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Top 8 Best Diesel Fuel Additives In 2021 Review & Buying Guide

Fuel additives are designed to help you improve the performance and running of your car. They can help to clean your engine, boost overall performance, improve sub-optimal fuel, stabilize your fuel, or even get you running when the weather starts freezing.

There are several fuel additive types available depending on your particular needs. This means the best diesel fuel additives are usually specific to the situation they were created for.

Our review contains a selection of all the various kinds currently on the market, so let’s go through them and find the perfect diesel fuel additives for you and your vehicle…

Best Diesel Fuel Additives

Top 8 Best Diesel Fuel Additives On The Market Reviews

  1. LUCAS LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment – Best Lubricating Fuel Additive
  2. Royal Purple MaxClean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer – Best All in One Fuel Additive for Engine Restoration
  3. Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme – Best Diesel Fuel Additive for Longterm Engine Care
  4. Biobor JF Diesel Biocide and Lubricity Additive – Best Diesel Fuel Bacteria and Fungi Treatment
  5. Power Service 08080-06 Diesel 9•1•1 Fuel Additive – Best Diesel Fuel Additive for Cold Temps
  6. STA-BIL (22254) Diesel Fuel Stabilizer and Performance Improver – Best Decontamination Diesel Fuel Additive
  7. Power Service 03850-02 Diesel Kleen with Concentrated Cetane Boost Formula – Best Cetane Boosting Diesel Fuel Additive
  8. Star Brite 093100N Concentrated Diesel Formula 931 Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment – Best Diesel Fuel Stabilizer

1 LUCAS LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment – Best Lubricating Fuel Additive

Lucas are an American company that has a thirty-year history in making a variety of fuel additives. They are a popular brand in the automotive world, and LUC10013 fuel treatment is the most popular product within their portfolio.

Comes in a one-gallon container…

One of the big pluses for the 10013 fuel treatment additive is that it can be safely used on gasoline as well as diesel engines. This is because their formula doesn’t contain any solvents. It’s a handy feature if you have different vehicles with different types of power units.

It can also be used on either engines with a carburetor or fuel injected system.

What does it do?

The additive both cleans and lubricates your engine. The combination of oils and additives work together as a detergent to help improve your vehicle’s running and efficiency.

The effect of a cleaner engine is improving engine performance. The smoother running also creates less stress on the internal components. This, in turn, means you can expect improved longevity of your engine and, therefore, lower maintenance bills.

Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Other benefits include its ability to neutralize the damaging effects of fuel that contains low levels of sulfur. Plus, it reduces the build-up of harmful carbon deposits. A great feature to help you potentially pass a smog test.


LUCAS LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Lubricates and cleans.
  • Increases engine performance.
  • Increases longevity of engine components.
  • Reduces carbon deposits.

Cons

  • Cannot negate ethanol damage.

2 Royal Purple MaxClean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer – Best All in One Fuel Additive for Engine Restoration

Next up in our best diesel fuel additives review is this three-in-one product that comes in a 20-ounce bottle. The price falls in the middle range. However, for the biggest bang for your buck, you should go for the six-pack bundle. You’ll save yourself a fair amount of cash if you do.

How does it work?

Royal Purple’s MaxClean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer cleans out the injectors in your fuel system. Its unique formula targets the combustion chamber and the intake systems of your engine.

The good news is that it’s made to be compatible with a wide range of engine types. You can use it on diesel or gasoline engines. Additionally, it can be used on supercharged, turbocharged, or normally aspirated vehicles. Plus, it’s safe to use on any car, regardless of age.

Careful testing…

The formula’s effectiveness is there for all to see as the Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer has been subjected to multiple testings across large fleet groups of vehicles encompassing a variety of different makes and models.

The results make for impressive readings and give plenty of evidence to back up its claims of being a quality product. To explain, tests showed that fuel economy improved by an average of 3.2%. Plus, horsepower improved by an average of 2.6%.

These figures are convincing on their own, but further testing also showed a reduction in NOX and CO2 and Hydrocarbon emissions by between 12% to 18%.

Why’s this so important?

The reduction in harmful deposits has the benefits of reducing rough idling, stalling, and engine hesitation. Other benefits include helping to maintain spark plug fouling and helping to prevent knocking and pinging in your engine.

Any form of deposits can quickly build up and adversely affect the smooth running of your vehicle. Royal Purple’s product is a great option to reverse the process and restore your engine inexpensively.


