in the case of double-dosing
- Results are deemed gradual and not immediate
- Doesn’t pour quite as easily
2. STA-BIL (22275) 360° Performance | Best stabilizer additive
This fuel stabilizer is the answer to most of your engine woes; from corrosion and water-related degradation, cleaning deposits down its primary function of maintaining the freshness of the fuel for up to 12 months. With the aid of its ethanol treatment, it allows the engine to completely bust the fuel whilst reducing emission and maximizing engine performance.
What gives this additive an edge among its stabilizer counterparts is its vapor technology which protects internal and external engine parts. Use it with every diesel fill up for a smoother and cleaner ride. Its best for your engine but can keep heavy types of machinery such as marine and agricultural engines gearing.
- America’s leading choice for ethanol treatment
- Strips away gum, varnish, and carbon buildup
- Keeps engine free of corrosion and ethanol-related damage
- Prevents water- microbes from occurring
- Cleaner fuel system
- Maintains fuel properties for up to 12 months
- Doesn’t function to add extra power to your engine
- Results may not be immediate
3. Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment | Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
The treatment uses a proprietary blend of additives and oil that creates an effective detergent formula to clean the fuel system of deposits and possible contaminants. Then it goes on to lubricate fuel injectors and its unit, decreasing the amount of wear and scarring. If you are to listen to most of its users’ claims, Lucas 10013 will give you a smoother glide and a noticeable improvement in mileage.
Another of its notable function is the neutralization of sulfur content. This move is aimed at reducing harmful exhaust emissions by diesel engines to lessen air pollution. The better news is, Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment is both for diesel and gasoline engines!
- Prolongs the usage of injectors, pumps and other engine components
- Prevents sulfur from accumulating
- Formulated for both diesel and gasoline-powered engines
- Will lasts you at least 16 gallons of fuel
- Lower diesel fumes
- Boosts cetane rating
- Not ideal for bigger fuel tanks
- Doesn’t have measuring tools that could have mediated measuring issues experienced by some
4. Howes Lubricator 103060 Diesel Treat | Best Anti-gel Additive
With fall and winter coming up, use this treatment by Howes to prevent your fuel from gelling in cold. Howes’ anti-gel additive can lower the cold filter plugging to an average of 20 degrees, providing superior cold-weather protection as compared to those which are kerosene blends.
It’s a beast on cold weathers but you can also rely on Howes all year round to protect your engine from issues stemming from Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), one of which is the amount of wear that occurs between your engine’s metal parts. At the same time, it also compensates for the loss of lubricity while displacing water out of the fuel. This results in enhanced combustion, engine power and better miles per gallon (MPG)
- Prevents diesel from solidifying
- Safely dispels water from diesel
- Less tear on metal-to-metal components
- Increases power and fuel economy
- Decreases harmful fumes and rough idle
- Formulated without alcohol and other harmful solvents
- Tailor to the needs of ULSD and biodiesels
- MPG increase may not extend to heavy-duty engines
- Not a super-concentrated cleaner
5. Opti-Lube XPD Diesel Fuel Additive | Best lubricity and stabilize improver
Opti-lube has some of the great selection of diesel fuel additives for your car needs. The XPD Diesel Fuel additive is among their most-sought additives, especially by professional truckers and diesel equipment owners. And it’s easy to see why, besides the gallon packaging that easily fills up large vehicle tank, the fuel additive is unmatched when it comes to its lubricity performance, boosting cetane rating up to 3 points.
It’s also a favorite among fleet managers and retailers who store lots of fuel around their business property. The reason being is its outstanding stabilizing properties that double life storage of diesel. Furthermore, words of praise are also on its flow enhancing properties that keep your fuel flowing down to -10° F and anti-gel that prevents gelling even temperature down below zero.
- Top-rated for its exceptional lubrication
- Double storage life of diesel
- Improved water separation
- Enhances power
- Clean injectors and melts heavy build-ups
- Compatible with all emission system
- Not the most budget-friendly
- Doesn’t improve fuel economy to a great extent
6. FPPF 00119 Killem Biocide | Best disinfectant additive
If your concern is those filthy sludge on your filters, then this next featured product is for you. FFPF may not be the biggest name on the list, but its outstanding biocide treatment is the strongest of its type and happens to be the only antibacterial diesel treatment approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It targets yeast, molds, bacteria and all sorts of diesel bugs alongside the waste and slime they produce, thereby keeping the fuel tank clean and keeping corrosion at bay.
