Are Additives Worth It?

June 12, 2019

“The right additives actually are an enhancement to the source motor oils and fuel we put in our trucks.”

Fake, Bogus, Bill of Goods, Rip-Off, Snake Oil – Perhaps a few terms that come to mind when some consider the use of additives as a beneficial assist in our vehicle’s mechanical operations. And while there are cases where this may be true in the old-days of fuel and oil additives where that bottle of magic juice actually was just snake oil, unfortunately there are still a few big name, big marketing agency-based companies that are still getting away with it today.

“I have customers come to me asking to put in XYZ additives in their truck,” says J.C.Counts, owner/operator at TD Diesel (Newberry, SC), “It puts me in an awkward position because I know their request is for a sub standard product. I ask them if they can tell me literally why they want this particular brand and what makes it work, as the product they want to pour into their truck. Naturally, they don’t have an answer for it, and usually call out something unrelated to their issue. They simply recognize the name on the shelf and nothing about the product itself.”

Fortunately however, there are very real alternatives, with very real solutions that provide results and extend the life of vehicles on the road while building exuberant customer satisfaction. Products truly do exist, with plenty of scientific origin, testing, data, and customer results to provide a successful solution among the world of misfit additives. And many are quickly discovering the benefits of the proper additives in the proper applications.

“For a while, I had tried very few additives,” says Counts, “because I was under the impression for years, that oil is good enough and shouldn’t need anything over and above the refineries and manufacturing representations. I thought if you added anything you would be disturbing the chemical properties and makeup of the oil specifications. I have since learned that the right additives actually are an enhancement to the source motor oils and fuel we put in our trucks.”


Counts feels that “technology, scientific research and market testing have made the difference. With so many years of questioning if additives are worth it, my vendor has chosen to prove that YES, additives are very much worth it.”

The evolution of base products has improved and quality raw materials are now more readily available to manufacturers. Also with engine tolerances running tighter and more precision in the design of mechanical parts, the proper additives now play a crucial role in engine protection due to the sophistication of mechanical and engine design. And consumers are paying attention too. Consumers are acquiring a better understanding of their vehicle maintenance and noticing the improvements and added miles that proper additives can deliver to the lifespan of their vehicles. The added value helps consumers hang on to their trucks for longer durations at an improved overall cost of ownership.


With the essential function of the motor oil to easily flow through the motor, lubricate the friction between moving parts and dissipate heat throughout, the proper additive can be essential to its core use.

I always recommend manufacture specs or higher to my customers,” says J.C., “and I follow in my own personal vehicles as well. Specific to Cummins recommendations I can consistently pull my Fleetguard oil filters, and I can cut the filter open for oil analysis, showing the additive benefits and enhancements of the oil flowing through my truck.

Additives are included to help improve viscosity, reduce friction of the moving parts and keep the engine cooler in daily operations. The proper additive blends work synergistically with the source oil compounds to create an increased lubricity bond within the combination of fluids flowing through the entire motor.


For diesel fuel applications, the refineries are required to distribute the newer ultra low sulphur fuel with less lubricity. Bio diesel contains moisture. Ethanol and methanol configurations require the moisture to be displaced from your fuel. With the various hydrocarbons and polar-solvents in the fuel mixtures, the unknown characteristics of the fuel at the pump can cause some impactful and sometimes damaging results in your engine. The correct additives however, can help disperse the moisture, boost cetane, remove the internal deposits and build-up, and help stabilize the various fuel blends so the motor is operating more efficiently, with less damage and more prevention of breakdowns. Especially with diesel fuel, the right additive helps restore the lubricity filtered out of the fuel from the refinery.

“I’ve owned a 12-valve, a 24-valve and now my common rail Cummins. I’ve driven different buddies’ trucks and a ton of trucks in my customer’s fleets, and just running straight diesel fuel is not the answer,” says J.C.. “There is a huge difference with the right additives, where I can tell my mileage is better. I can tell I have improved throttle response. My fuel filters are cleaner at replacements, and specific to my vendor’s additives, mine are nearly as clean and white as when I first installed it.


