Just about everyone wants the best out of their vehicle, whether it be better gas mileage, better emissions or better performance. But what if you could get all of this from a simple bottle? That`s the basic premise of fuel treatments and oil additives. Countless auto parts stores and websites hawk a wide variety of additives and treatments that claim to not only clean up certain fuel systems and engine components, but also make your car runs better than before. Like any other claim, consumers are left to figure out where the truth ends (if there was any to begin with) and where the lie begins.
Do Oil Additives Really Work?
Many fuel treatments and oil additives offer claims that range from the modest to the near outlandish. For instance, many oil additives claim to not only reduce friction and increase horsepower, but they also claim to restore fuel economy and reduce engine wear, among other positive benefits. But the question is how can you be absolutely certain that the oil additives you buy can do all of those things? The answer lies in the fluids in which fuel treatments and oil additives interact with.
For starters, engine oil not only lubricates parts to prevent excess friction, but also protects them from corrosion. Most auto manufacturers already include dispersants that help prevent sludge from building up within the engine over time and rust inhibitors to further prevent rust and corrosion on parts it comes into contact with. By now, you`re probably wondering why you`d even need aftermarket oil additives in the first place.
Not surprisingly, many car manufacturers are wondering the same thing. Some have even gone so far as to recommend owners to not use oil additives that haven`t already been included in the recommended engine oil. Truth be told, oil additives simply aren`t necessary for new modern engines. On the other hand, some oil additives have been known to help to add a small measure of longevity to older engines, including those suffering from compression problems.
So What About Fuel Treatments?
Scores of fuel treatments are touted as “miracles in a bottle,” presenting varying claims of better fuel economy, better performance and improved emissions. Some fuel treatments act as a detergent, reducing carbon buildup within the engine while making the engine easier to start in colder climates. Lower quality gasoline can benefit from the use of certain fuel treatments, not only to enhance its octane rating, but also to improve overall efficiency as it burns in the combustion chamber.
Like engine oil, many fuels already have their own additives added in at the pump. For example, Chevron and Texaco use the patented Techron fuel additive in their gasoline. Shell, BP and other fuel suppliers add their own additives for the sake of fuel quality and performance. Most aftermarket fuel treatments are geared towards cleaning carbon buildup and other deposits from various fuel system components, such as fuel injectors. These treatments perform about the same as the additives offered in most gasoline.
Are They Worth It?
If your vehicle is suffering from a slight performance loss, it may be worthwhile to add a well-known fuel treatment to your next tank of gas. Of course, you can skip the fuel treatment altogether by adding a full tank of Shell V-Power or Chevron with Techron the next time you fill up. As for oil additives, adding a bottle of oil treatment to your engine is usually unnecessary unless it happens to be an older engine in need of a stopgap. Most current oils already feature their own additives that work excellently according to most manufacturer specs. For more detailed information, torquecars.com has more advice about fuel treatments and oil additives.