|Name||Special Features||Size||Our Raiting|
|Power Service||For Older Engines||16 ounces||5 stars|
|Lucas LUC10013||For E-Diesels||32 ounces||5 stars|
|Stanadyne Perf.||Best All-Around||16 ounces||4.5 stars|
|Red Line 70802||Best All-Around||12 ounces||4 stars|
|Liqui Moly 2002||For Hi-Test||300 ml||4.5 stars|
If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you may wish to consider supplementing with a diesel fuel additive. Best diesel fuel additives can resolve these issues and more.
All normally contain some type of lubricant, with varying degrees of lubricity. Lubricity and cleaning are the main two benefits of most diesel fuel additives, resolving common problems associated with today’s low-sulfur diesel fuels. Some cleaning agents, though, such as solvents that utilize alcohol, can damage your engine’s components.
With so many products on the market, how do you know which diesel additive is best in 2018? What does an additive do, and what should consumers look for in these types of products?
Best Diesel Fuel Additives Reviews 2020
Through our verified research and comparisons, we have the answers to these questions and have provided the below best diesel fuel additive reviews and recommendations. Additionally, we have included an explanation of why you should use a diesel fuel additive and what to look for in one. Armed with this information, you will be better able to choose the best diesel fuel additive for your vehicle, region, and budget.
Diesel fuel additives were ranked according to overall function and formula, affordability, and ease of use. Our favorites clean, lubricate, and protect while improving horsepower, torque, and throttle response in a variety of diesel engine types. Our number one pick even works in cold weather.
The very best diesel fuel additives remove water from the diesel fuel and contain no alcohols or solvents. They also increase cetane rating, providing more efficient fuel consumption.
Both older and newer engines benefit from adding a diesel fuel additive to the fuel tank. Some are needed on every fill-up, while some are needed only every few months. Read on to learn more and to see our Top 5 picks for Best Diesel Fuel Additives.
Power Service Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive: Best Diesel Additive for Older Engines, HPFPs
This product is our number-one pick for best all-around diesel fuel additive. Sold as a lubricant and performance improver, Power Service Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive cleans and lubricates injectors and components, boosts the cetane number of diesel fuel, and improves fuel combustion.
This Max HP Formula restores lost power, smooths rough-running engines and improves fuel economy up to 8%.
Older engines benefit most from the fuel combustion improvements this product provides. In newer vehicles, those equipped with high-pressure fuel pumps (HPFPs) benefit most.
In both older and newer engines, users report improvements in how quickly the vehicle responds to request for acceleration (throttle response). Formulated with powerful cleaning agents, Power Service Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive also decreases emissions and prolongs the life of fuel injector components.
Power Service Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive is best suited for older engines producing high emissions and high-pressure fuel pump systems with excessive deposit buildup.
Power Service Diesel Kleen can be used year-around, but it is not a diesel fuel
winterizer or antigel. When winter temperatures drop below + 30°F. use Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost (in the white bottle) to provide maximum winter protection for your diesel engine.
Lucas Fuel Treatment – Best Additive for E-Diesels
This product is our second pick for best all-around diesel fuel additive. Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment is mainly a preventative additive, rather than a performance improver. This diesel additive contains mild detergents to clean minor buildups of sulfur, carbon, and moisture.
Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment protects and cleans carburetors, fuel pumps, fuel injectors, upper piston rings, and upper valves, providing greater compression. It also prevents gumming from the use of ethanol-diesel (e-diesel) fuel blends.
This product will not work as effectively if excessive buildups of sulfur, carbon, and moisture or excessive gumming are present.
You only need a small amount (3-4 ounces per 10 gallons of fuel), but its efficiency is offset by its relatively low potency, so it may take several uses to see the full benefits.
Liqui Moly Super Diesel Additive: Best Diesel Additive for Hi-Test and Decommissioned Vehicles
Liqui Moly 2002 Super Diesel Additive clears dirty fuel injectors, cleaning and lubricating the entire fuel system. This product is best used for preventative maintenance, as its use does not provide any appreciable improvements in horsepower, torque, or the fuel economy.
