Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine, and increase gas mileage. When trying to decide on which additive to use, you need to keep a few things in mind, including what part of the fuel system you want to clean, the strength of the fuel treatment, and whether you just want to improve your vehicle's overall fuel mileage.
Part 1 of 2: Choose the fuel treatment strength
The strength of the fuel treatment plays a large part in how often you have to use it. Your choices basically boil down to treatment with a low concentration and those with a high concentration of additives, each designed to work for a specific length of time.
You should have your fuel system inspected on a regular basis, though some systems, such as the fuel injectors, only need to be looked at once a year.
- Warning: Do not overuse fuel additives, as they can do more harm than good if used too much. Overusing a fuel additive can lead to damaged sensors. Follow the directions located on the fuel additive directions pertaining to use to avoid these problems.
Step 1: Compare the benefits of each concentration. The table below will give you a sense of the benefits of each type of concentration.
Part 2 of 2: Choose the specific fuel cleaner type
In addition to fuel treatment strength, consider what parts of your vehicle's fuel system you need to clean. While some fuel treatments are designed to clean the whole system, others are manufactured with individual parts in mind.
Step 1: Compare cleaning methods. Since there are a variety of ways to clean your fuel system, the table below will give you an idea of which way is best for your needs:
Tip: Normally, you should use a fuel treatment once per year, or roughly every 15,000 miles for best results. It sometimes helps, though, to use a maintenance fuel cleaner that you add to your fuel at every fill up.
Note: Vehicles with a carburetor use fuel cleaners similar to those used for fuel injection engines.
Tip: If you have different parts of your fuel system that need cleaning, you are better off using a treatment that cleans the whole system as opposed to using one for each individual area.
Keeping your fuel system clean is essential to the health of your car, and additives and cleaners are good ways of doing this. They can both improve your comfort while riding and save you money at the pump. Eventually your your fuel injectors will need be replaced, however, so have one of our expert mechanics replace the fuel injectors for you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy Fuel Treatments and was authored by Cheryl Knight.