You’ve likely seen gas treatments advertised or had them recommended to you as maintenance for your car. These products claim that adding the treatment to your gas tank can do a variety of things — from giving you better gas mileage to a better running engine.
But what exactly are gas treatments? How do they work — and are they effective? To learn more about these products and whether or not they are a good investment, read on.
What Is a Gas Treatment?
There are several different types of gas treatments that you can choose from, such as:
Carbon deposit cleaning. These additives help clean carbon deposits from your car over time. They are best used on a regular basis on older cars.
Fuel stabilizers. If your car will be idle for an extended period, this type of gas treatment will help prevent gas from changing form, such as congealing or condensation.
Antifreeze. This gas treatment helps prevent condensation from forming or break up water that has formed in your tank so it does not freeze.
Octane boosters. This product gives you the ability to improve the octane of your gasoline without purchasing more expensive gas. These are generally for high-performance sports cars.
Fuel boosters. You can potentially improve the MPG of your gasoline by adding these products which may improve the efficiency of fuel combustion. These products have high claims, but most are ineffective.
As you can see, gas treatments vary over a wide range of uses — and effectiveness. However, the most commonly used and effective treatments in the New England area are the carbon deposit cleaning and antifreeze types.
How Do Gas Treatments Work?
As your car runs, it accumulates carbon deposits in the engine. Over time, these carbon deposits can interfere with the performance of your engine. The purpose of a gas treatment is to clean your engine by removing these deposits. The means by which the deposits are removed and effectiveness differs from product to product.
Gas treatments generally use a solvent to remove the carbon deposits. The most effective solvent is called Polyether Amine (PEA). Look for a product that has a high level of this chemical for best results.
Antifreeze gas treatments work by removing water from your gas tank to prevent freezing. A common active ingredient in these products is a type of isopropyl alcohol. If a car has been immobile for a long time, water can accumulate in the system and separate from the gas. This separation can cause a number of issues, including the water freezing at low temperatures. However, the isopropyl alcohol prevents water formation and dissolves condensation back into the gasoline, which allows it to be removed.
Are Gas Treatments Effective?
Carbon deposit cleaning products are effective if used at the right time in the car’s lifetime, and if they are used over a period of time. New cars generally do not have carbon buildup, so a treatment is not necessary and performance will not be affected.
However, as the car gets older, adding a treatment can be helpful to remove buildup and improve performance. A treatment will not remove all buildup at once, so it is best to add the treatment on a regular basis as a maintenance measure.
Gas line antifreeze products are effective, and can be a lifesaver if the temperatures drop to very low levels. During harsh New England winters, adding a bottle of an antifreeze product on an especially cold night can mean the difference between a car that starts in the morning and one that doesn’t.
What You Can Do
Gas treatments can be an effective way to maintain your older car, improving performance and potentially gas mileage. Further, antifreeze treatments can help prevent your car from freezing (and possibly stranding you at home until the temperature rises).
If you have questions about gas treatments and which one (if any) to use for your vehicle, contact Living the Dream Auto Care. We would be more than happy to help you keep your car running in top condition. You can schedule an appointment online or call (339) 237-5151.