When to Use Gasoline Additives

Gasoline additives can be an alluring, as they promise everything from more horsepower to better fuel efficiency. However, the truth is that most engines run optimally on untreated gasoline at the octane rating recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Tampering with the octane rating or chemical composition of fuel by adding gasoline additives can actually cause harm to your vehicle if you use the wrong additive or use one too often. Before dumping a gasoline additive into your tank, talk to a professional mechanic to find out how it will affect your engine.

While many gasoline additives will not significantly improve the performance of your vehicle, there are some that can be beneficial in certain situations. Below are three types of gasoline additives that, when used properly, can positively impact the performance of your vehicle.

Octane boosters

A common gasoline additive is octane booster. The octane rating given to gasoline refers to the compression point at which the gasoline will ignite. A simplified way at looking at the effects of octane ratings is this: Lower octane fuel allows the vehicle to be more fuel-efficient, while higher octane fuel allows the vehicle to function at a higher power output. For this reason, octane boosters can be used in cars that are tuned to race on a track. But octane boosters should only be used occasionally, as they can damage fuel injectors, sensors or the exhaust system if used in excess.

Fuel injector cleaners

The purpose of a fuel injector cleaner is straightforward. If your engine’s fuel injectors have become gummed up over time, fuel injector cleaner can sometimes fix the problem. This type of gasoline additive should be used only when your mechanic suspects that the fuel injectors are partially clogged.

Diesel fuel additives

There are a range of diesel fuel additives that can be used to improve the lifespan and performance of diesel engines. These engines are usually intended to function much longer than most consumer grade gasoline engines, and diesel fuel additives can help them do so. The four main types of diesel engine additives are:

  1. Engine performance additives
  2. Fuel handling additives
  3. Fuel stability additives
  4. Containment control additives

As with gasoline additives, diesel fuel additives should be used only under the guidance of a professional mechanic.

Will gasoline additives save me money?

Many people view gasoline additives as a way to save money on fuel or maintenance costs.

Guest Post by Dale

3 Responses to When to Use Gasoline Additives

  1. I never buy gas with additives. I always just get plain gas. I don’t want to damage my car if I chose the wrong stuff, so better to be safe than sorry!

  2. and don’t fall for the “high mileage” oil, regular oil changes with the manufactures recommended weight is all you should ever use

  3. I’m with Daisy. I don’t want to take a chance on damaging my car in an attempt save money and get more out of my gas!

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