Marketers are often blamed for creating and exploiting needs. While that might not be true completely, but yes in some instances, these allegations have substance. The case in point is fuel additives which are marketed in such an extraordinary manner that most of us blindly believe that these are good for our cars. We hardly care to check ingredients used in the additives and or more importantly whether these have any benefit and just go for the product. In this article, we are going to take a hard look to find whether fuel additives have tangible benefits or not.
Primary Question: Do you really need additives?
Before you purchase a fuel additive, ask yourself a fundamental question: Whether my car really needs fuel additive or not. In the Indian market, fuel additives are available both for petrol and diesel engines. Chevron and 3M are the key players in the category of fuel additives and have a range of products catering to different engines and their specific needs. The primary function of fuel additives is to enhance the performance and fuel efficiency of a vehicle by cleaning fuel injectors, reducing the exhaust gases by managing engine knocking, and preventing corrosion of fuel lines. All these functions play an important role in boosting both performance and fuel efficiency while enhancing the longevity of the engine. Now answer to whether your car really needs fuel additive or not is yes as well as no. We explain both these scenarios in detail to help you make up your mind about additives.
a) Situations where you require fuel additives: If you reside in a region where weather conditions oscillate between extreme summer and winter, your car might require fuel additive. This is specifically true for diesel car owners in the winter season when the temperature plummets to an extremely low level. In such harsh requirements, you should go for an anti-gel fuel additive which will keep the diesel from gelling. The petrol engine, on the other hand, might not really require additives owing to its spark engine technology. Still in the case of a petrol engine, one can use the octane booster to enhance the performance although it will benefit only high-performance cars – this addition might not result in better performance in the case of regular cars.
Another favorable scenario for the use of additive is when your car is going to be stranded for a long time. Using the fuel stabilizer in such conditions is a good idea as it helps the car to start smoothly even after a long idle period. In addition, as your car ages, you can use a cleanser for fuel injectors occasionally in order to maintain the performance and extend the overall life of your vehicle.
b) Situations where you don't require fuel additives: One simple and straightforward condition where you do not require any fuel additive at all is when your car is new. For the first year or even two years of ownership, it is redundant to use fuel additive as it is going to add no value to either performance or fuel-efficiency. You should be especially careful about the use of additives in the warranty period as the manufacturer has a right to deny a warranty claim if it is found that some supplement is used to boost performance and fuel efficiency of the car. It is therefore recommended that as long as the warranty period of the car is active, you should avoid using fuel additives in your car. During normal weather conditions, the addition of fuel additives is not going to bring anything new to the table and should be avoided. Even if you are a die-hard fan of additives and strongly believe in these boosters, make sure you do not use them on a regular basis.