FR3 Friction Reducer (from Hot Shot’s Secret ) is a lubricity-enhancing oil additive that increases the lubricating and wear reduction properties of the host oil. The product contains patented synthetic lubricants that have unique lubricating properties even compared to PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity. Negatively charged Group 5 synthetic esters tenaciously attach to all internal parts completely lubricating your engine. Esters are also responsible for the increased rubber seal lubrication as well as a slight swelling of the seal for less oil leaks. The anti-wear component of the formula is a patented carbon Nano particle that fills in microscopic irregularities on the machined surface to provide a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form. Wear rates are reduced by 43% on the ASTM G-133 test when using FR3. The patented nano particles cross link at the surface which increases film strength and boundary lubrication. The synergy of these components extends the base oil performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction. Lost compression is regained by cleaning deposits on the rings and pistons and by providing a smoother sealing surface for the rings which results in better ring sealing, less blow-by and increased combustion efficiency. The reduction in the coefficient of friction reduces operating temperatures and improves the oxidative stability of the host oil ensuring longer life for your engine. Fuel mileage and horsepower gains of 5% are not uncommon with the use of FR3 as backed up by dyno and road testing.

Everyday Diesel Treatment (EDT) helps replenish the missing lubricity of modern Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) and biodiesel. The removal of sulfur, and hence the lack of lubricity, from diesel fuel causes added friction against all of the moving parts in your fuel system. Plus, waxy soap deposits that were soluble in higher sulfur content fuels are now forming in fuel systems and very difficult to filter. Most diesel fuel contains at least a portion of biodiesel which contains glycerides. Hot Shot’s Secret Everyday Diesel Treatment was formulated with an injector cleaner, cetane improver, neutral and sulfur free lubricity agent, water dispersant, rust and corrosion inhibitor and fuel stabilizer. EDT’s injector cleaner specifically cleans IDID’s as well as the original carbon coking External Diesel Injector Deposits (EDID’s) and waxy soap deposits. EDT’s injector cleaner cleans all parts of your fuel system including upper cylinders, fuel tank, fuel pumps and lines. The injector cleaner is also responsible for bringing asphaltenes and glycerides back into solution and preventing further ashpaltenes and glycerides from forming. With your diesel fuel void of carboxylic salts, waxy deposits, asphaltenes and glycerides in suspension, the problems with filter plugging and injector deposits are solved. DDS and HDS acids are neutralized by the injector cleaner to keep more carboxilic salts from forming. Independent testing shows that power-loss is restored up to 67% in the Peugeot CEC F98-08 DW-10 test with the keep clean level of injector cleaner found in EDT. It also passes the ASTM D2068 Filter Blocking Test. The Cetane levels found in diesel fuel in most states is around 42 to 45. The minimum required by ASTM D 975 is 40. Most diesel engines operate more efficiently with a fuel that has a cetane rating of 48 to 50. Fuels with higher cetane burn more efficiently and completely than those with lower cetane ratings. EDT contains a cetane improver that will raise your cetane number 4 to 7 points. There are many advantages to increase cetane numbers. Cold starting is improved and less black smoke is seen as a result of the improved combustion efficiency. Less hydrocarbons and particulate matter in your exhaust reduce the blocking of your Diesel Particulate Filter and using EDT in your fuel has been shown to reduce DPF regens 50%. Increased cetane levels have also shown to improve fuel mileage and power. Fleet tests with EDT have shown an improvement in fuel mileage up to 7.3% and up to 12.3% increase in power due to the combination of Hot Shot’s Secret injector cleaner and cetane improver. This combination is also responsible for restored throttle response. EDT provides a cetane improvement in the fuel for a smoother, less erratic pressure buildup in the combustion chamber during the ignition delay period which occurs between injection and ignition.

