Are Winter Fuel Additives Still Relevant?

Not so long ago, there were a great number of products destined to improve the quality of the fuel that we were putting in the tanks of our cars and trucks. In the dead of winter, with our rough climatic conditions, are there still some miracle additives we can use to guarantee optimal performance of our engine?

Not really.

Thanks to new gasoline and diesel blends offered in gas stations as well as the new technologies adopted in modern powertrains, there are virtually no products left on the market that seek to improve fuel quality, by lack of relevancy. The most popular additive remains that little bottle of gas line antifreeze that’s used in winter.

Gas line antifreeze can be useful when condensation has formed in the lines, preventing effective fuel circulation and engine starting. By keeping the fuel tank as full as possible during the winter months, we can reduce the risk of fuel line condensation and freezing.

Since a few years ago, government regulations require that oil companies offer “summer” and “winter” fuels. The latter can contain oxygenated additives in its blend that reduce the higher quantity of harmful emissions produced in cold weather. Some oil companies even brand this type of fuel and add ingredients that help prevent condensation and deposits in the fuel lines. Winter fuel is sold at the pump from fall to spring. Moreover, the summer gas blend is less volatile, which means it pollutes less, but costs slightly more to produce than winter fuel.

In the end, off-the-shelf fuel additives found in automotive retail and parts stores – and there aren’t many left – likely aren’t worth the expense. However, if we really want to try them out, it might be wise to make sure they’re safe for use in today’s more sophisticated engines.

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