This product is safe for all diesel engines and can be used with e-diesel and biodiesel fuels. It is also safe for turbochargers and modern high-pressure engines.
Liqui Moly 2002 Super Diesel Additive is best suited for hi-test diesel engines and older engines that have been inactive or stored in extreme weather for long periods.
Red Line Plus Diesel Fuel Additive Treatment – Best All-Around Diesel Additive
Red Line 70802 85 Plus Diesel Fuel Additive Treatment resolves fuel injector clogging, cleaning all components for better injector spraying. It also cleans and lubricates cylinder walls, compression rings and their surrounding areas, and high-pressure pumps, providing increased power to any type of diesel vehicle.
This additive treats buildups gradually. If injectors are clogged, mileage improvements may only be noticeable after several applications.
Stanadyne Performance Formula: Best All-Around Diesel Additive
This additive has been approved by many major original equipment manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Navistar, and Deere. This is an all-season diesel fuel additive that cleans and de-gunks even after just one use.
Stanadyne is also a well-known fuel injection technology manufacturer, so they know just what a fuel injection system needs. Stanadyne’s Performance Formula diesel additive cleans, lubricates, and protects any type of diesel fuel injection system, even in cold climates. It is specially formulated for use in ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels and is suitable for both older and newer vehicles.
While this product does not prevent fuel pumps and lines from freezing in the winter, it does lower the gel point of diesel fuel in winter or cold-weather climates to prevent gelling of the fuel.
Stanadyne Performance Formula is best suited for those looking to improve fuel economy while cleaning heavy deposits and maximizing the life of fuel system components.
A diesel fuel additive can address many of the problems associated with today’s low-sulfur diesel fuel blends. Historically, the fuel acted as a lubricant. Due to environmental concerns and regulatory restrictions, though, today’s diesel fuel blends lack the lubricating properties that they used to have.
E-diesels and biodiesels, especially, benefit from an e-diesel- or biodiesel-compatible fuel additive. E-diesels contain an alcohol called ethanol that can damage engine system components without sufficient lubrication. Biodiesels benefit from additives that remove water, as these types of diesel fuels attract more water than standard diesel fuels.
Diesel fuel additives also clean fuel systems, some improving the power and performance of the engine. In addition to lubricity and water-removing capabilities, any improvements in either performance or power will depend upon the strength and quality of the detergents used. A Cummins L-10 Superior ranking is the highest standard detergent rating for diesel fuel additive detergent quality, safety, and cleaning ability.
Many diesel additives also raise the cetane number of diesel fuel, resulting in better combustion and greater fuel efficiency. The degree to which fuel efficiency is improved, though, depends upon several factors, including the type of diesel to which it is being added. Having a diesel fuel additive on hand while traveling is recommended as the fuel with your desired cetane rating may not be available in all areas.
Improved lubricity helps prevent wear on the components that make up your fuel injection system. Lubricated fuel pumps prevent and resolve many causes of clicking, ticking, squeaking, and choking. Lubricity will also help engines run smoother, longer, and will reduce maintenance frequency and associated costs.
Improved lubricity also assists in starting, helps to reduce smoke emissions, and prevents leakage in the fuel system. It also helps the fuel system to run more efficiently while increasing power and fuel efficiency.
Lubricating the upper end of the engine is especially important when using e-diesel fuel. Although ethanol-blended fuels contain emulsifiers that act as lubricants, extra lubricity is recommended due to ethanol being a type of engine-damaging alcohol.
Cleans Fuel System for Less Maintenance, Reduced Emissions, Improved Power
Most diesel fuel additives contain detergents that clear gunk from fuel injectors. They also keep fuel injectors clean. Fuel systems containing heavy deposits will need several applications of most additives for maximum benefit. Additives that clean fuel injectors prevent you from having to do it manually or having to have them flushed at the dealer or local mechanic shop.
