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The Best Diesel Fuel Additive 2021

Diesel Fuel Additive

Using a high quality diesel fuel additive in your fuel is very popular among diesel car owners and it comes with a variety of benefits. These benefits can include additional performance, efficient operation, improved longevity of your diesel injection system, less emissions and so much more.

If you require a quick answer, the best diesel fuel additive is the Stanadyne Performance, which is suitable for all seasons and tackles virtually any diesel related issue. However, if you want a fuel treatment that can be used in both diesel and petrol powered vehicles, the Lucas Oil 10013 is the best alternative.

In order to rate the diesel fuel additives within this article, we based our recommendations upon hours of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included how much is treated per 16 oz, how long it lasts, the benefits it provides and value for money.

Table of Contents

Diesel Fuel Additive Comparison

Diesel Fuel AdditiveTreatment (16 oz)Bottle Size
Stanadyne PerformanceTreats 60 Gallons16 oz x 12
Hot Shot's SecretTreats 35 Gallons64 oz
Lucas Oil 10013Treats 64 Gallons160 oz
Schaeffer Treat 2000Treats 125 Gallons160 oz
Howes 103060Treats 37.5 Gallons64 oz

Since the addition of the Diesel Particulate Filter that removes soot from the exhaust, diesel cars have become a lot cleaner. However, using a fuel additive helps to maintain its cleanliness as well as improving performance.

Older diesels are known for producing lots of toxic black smoke and can be expensive when they go wrong. However, with a little maintenance they can be just as clean running and fast as the petrol alternatives.

Diesel engines require more assistance in terms of requiring additives compared to gasoline engines. This is due to the fact that gasoline is a higher quality fuel that has been refined further. Diesel fuel is often stored and is known as the “business fuel” for shipping and other large scale businesses. When diesel is left stored for months on end, the fuel can develop problems that require additives to fix.

Below is a list of the best diesel fuel additives that help keep your engine running clean and efficient.

The Best Diesel Fuel Additive

1. Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula

Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula
The Stanadyne Diesel Fuel Additive is one of the leading fuel additives in the USA that’s approved by the likes of General Motors, Ford and many others. According to the brand, the additive is designed to tackle all diesel related issues and is a tried and tested formula in a whole range of diesel vehicles.

Other features of the Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula include:

  • 16 oz x 12 bottles for extra value
  • Meets Cummins L10 testing for cleanliness
  • Proven in many independent tests
  • Can be used in the winter and summer
  • Helps remove water in the fuel
  • 16 oz treats 60 gallons of fuel

Some of the benefits from using the Stanadyne diesel additive can include an improvement in horsepower, improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and more. Overall, it’s the best diesel fuel additive that comes with a range of benefits and is relatively affordable when purchased as a bulk buy option.

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2. Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme Additive

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme Additive
The Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme is a highly rated diesel additive but it’s one that comes at a cost. It’s a concentrated cetane formulation that also acts as a fuel stabilizer.

The Hot Shot’s brand is well known for proving reliable results from their products and you can expect a much cleaner running diesel engine whilst using this fuel additive.

Other features of the Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme include:

  • Treats the tank, fuel lines and injectors
  • Remove trapped water from the system
  • Stabilizes fuel and lubricates the system
  • Coats the tank and lines with a rust inhibitor
  • Benefits last for up to 6 months

Overall, it’s a highly rated diesel fuel additive but it does come with an expensive price tag. However, each 64 oz bottle does treat up to 160 gallons of fuel and it includes additional benefits that aren’t found among the alternatives.

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3. Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment

Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment
Lucas Oil is a US brand that’s very popular and well-known for their additives used within the automotive industry. The 10013 formula is rated as one of the best fuel injector cleaner treatments by our team and it’s suitable for both gasoline and diesel fuels.

In the formula is a high detergent action, which allows the engine to perform at its full potential. It also cleans and lubricates the injectors, which has the effect of burning fuel more thoroughly.

Other features of the Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment include:

  • 1 gallon bottle for regular usage
  • Made in the USA
  • Lubricates the system
  • Neutralizes low sulfur fuel issues
  • Suitable for both gas and diesel engines
  • 4 oz treats 16 gallons of fuel

Overall, the Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment is an excellent all-round option that can be used on both diesel and gasoline powered engines with great success.

