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Importance Of Fuel Additives

By Author: Stephens H Robertson
Total Articles: 39

Fuel additives can help improve fuel efficiency and also avoid problems such as weak acceleration, rough idling, cold-start problems, stalling and stumbling. They play an important role in the deposit reduction on the combustion chamber and valves of the automobile.


Fuel additive is a liquid added into the fuel supply of vehicles either through the filter cap or other fuel system parts. Supplementing your fuel with additives gives better performance over the standard fuel.


Most of the fuel additives fall into seven categories and are given below.


* Fuel line antifreeze: Generally water condensation occurs in the fuel (gasoline) storage tank and often causes the fuel line to freeze during cold conditions. One of the historic remedy is to add alcohol based anti-freezes that will mix with water and prevent the fuel line to freeze up. But, the water dispersant fuel line anti-freeze will absorb and transfer the water from the fuel to the engine, where it is vaporized into the exhaust stream.


* Gasoline stabilizers: Loss of fuel's volatility is a major problem in vehicles such as boats, electric generators and lawn care equipment. By using gasoline stabilizers, the difficulty in starting is reduced which is usually caused by the propensity of more gaseous components in the gasoline to evaporate into the atmosphere. Also, corrosion inhibitors prevent the corrosion of the fuel system from ethanol based fuel.


* Fuel injector cleaners: The symptoms of a clogged fuel injector are poor engine performance, sluggish acceleration and hard-starting. These symptoms are caused when the fuel injector nozzles are clogged by the carbon deposits. Some of the fuel injector cleaners are designed as maintenance additives, while the others help to remove the carbon deposits from valves, cylinder heads and pistons.


* Octane boosters: Octane booster additives increase the octane ring of gasoline for lubricating the valve seats in high compression engines. Mostly, a valve seat lubricant is constituted in an octane booster to reduce wear on collector and antique car engines that are equipped with cast iron valve seats.


* Diesel exhaust liquid (DEF): This fuel additive is metered from separate tank directly into the diesel exhaust gas stream where it breaks down the nitrogen oxide compounds into basic forms of water and nitrogen. In case if the DEF level becomes low the diesel power-train control module limits the vehicle's speed until its required level is restored.


* Upper cylinder lubricants: High detergent, light viscosity upper cylinder oils were designed to be added to the fuel tank to help lubricate and clean the sticking valves that are caused by insufficient oil clearance in the valve assembly. Nevertheless, modern fuel additives contain certain type of upper cylinder lubricant to grease seats, valve guides and piston rings.


* Anti-gelling additives: These additives are added to liquefy the solidified gel or paraffin wax that forms in the fuel and clogs the fuel filters during freezing temperatures. While the modern diesel engines use heated fuel filters and lines to prevent gelling, the anti-gelling additives will help to improve the cold starting performance i.e., during cold temperatures. Also, many of the anti-gelling additives include solvents that remove water, clean the fuel systems and grease the fuel injectors.


Many professional automotive technicians often categorize these additives as “mechanical in a can” to discrete fuel delivery problems.

Airtex fuel delivery system is the leading aftermarket supplier of mechanical and electric fuel pumps. For over 50 years, the Airtex brand has been the benchmark for leading companies in the automotive aftermarket. An electric fuel pump from Airtex has exceptional quality that meets or exceeds OE design specifications and ISO standards.

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