The 10 Best Diesel Additives

Updated January 12, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Diesel Additives
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 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 to ultimately lead 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. Sta-Bil 22283

The Sta-Bil 22283 is an EPA registered biocide that reduces the kind of bacterial and yeast contaminants that can damage motors and clog fuel filters, making this little bottle a great insurance policy against costly repairs.
  • 16 ounces treats 880 gallons
  • soluble in fuel and water
  • low priced option
Model 22283
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Hammonds Biobor JF

This Hammonds Biobor JF treatment 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. One bottle is sufficient to treat nearly 1,300 gallons worth of fuel.
  • good for marine and storage tanks
  • kills in all fuel phases
  • not great for improving mileage
Brand Hammonds
Model BB16EZ01US
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Hot Shots Secret P040464Z Extreme

The Hot Shots Secret P040464Z Extreme completely coats your car or truck's fuel tank and lines, shielding them against rust and other damage. It also helps stabilize your fuel by boosting its cetane rating, leading to faster ignition times.
  • improves power and performance
  • removes water from engine systems
  • might cause knocking or other noises
Brand Hot Shot's Secret
Model P040464Z
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Liqui Moly Super Diesel

If you own a European-made car, then this Liqui Moly Super Diesel is worth considering. Made by a German company, it's probably the cheapest way you can improve the performance of your vehicle while cleaning and protecting it, too.
  • best for use in small motors
  • protects parts even at idle
  • labels are in german
Brand Liqui Moly
Model 2002
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

6. Sta-Bil 22254 Diesel Formula

The Sta-Bil 22254 Diesel Formula minimizes the kind of sludge and sediment formation that large trucks and storage tanks that sit for long periods of time often accumulate. Additionally, it helps reduce fuel oxidation caused by thermal breakdown.
  • compatible with all ulsd blends
  • also comes in 128-ounce container
  • does not treat mold and algae well
Brand DieselPower
Model 22254
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. 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.
  • improves cold starting
  • protects against corrosion
  • not for cold weather applications
Brand REV-X
Model DIS1601
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Opti-Lube XPD Improver

Compatible with all emissions systems, the 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 keep your fuel flowing down to -10° F.
  • increases towing power
  • smooths engine idle
  • gelling temp depends on base fuel
Brand Opti-Lube
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Diesel Power! 15222-6PK Complete

The Diesel Power! 15222-6PK Complete features an all-year formula that treats and conditions your engine in every season, no matter the temperature or weather. Just toss in a bottle before your next fill-up and enjoy the world of difference it can make.
  • anti-gel protection down to -40 f
  • boosts cetane ratings
  • easy-pour bottle design
Brand DieselPower
Model 15222-6PK
Weight 15.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. 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, dirty injectors, and poor fuel economy. It's suitable for all fuel blends, including ultra low sulfur and biodiesel.
  • smooths rough-running engines
  • can be used year round
  • contains slick lubricator
Brand Power Service
Model 03080-06
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Stanadyne Performance Formula

The 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
  • meets cummins cleanliness testing
  • case of twelve 16-ounce bottles
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 January 12, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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