Its all-around cleaning properties also get rid of excess carbon deposits while reducing exhaust gas smoke simultaneously. Each bottle of 16 oz treats 1920 fuels, that’s about 22 mm treatment for the usual 100 gallons of diesel fill-ups, increase fuel economy to an extent. The container comes with a handy measuring tool for your measuring needs.
- Sanitizes fuel tank
- Targets diesel bugs and keep them at bay
- Unblock filters and tailpipes
- All-around tank cleaner
- Prevents corrosion, deposits and exhaust gas smoke
- Equipped with handy dosing tool for more accurate measurements
- Not designed to boost or increase power
What is a diesel fuel additive?
Exactly how it sounds, a diesel fuel additive has been injected with additives. These are chemicals that have been blended in every stage of diesel making; from refinery, distribution terminal down to its aftermarket use.
Proper dosing and blending of aftermarket additives will then be done by the consumer’s end. There is a recommended amount stated in the packaging together with the instructions in blending. This needs to be followed to get the right chemical reaction and reap the benefits of the additives rather than the setbacks.
Diesel needs additives to enhance its properties.
A diesel fuel additive is more than just a cost-effective solution to the rising price of commodities. Diesel fuel itself also needs additives to protect some of its properties. This is generally true since diesel tends to go off-specification and not as highly refined as its fuel counterpart, the gasoline. To give you a better understanding of how additives are relevant to the diesel performance, here are some of the common additives and their functions.
This is the primary component used to decrease ignition delay time and enhance fuel combustion. This results in lesser smoke emissions, deposits, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
Diesel fuel systems such as the pumps and unit injectors tend to become partially lubricated. This inadequacy of fuel lubricity can lead to engine failure and premature fuel pump and injector wear. Fuel additives such as the lubricity improvers make up for the lubricity requirements. An example of these is the octane boosters that protects valves seats with the use of their lubricants, keeping wear at bay while reducing maintenance costs.
Diesel fuel likely develops quality issues since its normally kept for quite a period of time, from the time it is refined down to the consumption. Degradation, oxidization and breaking down are the relative phenomenon. This manifests in the fuel system as varnishes that cause scoring to your engine’s moving parts. A quality stabilizing additive keeps your fuel fresh and prevents the formation of gums caused by oxidation, dramatically decreasing engine wear.
Fuel System Detergents
Since diesel is an organic substance and absorbs air, it has the potential to accumulate yields, molds, and bacteria or those infamous diesel bugs and deposits. Derived from ammonia, the detergent additive is used to clean diesel-fuel deposits and sludgy filters and prevent them from further occurring.
This treatment is aimed to target those yeasts, bacteria and other microorganisms that lingers on fuel. Recommended times of usage, however, should be strictly followed as bacteria may become resistant to frequent exposure.
Diesel fuel naturally contains water which helps condensation in the fuel tank and retains fuel temperature. Water, however, can wreak havoc to the engine; it consists of dissolved salt more than enough to form crystallization inside the fuel injector and ample opportunity to cause rust and corrosion. Corrosion inhibitors are chemical compounds that may be in the form of metal and alloy. When added to the fuel, corrosion inhibitors decrease the corrosion rate and prevents deposit buildup inside the fuel injector.
As you may have already guessed, these additives work to reduce diesel-related deposits. When this additive treatment is properly blended it will give engine different benefits such as cleaner intake and exhaust valves, more power to the piston strokes, keep EGR free from buildups, reduce regeneration frequency, extend the life of entire exhaust among many others.
Anti-gel Additives or Cold Flow Improvers
In cold temperatures, diesel can become gelatinous and may block pipes and filters, an incident that is more apparent during cold winter months. Some additives help eliminate hard starting and improve diesel pour point on low-temperature settings. It also dual functions to unclog diesel fuel filters.
How do all of these relate to a vehicle’s performance?
The additives give you the assurance that your engine is burning that diesel fuel in the best productive manner possible. Moreover, it safeguards your engine from undesirable elements to keep your engine performing at its best. Here’s a sum-up of the benefits of fuel additives to your engine.
- Mitigates the effect of sludge and fuel contaminants
- Strips engine of deposits and varnish
- Power up your vehicle’s engine
- Better engine starting and smooth running
- Reduced engine noise
- Cleans the injection system to prevent rust and corrosion
- Safeguards engine from low sulfur that contributes to wear
- Protect engine components from extreme weather conditions
- Prevents water loss from your fuel
More Reason to Add Additives to your Diesel: It’s environmentally friendly!
