Do Fuel Additives Work?

It can be difficult to know how effective fuel additives truly are, especially considering some of the marketing out there which would have you believe one drop will solve all of your engine’s problems.

Although this may not be true, there are certainly some benefits to using fuel additives, the majority of which we’ll explore in this article.

Fuel additives

What Are Fuel Additives?

Fuel additives are available for both petrol and diesel engines, and are simply added to your fuel tank after filling up. The additives themselves claim to benefit your vehicle in numerous ways, from cleaning carburettors, injectors and intake valves, to keeping your fuel system free from excess water. In layman’s terms, fuel additives promise better fuel economy, better performance, lower emissions and a prolonged engine life. Fairly big claims, then.

Different Types of Fuel Additives

As you can imagine, there isn’t really a catch-all, wonder additive that can solve all of your car’s problems. As such, if you are looking to fix a specific problem with your engine, then you are going to have to hunt for the correct additive. Here are some of the most common additives:

  • Fuel stabilisers help keep your engine ticking over during long periods of disuse, when your car is in storage, for example.
  • Fuel injector cleaners protect your fuel injector from the gumming properties of ethanol, something which is especially useful in cold weather.
  • Anti-gel diesel additives unclog diesel fuel filters which, again, can be particularly useful in cold weather.


So, do they really work?

While there are many additives out there that could come good on their promise, there are some that you should steer clear from. Namely: additives which claim to improve fuel efficiency. There have been numerous tests on such additives, none of which have even remotely suggested a link between their usage and a better fuel economy.

What about the other forms of additives? Well, while they’ll certainly perform better than the aforementioned economy-enhancers, their impact may still be tenuous. That said, if you are going to put your car into storage, there’s no harm in adding a fuel stabiliser to try and avoid any engine corrosion – you might be pleasantly surprised when you finally come round to starting it again!

In a similar vein, if you think (or have been told) that your fuel injector needs cleaning, then adding the corresponding additive to your tank could well do the trick, just don’t expect a major boost in performance once you’ve done so.

Auto Exhausts & Tyres offer the highest standards at the greatest prices when it comes to servicing your car. Be it a full car service or a shorter interim one, our fully trained and experienced mechanics will ensure your car is in the best shape and up to scratch with industry regulations. For more information, or to book a car service at our garage in Lincoln, contact our friendly team today.