Many drivers have seen ads for additives, especially fuel additives.
Many motorists have tried them, too.
Some claim to have felt tangible benefits, while others say fuel additives make no difference.
So, who is right?
ADDITIVES DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We’re not saying you should go out and buy a whole bunch of fuel additives right now.
However, if your car has been feeling sluggish or has had too many tankfuls of poor quality petrol, you can consider them.
Off-the-shelf fuel additives usually come in concentrated formulas.
These products help remove carbon deposits and other gunk in your engine.
Carbon deposits are caused by a variety of factors.
Chief among them are repeated short distance driving (less than 15km) and the use of poor quality lubricants.
If the engine doesn’t have enough time to reach optimal temperatures, it cannot burn off those nasty particles, which start to build up.
The oil also won’t work as intended and its detergency characteristics will be unrealised.
USE FUEL ADDITIVES SPARINGLY.
For most drivers who clock anywhere close to 20,000km annually, you can use fuel additives once or twice a year.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money keeping your fuel system or injectors clean.
If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t keep using these formulas, it’s because your petrol already has additives!
Yes, fuel additives also determine why one grade of petrol costs more than another.
It’s not just about the RON (research octane number) and the resistance to knocking and pinging.
Premium petrol tends to have a higher concentration of fuel additives.
But remember, unless your car needs premium petrol, stick to what your owner’s manual recommends.
WHAT ABOUT OIL ADDITIVES?
As long as you use a premium quality engine oil, it is unlikely that your car will ever need oil additives.
This is because oil companies spend a lot of money developing engine oils and their additives.
As an petrol company executive once told us, you should just use your carmaker’s recommended brands and grades.