Engine Servicing

Best Diesel Fuel Additive (For Your Car, SUV And Truck)

best diesel engine fuel additive
Matt Taylor
Written by Matt Taylor

Regularly adding an additive to your fuel tank is a great way of keeping your engine going for longer. The best diesel fuel additives help to reduce carbon build up in your engine while lubricating and helping the diesel to burn cleaner. 

Best Diesel Fuel Additive - The Top 5

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What Are Fuel Additives and W​​​​hat Do They Do?

There are a lot of products that fall under the fuel additive umbrella, but, for the most part, a fuel additive is something that is added to an engine in order to make its fuel in some way more effective or efficient. 

An octane booster, for example, will enhance the octane rating of a vehicle and reduce the risk of your diesel pre-igniting, thereby increasing fuel mileage. Octane boosters are almost exclusively used in performance cars and aren’t necessary for everyday engines. 

A lot of fuel additives are designed to maintain the engine rather than to increase the performance of your chosen fuel. As time wears on, your engine’s fuel injectors may become clogged by carbon deposits. This carbon buildup can cause a decrease in performance and fuel efficiency.

Other fuel additives that you may want to look into and experiment with over the coming weeks and months include upper cylinder lubricants and anti-gelling additives.

But Are They Too Good to Be True?

Rather than asking “are fuel additives too good to be true?”, you should be wondering “which fuel additives are too good to be true?” You see, fuel additives cannot simply be grouped together and labeled as either working or not working. Like any other product, there are good fuel additives and not-so-good fuel additives. 

The good fuel additives generally come from recognized brands and will have been rigorously tested prior to release to ensure they are capable of everything to claim to be capable of. Their less impressive alternatives almost always make wacky promises that seem impossible to keep. They also tend to sell for significantly less than more effective fuel additives, so avoid anything with an unusually low price. 

Fuel injector cleaners and anti-gelling additives seem to have the greatest success rate, while octane boosters fail as much, if not more, than they succeed. If you’re searching for an octane booster, you need to be skeptical of grandiose claims if you are to avoid being swindled.

The Best Diesel Fuel Additives

Now that we’ve got the basics of fuel additives out of the way, we can take a look at some of the most popular fuel additives on the market. Let’s get started.

Stanadyne Performance Formula

Stanadyne Performance Formula Diesel Fuel Additive - 16 Oz. Case of 12
155 Reviews
Stanadyne Performance Formula Diesel Fuel Additive - 16 Oz. Case of 12
  • Approved by many OEMs including GM, Ford, Deere & Navistar
  • Proven to perform best in independent testing
  • The premium, all-season, all purpose diesel fuel additive, designed to tackle virtually any diesel fuel related problem.
  • Meets Cummins L10 Superior Test for cleanliness
  • Made by a fuel injection equipment manufacturer

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Stanadyne has been in the fuel additive game for over half a century. Since 1952, the brand has worked tirelessly to remain on the forefront of innovation and keep its place as one of the premier manufacturers of diesel fuel additives in the world. Stanadyne Performance Formula, the brand’s flagship product, serves as the perfect example of its unwavering dedication to quality.

Features and Specs
  • Restores horsepower
  • Increases fuel mileage up to 9.6% MPG
  • Alcohol-free to avoid corrosion
  • Minimizes engine emissions
  • Available in 8, 16, and 64 ounce bottles
  • Approved by OEMs such as Ford and Navistar

Lucas Fuel Treatment 

LUCAS LUC10013 1 Gallon (128 Ounces) Fuel Treatment
981 Reviews
LUCAS LUC10013 1 Gallon (128 Ounces) Fuel Treatment
  • Cleans and lubricates the fuel system. Neutralizes low sulfur fuel problems
  • Increases power and miles per gallon by burning excess exhaust emissions
  • Made in USA
  • Increases the life of pumps and injectors

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Lucas Oil may be relatively unknown outside dedicated auto circles, but with its consistently impressive products and remarkable determination to give America’s diesel drivers the best experience possible, it is sure to become an internationally beloved brand sooner rather than later. Lucas Fuel Treatment, although simple in both its design and packaging, is extremely effective and is a large part of why Lucas Oil is recognized as being one of the fastest growing brands of fuel additives in the world.

