Formulated for both gas and diesel engines, the yellow sticker on the bottle says “Fuel Saver. Increases MPG.”

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of “The GasMan” via YouTube. Check out his channel linked here.

As the average price for gas creeps higher, with some drivers seeing the price jump as much as 14 cents overnight, Americans are pulling out every trick in the book to make their cars run as fuel efficient as possible.

One popular fuel saver advertised as a tune-up in a bottle is Lucas Oil’s Fuel Treatment, an upper cylinder lubricant with injector cleaners and fuel conditioners.

Priced as low as $4.47 for a 5.5 oz bottle (81 cents/oz) or as cheap as 25 cents/oz if you buy a whole gallon at $32.99, it’s an inexpensive fuel treatment and cleaner for the potential added fuel efficiency and performance you might see.

According to Lucas Oil’s infographic, their benefits include,

  • Cleans and lubricates the fuel system
  • Increases the life of pumps, valves, rings, and injectors.
  • Solves low suphur diesel fuel problems
  • Fuel burns more efficiently-greater MPGs and fewer emissions.
  • Maintains peak engine performance.

Here’s why Lucas Fuel Treatment does work and if it’s worth the added overall cost for the improved MPG.

What is Lucas Fuel Treatment?

Lucas Oil’s technical data sheet describes Lucas Fuel Treatment as a “concentrate” meant to replace polymers, or the main lubricants in gas, that were originally stripped by our government.

This concentrate is supposed to make “fuel slicker” and more powerful than it was originally.

What exactly IS this concentrate?

Of, course, it’s a proprietary mixture of petroleum products but, we do have information what Lucas Fuel Treatment is.

According to their safety data sheet, Lucas Fuel Treatment is between 60-100 percent Petroleum Distillates and hydrotreated light naphthenic.

Based on that alone, we can safely assume, since it’s mostly petroleum based, at worst, Lucas Fuel Treatment will not harm your fuel or engine.

Fuel system makeup and how Lucas Fuel Treatment works

Most fuel systems are comprised of the same parts.

Starting from your fuel tank, you have your fuel pump that sends fuel through a fuel filter. After being filtered, it flows through a fuel rail(s) before fuel is metered to individual fuel injectors.

A diesel system is somewhat comparable, with the addition of an injection pump to pressurize the diesel fuel lines.

Fuel injectors are supposed to be a lifetime product that lasts for as long as you own your car with no maintenance. This is assuming you use decent gas and aren’t abusing your car with multiple short trips and frequent hard accelerations.

Of course, life isn’t perfect, all fuel injectors aren’t the same, and people use and abuse their cars as they see fit.

According to Danny’s Engine Portal, fuel injectors lead a harsh life of multiple heat soaks often without adequate cooling, hot engine environments, and general wear and tear.

Injectors can get clogged from dirt and debris getting past fuel filters and from hard deposits from evaporated fuel.

In addition, rubber o-rings on the fuel rail and injector itself get hard and brittle over time and can crack and leak.

And, with smaller, turbo engines more common than ever, direct injection means fuel injectors, including the walls of individual cylinders, get caked with carbon build-up.

Whatever Lucas Fuel Treatment is exactly made of, the fuel treatment helps to break down built up carbon and helps keep fuel injector tips and those o-rings and seals as clean and supple as possible.

Does Lucas Fuel Treatment increase MPG and save gas?

The answer is yes, but, it depends.

The truth is, your car will never be as efficient as it was straight off the factory floor.

Whatever your best fuel economy numbers were when your car was new, that’s as good as it’s going to get.

Take, for example, a 2000 Ford F-150 rated at 12 City/16 Highway/14 combined brand new.

Today, 22-years later with 150,000 miles, even though that Ford F-150’s been maintained by the book, it’s no spring chicken and, on its best day, it might get 15 MPG on the highway.

That 2000 Ford F-150 may have one underperforming injector and, after two treatments with Lucas Fuel Treatment, you may see that MPG jump back to factory specs. 16 highway MPG, once more!

Lucas Fuel Treatment can increase MPG, but, at best, as good as factory fresh.

If you’ve got a fairly new car, less than 3 years old or 50,000 miles, keeping up with your maintenance and using the correct gas is all you need at the moment, no Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment necessary.

Back of the napkin math or how to figure out if Lucas Fuel Treatment is worth it.

Based on what the bottle says, how many gallons can be treated, we can roughly figure out how much Lucas Fuel Treatment adds to your fill-up per gallon.

This is assuming you buy from Amazon and get free shipping.

