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The Best Diesel Fuel Additive 2021

Diesel Fuel Additive

Using a diesel fuel additive within your vehicles fuel will provide an array of benefits. These include additional performance, efficient operation, improved longevity of your diesel injection system and less emissions.

The best diesel fuel additive is the Stanadyne Performance Formula, which is suitable for all seasons and tackles virtually any diesel related issue.

Since the addition of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) which removes  soot from the exhaust, diesel cars have become a lot cleaner. Older diesel cars can be seen chucking out black soot from the exhaust but these are slowly becoming extinct.

Best Diesel Fuel Additives

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

Older diesel powered vehicles are known for producing lots of toxic black smoke and 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 will help keep your vehicle running clean and smoothly all year round.

Stanadyne Diesel Performance Formula

Stanadyne Diesel Fuel Additive is one of the leading fuel additives in the USA that is approved by the likes of General Motors, Ford and many others. The additive is designed to tackle all diesel related issues.

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

Benefits from using the Stanadyne diesel additive are an improvement in horsepower, improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and more. Overall, it is the best diesel fuel additive that comes with a range of benefits and is relatively affordable when purchased in bulk.

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Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme

Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme is a highly rated diesel additive for car owners looking for a premium product. It is a concentrated cetane that also acts as a fuel stability package. The Hot Shots brand is well known to provide reliable results and you can expect a much cleaner running diesel engine whilst using this fuel additive.

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 is 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 features that are not found among the alternatives.

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Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment

Lucas Oil is a US made brand that is highly popular for their additives used within the automotive industry. The 10013 formula is rated as on of the best fuel injector cleaner treatments by our team and it is suitable for both gasoline and diesel fuels.

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

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 that has the effect of burning fuel more thoroughly, which increases the power as well as miles per gallon.

Overall, it is an excellent all-round fuel treatment that can be used on both diesel and gasoline powered engines with great success.

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Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000 Ultra Low Sulfur

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 the diesel treatment that the 137ULSW provides is what is needed for an easy diesel engine startup.

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 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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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 prove you with confidence with this diesel fuel additive, Howes states that there will be “no gel guaranteed” or they will pay for the tow. This is quite a claim but it simply shows how confident the brand is 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 are far better than the earlier diesels that lacked any sort of performance. Due to stricter emission laws, they have gone through a range of changes to help them run cleaner. These include DPF’s, addition of AdBlue and a range of other features.

By using a diesel fuel additive on a regular or monthly 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 buying 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 will help prevent rust, low sulfur and generally improve the engines performance. Those that have been designed for winter will 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 is hard to find a garage that sells high quality fuel, therefore using fuel additives will assist with a healthy running diesel engine.

Winter Season

During the colder temperatures in the winter, you may notice longer startups. This can be due to the glow plugs or poor quality fuel that has frozen in the fuel lines and has developed deposits. If you live in a colder environment, it is 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 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 will not want to use too much of the formula. It is 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. Some heavy vehicle may even have an additive storage stunk to ensure the correct treat rate is met.

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 instruction of the bottle before simply chucking it into the fuel tank and hoping for the best.


Using a diesel fuel additive is not a novelty product and it has been proven to work in many independent tests. They are 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 and additives that can be bought in bulk. If you are regularly using an additive, you may find that you will require many bottles. We advise that you purchase one large bottle (1 gallon or more) and one smaller bottle, which you can keep refilling. This way you are not paying for the small bottle each time and you save money in the long run.

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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