- Heet is a fuel additive that claims to remove water from gas tanks to prevent issues like frozen fuel lines.
- The main ingredients in Heet are methanol and isopropanol, which can absorb small amounts of water but aren’t a fix for serious water contamination.
- Heet may help in emergencies if water accidentally gets in your gas tank, but it’s not a solution for chronic water problems which require repairs.
- Using fuel additives like Heet constantly can potentially damage engines not designed for them.
- Instead of relying on Heet, it’s better to address the root cause of any water issues through maintenance and repairs.
Having water in your gas tank can lead to a host of frustrating issues with your engine, especially in cold weather when it can freeze in fuel lines and cause problems like stalling. If you’ve ever experienced difficulty starting your car or sputtering engines from water-contaminated gas, you may have heard of gas additives like Heet as a solution.
Heet claims to remove water from gasoline and restore smooth performance, but how does it work exactly? Should you rely on Heet or similar fuel additives as an ongoing solution? Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at what Heet does, when it might help, potential downsides, and alternatives to using these gasoline treatments.
What is Heet and How Does It Work?
Heet is a popular fuel additive brand that claims to dry out water in gas tanks to eliminate problems like frozen fuel lines in cold weather. They offer two main products:
- Original Heet (yellow bottle) – for cold weather and water removal
- Iso-Heet (red bottle) – can be used year-round
According to the company, these fuel treatments do things like:
- Absorb water in gasoline
- Remove antifreeze contamination
- Clean fuel injectors
- Improve cold starts
- Work in all engine types
This all sounds impressive, but the reality is a bit less magical. The main active ingredients in Heet and Iso-Heet are methanol and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) respectively. Both act as “drying agents” that absorb small amounts of water but don’t really get to the root of serious gasoline contamination issues.
Think of them like a sponge for small amounts of water. The alcohols attract and absorb H2O molecules, allowing the remaining fuel to burn properly. Any water gets combusted along with the methanol or isopropanol.
This can help get rid of small amounts of water in an emergency, like if condensation built up over time. But it isn’t going to sufficiently dry out a seriously contaminated gas tank.
Does Heet Actually Work?
Within its limitations, Heet can help absorb minor water buildup in gasoline. If you accidentally got water in the gas tank, or humidity formed condensation over time, a bottle may get things running smoothly again.
But Heet isn’t a magical cure-all or replacement for proper maintenance. It’s just a temporary fix for small amounts of water.
Don’t expect miracles from these fuel treatments. Overzealous marketing gives the impression that Heet can solve any performance issue, keep injectors crystal clean for miles, and protect engines from serious problems. It’s prudent to take these claims with a grain of salt.
The majority of legitimate Heet reviews are positive. But most actual customers use it for specific applications like boats, generators, and equipment rather than in cars year-round as the ads imply.
Potential Downsides of Using Heet in Your Car
While Heet in moderation won’t likely cause problems, using it or any fuel additive routinely is inadvisable. Here are some potential pitfalls:
- Not addressing underlying issues – Adding Heet allows moisture problems to go unsolved
- Incompatible with some engines – Ethanol/methanol can damage components not designed for it
- Addictive masking effect – Repeated use can hide mechanical problems until costly
- Expense – Frequent use adds up, often at $5+ per treatment
Think of Heet as an emergency water absorber, not part of your regular maintenance routine.
When Heet May Be Useful
Heet can legitimately help dry out water in gas tanks in certain situations, like:
- You accidentally poured water into the tank
- Rainwater leaked in through a loose gas cap
- Filling up at a station with underground tank issues
- Condensation accumulated from temperature changes
It’s a handy emergency fix for water inadvertently introduced into the tank. Just use it sparingly as needed rather than all the time.
Heet is also popular for use in boats, ATVs, generators, and equipment exposed to water. Just check the engine manual to confirm methanol/alcohol additives are approved.
What Causes Water in Your Gas Tank?
Before reaching for Heet to treat water in your gasoline, it’s important to understand how it’s getting contaminated in the first place. Here are some common causes of water in gas tanks:
- Faulty gas cap – A loose, damaged, or missing cap allows rainwater to enter
- Corroded/rusted tank – Holes from corrosion allow moisture inside
- Phase separation – Ethanol-gas blends can separate with temperature swings
- Leaking coolant – Antifreeze leaks into engine/tank via compromised head gasket
- Underground tank issues – Bad gas station tanks introduce water-tainted fuel
Diagnose and address these root causes instead of just relying on fuel additives.
Better Alternatives to Heet Treatment
While Heet can help in a pinch, your best bet is to identify and repair any issues leading to water in gasoline. Some better solutions include:
- Check/replace gas cap – Ensure it seals tightly to prevent rainwater intrusion
- Inspect fuel tank – Look for rust holes allowing humidity inside
- Repair coolant leaks – Fix compromised head gaskets not to contaminate fuel
- Find quality gas stations – Buy from reputable brands with good underground tanks
- Use fuel stabilizer – Add stabilizer to help ethanol fuels avoid phase separation
- Drain water from tank – Siphon out water from drain plug rather than just mixing in Heet
Addressing underlying problems provides lasting solutions compared to quick fuel additives.
FAQ about Heet Fuel Additive
Is it safe to use Heet regularly?
No, avoid using any fuel additives constantly without good reason. Check your owner’s manual to confirm if methanol/isopropanol treatments could harm your fuel system components before use.
Does Heet really keep injectors clean?
Not by itself. Detergents in top-tier gas brands are more effective for injector cleaning. Heet helps remove water, but doesn’t clean deposits. Use quality gasoline and proper maintenance instead.
Can Heet fix a car not starting due to water in gas?
It may help absorb enough water for the car to start if it’s only minor contamination. But Heet can’t remove large amounts of water – you’ll need to drain the tank.
How much Heet should be used at once?
Start with one bottle (10-12 oz) per 10-15 gallons of gas. Severe water contamination may need a second bottle, but don’t overdo it. Too much can damage fuel system parts.
Will Heet work for diesel fuel tanks?
Heet makes diesel fuel treatments, but check for specific diesel products. Don’t use standard gasoline Heet in a diesel engine – it can cause serious mechanical issues.
Heet and other fuel treatments advertising water removal from gas tanks can help in the right scenarios. A bottle may get you out of trouble if unexpected water contamination occurs. But relying on these additives routinely is asking for trouble and ignoring bigger issues.
Always identify and address the root causes of water in your fuel system first through proper maintenance and repairs. With sound mechanical health, something like Heet should only be an emergency last resort rather than a regular habit.