Can Fuel Additives Really Increase Gas Mileage?

March 27th, 2013 by

fuel-efficiencyThere are a wide variety of different products on the market that manufacturers claim can improve performance. One of the most common claims comes from fuel additives and that they can actually increase gas mileage. Is that really possible?

Are Fuel Additives Necessary?

Here’s the short answer: no, but it is a bit more complicated. Fuel additives are not a necessary part of improving your vehicle’s performance. If your car is running well and in good shape, fuel additives don’t really give you any benefit. The claim that they can improve efficiency and reduce emissions only really applies to older vehicles that are running poorly and need a boost to their vehicle’s octane rating.

Is it Safe to Boost Octane Regularly?

Some people that own high performance vehicles often try to save money by buying lower octane fuel and adding an octane boosting fuel additive. We’re not sure why somebody who can afford a high performance vehicle would want to save a few pennies, but this method is pretty foolish. While additives can improve your octane rating, it simply isn’t the same as having high octane fuel. It won’t immediately damage your car or anything, but long term use can cause strain on your engine.

So, There Is No “Cure All” Fuel Additive?

Of course not. Any fuel additive that claims to be able to cure all your performance problems is likely a sham. With fuel additives, the bigger the boasts, the less likely they are to live up to those promises.

Are Any Fuel Additives Worthwhile?

Just because fuel additives may not increase your gas mileage or performance, that doesn’t mean that fuel additives are worthless. Fuel additives can actually reduce the carbon monoxide output in your vehicle by a considerable amount. Anti-knocking agents can also be useful if you need to avoid an engine blowout on the way to getting your knocking engine fixed.

Sadly, it seems that fuel additives aren’t really the wonder cure that many drivers hope they would be when they were first introduced. If you use additives for any of the above reasons, you are using them properly but never trust an additive that claims to improve performance. These statements are marketing lies.