Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best octane boosters

If you drive a car, you know how good it feels to sit behind the wheel when the engine is humming smoothly. Not only does a healthy engine make your car sound and feel better on the road, but you’re also more likely to get better gas mileage. If your car sounds like a race car or a wreck when you rev the engine, it may have a lot to do with octane. And an octane booster could be the solution.

Whether you use a more affordable low-octane gasoline or a pricier high-octane fuel, periodically adding an octane booster to your fuel tank can help. But with so many different options on the market, how do you choose one that is both effective and affordable? We can help you decide.

At BestReviews, we take our role seriously. We want to help consumers get the best products and value for their money. If you were driven to our site to find an octane booster, we can steer you in the right direction. Above, you’ll find our top five recommendations. Below, you’ll find our shopping guide full of details and tips to further improve your purchasing experience.

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Many drivers who participate in motor sports, such as drag racing, rely on octane boosters to improving engine performance during competition.

What is octane?

Octane is a measurement of a gasoline engine’s performance – the higher the octane, the better the performance. A fuel with a higher octane number (such as 93) can withstand more compression before igniting. Higher octane fuel is used in high-performance engines, such as race cars and muscle cars.

Using a low-octane fuel in a high-performance engine can cause lots of problems, including the following:

  • Misfiring

  • Knocking

  • Pinging

  • Hesitating

  • Deposit buildup on spark plugs

  • Decreased power

  • Engine damage

Though automobiles differ, using a high- or low-octane fuel can noticeably affect a car’s performance. Most cars run more smoothly, get better gas mileage, and deliver more power with higher octane fuel, which can make using an octane booster a good idea.

Octane booster ingredients

Octane boosters are formulated with various additives to help reduce and prevent knocks and pings and improve engine performance.

Here are a few of the most common additives:

Aromatic alcohols

Aromatic alcohols, including benzine and toluene, are chemical compounds capable of increasing octane when they make up at least 10% of a booster’s formula. (Because they absorb quickly into the skin and lungs, you must take precautions when using these chemicals, such as wearing work gloves and a mask.)


Ethanol is often used in high-performance vehicles. However, if used at more than 10% concentration, special tuning and possibly larger injectors may be necessary. Ethanol can also cause corrosion if left to sit in the tank, so it isn’t ideal for the average auto.


MMT (methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) is a common anti-knocking additive that works well in most vehicles, but it can cause some spark plug buildup.

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Did you know?
Octane booster brands vary, but one bottle will typically treat one full tank of gasoline that is between 18 and 25 gallons. This is a handy measure to know when buying an octane booster.

Octane booster prices

When you consider the price of a single container of octane booster, it doesn’t seem very expensive. However, if you drive frequently and plan to treat your fuel every time you fill the tank, it can get pricey.

The benefits of using an octane booster outweigh the cost for many drivers, and you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune. An inexpensive octane booster by a trusted brand can also be beneficial to your engine’s performance.


Expect to pay between $4 and $7 for a single bottle of octane booster for typical passenger vehicles.


Expect to pay $12 to $35 for a single bottle of octane booster for high-performance vehicles. However, pricier boosters often come in concentrated formulas capable of treating several tanks of fuel.


Expect to pay between $30 and $85 for a case of octane booster containing six to a dozen bottles, depending on the brand and formula. This is a good option for drivers who plan to treat their tanks each time they fill up because the price per bottle is a bit less than purchasing the bottles individually.


  • Use precautions when working with octane boosters. These products are formulated with harsh, flammable ingredients that are dangerous if inhaled, ingested, or spilled on the skin. Keep them out of the reach of children, away from animals, and clear of open flames. If you do get octane booster on your skin, wash it off immediately to prevent irritation. Never smoke while using an octane booster.

  • Consider using an octane booster every time you fill your gas tank. An octane booster isn’t a substitute for premium gas, but adding one to your tank each time you fill it will likely improve your engine’s performance, especially if you have a high-performance automobile.

  • Buy a funnel. If you prefer a brand that doesn’t come in a long-necked bottle, investing in a funnel will make it much easier to add the booster to your tank without spillage.

  • Start using an octane booster several weeks before an event if you race or participate other events that require your car or truck to operate at peak performance. This allows you to determine how your vehicle performs with the booster and gives the product time to work its way through the engine.
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The boost you get from an octane booster is usually more noticeable in a newer vehicle with a cutting-edge fuel system. However, using one in an older model with a carbureted engine will also improve performance in most cases.


Q. I’d like to improve the performance of my diesel engine. Can I use an octane booster?

A. No. You should never use an octane booster in a vehicle with a diesel engine because the formula is only compatible with engines fueled by gasoline. Cetane boosters are specifically formulated for diesel engines.

Q. Should I put an octane booster in my tank before or after I fill it up?

A. The instructions vary for different brands, but it’s a good idea to fill your tank about halfway, add your octane booster, then finishing filling. This will help ensure that the booster mixes thoroughly with the gasoline.

Q. Are there any possible issues caused by using octane boosters?

A. For most vehicles, using fuel that doesn’t have a high enough octane rating poses more of an issue than using an octane booster. However, some ingredients, such as MMT, have been known to cause issues with sensors and spark plugs in some vehicles. If you have questions, be sure to read your owner’s manual and talk to your mechanic before using an octane booster.

Q. What if I spill octane booster on my car’s exterior?

A. Because octane boosters contain ingredients that can damage paint, it’s important to be careful when using one. Be sure to have rags or paper towels handy to immediately wipe away any spilled octane booster from your car’s paint or other components.

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