Royal Purple MaxClean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Suitable for diesel and gasoline engines.
  • Compatible with supercharged, turbocharged, and normally aspirated engines.
  • Increase economy and horsepower.
  • Fleet tested quantifiable results.

Cons

  • Causes foul-smelling exhaust gases.

3 Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme – Best Diesel Fuel Additive for Longterm Engine Care

This is a concentrated fuel cleaner that is designed for diesel engines only.

12,000 miles per bottle…

It’s recommended that you use Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme every six thousand miles for the best results. You should use a single 16-ounce bottle for every 30 to 40 gallons of diesel. Since it comes in a 32-ounce bottle, that means you get 12,000 miles of cleaning power out of a single bottle.

It’s also recommended you use it with Hot Shot’s Everyday Diesel Cleaner for the very best results. This is an additive that is supposed to be used at every fill-up.

The results?

This product will move internal injector deposits. These include unwanted polymeric and waxy deposits. We’re sure you’ll agree that’s a great feature. But there’s more. It also has added lubrication and fuel stabilizers. Plus, it has a cetane booster too.

Unlike most fuel additives, Hot Shot’s formula has a higher percentage of cleaning elements that are more concerned with providing longer-term care of your engine. Rather than taking an approach of giving an instant boost at the potential cost of future damage, it’s a product designed to improve performance but not at any cost.

An all-around improvement…

Results you can reasonably expect are boosted cetane by as much as seven points, better throttle response, improved horsepower, better idling, and an increased fuel economy.


Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • High level of detergent.
  • Gentle on the engine.
  • Contains a cetane booster.
  • Improves all aspects of engine performance.

Cons

  • Cannot be used on gasoline engines.
  • Can cause heavy exhaust dirt build-up.

4 Biobor JF Diesel Biocide and Lubricity Additive – Best Diesel Fuel Bacteria and Fungi Treatment

This is a fuel additive used for treating diesel in-home storage systems and is commonly found on farms. In some circumstances, it can be used in your trucks, RVs, and other vehicles too.

So, what are its main properties?

It’s designed to kill the bacteria and fungi that can quickly accumulate in standing fuel. It helps to prevent excessive sludge in stored fuel that can soon lead to clogged fuel lines that will, in turn, cause your engine to shut down.

What do you get for the money?

It comes in a 16 oz bottle, capable of treating as much as 1280 gallons of diesel. The recommended usage is to treat 80 gallons of fuel with just a single ounce of Biobor JF Diesel Biocide and Lubricity Additive. For more extreme and brutal cases, a shock dose of 40 gallons of fuel to a single ounce of Biobor can be used.

Brilliant for infrequently used vehicles…

As well as using it in your fuel storage systems, it can also be used in vehicles that are likely to stand for extended periods, like RVs, for instance. The fact is that if you live in a humid environment, this is even more important as micro bacterial growth will be much quicker.

This is an inexpensive way to prevent damage to your fuel filters and reduce any corrosive damage that’s associated with it. If you had any doubts about this product’s efficacy, you should be reassured that airlines, refineries, and the military are regular users.

Good enough for us.


Biobor JF Diesel Biocide and Lubricity Additive

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Reduces bacteria and fungi.
  • Protects against the build-up of sludge.
  • Prevents clogging and corrosion of fuel lines.
  • Concentrated formula.

Cons

  • No performance-enhancing qualities.

5 Power Service 08080-06 Diesel 9•1•1 Fuel Additive – Best Diesel Fuel Additive for Cold Temps

Power Service has a 25-year history of keeping people on the road when the temperatures drop.

However, Diesel 9.1.1 fuel additive will not prevent your diesel and the diesel in your fuel lines from freezing. If you need a preventive freezing additive, Power Service recommends you use their 9.1.1 Diesel Fuel Supplement.

Let’s explain…

If you do experience frozen fuel lines, you should use Diesel 9.1.1 to get you going again and then use it in conjunction with 9.1.1 Diesel Fuel Supplement to prevent any further issues.

Back to the additive…

The Diesel 9.1.1 Additive comes in an 80-ounce bottle and can be used to de-freeze up to 250 gallons of fuel. It can be used with any type of diesel fuel, which includes biodiesel. The good news is that it can also be used with any make or type of vehicle. As long as it has a diesel engine, then you’re good to go.

For winter use with gelled lines, this will potentially get you out of a tough situation. It’s a great product to keep in your diesel vehicle when the temperatures drop. It’s also a great product to have around if you have a diesel tank on your property.


