Fuel additives are a relatively new invention in the automotive world, with the first recorded use of them appearing in 1912 in the oil industry when iodine was added to kerosene to eliminate a knocking sound in their equipment. Since then, people have been adding and removing additives to their vehicles in order prevent premature wear of the engine and prolong the performance and reliability of their cars.
Today there are fuel additives that act as gasoline stabilizers, antifreeze, octane boosters, cleaners, lubricants, and anti-gelling agents. Some additives are blends that allow you to address several of these issues with one fluid. These additives are not surprisingly used quite often as an economical preventive measure to avoid most costly repairs down the road. They are considered safe to add to your vehicle and have not been known to cause damage to a vehicle even if they are not the right additive for your vehicle. However, they also won’t do anything to improve your vehicle if they aren’t the right additive. So how do you know if you need to use them?
Fuel Additives Overview
Most fuel additives are considered cleaners for your engine. Over time, impurities from the fuel you put in your car every week can start to build up and create a grime that impairs the overall performance. Using cleaners on a regular basis is said to provide a number of benefits including:
- Extending the life of your engine
- Cleaning and maintaining the fuel system
- Removing deposits from intake valves and combustion chambers
- Improving your gas mileage
Another category of additive includes anti-gelling fluids which can be necessary if you are driving a car that requires diesel in an area where the temperature drops below freezing over the winter months. Diesel and cold temperatures do not play well together so if your Mini Cooper thrives on diesel, look into an anti-gelling additive to get you through the winter.
The last main category of additives are fuel stabilizers. If you live in a cold weather climate over the winter months you may decide that storing your Mini Cooper until the weather warms up is a better solution. In this case, you should add a stabilizer to the tank of gas in order to avoid corrosion, fuel system clogs and poor performance from the bad gas running through your vehicle once you start it up again.
Additives for Your Mini Cooper
Apart from the basic list of additives mentioned above which could be applicable to any vehicle, MINI Coopers have their own particular maintenance requirements due to their build. As they are lightweight, sporty vehicles that handle well, using additives to improve fuel economy is not much of a concern.
However, as with any vehicle, MINI’s have issues that need to be addressed overtime, one of them being transmission failure. Mini does not recommend changing transmission fluid often or at all which has led to very expensive fixes for Mini Cooper owners over the years. Most automotive technicians now recommend that the fluid be replaced frequently, as often as once a year. Additionally, most Mini Cooper dealers would recommend fuel additives to preserve and prolong the life of the engine and its parts.
Talk to the Experts
As with any vehicle, ongoing maintenance is always recommended. Fuel additives are a part of maintenance, but knowing which ones to choose can be complicated and confusing. Every car and every model has its own quirks which is why it’s so important to keep up with routine maintenance at a service shop that specializes in your vehicle. Your automotive technician will be able to spot small problems before they become big ones, which keeps your car in good condition and keeps you safe on the roads.
While you may already be taking great care of your Mini Cooper by taking it in for its recommended scheduled repairs, the ASE Certified Technicians at Revolution Automotive Services, Norwood, Westwood, Walpole, Sharon, Canton, Medfield, Needham, Dover, and Boston, MA are aware of the specific needs of your vehicle and will take the time to check for these issues. Their expertise in the maintenance and repair of BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and Mini Cooper will help you avoid any costly repairs and keep your vehicle running at peak performance.
* Mini Cooper Countryman S image credit goes to: Srdjanns74.