The 10 Best Diesel Additives

Updated February 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you want to prolong the life of your diesel-powered vehicle, you'll want to consider these fuel additives. The options on this list can protect against corrosion; prevent bacterial, microbial, and yeast growth; and help to lubricate engine components, leading to higher compression ratios for greater efficiency and power. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best diesel additive on Amazon.

10. Hammonds Biobor JF

Hammonds Biobor JF not only eliminates the microbial growth that can clog filters and corrode the metal of a vehicle's engine systems, but also helps lubricate injectors and pumps. It comes in bottles ranging from four ounces to one gallon in size.
  • recommended by engine manufacturers
  • very concentrated formula
  • doesn't improve mpg very much
Brand Hammonds
Model BB16EZ01US
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Liqui Moly Super Diesel

If you own a European-made vehicle, then Liqui Moly Super Diesel is definitely worth considering. Made by a German company, it's a smart bet to use in Mercedes, BMWs, and the like, and, surprisingly, is rather affordable as well.
  • can be used in turbocharged cars
  • makes engines run quieter
  • labels are in german
Brand Liqui Moly
Model 2002
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

8. Hot Shots Secret Extreme Clean & Boost

Hot Shots Secret Extreme Clean & Boost coats your car or truck's fuel tank and lines completely, shielding them against rust and other damage. It also helps stabilize your diesel by boosting its cetane rating, leading to faster ignition times.
  • can stop injectors from sticking
  • lessens or stops white startup smoke
  • difficult to wash off hands
Brand Hot Shot's Secret
Model P040464Z
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Sta-Bil Stabilizer

Sta-Bil Stabilizer minimizes the kind of sludge and sediment formations that often accumulate in large trucks and storage tanks that sit for long periods of time. Additionally, it helps reduce fuel oxidation caused by thermal breakdown.
  • works with all low sulfur blends
  • available in small and large bottles
  • can prevent condensation buildup
Brand DieselPower
Model 22254
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Rev-X Distance+Boost

The Rev-X Distance+Boost is a cost-effective and comprehensive way of maintaining the health of your motor. One ounce of the formula can treat up to 25 gallons of fuel, meaning a full 16-ounce bottle will handle an impressive 400 gallons.
  • cuts down on exhaust smoke
  • improves combustion
  • helps with false check engine lights
Brand REV-X
Model DIS1601
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Red Line 85 Plus

Red Line 85 Plus helps to remove high-temperature deposits that can build up and eventually clog fuel injectors. It contains a range of beneficial ingredients, including rust preventers, fuel stabilizers, conditioners, and detergents.
  • reduces engine wear
  • winterized for cold weather use
  • bottle fits into filler necks neatly
Brand Red Line Oil
Model 70822
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Power Service 03080-06

The all-purpose Power Service 03080-06 helps address a multitude of problems facing diesel-powered vehicles, such as low cetane levels, restricted injector flow, and poor fuel economy. It's suitable for all fuel blends, including ultra low sulfur and biodiesel.
  • smooths rough-running engines
  • decreases cold start time
  • lubricating formula
Brand Power Service
Model 03080-06
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Opti-Lube XPD Improver

Compatible with all emissions systems, Opti-Lube XPD Improver simultaneously enhances lubricity and efficiency, cleans injectors, and can increase cetane by up to three points. Plus, it contains an anti-gel agent to prevent your fuel from becoming too viscous at low temps.
  • increases towing power
  • smooths engine idling
  • prevents engine corrosion
Brand Opti-Lube
Model OPT-XPD1-NA
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Lucas LUC10013

Keep your engine in tip top shape and improve your mileage with Lucas LUC10013. The formula in this affordable one-gallon jug can help neutralize any potential issues that may arise from using low-sulfur fuels, while also increasing power at the same time.
  • cleans fuel injectors
  • suitable for marine environments
  • reduces exhaust emissions
Brand Lucas
Model LUC10013
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Stanadyne Performance Formula

Stanadyne Performance Formula is like an all-inclusive spa for your vehicle's fuel system, improving power and prolonging its life at the same time. It is a top choice of both professional mechanics and at-home gear heads looking for the ultimate engine solution.
  • oem approved treatment
  • passes cummins cleanliness testing
  • designed for all-season use
Brand Stanadyne
Model 38565C
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Why You Need Additives

After bringing your car into a body shop for a full inspection and tune up, your mechanic may come to you with a list of things you can do at home, between visits, to keep your vehicle running smoothly. One thing that will probably be on that list is the use of a fuel additive.