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4. Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 Ultra Low Sulfur

Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 Ultra Low Sulfur
The Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 has been carefully constructed to provide low sulfur diesel for cold weather protection against fuel gelling, waxing and fuel line freezing. If you are living in freezing temperatures, then this diesel treatment is what’s needed for an easy diesel engine start-up.

Other features of the Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 include:

  • Cleans the entire fuel system
  • Suitable for all types of diesel
  • 16 oz treats 125 gallons
  • Boosts cetane number from 2 to 4
  • Eliminates black filter deposits
  • Increase thermal stability

The Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 is the best diesel fuel additive for the winter that promises to improve start-ups. Many diesels can struggle in severe coldness but using an additive such as this can transform daily driving in the winter.

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5. Howes 103060 Diesel Treat

Howes 103060 Diesel Treat
The Howes Diesel Treat is a popular additive that acts as a conditioner and anti-gel formula. It aims to lower the cold filter plugging point of the diesel fuel by an average of 20 degrees, which is great for the cold winter season.

Other features of the Howes Diesel Treat include:

  • Provides superior cold weather protection
  • Safe for all diesel and bio-diesel blends
  • Prevents fuel gelling
  • Increases fuel economy significantly
  • Cleans and lubricates injectors
  • Removes water in the system
  • 64 oz treats 150 gallons of fuel

To provide you with confidence when using this diesel fuel additive, the Howes brand states that there is “no gel guaranteed” or they will pay for the tow. This is quite a claim but it simply shows how confident the brand are with their additive.

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Diesel Fuel Additive Buying Guide

When running correctly, diesel cars can provide excellent fuel economy and keep up with the petrol alternatives. Most pack a large amount of torque and the modern examples are far better than the earlier diesels that lacked any sort of performance. Due to stricter emission laws, they’ve gone through a range of changes to help them run cleaner. These include DPF’s, addition of the AdBlue system and so much more.

By using a diesel fuel additive on a regular basis, you can help improve the efficiency and longevity of your engine. The formulas are fairly cheap when bought in bulk and pay for themselves with the improvements in fuel economy.

To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding diesel fuel additives.

Diesel Fuel Additives

How Do They Work?

Fuel additives for diesels have been in production for many years now and have improved a great deal over the years. They work by stripping the engine of deposits and varnish whilst cleaning and lubricating the system.

This helps prevent rust, low sulfur and generally improve the engine’s performance. Those that have been designed for winter also include anti-gel chemicals, which prevents the fuel from freezing.

Poor Maintenance of a Diesel Powered Engine

Without using high quality diesel fuel, irregular servicing and no additives, your diesel car can suffer problems such as:

  • Hard cold starts
  • Injector failure from carbon build up
  • DPF issues
  • Running rough at low RPM and idle
  • Lots of black smoke on acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cetane improvements

Sometimes it’s hard to find a garage that sells high quality fuel, therefore using a fuel additive will assist with a smooth running diesel engine.

Winter Season

During the colder temperatures in the winter, you may notice longer start-ups. This can be due to the glow plugs or poor quality fuel that has frozen in the fuel lines and developed deposits. If you live in a colder environment, it’s strongly recommended that you opt for a fuel additive for winter. Both the Schaeffer and Howes formulas provide excellent winter protection and are highly recommended.

When diesel begins to freeze, it will begin to gel and this is often referred to as “fuel gelling“. Once it has reached this stage, starting a diesel powered engine can be incredibly hard. This is why using an additive designed to prevent gelling is essential.

Diesel Fuel Additive For Winter

What to Avoid

Using a diesel fuel additive should be taken with caution as you won’t want to use too much of the formula. It’s essential that you follow the manufacturers guidelines upon how much additive to pour within each tank of diesel. Some brands may state a specific method of mixing the additive in with the fuel too.

If you live in colder temperatures, you may be required to warm up the fuel before adding the additive. Failing to do this may result in an improper dilution of the additive and fuel, which could cause adverse effects.

We strongly advise that you follow the instructions on the bottle before simply chucking it into the fuel tank and hoping for the best.


Using a diesel fuel additive isn’t a novelty product and it has been proven to work in many independent tests. They’re also an essential product if you use a diesel for daily driving in bitterly cold winters as they prevent the fuel from gelling. All of our recommendations cover a range of reputable brands, budgets and additives that can be bought in bulk. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch and we can help out where possible.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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