Bottle size5.25 oz @ $4.4732 oz @ $11.98128 oz @ $32.99
Gallons treatedTreats 25 gallonsTreats 100 gallonsTreats 400 gallons
Additional cost per gallon+17.8 cents+12 cents+8 cents

Setting a baseline, if you have a 2015 Nissan Altima that gets 31 MPG combined but, seven years later, that combined MPG is more like 29 MPG, here’s how to figure out if it’s cost-effective to use Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment.

To do that, we have to figure out what it costs per mile with and without Lucas Fuel Treatment.

The relevant equations are,

  • Before – Cost of 1 gallon of gas ÷ original mpg
  • After- (Cost of 1 gallon of gas + added cost with Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment) ÷(improved mpg)

For our 2015 Altima, assuming we bought a 5.25 oz bottle, tried it out with the correct proportion of fuel treatment, and we saw +2 mpg, let’s figure out how cost-effective it turns out to be.

For our example, let’s assume gas costs $4.30 a gallon. The gas price, will, of course, be different for you.

(using the before mpg) $4.30 ÷29 mpg= 14.8 cents per mile
(using the improved mpg) $4.30+0.178 ÷31 mpg= 14.4 cents per mile

The bigger the bottle, the cost per mile improves.

1 quart- $4.30+0.12 ÷31 mpg= 14.2 cents per mile
1 gallon- $4.30+0.08 ÷ 31 mpg= 14.1 cents per mile

As long as you’re plugging in the same fuel price, and you’re seeing cheaper cost/mile, it’s worth it.

For example, if we saw only +1 mpg, the overall cost per mile for each bottle would be

5.25 oz bottle- 14.9 cents per mile
1 quart- 14.73 cents per mile
1 gallon- 14.6 cents per mile

The math works out for the quart and gallon size but, if you only use the smallest bottle size, it ends up being more expensive than not using it at all.

My advice is to first figure out how much MPG you’re getting right now, then, buy a 5.25 oz bottle, treat your gas with the right amount of Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment (5.25 oz treats 25 gallons or .21 oz/gallon,) and observe your improved MPG.

After that, figure out if the math works out and if it’s cheaper per mile.

Depending on how much you spend on a bottle of Lucas Fuel Treatment and what MPGs your car gets, you can substitute the correct values accordingly.

As far as fuel savings go and assuming you’re dealing with slightly clogged injectors, it doesn’t make financial sense, even if you’re seeing MPG gains, if it ends up costing more per mile.

What other people are saying

Here are reviews and comments from verified purchasers who found Lucas Fuel Treatment works, and there are a lot of them.

Although mechanic and YouTuber Scotty Kilmer dismisses Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment as unnecessary and not worth it, the comment’s section, over 1,500 comments long, although largely anecdotal, is in favor of the stuff.

“I did an experiment with the Lucas fuel additive on a 400 mile highway route I take twice a month,” John Deere167 TV commented. “Whenever I used the Lucas fuel additive, regardless of where I bought gas, I would always get an extra 2-3 mpg over 400 highway miles. Even if it’s not doing much cleaning, the extra mpg alone more than pays for itself if you buy the gallon jugs. I was driving a 98 Volvo burning premium gasoline and completed 10 replicates with and without the cleaner.

“Lucas fuel injector cleaner is part of the reason my 04 Dodge/ Cummins 5.9 Diesel w/349k miles still have the original high pressure injector pump and OEM “original” injectors and starts every morning, ” Dougster commented. The other part is the FASS (fuel air separation system) w/3 micron fuel filter. Works Great for Cummins Diesels!”

It’s largely the same on Amazon, reviews singing the praises of what Lucas Oil Treatment has done for their MPG and overall engine performance.

“I have 2008 Tundra with 196000 miles on the clock. My driving consist of 70% freeway miles and I usually get 17 mpg with AC and about 17.5 without,” Siemowit on commented. “Used fuel treatment in 17 gal of premium Shell gasoline and went back to regular grade. To my surprise my mpg jumped to 19.3 on this tank (no AC) the same driving habits. Wow! For a while it stayed above 20 mpg, but I decided to pass few folks. My truck has more zip and is running much smoother. I recently replaced the plugs because it was a bit staggering at idle. Also my injectors are much quieter on the start up. I’m on my 3rd tank of regular gas and still get around 19.5 mpg.”

This YouTuber tried Lucas Oil Treatment in his fleet of Panther Platform cars (Ford Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis, etc.) and found adding Fuel Treatments will save him about $70 a year.

And this YouTuber saw an immediate improvement, from 21 MPG to 23 MPG in his first use of the stuff. Impressive!

Without a doubt, Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment works for a lot of people with few, if any, reporting any issues. It’s definitely worth a try. As mentioned, if you’ve got a brand new or new-ish car, you might not see any improvements.

But, if you’ve got an older car like a Ford Aerostar or ’90s Nissan Altima, your fuel injectors might need a little love, and you may see your MPG return to what it once was.


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