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Diesel Fuel Additives – Are they worth adding to your tank?

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diesel fuel onlyDiesel Fuel Additives – Are they worth it?

With very little searching on the internet, it is possible to come across hundreds of adverts for people offering diesel fuel additives with supposed benefits ranging from easier start-ups to increased mileage.

There are additives for diesel fuel specifically, and those that better target petroleum. This article will focus on diesel fuel and will talk about any benefits or problems that can occur when using diesel fuel additives – whether that is on the environment, your car or your wallet.

Additives and the environment:

There are many claims that diesel fuel additives will help make any emissions caused by diesel fuel much cleaner and less harmful to the environment. Some additives are Oxygenates which may reduce the quantity of carbon monoxide emitted by your vehicle, as well as particulate matter and other oxides. This benefit comes from a more complete combustion occurring in the vehicle’s engine.

Additives as cleaners or stabilisers:

Diesel fuel has been known to cause the build-up of carbon deposits, especially in diesel injectors. Many additives work to reduce these deposits and generally clean the engine. Normally, this action is not necessary, especially not as regularly as some suppliers would recommend. Your engine is never going to be more fuel-efficient than its specification allows, so it is wise to be cautious when deciding whether to purchase diesel fuel additives.environment fuel add

Fuel stabilisers aim to keep fuel from ageing badly and going stale. Vehicle performance can be impacted by this – though it is only a concern if you use your vehicle infrequently.

Additives for improved mileage:

Diesel fuel additives often focus on improving fuel efficiency and mileage. The only time that this seems to be the case is if an inferior quality diesel fuel is being used. In these cases, adding additives that can increase the BTU (British Thermal Unit) up to the level of high quality diesel fuels may result in greater mileage. The question is – are you saving money in buying the additives to add to poorer quality fuel rather than just buying high quality fuel to begin with?

There is a lot of information on the web about Acetone being a good diesel fuel additive. It is supposed to increase fuel efficiency, engine life, performance, all whilst reducing emissions. It sounds a bit too good to be true. There are many anecdotes reviewing the use of this kind of additive – with people vouching for and against it. In some cases, it has been thought to be the cause of leaks within the fuel lines.


In Summary:

Due to the contrasting nature of diesel fuel additive reviews and information, I think it is wise to take any claims about them with a pinch of salt. It may be true that some additives have been proven to increase fuel efficiency, but the conditions under which these tests were conducted may be very different to your own circumstances.

Bear in mind that additives are not going to solve underlying problems with your vehicle that may require a trip to the mechanic or new parts. As the name suggests, diesel fuel additives are to be used (if at all) as an extra something, and not as a substitute for good care and good quality diesel fuel.