Buying Guide: The Best Diesel Fuel Additives

Diesel motors are used in many applications in today's modern times. From marine to trains to cars, Diesel engines are what keeps our world moving. Over time these engines take the unnecessary strain in the form of carbon build up caused by minor impurities even in the best diesel oil/diesel fuel. When an engine is switched off, small amounts of fuel still remain in places like the fuel line and the fuel filter and most importantly the injectors.

This problem can reach a point when the injectors or other values in the engine can seize. All the cleaning in the world won't help at this point. That is why a good idea would be to use a diesel fuel additive as a precautionary measure.

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What is a Diesel Fuel Additive?

A diesel fuel additive is a chemical that can change the properties of untreated diesel fuel. The biggest users of additives are refineries and distributors. Refineries and distributors use diesel additives to restore consistency in their diesel before they sell it. There is a "premium" diesel standard that refineries need to adhere to and diesel additives assist in achieving that standard.

Advantages of Diesel Fuel Additive



Diesel fuel additives can assist in activating good energy content in diesel that is being pumped into the vehicle's tank. Good energy content, in turn, helps in greater fuel efficiency. One significant use of diesel fuel additives is its ability to keep your fuel injectors clean. The slightest amount of dirt or build up can damage the injectors spray pattern. This, in turn, affects combustion, which leads to fuel wastage, reduced power and you won't achieve your desired mileage out of the fuel you put into your vehicle.

Many diesel fuel additives have a lubricity improver which can aid in the excessive wear on fuel pumps and injector tips that can be caused by untreated fuel. Another significant use of diesel fuel additives is in low-temperature operability. It assists the fuel in not clogging up the fuel line or the fuel filter. It also improves the starting and the idling of a vehicle in cold temperatures by achieving a high cetane number.

What to look for

Most diesel additives do work fine because they do contain the same chemicals that can be found in additives which are used by a refinery. There are however a few that one can avoid. Namely, brands which have no active ingredients. Brands which have an active ingredient in the form of engine oil.

Engine oil will make the engine run smoother, but it will cause damage to the injector tips over time. Lastly also try to avoid brands that use ancho as the active ingredient. Alcohol can cause damage to gaskets over time and only gives off a short boost which wears off quickly.

Top 6 Best Diesel Fuel Additives

Hot Shot's Secret TRIO Diesel Oil and Fuel Additive

At one fair price, you get 2 QT. Stiction Eliminator, 1 QT Diesel Extreme, and 1 QT. FR3. When you use these 3 together, your truck will tune up and operate like new.

You get improved power and compression. The lifter and valve noise reduce, together with the frictional drag. It slows down wear of parts. Works as a barrier, therefore, eliminating metal-to-metal contact. It reduces the coefficient of friction. In addition, you get a cleaner tank, lines, and injectors.


  • Works Works on Ford Diesels
  • The results The almost instant, with no disappointment.


  • Cannot on high-mileage diesels

Power Service 1080-06 +Cetane Boost Diesel Fuel Supplement Anti-Freezer - 80 oz

Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost is perfect for those cold winter months. It assists your fuel filters from plugging with wax and helps prevent fuel gelling. An Anti-Gel Winterizer, Power Service's Arctic Formula effectively treats all types of diesel fuels ensuring that your equipment will be running at optimum levels during winter operability.

However, Power Service's Diesel Fuel Supplement is only intended for use during cold winter months for temperatures below that of 30 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Prevents fuel gelling at low temperatures
  • Keeps filters from plugging with wax
  • Contains slick diesel lubricator
  • Effective in all diesel fuels


  • Only for use in very cold conditions
  • Need to look at other products for warmer conditions
  • Large bottle can cause spillage when pouring into tank

Stanadyne Performance Formula Diesel Fuel Additive - 16 Oz. Case of 12

Stanadyne Performance Formula not only protects your Diesel engine, but it also helps restore performance. You can also expect to restore fuel economy and increase horsepower and torque. It has a detergency and cetane improver system which AIDS in improving combustion resulting in a better smoother running engine. It also reduces engine noise and assists in engine startup.

