Engine additives can improve the performance and efficiency of your car's engine without the need to get handy with a spanner or fit expensive aftermarket parts.

There are loads of exciting products that all promise better performance. But, before choosing an engine additive, you need to carefully select the one that's right for your petrol, diesel of hybrid fuel system. Engine additives are formulated for specific engines, so choosing the wrong additive could cause severe damage to your engine. Before using your new additive, check you're using the right amount for you're the fuel tank in your car. Using too much could cause damage, and too little could be pointless.

There are four types of additives: system cleaners, performance boosters, DPF cleaners and Lead replacements. Here's what they are and how they work.

System cleaners

If your car feels sluggish, then system cleaners could help. Added to your tank they can reduce emissions, improve performance and make your engine feel as good as new. They also provide added protection for the components in your engine, which can help it to last longer. You need to choose the right system cleaner for your car because the wrong additive could cause damage to components in your petrol or diesel system.

Complete system cleaners

Complete system cleaners intensively clean your car's engine, safely removing harmful deposits, reducing emissions and improving engine power. Over time, deposits can build up in your fuel system, affecting the flow of fuel from your tank to the combustion chamber in your engine. Less fuel means less power. When added to the fuel tank, complete system cleaners flush out the entire engine system, improving engine life, efficiency and performance. They can also reduce emissions, which could help you pass your MOT. Manufacturers recommend that complete system cleaners are used every 3,000 miles to preserve performance and maintain your engine and its crucial components in tip-top condition. Choose one that’s right for your car, as diesel cleaners won’t work for petrol cars and vice-versa.

Performance boosters

Performance boosters increase the cetane or octane rating of the fuel (petrol or diesel) in your engine. Added directly to the fuel, they provide an immediate boost to your power, delivering maximum performance from your motor. They’re popular among those with high-performance cars or those who want a boost for a track day or quicker commute.

Diesel particulate filter cleaners

Diesel particulate filter cleaners lower the temperature at which the soot in diesel engines burns away, causing it to burn away more quickly. In diesel engines, the particulate filter picks up the residue caused by combustion. Over time they can become clogged up, causing the DPF light to flash, which can cause an MOT failure. DPF filter cleaners are particularly useful for those in cities and for those who do a lot of miles. Using a DPF filter cleaner like the Wynn's Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner, can reduce maintenance costs and improve emissions.

Lead replacement additives

If your classic car's engine was designed to run on leaded fuel, then a lead additive is essential if you use unleaded fuel in your vintage motor. Lead replacements replace the lead in the fuel, lubricating and protecting the valve seats in your engine while it's running. Before using any lead replacement you'll have to measure that amount of additive needed to ensure smooth running and protection.

Online or instore at Halfords, you can find a wide selection of engine additives that will deliver better engine performance, whatever you drive and wherever you're going. If you need help selecting the right products for you and your car, then drop in to your local Halfords. You'll always find a member of staff who will be able to offer some common-sense advice and guidance. It's what we've been doing for over a century.