Every time diesel engines are thrown into a conversation, most people would probably imagine a black smoke belching out of the tailpipe. Indeed, diesel fuel when used on diesel engines generate nitrogen compounds and particulate matter that is not only disastrous to the environment but also hazardous on humans with frequent exposure, giving diesel a bad reputation when it comes to health.
Another benefit of fuel additives is it reduces the number of carbon emissions discharged by a vehicle as they burn diesel fuel. The mechanism is thought to have something to do with additives altering ignition delay as well as modifying engine heat-release pattern to lessen the release of those dreadful unburned hydrocarbon particulates.
There are times, however, that aftermarket diesel additives become an issue.
As mentioned, end-users have the responsibility of mixing and blending diesel fuel additives. This is a critical process and users should be cautious of how much amount they are putting as well as the commercial application. It is then but a necessity to follow the manufacturer’s recommended amount and dosages, as well as the instructions because mishandling and improper pouring practices, could result in setbacks and negative consequences, particularly on the engine.
To make the most out of your additives and lessen the likelihood of setbacks, here are the common mistakes that users normally make that you should watch out for.
Malpractice 1: Overtreating Your Diesel fuel with Additives
There is a misconception that ‘more is better’ when it comes to utilizing diesel additives especially when the blend is not thoroughly dispersed. However, extreme diesel additive treatment that is not in accordance with the supplier’s recommended dosage may result in poor filterability. If you struggle with mixing and dispersing the additive then you may find injecting into the fuel more convenient rather than blending it. For the quickest mixture, inject the additives while you are filling up your tank with diesel fuel to ensure a proper mixture.
It’s also worth note-taking that diesel from a reliable source may already contain additives added in the refining process. A reputable manufacturer that has tested the fuel chemistry and tank conditions may make a recommendation through their labeling and product details about what’s the best diesel fuel additive for your car needs.
Malpractice 2. Insufficient Mixing
This is the opposite of additive over-treatment. However, not meeting the recommended dosage may not be intentional and has something to do with the way how the additive is introduced to the diesel fuel. Heavy vehicles such as a truck, for instance, may need an employment for a dedicated injection system such as additive storage stunk, fuel flow-meters, injection pumps or the like to get the required treat rate.
Generally, the best practice of adding additives, is by far, injecting into the direction of the fuel flow by using a quill at the pipe center point. Do this while the fuel is in a turbulent flow. You may also consider the use of a static mixer after the injection to lessen the inconsistent fuel flow rate and get the desired dosage.
Malpractice 3. Not properly following the blending practices at cold temperature settings
A successful mixing can be compromised as temperature decreases wherein the solubility of the additives in the fuel diminishes. It’s easy to think that by injecting more cold flow improvers in an attempt to improve the cold flow performance is the solution –another common malpractice among users. As previously stated, over the treatment of additives of any kind may result in filter blocking and cold flow enhancers are no different.
Cold flow additives must be added before the fuel reaches its ‘cloud point’ (a period where solid crystals can be first seen) to allow crystal modification and secure an optimum filterability performance. During winter months or if you live in cold places, it may also help to warm fuel (~30°C/~80°F) to permit additive dilutions. In cases wherein there are an apparent fuel temperature fluctuations, going for the diesel additives that have very dilute formulations or those that are formulated for all-season protection is your best option.
Do also remember that there are no all-in-one additives.
There is no single additive formulation that addresses all your car woes, regardless of how marketers claim theirs is a one-fix solution. There are additives that are specifically utilized for racing, others are intended for making the fuel more efficient while maximizing fuel economy, some functions to add power to your engine while some others are blended to tackle diesel engine issues.
This is to say, that it is just proper to know your car needs and also know what you want out of the product prior to purchasing additive treatments so you don’t end up paying for chemicals you don’t need. However, there are times wherein additives can dual or multi-function. Such as in the case of an all-encompassing stabilizer and conditioning additive treatment. And it is always practical to go for these versatile additive formulations that provide a wide range of benefits to get the most of what you paid for.
Our Pick for the Overall Best Diesel Fuel Additive
While it’s true that diesel fuel additives have varying benefits, its best to go for the main reason why it has been invented — to maximize fuel economy. The clear winner in this category is Stanadyne Performance Formula. Independent testing has proven that this additive by Stanadyne increased power and MPG gains whilst saving fuel up to 10 percent — now that’s a big chunk of savings.
It’s also hard to argue with its claim as the most comprehensive type because this multi-function additive isn’t just an all-around performance booster. Its blend of detergents and lubricants combined with stabilizing power of some of our recommendations provides protection from nearly all kinds of diesel-related additives.