Most car owners ignore this advice, but if you use diesel fuel it’s especially important that you listen to your mechanic. Diesel is thicker and oilier than highly refined, regular gasoline, and for this reason it’s more prone to having its properties change over time. Another reason diesel fuel is sensitive to change is that it’s usually stored for long periods of time, whereas regular gasoline typically burns off much more quickly.

Fuel additives – whether for diesel or regular gasoline – improve the quality and efficiency of your fuel. Some additives boost the octane level in your fuel, making less go a long way. This means you don’t have to fill up as often, which can save you money. Other additives focus on engine maintenance by preventing the accumulation of deposits. When sludge and other contaminants build up in your engine, it has to work harder to function, and that can shorten the life of your car.

Cold flow improvers are especially important for diesel fuel if you store it in the winter because it gels up under cold temperatures. A cold flow improver prevents this from happening and preserves your fuel for later use. Diesel Exhaust Fluid is another product that anybody driving a diesel car should know about. DEF goes into the diesel exhaust gas stream and breaks up nitrogen-oxygen compounds. When DEF is low, a car might slow down to as little as five miles per hour.

How Diesel And Gasoline Differ

Diesel and gasoline both start out as crude oil that’s been pulled from the earth, but once they’re separated at refineries, they go through different processes.

Gasoline and diesel engines are both internal combustion engines, meaning they both convert fuel into energy through a series of tiny explosions. It’s how these explosions occur that makes the two fuels different, and also what makes diesel more efficient. In a gasoline engine, the combustion is spurred on by spark plugs; in a diesel engine, air is compressed first and then fuel is injected. Since air heats up when it’s compressed, the fuel ignites when it enters. Diesel also has a lower autoignition temperature than gasoline does, so it ignites quicker.

Both diesel and gasoline engines use a four-stroke combustion cycle. The first stroke takes place when the intake valve opens, which allows air to enter the chamber, that in turn causes the piston to go down. The second stroke initiates when the piston moves back up and compresses the air. When the piston reaches the top, fuel injects into the combustion chamber and sends the piston back down to create exhaust; that's the third stroke. The final stroke sends out that created exhaust. That's what happens when you start a car.

The difference between diesel and gasoline engines is that one uses spark plugs to ignite the fuel, and the other only requires a heat source.

Recent Improvements In Diesel Products

Cars that produce a lot of exhaust are usually blamed for creating high levels of smog in cities, and those cars are often diesel engine vehicles. But diesel cars have come a long way since their popularity during the 1970s fuel crisis. When diesel cars first premiered, consumers were displeased by their noisy engines, and put off by the amount of black particles that can emit out of the exhaust pipe. This left diesel cars with a bad reputation that they’re still recovering from, but with the advancements of fuel additives, they have become more well-received in recent years.

In the last two decades, the government has required that the manufacturers of diesel engines include emissions control equipment that keeps pollutants from entering the atmosphere. Most newer diesel engines have filters that trap and contain the black smoke you used to see swirling around cars. Some models have catalytic converters that burn soot as it's made, reducing carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons by nearly 90 percent.

Diesel fuel now is better refined and made with fewer dangerous emissions, and diesel engines are changing to work in conjunction with cleaner fuel. There are even advanced computers that monitor fuel combustion in injection devices to further reduce emissions. Ultimately, the proper use of additives can help these improvements do their job, since they’re designed with a well-maintained diesel engine in mind.


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Last updated on February 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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