Power Service 08080-06 Diesel 9•1•1 Fuel Additive

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Will de-freeze fuel lines fast.
  • Fuel freezing preventive additive available.
  • Suitable for use with all diesel engines.
  • Can be used with biodiesel.

Cons

  • No lubricating or power-enhancing ability.

6 STA-BIL (22254) Diesel Fuel Stabilizer and Performance Improver – Best Decontamination Diesel Fuel Additive

This comes in a 32 ounces bottle and has enough additives to treat 320 gallons of diesel. The concentration makes it nice and easy to work out how much to put in your tank. It’s simply one ounce of fuel stabilizer to ten gallons of fuel.

Who can use this?

The stabilizer works to keep your fuel fresh and simultaneously lubricates your engine. It can be used with any kind or make of diesel engine. Additionally, it can be used with any grade or type of diesel fuel, which includes biofuels.

It’s recommended that you use it at every fill-up. When you do, it will go straight to work to prevent the build-up of any sludge or sediment in your tank, fuel lines, or engine. Plus, it helps remove any water that might have contaminated your tank.

Not just a decontaminant…

There’s no doubt, using STA-BIL (22254) Diesel Fuel Stabilizer will leave you with a water, fungi, and bacteria-free engine and fuel system. However, unlike many other fuel stabilizers, it can also improve your engine’s performance.

It has additives that will also lubricate and clean out your fuel injectors. This will translate into better performance with improved fuel economy and horsepower.


STA-BIL (22254) Diesel Fuel Stabilizer and Performance Improver

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Prevents bacteria and fungi build-up.
  • Leaves you with a water-free fuel system.
  • Easy to use 1:10 ratio.
  • Improves engine performance.

Cons

  • Not suitable in freezing conditions.

7 Power Service 03850-02 Diesel Kleen with Concentrated Cetane Boost Formula – Best Cetane Boosting Diesel Fuel Additive

This is a diesel cleaner and a cetane booster. It comes in a two and a half-gallon container. Although it might appear to be expensive, when you work it out per ounce, it represents a good deal.

So, why is a cleaner with a cetane booster so important?

It’s well documented that diesel engines run better when they have fuels that have a cetane value of 50 or over. Since, in the US, the average cetane value of diesel is just 46, it, therefore, makes sense to have a cleaner that can add cetane into the mix.

Using Power Service Cetane Boost will add six points to your fuel. This means that, on average, you’ll be running with a cetane value of 52. That’s good for your vehicle and can potentially save you a lot of problems down the line.

For those in icy climates…

It can be used mostly all year round, but it does not have an anti-gel formula. If the temps drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, you should consider adding a special winter additive.

It’s suitable for all diesel engines, and the unique formula will work hard to clean dirty injectors in old and newer systems. The removal of external and internal deposits will lead to an increase in power, better fuel economy, better shifting, better running at idle, and a noticeable power boost.


Power Service 03850-02 Diesel Kleen with Concentrated Cetane Boost Formula

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Adds six points to your cetane value.
  • Large 2.5-gallon value carton.
  • Cleans fuel injectors internally and externally.
  • Improves engine performance and economy.

Cons

  • No anti-gel formula to prevent freezing.

8 Star Brite 093100N Concentrated Diesel Formula 931 Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment – Best Diesel Fuel Stabilizer

This is a fuel stabilizer and cleaner. It comes in a sizeable one-gallon container, which is enough to treat as much as 4,096 gallons of diesel. It is recommended to use a single ounce for 16 gallons of diesel as the initial treatment. Subsequent on-going treatments should be at one ounce per 32 gallons.

How long does it last?

Star Brite can be used to stabilize fuel for up to two years. This makes it ideal for use in occasionally used vehicles such as RVs. It’s an excellent formula for adding new life into old fuel or sub-optimal fuel.

It works by dispersing water and contaminants in the form of minute droplets that are subsequently expelled as the engine is running. Whilst doing this, it cleans the injectors and valves of dirt and carbon deposits that can gum up your engine’s internal workings, which can ultimately affect performance in a variety of different ways.

Guards against fuel tank corrosion…

When added to a vehicle that has been unused for a long period, it helps it to start more easily and to run more smoothly from the onset. Once the car is moving, you can then expect to enjoy better fuel economy, improved horsepower, and reduced omissions too. What’s more, it will also guard against fuel tank corrosion.

This is one of the most popular and best diesel fuel additives on the market. Suitable for all types of diesel engines, it’s a great choice as the first line of defense against running and performance issues regardless of the vehicle or engine you’re running.


