Fuel additives and why they are important in vehicle performance

Automotive Blog

Many professional mechanics and auto repair technicians classify fuel additives as shortcut solutions to fuel delivery problems. However, experience has shown that these additives are not the 'mechanic in a can' solution, but rather real remedies that can stem fuel delivery system problems. There are various classes of additives and each category has a specific mission to accomplish in your vehicle. In case you are wondering the right additive to use, below is some information to get you started.

Gasoline Stabilisers Even though loss of gasoline volatility doesn't affect normal driving as much, it does affect in a major way, seasonally-used vehicles such as lawn care equipment, motor homes and boats. Gasoline stabilisers reduce incidences of hard-starting normally caused by the evaporation of gaseous components present in gasoline. Newer formulas now contain corrosion inhibitors which prevent the corrosion of the fuel system caused by ethanol-based gasoline.

Octane Boosters Before octane boosters came into the scene ethyl lead was used to enhance the octane rating of gasoline and lubricate engine valve seats. However, in the 1970s, ethyl lead was discontinued and octane booster additives popularised instead. The reason valve seat lubricants are included in octane boosters is to help lessen the wear on antique car engines--most of which have cast iron valve seats installed.

Fuel Injector Cleaners The signs of clogged fuel injectors include sluggish acceleration, poor cold engine performance and hard starting. These problems are caused by carbon deposits which often clog fuel injector nozzles. Fuel injector cleaners are maintenance additives which also remove heavy carbon deposits from valve, cylinder heads and pistons.

Fuel-Line Antifreeze Water condensation in automotive fuel tanks is the principal cause of fuel-line freezing in cold weather. Historically, this problem was addressed by adding alcohol-based fuel line antifreezes which mixed with the water to prevent the freeze-up. The modern fuel-line antifreeze additives, absorb the water from gasoline and transport it through the engine causing it to vaporise into exhaust stream.

Anti-Gelling Additives These additives are normally added to the fuel tank so as to liquefy the paraffin gel or wax which forms in the fuel and often clogs diesel fuel filters especially in sub-freezing temperatures. Even though modern diesels have heated fuel lines aimed at preventing gelling, these additives are still required to enhance cold-starting performance in extreme winter conditions. Some anti-gelling additives also have solvents which remove water, clean fuels systems and lubricate the fuel injectors. In addition to the above additives, upper cylinder lubricants is another class of additives designed to help in cleaning and lubricating sticking valves.


1 September 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Autos

Hello, my name is Erin and this is my auto blog. For many years now, I have been buying, selling and modifying automobiles. I am not an auto professional. I work in a large bank in Sydney. However, at the weekends, I like to spend time looking for classic cars which need some love and care. I learnt my skills from my dad when I was growing up. He worked in an auto repair shop and even though he didn't collect cars himself, he knew a good deal when he saw one. I hope this blog is useful to those looking to find out more about automobiles.