Stanadyne Performance Formula also performs in cold conditions by use of its cold weather protection formula. It's corrosion preventive system uses corrosion inhibitors which will protect the fuel system from rust and corrosion. Another reason to avoid corrosion is due to the fact that it contains no alcohol. It also stabilizes fuel and keeps fuels fresher and protects against formations of gums caused by oxidation.


  • Approved by many OEMs like GM, Ford, Deere & Navistar
  • Proven to Perform Best in independent testing
  • Meets Cummins L10 Superior Test for cleanliness
  • Can be used with biodiesel fuel


  • Only Available in case of 12
  • Can cause injectors to become sticky on certain older model vehicles

FPPF 00119 Killem Biocide 16 oz. Bottle, Treats 1920 Gallons of Diesel Fuel per Bottle

Killem Biocide is an EPA registered diesel fuel additive that can be used to control bacteria and fungi growths in oils and refined fuels while sanitizing your tank. Killem can assist in reducing tank corrosion and odors. It also serves as a means to avoid oil and fuel filter corrosion and deposits. One of its primary uses is assisting in preventing injector plugging and excess carbon deposits and exhaust gas smoke.

Killem is one of the most versatile products on this list and can be used on many different types of diesel powered equipment. It is the type of equipment that can be found in Marinas, Diesel storage depots, Railroad and Home usage. Killem is also considered to be a water soluble product.


  • One Bottle treats 1280 gallons of fuel
  • Control Bacteria and Fungi Growth
  • Reduces Corrosion


  • Not meant for cold weather
  • More for detergent usage
  • Will keep engine clean but does not aid much with performance

Lucas 10021 Extreme Cold Weather Diesel Fuel Treatment – 64 oz.

Lucas Diesel fuel treatments assist the user in achieving his desired fuel mileage as well as improving performance in colder weather. Just like other cold weather specific diesel additives, it also aids in engine start times and fuel gelling problems. All this while also being as little of a hazard to the environment as possible. Lucas 10021 also works well in all types of weather conditions.


  • Prevents fuel thickening
  • Adds lubricity
  • Impressive anti-gel additives
  • Works well in most weather conditions


  • Large bottle can be difficult to handle
  • Treatment needs to carry on for an extended period of time for best results

Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula - 64 oz.

Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula is approved by many OEMs including GM, Ford, Deere & Navistar. This formula is proven to perform best in independent testing and meets with the Cummins L10 Superior Test for cleanliness. This diesel additive comes with some of the best features that one can expect from a Stanadyne product. Some of those features include Increased Horsepower and fuel consumption. Some independent tests show as much as 4% increase in MPG with gains up to 9.6%.

It also includes a cetane improver formula which improves combustion resulting in your engine starting better and running smoother with reduced noise. It also has corrosion inhibitors to protect the fuel system from rust and corrosion and also does not contain any alcohol.


  • Reduces emissions
  • Reduces wear
  • Helps to remove water


  • Large container causes spillage
  • Focused more on performance and not engine cleaning


Choosing the best diesel fuel additive for your car can be a very complicated matter. Especially if you are not someone who is technically knowledgeable when it comes to diesel motors. All manufacturers of these products also claim to give you the same results. The five diesel additives that we have selected in this comparison also come highly recommended by their users.

The Killem Biocide specializes in cleaning your engine. This can be handy for those with old motors in need of restoration or a good fungal cleaning treatment. The Lucas Extreme Cold Weather Diesel Fuel Treatment is a specialist in cold conditions (as the name implies). It will assist your vehicle in starting and warming up during those bad winter mornings. It can also work just as efficiently during the summer.

My choice out of these excellent products will have to be the Stanadyne Performance Formula Diesel Fuel Additive. This is an all around performer and is tried and tested by thousands of users over many years of use. It also comes recommended by some great brands like Ford and GM. The shape and size of the bottle are perfect and easy to use. This product ticks all the right factors when choosing the best diesel fuel additive for your car. The only downside is the high price and the fact that you can only purchase these by the crate. Keep in mind that you might want to continue the treatment for many years to come and it can be useful if you have 2 or more diesel motors. This can be seen as a good investment for the maintenance of your diesel motor.

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