Fuel additives: do they work and, if so, what’s the best fuel additive?

You may be wondering if fuel additives are really effective and if they really work as well as advertisements claim. The reality is that there are benefits to using them, but it’s important to be realistic in your expectations.

The EPA requires that all fuel sold in the U.S. contain a certain amount of deposit-control additives to prevent a dangerous buildup in your car’s systems. However, a type of fuel could meet the bare minimums mandated by law — but it still may not provide an adequate level of prevention. This is where the effectiveness of fuel additives comes into play.

You want to choose a fuel additive that can keep your engine clean if you purchase the cheapest gas possible.

With today’s gas prices, most of us are looking for the cheapest gas, rather than completely focusing on the health of our vehicle — and that focus on prices is understandable.

To protect your vehicle, look for fuel additives that contain polybutene amine (PBA), which can clean out deposits from carburetors, fuel injectors and intake valves, as well as potentially a few other areas. They also may be able to restore your engine’s overall performance and help lower your carbon footprint.

Don’t overdo. Using too much of a particular fuel additive can actually cause damage, such as ruining sensors and other car features.

Then, you will end up spending more in the long run than you would have dealing with typical deposit damage.

The bottom line: choose a fuel additive that is appropriate for your vehicle and use it according to directions. This can help save you time, money and hassles in the long run. To save more money, find the cheapest gas in your area.


  1. Lucas Gas Additive works very well, it does help get extra mileage.I recommend using a bottle with each fill up.
    I also recommend Lucas Oil Treatment with each oil change.
    I think Lucas makes some of the best products on the market today. I would recommend them to everyone.

  2. The ingredient you want is polyether amine, which isn’t found in every brand. The known brands to contain PEA are chevron Techron, any Gumout with the label “Regane”, as well as Redline and Amsoil fuel system cleaners.

    There is plenty of junk out there that doesn’t contain PEA and the two worst ones you can buy are Lucas or STP, of which contain no PEA at all! Just a proprietary blend of mostly kerosene carrier.

  3. Bill Hellmueller says:

    well the information on fuel additives was not very helpful.. No where did it mention some brands that are good to use….

  4. Brad Grems says:

    Anyone know of a good additive for engines designed to burn leaded fuel. These are mostly older hobby and collector cars that need something to protect the valves and valve seats, which is what the lead used to do.

  5. Sea foam. Been around since the great depression. I had a mechanic of 50 years sell me on this product. I put a can in 2 or 3 times a year with a fill-up. I have 170,000 miles on my 2003 Tacoma and it runs like new.

    • I also have had great results with Sea Foam. Resolved idle and hard start problems with 150 Hp Blackmax outboard and eliminated a engine shut down problem on a used Johnson Faststrike 150 out board on a nice used bass boat I bought. Used one can per 15 galoons of fuel in both cases as recommended by a sharp old marine engine Tech yesrs ago. Good advice then and now as far as I am concerned.

  6. Peggy kingery says:

    I used seafoam as directed and my van hasn’t been the same since. I have had to take off throttle body and clean. Still does the same sputter and sometimes will start most of the time not. I wonder if the seafoam didnt cause some crud to plug it up somewhere.

  7. Robert Mansour says:

    Have any of you ever tries Lubrication Engineers LX 2300 Gasoline Additive or their BTU+ Diesel fuet additive? … I’ve tried their LX 2300 and I not only felt a power boost, but I’m using less furl for the same driving distances and I get 8 fillups with one bottle, the Mix ratio is 1:400
    Please let me know If any of you have tried it

  8. OnlyGermanCars says:

    Liqui moly valve cleaner is the best if you can find it. Made in Germany. If not, use She’ll nitrogen premium gas. More costly, but in the long run, cheap investment for your engine.

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