What Is The Best Diesel Fuel Additive?

If you own a diesel car or truck, I’m betting that you use a diesel fuel additive regularly.

Most people who own gasoline engines don’t use a fuel additive. But nearly all diesel engine owners do.

Ask any fleet trucking company and you will find that they regularly use some type of fuel additive.

Why is this?

Diesel fuels lack sulfur. It’s a compound in gasoline that cleans and lubricates engine parts. To make up for this, most drivers use a diesel fuel additive.

I do know a few diesel owners who say they use additives as a fuel stabilizer. Others want to optimize the combustion process by adding cetane.

One thing everyone counts on when it comes to a fuel additive for diesel engines:

More horsepower and a cleaner running engine.

Let’s look at some of the diesel fuel additives on the market today.

Best Overall

LUCAS Fuel Treatment

Lucas is a big name in auto maintenance. It’s no wonder that you find them making a fuel additive.

This product is made in the USA which gives it top honors in my book. This one-gallon size will treat more than 400 gallons of diesel fuel.

Lucas states this fuel additive will clean and lubricate the entire fuel system. It neutralizes low sulfur problems in diesel fuel and increases the life of pumps and injectors.

This product works for older carburetor models and for fuel injected vehicles.

It contains a combination of detergents and super slick oils that prevent the formation of carbon. They allow the motor to operate at its best capacity.

A very large majority of users found that this fuel additive gave them better MPG and easier starting in the winter. The most common reaction: I can’t believe the difference this made.

There are a few users who complained that they saw no difference in how their engine operated. Still some who didn’t like using such a large bottle.

If you own a diesel engine, you would be doing yourself a huge favor in giving this product a try.

I don’t own a diesel, but I tried this fuel treatment in my old Nissan. I also saw a small bit of an improvement in gas mileage as well as a quieter running engine.

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Best Diesel Fuel Additive for a Powerstroke

Genuine Ford PM-22-A Cetane Booster

I worked for Ford for about a decade. Mechanics would always add a few ounces of this to the gas tank when a Power stroke Ford was brought in with performance issues.

Do you live in a region where it frequently goes below zero in the winter? If so, you will want to use this product to prevent diesel fuel from turning into a gel and clogging everything in the fuel system.

This will improve your overall MPG a bit. But more importantly, you will feel a big difference in how your Powerstroke runs. Your dealer most likely recommended this product to you, but you may have thought this was hype on their part.

It’s not.

Yes, there are other brands of diesel fuel additives that contain cetane.

Most users rave about this product and how they have tried other brands, but nothing comes close. This is another product where you will have trouble finding users who didn’t like it. I’m betting that most of these users live in warm winter climates.

The major complaint I found was that some users received bottles that were leaking.

Just four ounces per tank is all you need. Most users feel a difference within one tankful.

If you own a Ford Powerstroke diesel, try one bottle of this additive and see what it can do for your truck.

You can thank me later.

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Best Diesel Fuel Additive for a VW TDI

This diesel fuel additive contains Cetane to help clean and lubricate the entire fuel system. This product should reduce wear and prevent injector needles from seizing up.

Liqui Moly works for all types of diesel engines, including construction machinery and your VW TDI of course.

I like Liqui Moly 2002 for VW’s since it’s specifically for German made diesels. This doesn’t mean it won’t work in other diesels. But whenever something is designed for and tested on a particular make of engine, it only makes sense it would be the best product to use.

This bottle is the perfect size for VW TDI’s so all you need to do is squeeze it in the tank. Don’t be surprised if you see some foam on the top of the gasoline. This is normal for fuel additives.

It’s been said that the high pressure fuel pumps in VW motors are prone to early failure. That may be due to a lack of lubricant in US diesel fuel.

If you own a VW TDI, think of this as some darn cheap insurance against injector or fuel pump failure. Even if you don’t notice a difference in the way your VW runs after using this, just focus on all the money you are most likely saving in future repair bills.

You will find multiple users who claim that this product is what you need to improve US diesel fuel. Some users say that this product caused their “Check Engine” lights to go out and allowed their vehicle to pass a smog inspection.

Liqui Moly doesn’t claim that it will do either of those things, but I am a big believer in cheap insurance! What have you got to lose?

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Best Diesel Fuel Additive for a Cummins

Power Service Diesel Kleen

You might notice right off the bat that this product costs more than the others. This bottle will treat 40 gallons. But when you consider the price of repairs, this suddenly seems like a great alternative.

Power Service Diesel will clean dirty injectors and prevent them from sticking. The company states that this product removes internal and external deposits on injectors and will boost the cetane level of the fuel by at least 6 numbers.