STICTION ELIMINATOR is composed of a safe and effective synthetic cleaner that dissolves the stiction found on oil-wetted components, resulting in a rating of 92% clean in the ASTM D4828 scrub test. A Group V synthetic ester assists in bringing deposits and additives back into solution, reducing friction and lubricating your oil system. Originating as a request by International Truck and Engine for a product that eliminated the performance and warranty issues caused by stiction in the Navistar and Powerstroke Hydraulic Electric Unit Injectors (HEUI injectors), Stiction Eliminator eliminates the sticky friction caused by byproducts of burnt oil, thereby eliminating the hard starting when cold, bucking, missing, chugging and black smoke. Stiction Eliminator restores HEUI injectors back to factory specifications and rejuvenates the engine to optimal performance by restoring the oil flow through the injectors, which corrects injector timing, fuel flow and the spray pattern of injectors. Stiction Eliminator cleans the gum, varnish and stiction while also lubricating everything the oil touches in the engine. Similar to HEUI injectors the same benefits hold true for many other engine components. Stiction can form on many other components as well. Turbocharger bearings operate with tight tolerance and extreme heat (reaching temperatures upwards of 400°F), and are a known victim of stiction buildup. Stiction Eliminator helps reduce spool time while building maximum boost sooner in the RPM range. Stiction Eliminator is an inexpensive preventative measure to avoid stiction problems in the future. Stiction Eliminator was formulated to be left in for the entire duration of your oil’s lifetime. Stiction Eliminator is not a flush that contains harsh solvents which can potentially harm your engine. Whether used to solve an existing problem or as a preventative measure, Stiction Eliminator is guaranteed to clean and protect your engine.

And don’t just take our word for it! Just like the conclusion of this article includes raving testimonials, please visit our website for more knowledgeable articles, to see further proof of Hot Shot’s Secret success and even more testimonials for satisfied customers that also are now true believers. Are additives worth it? If you want your truck to run better, reduce total cost of ownership, reduce breakdowns, and stay on the road longer, then the answer is ‘yes.’




“I’m sure there are additives out there, that are worth it. But in my opinion, what I have seen in my own personal experience, is that Hot Shot’s Secret is by far the best. Hot Shot’s has not only set the bar, they have put the bar so far out of reach that others cannot compare.

I have used some other big name-brand products in the past, but I never saw the results. They have more space on the shelf but I just don’t believe in it like I do the Hot Shot’s Secret fuel and oil additives.

I had a customer ask if I recommend any additives, and I said yes, the Hot Shot’s Secret additives are the product that I sell, and I believe in. I don’t push any product that I wouldn’t or don’t already use on any of my personal vehicles.

I use Everyday Diesel Treatment, FR3 and Stiction Eliminator in my 2007 Dodge 6.7 Cummins. It’s a dually with gear ratio, tire size, and everything I can adjust spec’d for my particular driving situation in town and on the highway. Regardless of highway, city, back roads, you name it – I have a combined gain of 20+ miles per gallon in fuel economy using HSS products!

I love that EDT. The Everyday Diesel Treatment is bar-none an essential. When I started adding an ounce every time at the fuel pump, I started to see awesome fuel mileage in my truck!

I learn from the facts that I study, and I watch these big-names in the industry like Firepunk diesel, that have partnered with Hot Shot’s Secret. I follow these guys that are out there doing the research, these guys that are racing, constantly tearing down their engines, and consistently testing on their dynos; I trust their results. When those guys put FR3 in an engine, test a dyno pull and promote gains of 14 horsepower, just with the Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 oil additive alone, I’m paying attention!

After I saw the Firepunk experts gain 14 horsepower, I bought a bottle of FR3 the next day. I poured it in and noticed how slick it was – like nothing I had ever seen in the past, with ANY other additives. I fired the truck up and once the oil pressure came up, it sounded like a totally different vehicle. It ran like a Singer sewing machine!! I was amazed! I was so amazed I actually didn’t believe it myself. I shut down and walked away, and started it again the next day. Same thing: Easy start, smooth, quiet and unbelievable. $20 for some Hot Shot’s Secret! Sold!

There are only a handful of labs across the country originating their own additive products. Others will buy elsewhere and stick their own label on it, but it’s not theirs. With Hot Shot’s Secret, their parent company LSI is their lab with their product!

Once realizing that yes, additives are worth it, I have tried almost everything on the market, over the past 10 years. Hot Shot’s Secret is now the only additive that I use. It’s the only product I promote and I’m not looking to deviate from that!

When it’s your livelihood on the line, I have to trust in the products I sell. If I put it in my own personal truck, I can be confident putting it in and recommending it for my customer’s trucks. The other stuff, it’s a joke. I’m glad I sought out the Hot Shot’s Secret additives instead. HSS has been an amazing return on investment ever since.”