Along with lubricity, additives with cleaners will reduce smoke and particulate matter emissions from diesel engines. Many diesel drivers opt to use a performance diesel additive before smog tests.
Depending on the strength of the detergent used and how many times you have used certain additives, a cleaner fuel system will also result in improved torque and horsepower.
Better Fuel Consumption, Faster Starts, Smoother Engines
Diesel additives can raise the cetane number of diesel fuel, which is the diesel-equivalent of octane in gasoline. A higher cetane number provides for quicker ignition and more complete fuel consumption, which improves power and fuel economy.
How much the cetane number is raised depends upon the base fuel blend as much as it depends on the additive. Regardless of the base blend, any increase in cetane will improve gas mileage to some degree.
Some users may notice a slight drop in mpg upon first use of certain fuel additives, and then notice that mpg gradually goes back to normal before improving. This is likely due to excessive buildup of engine deposits. As the product is consistently used and the buildup is cleared more, improvements in mpg should become more apparent.
The improved cetane rating achieved using diesel additives can also provide for faster cold starts and reduced power lags. Most additives improve combustion, which not only results in better mpg but also in better engine starts and a smoother-running engine, often reducing engine noise. Note that not all diesel fuel additives appreciably improve combustion or fuel economy and that both depend upon many factors other than fuel blend or additive used.
What to Look for in a Diesel Fuel Additive
Not all diesel fuel additives are created equal, as evidenced by our comparisons above. While they all clean fuel injector components to some degree, some contain alcohols as part of their solvent, and some have no water-removing capabilities. The best diesel fuel additives contain no alcohol, and most do remove water.
You should also ensure that your additive is suitable for use in your diesel engine type and with the type of diesel fuel you are using. Also, look for an additive that stabilizes fuel. Finally, your diesel additive should add to your mpg, not only from its cleaning effect, but by increasing your fuel’s cetane number.
When shopping for a diesel fuel additive, ensure the one you choose contains no alcohol. Some additives use alcohol as part of the solvent, and then use the solvent as a cleaner. Choose additives with detergents instead of solvents. Alcohols in these solvents can cause premature failure of upper engine parts, harming seals and o-rings. At the very least, they can affect compression.
A good diesel additive should remove water, too, through either emulsifiers and dispersants or demulsifiers. Which technique is better is a subject of much discussion and usually boils down to personal opinion and preference.
All diesel contains a small amount of water, mostly due to diesel’s hygroscopic properties, meaning, it attracts water. Most of the water in diesel fuel comes from the atmosphere, but some water accumulates during transport, as fuel tankers often transport both gasoline (which contains water in its blends) and diesel fuel in the same tanks.
Water can cause a formation of filter-plugging ice crystals in cold weather, as well as corrosion and microbial contaminant growth. Look for a diesel fuel additive that will prevent these issues through water removal.
Some additives will cause corrosion in certain engine parts. The best formulas include a corrosion preventative. In addition to the other benefits of the diesel additive, those with a corrosion inhibitor help to prevent rust and corroding of internal engine components.
When an additive contains a fuel stabilizer, it preserves fuel freshness, protecting against gummy formations that are caused by oxidation of the fuel. This is an especially important quality to look for in an additive if you plan on storing fuel or if your equipment will be fueled and stored for extended periods of non-use.
Raising the cetane number of your fuel will help it to burn more efficiently and more completely (improved combustibility). Cleaning agents in diesel additives that clean enough to improve mpg will increase fuel efficiency but raising the cetane number will increase it the most and offer the most appreciable improvement in efficiency.
Though some diesel types contain added lubricants (e-diesels), any diesel engine can benefit from the addition of a diesel fuel additive such as the ones described herein. Any of the top five that we have reviewed are effective cleaners without the use of solvents that contain engine-damaging alcohols.
Many additives will improve mileage to the degree that the product cost is outweighed by fuel economy improvements alone. At the very least, a good diesel fuel additive can save you money in the long run, keeping your machine or vehicle out of the shop longer.