Gasoline Additives For Your Imperial


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Question from Fred:

We have put two tanks of gas through our 1950 Chrysler Imperial. We used the additive each time. We talked to a friend and he said he does not use the additive with the unleaded. What does everyone think? We put a tank in tonight and did not use the additive.

Any words of wisdom?


From Dave:

I have owned my 1950 DeSoto Custom club coupe for 20 years. During that time, it has always run on unleaded gasoline without use of lead or octane boosters.

Earlier this year I opened the engine to perform a valve job. I saw the hardened exhaust valve seats, and no valve recession.

My DeSoto went back on the road within the last three weeks. It has about a tank and half of low-grade Sunoco, and is running the best it ever has.

Once I get new tires installed, the DeSoto will be taking even longer, faster trips. The only additive I will take along is Chemtool, which will help with carbon deposits.

From Dick:

Using the additive does help the car, in that it lightens the load it is carrying. (Your wallet is lighter). There is no other benefit, unless you own stock in the additive marketer.

From John:

I have driven a 1951 Pontiac on the lowest price stuff available at the pump since 1975. I have a 50 Ford that I drive every now and again. I have a '56 Imperial that is down right now because the air conditioning compressor must weigh 50 lbs, and I need some manual help to get it back in place after changing the water pump. I live in Illinois; this includes Ethanol, gasohol, etc. I have been to California, North Carolina, Florida, through Canada, in short, over the past 30 years, I have been down the road. If you have a relatively low performance car, like an early 50s Imperial, and drive it in a reasonable and prudent manner, like the cop coming the other way doesn't see you, you are unlikely to have any problems from unleaded gas. However, when you pass the 75,000 mile mark, a little touch up on the valve system is not an unknown maintenance item. It was not until. the mid-70s that factory engineers every considered that they needed to design past 100,000 miles for original equipment.

Unless you discover a knock problem, the normal pump gas is just fine foir your '50 Imperial.

From Teresa:

We have a 1955 DeSoto, a 1956 DeSoto, and a 1959 Chrysler Imperial, and we run them all on Super Unleaded...find that they ping a bit on regular unleaded....but no additives.

From Chris:

If by additives you mean a lead substitute, use it every other tankful. My previous experience has shown that the additive has a tendency to add deposits to the jets on the carburetor if used consistently. By alternating its use every other tankful, you give a chance for the carburetor to "flush" itself out.

Other additives just change the flash point of the fuel. The best one out there is Chevron's Techron. It does a great job of removing carbon deposits. Even though the bottle may say fuel injector cleaner, it is great stuff against carbon on any motor.

This page last updated July 20, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club