Features and Specs
  • Cleans and maintains fuel injectors
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Available in 5.25 ounce bottles, as well as 1 quart and 1 gallon alternatives
  • Compliant with federal limitations on sulfur content in fuel additives
  • Restores horsepower in older engines while increasing that of newer models
  • Reduces fuel consumption by burning excess exhaust emissions

Liqui Moly Super Diesel Additive

Liqui Moly 2002 Super Diesel Additive - 300 ml
69 Reviews

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I think we can all agree that Liqui Moly could have chosen a better brand name. However, it would have a pretty difficult time producing fuel additives better than its current products. Liqui Moly is one of the most popular brands of fuel additives in all of Europe and is fast establishing itself as legitimate competition for the leading brands in the United States and Canada. 

The brand manufactures motor oil for every kind of popular engine, but it is the Liqui Moly Super Diesel Additive to which diesel enthusiasts should pay the most attention.

Features and Specs
  • Rids engines of carbon deposits and prevents further build up
  • Compatible with diesel engines across-the-board
  • Effects can last up to 2000km 
  • Available in 250ml canister
  • Suitable for low-sulfur diesel fuels
  • Preserves engines during long periods of inactivity

Royal Purple Max-Tane

Royal Purple 11755 MAX TANE DIESEL 20 oz
55 Reviews
Royal Purple 11755 MAX TANE DIESEL 20 oz
  • Cleans deposits from fuel injectors, carbs, combustion chambers, intake valves deposits and piston crowns
  • Improves engine startup and reliability in both warm and cold temperature
  • Increases fuel economy by up to 10 percent
  • Improves cold flow by preventing gelling
  • Provides lubricity to entire fuel system and reduces smoke and odor

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Over the years, Royal Purple has garnered a reputation as a brand for elitist automotive snobs. Its products generally sell for double or triple the price of similar products from other brands, so car owners who must stick to a budget rarely have the opportunity to experiment with the Royal Purple brand. With its Max-Tane fuel treatment, however, Royal Purple has sought to alter that reputation. Royal Purple Max-Tane can be purchased for less than $20, so curious diesel engine owners can experience the manufacturer’s legendary dedication to quality for themselves. 

Features and Specs
  • Flushes out carbon deposits from vital engine components
  • Specially formulated for year-round use
  • Compatible with all grades of diesel fuel
  • Compatible with all types of diesel exhaust emissions systems equipment
  • Increases fuel economy by up to 10%
  • Available in 20 ounce bottles

Howes Diesel Treat

Howes 103060 'Diesel Treat' Diesel Conditioner and Anti-Gel - 64 oz.
119 Reviews
Howes 103060 'Diesel Treat' Diesel Conditioner and Anti-Gel - 64 oz.
  • Lowers the cold filter plugging point of your base fuel an average of 20 degree
  • Provides superior cold weather protection and is safe and effective in all diesel and biodiesel blends to B-21
  • Prevents fuel from gelling, increases power and fuel economy

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If you don’t have a whole lot of money to spend in your search for the best fuel additive (I feel your pain) you should pay careful attention to Diesel Treat from Howes. Despite usually selling for less than $10, Howes Diesel Treat is one of the most popular - not to mention effective - anti-gelling agents on the market. 

By demulsifying the water in your fuel, Howes Fuel Treatment will ensure your engine burns nothing but pure diesel, so you don’t have to worry about the long-term effects commonly associated with fuel additives that only emulsify or disperse water. 

Features and Specs
  • Increases and restores horsepower while enhancing fuel economy
  • Prevents fuel from gelling
  • Lowers cold filter plunging point an average of 20 degrees
  • Compatible with ultra-low-sulfur diesel
  • Available in 64 ounce bottle
  • Alcohol-free to avoid corrosion

How Do You Use A Diesel Fuel Additive?

The most important part of introducing a fuel additive to your engine is getting the measurements right. There isn’t any universally agreed upon amount of fuel additive to use per fill up, but every fuel additive enthusiast is in agreement that using too much will essentially water down your diesel and make it entirely ineffective, while using too little will yield virtually zero results. 

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