The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already needs all fuel that’s sold throughout the country to contain a certain amounts of additive deposits as a means of keeping costs down and the nation’s reliance on foreign oil minimal. The fuel that’s presently sold at gas stations throughout the U.S. is also designed so that any contained additives don’t result to damage to car fuel systems, which can be costly to fix.
But with all this being said, drivers today can buy a range of fuel additives, or gas treatments, to supplement the gasoline they’re pumping into their cars. Some are designed to keep fuel from going bad, specifically in cars that only get seasonal use. Others are made to improve fuel economy and to help clean the fuel system. Some are designed to improve engine performance. There are various categories of fuel additives, so it’s vital to know what a particular additive is meant to do before putting it into your fuel tank. This post will take a closer look at how to administer them.
FUEL ADDITIVES: THE BASICS
Some drivers just desire to have more control regarding what they’re putting into their car. For these drivers, fuel additives are an ideal complement to the gas they’re putting into their vehicles and trucks from the pump. But like we eluded to in the opening, it’s vital to first know what you want to accomplish when using an additive and then be aware of what type of additive you need to achieve this. With that said, there are many different categories of fuel additives. Here’s a look at the most popular:
- Stabilizers: These are one of the most popular additives, and they’re made to keep fuel in good working condition for many months of non-use. They’ll also help stop engine corrosion and gas separation when said cars are unused for long periods of time. Fuel stabilizers are best administered in seasonal cars, like classic cars and sports cars, that get stored for the winter. These stabilizers offer an alternative to running out the tank of gas on these cars, similar to what you’d do on your lawnmower or snowblower when storing it for the winter.
- Boosters: Generally speaking, the better the octane rating in gasoline, the purer the fuel and the better the performance an engine gets out of it. These types of additives are typically sought by muscle vehicles and sports car drivers as a means of improving engine performance.
- Injector cleaners: If a fuel injector is clogged up, it’s going to impact engine performance. Unfortunately, one of the common side effects of ethanol – a common byproduct in most fuel mixtures – is that it can have this impact on the fuel injectors. Injectors that are dirty and clogged often lead to issues starting the car, abnormal idling, a decreased in fuel economy, and an engine that won’t respond how it’s supposed to. Administering an additive that’s designed to stop the injectors from clogging up and actually assist clean them can be enticing for some drivers.
- Anti-gel: At low temperatures, diesel fuel can “gel” together and make the fuel filter to clog up. As a result, diesel drivers often have to either let the fuel warm up so that it “un-gels” or regularly change out the fuel filter to properly start and drive the car. It’s easier, however, to just administer an anti-gel fuel additive to prevent the fuel from doing this altogether. These anti-gel additives are designed for diesel engines, and they work to lower the cold fill plugging point, or CFPP, which is the temperature where “gelling” happens in these diesel engines.
SHOULD I USE FUEL ADDITIVES?
Though injector cleaners and octane booster additives are used more through personal preference rather than necessity by most drivers, the same cannot be said for anti-gel diesel additives and fuel stabilizers. In fact, these latter two types of additives are often crucial to ensuring engine health and car uptime, whether it’s during periods of non-use or in frigid temperatures, respectively.
HOW TO ADMINISTER FUEL ADDITIVES
Apart from purchasing a good fuel additive, knowing how much to administer is arguably the most important thing. That’s so if you use too much and overdo it, you could damage things like car sensors and do more harm than good.
Before you include any fuel additives, make sure you thoroughly read and understand the directions on how to administer it. Some suggest including it differently than others. For instance, with some, you may just add part of the bottle, while for others you put all of it. How you add it may vary as well. The good news is that as long as you’re following the directions, this is a super easy task to complete. Here are the three ways fuel additives are typically added to fuel tanks:
- Blended: This method comprise of filling an empty fuel tank up about halfway with gas, administering the additive, and then filling the tank up the rest of the way with gas.
- Full tank: This method consists of filling up the entire fuel tank with gas and then including the additive.
- Empty tank: This method consists of putting the additive to an empty or near-empty gas tank, then filling it up with gasoline.
It’s equally worth noting that you may elect to differ how you administer the additive depending on the season you’re driving in and what you want to accomplish at the end of the day.