7 Best Diesel Additives | March 2017

If you want to prolong the life of your diesel-powered vehicle, you'll want to consider these diesel additives. They can protect against corrosion; bacterial, microbial, and yeast growth; and may improve fuel mileage. Skip to the best diesel additive on Amazon.
7 Best Diesel Additives | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
STA-BIL 22283 Diesel Biocide reduces the bacterial, microbial, and yeast growth that can damage diesel engines and clog fuel filters. This little bottle of additive is a great insurance policy against costly repairs.
This Hammonds Biobor JF diesel fuel treatment eliminates the microbial growth that can clog filters and corrode the metal of a vehicle's engine systems. One bottle is sufficient to treat nearly 1,300 gallons worth of fuel.
Hot Shots Clean and Boost coats your car or truck's fuel tank and lines, preventing rust and corrosion and lubricating the fuel pump and injectors. It helps remove water from the engine and lines, a wise step especially in the cold.
A bottle of Power Service 09280-06 treats your diesel-powered vehicle's fuel tank and system to a cleaning flush perfect prior to long-term storage or to use once it's time to get your vehicle running again after extended inactivity.
  • prevents fuel filter icing
  • keeps fuel fresh, clean
  • works with biodiesel and blends
Brand Power Service
Model 09280-06
Weight 5 pounds
One ounce of this REV-X Distance+ Boost formula can treat up to 25 gallons of diesel fuel, meaning a 16-ounce bottle will improve an astonishing 400 gallons. That makes this a cost-effective way to help maintain your machine.
  • improves cold starting
  • protects against corrosion
  • may improve fuel mileage
Brand REV-X Oil & Fuel Additi
Model 16oz Distance+
Weight 1.2 pounds
The Liqui Moly Super Diesel Additive is about the cheapest way you can add performance to your diesel engine while cleaning and protecting it, too. A 12-ounce bottle costs only about the price of 2.5 gallons of fuel.
  • german made formula
  • protects parts during non-operation
  • works with vehicles and machinery
Brand Liqui Moly
Model 2002
Weight 12 ounces
Hot Shot's Secret Stiction Eliminator is like an all-inclusive spa for your vehicle's diesel engine, improving power and prolonging its life at once. It is a top choice of both pro mechanics and "gear head" home enthusiasts alike.
  • removes engine deposits
  • improves oil pressure
  • reduces wear and valve noise
Brand Hot Shot's Secret
Model HSS64Z
Weight 3.8 pounds

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. If so, one thing 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 is typically used up 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 extra hard 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 (DEF) 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 said 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 less of 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: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information