Star Brite 093100N Concentrated Diesel Formula 931 Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Good value.
  • Stabilizes old fuel.
  • Improves economy.
  • Increases engine performance.
  • Safely removes engine contaminants.

Cons

  • Does not increase the cetane value.

Best Diesel Fuel Additives Buying Guide

Best Diesel Fuel Additives Review

There are a variety of different kinds of fuel additives. Some have a specific function whilst some have combined functions. The ideal diesel fuel additives for your vehicle will very much depend on your particular needs. This is because the requirements of someone storing large quantities of fuel are not the same as for someone who wants to prevent their fuel from freezing.

The following section explains some of the critical features of diesel fuel additives. As we previously explained, you can expect there to be some overlap.

Fuel Cleaners

In normal circumstances, diesel will leave several unwanted contaminants on the inside of your engine. No matter how good the quality of fuel you use, it’s unavoidable.

Carbon deposits, dirt, and bacteria can quickly accumulate inside your injectors and fuel system. Without intervention, they can begin to gum up your engine and affect your vehicle’s performance.

Obviously, this is not good…

A fuel cleaner cleans out all parts of the engine that come into contact with diesel. The effect is a cleaner engine that can deliver improved performance. You can expect to get better acceleration, improved economy, and smoother running both on the move and when idling.

Some fuel additives concentrate on boosting power over cleaning. However, if you want a cleaner with more emphasis on cleaning than power-boosting, Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme is one of the most excellent diesel fuel additives you can buy.

Cetane Boosters

Diesel fuel with a high cetane number allows the fuel to ignite and burn more quickly. This then leads to an increase in power, a smoother running engine, and better engine starts. Even more impressive, for many of us, it can improve fuel economy too.

Let us explain…

In the US, as well as a lot of other countries, the cetane value is on average just 45. It’s recommended that diesel fuel should have a value of 50 for optimal performance. Therefore, it’s easy to see that the diesel most of us use is below the quality of what we should be using.

A fuel cleaner often creates a way to supplement the levels of cetane in the fuel you buy to bring it to the correct level. If you feel you are using sub-optimal fuel, then a diesel fuel additive is a great idea.

Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme is a good option as it boosts the cetane in your diesel by six points.

Cold Weather Fuel Additives

If you live where temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for any part of the year, then you run the risk of your fuel becoming viscose and ‘freezing.’ If this happens, you will need a fast-acting anti-gel agent like the Power Service 08080-06 Diesel 9•1•1 Fuel Additive. This will ‘de-freeze’ your fuel lines and get you back on your way.

One tip…

We’re sure you’ll agree that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, we recommend that you also use a preventive ant-gelling fuel supplement to reduce the chance of your diesel becoming viscose in the first place.

Stabilizers

If you store diesel for an extended period, it will deteriorate. This holds whether you are keeping it in a storage tank or it’s simply left in the tank of your vehicle. Simply put, diesel left untreated will go off.

A fuel stabilizer’s job is to prevent diesel from degrading to the point where it becomes harmful to your engine.

How does it do this?

Stabilizers will prevent bacteria and fungi build up. Additionally, they will avert oxidization and water contamination that can lead to corrosion in your fuel tank and fuel system.

Biobor JF’s Diesel Biocide and Lubricity Additive will give you all of these benefits.

Targeted Care for your Vehicle

We have a bunch of dedicated reviews for your specific engine care needs.

So, check out our reviews of the Best Engine Degreaser, the Best Fuel Injector Cleaners, the Best Rust Prevention, the Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners, the Best Carburetor Cleaners, and the Best Car Health Monitors currently on the market.

Or how about our reviews of the Best Radiator Stop Leak, the Best Oil Filters for Cars, the Best Diesel Oils, the Best oW 20 Synthetic Oils, the Best Oil Drain Pans, the Best Cold Air Intake, and the Best Rust Converters for your money in 2021!

And don’t forget about the things that improve your ride in other ways, which we feature in our latest Best Double Din Head Units and our Best HUD for Car reviews!

Back to the best fuel additives for diesel…

Which Best Diesel Fuel Additives do we recommend?

So, there you have it. Choosing a diesel fuel additive can be confusing. We hope that our Buyer’s Guide made things a little clearer and that there is also something in our review that is the right choice for you and your vehicle.

It’s hard to choose a favorite amongst the ten on our list, given the variety of different applications. However…

Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme

… impressed us with its excellent cleaning properties that are nicely combined with a big cetane boost.

This is, therefore, our overall top pick.

Enjoy!

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