While some fuel additives are more of a cheap insurance option or an ongoing maintenance type of product, this is designed to clean up large motors that are having issues, such as Cummins motors.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use this regularly.

The difference between this and other diesel fuel additives is that this product is not designed to prevent the winter gelling of diesel fuel. This company does offer a product that will do this, it has nearly the same name but is sold in a white plastic bottle.

If you live or drive in warm winter areas, this product will work just fine. If you live in areas where the temps regularly fall below freezing, you will need to change to the white bottle.

Most users rave that this product cleaned up their injectors and had their diesel motor running like a champ after just one bottle. One user claims his mileage increased from 4.7 MPG to 7.2 MPG after two bottles. Now that is a real testimonial to how powerful this product is!

I did find several users who said that they felt no difference in the way their engine ran nor did they notice any major improvement in MPG as the one user stated.

For those who operate Cummins or other big diesel motors, this product should make a remarkable difference in how your rig runs.

Chances are that no one else drives your rig but you. So you owe it to yourself and your motor to give this a try and see what it does for you!

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Best Diesel Fuel Additive for Removing Water

STA-BIL Diesel Fuel Stabilizer

I can remember my grandfather adding some Sta-Bil brand fuel additive to his tractor and extra gas cans every fall. He told me that this was the best gas stabilizer on the market, and he was probably right.

STA-BIL also makes a fuel stabilizer for diesel engines. Diesel fuel is notorious for absorbing water from the atmosphere. If you live or drive in very humid conditions or if you plan on storing diesel fuel over the winter, you would be doing yourself (and your motor, of course) a big favor by adding some of this to your fuel.

This product will not only keep diesel fuel stable for up to one year, but it also prevents the formation of sediment or sludge while it lubricates the entire fuel system.

That’s a big plus right there. You also only need to use one ounce per 10 gallons of fuel. This is a very cost-effective measure as well.

Let’s also keep in mind that water in any product, including diesel fuel, can grow bacteria and algae. No, I’m not kidding. If you think you don’t need this product when storing gas for the winter, think again!

One thing to note is that this product is only good for 24 months after you open it. If you open the bottle and use one ounce, then close it up for 23 months and want to use it again, it will only be good for one more month.

Be sure to write the day you open it on the bottle. There’s even a special blank spot on the label for you to do so.

Most users love this product and say that they’ve never had an issue with algae growth or corrosion because they use this regularly.

There are a few users who don’t like the design of the bottle. They say that it’s difficult to pour. A few others complained they didn’t notice a difference in how their motors operated.

But that’s not really what this product is for.

The STA-BIL brand has been around for at least half a century, so you know they must be doing something right!

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Do diesel fuel additives really work?

For those who understand what fuel additives are supposed to do, yes, they do work.

Diesel fuel additives don’t always improve your MPG or the way the motor runs. But they will help for some engines that have excessive deposits on the injectors or other running problems.

When you use a diesel fuel additive regularly, it WILL prevent your MPG from dropping by limiting the build up of deposits. It will also prevent the premature wear of the components in the fuel system.

How often should you add diesel fuel additive?

For the best results, use according to the manufacturer’s directions and use it with nearly every tank of gas.

Since most diesel fuel additives are designed to be more of a preventative measure than a repair measure, using the fuel additive regularly will give you the best results. Although you most likely won’t notice much of a difference.

Can you put too much diesel additive in?

Yes, you can put too much diesel additive in.

Always follow the directions on the bottle. Manufacturers go to great lengths to test their product and they know best how to dilute it and how often to use it.

Adding too much can give you an entirely new set of problems. That can include clogged up fuel filters, clogged injectors, and lower engine performance.

I know the old saying that if a little bit is good, a lot must be better. While that might work with things like coffee, this doesn’t apply to your diesel fuel additive.

Can Fuel Additives damage your engine?

When used as directed, no, diesel fuel additives won’t harm the engine.

In fact, when used properly, diesel fuel additives can help resolve many diesel engine drivability problems.

Conclusion

The truth is diesel fuel injectors make big claims.

In the same way that an expensive pair of running shoes will not make you an Olympic champion simply by wearing them, diesel fuel additives have limits to what they can do.

These fuel additives can do one thing and that’s to improve the condition of the fuel injectors.

By removing excess water and diesel engine deposits, a good diesel fuel additive can lubricate and clean the injectors. That will give your engine a longer life.

May the new information you’ve learned be of help to you and keep your diesel running longer!

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Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell

Car Fanatic. Performance Geek. Flathead lover.

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