Since modern automobiles are made for performance and they are very sensitive to unwanted deposits in the engine, you need to clean the fuel injector and the whole engine combustion system to get the best out of your car.
Like other products in the market, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices of fuel system cleaners available and not all of them work well. That’s why we have put our hands together to research and analyze the top products and finalize a list of 10 best fuel injector cleaners of 2020 for you.
Top 10 Best Fuel System Cleaners:
1. Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
Whether you are having a significant deposit build up problem or just experiencing a little bit of it in the fuel injector, a thorough cleanup of the fuel system with Chevron Techron can make things smooth for you.
The chevron fuel injector eliminates harmful fuel deposits from the engine with its patented cleanup technology. It improves engine performance by ensuring better fuel economy and less malfunction in the engine.
The cleaning additive restores the engine power, improves acceleration, and makes sure the fuel gauge operates normally for years to come.
With its fast deposit cleaning capability and ease of use, this is our best pick of this fuel system cleaners buying guide.
- Improves Engine Performance
- Cleans up Key Engine Components
- Improves & Restores Mileage
- Easy & Handy to Use
- Reduces Engine Malfunction
2. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
Another great quality fuel system cleaning product that can go head to head with our top pick. It ensures better fuel stability, enhanced performance and less engine malfunction with its great cleaning and restoration process.
As you can clean the whole fuel tank with a bottle, it is easy to use and require no prior special knowledge on it.
The fuel system cleaning additive works fast and efficiently to eliminate the deposit that buildup on the tank body and key engine parts. So, it restores a significant amount of the lost power of the engine.
Plus, it provides a better fuel economy and reduces engine sound and other malfunctions.
Can be used with various types of automobiles to improve engine operation and to prevent corrosion, this is another top quality product that you can get without any hesitation.
- Powerful Cleaner Eliminates Deposit Fast
- Improves Performance by Restoring Lost Engine Power
- Improves Fuel Economy with Thorough Clean up
- One Bottle is Made for a Tank for Ease of Use
- Can be Used with Versatile Types of Vehicles
3. Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner
Liqui Moly is a popular brand when it comes to fuel system cleaning products because of its highly efficient and easy to use products.
With this fuel system cleaner applied, you should start to see improvement in the engine performance right away.
The additive works fast and smoothly while cleaning the engine parts and restoring their ability to operate like a new car.
It helps your engine to clean up the harmful deposit and restores the lost power of the engine that eventually gives you a better acceleration experience.
Plus, it improves fuel economy and reduces exhaust pollution significantly with its mind-blowing cleaning capability.
Not only it cleans up the fuel system, but also keeps the engine parts clean and powered up for an extended period of time.
- Improves Engine Performance
- Keeps the Engine Compartments Clean
- Restores Lost Engine Stability & Smoothness
- Less Exhaust Pollution & Better Fuel Economy
- Improves Acceleration & Drivability
4. STP Fuel Injector Cleaner
If you are looking for the cheapest yet a quality fuel injector cleaner for your car, then this STP fuel system cleaner is a great pick for you.
It eliminates dust from the engine, making it smooth and stable when driving. With its restoration technology, it significantly restores engine power and smoothness.
With the elimination of harmful deposits from the fuel system, you’ll get better mileage and smoother engine performance.
Like other products of the list, this also allows you to do the cleanup easily without consulting any professional.
And, the additive is safe for most of the vehicles and works great on versatile types of automobiles.
- Cheapest Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Eliminates Dust from the Injector
- Restores Engine Power & Smoothness
- Improves Mileage and Acceleration
- Fast & Easy Clean up
5. LUCAS LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment
One of the best fuel system treatment for the vehicle. It neutralizes the poor quality fuel to enhance engine performance. With better clean up and restoration, it improves mileage significantly and reduces the exhaust emission.
Because of cleaning & lubricating at the same time, it ensures the extended lifespan of the engine parts.
Works fast and efficiently without any professional consultation, this fuel system treatment is a great contender for our top spot of this fuel injector cleaner buying guide.
Although it works as a fuel system cleaner, it actually is a fuel treatment product that conditions the fuel for efficient burning and treats poor quality fuel so that you do not end up having a clogged fuel injection system.
- Eliminates Poor Quality Fuels
- Improves Engine Power & Mileage
- Ensures Extended Engine Parts Lifespan
- Eliminates Dust & Lubricates the System for Efficiency
6. Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer
A product that not only cleans your fuel system but also stabilizes the fuel for better performance. It boosts engine power while improving acceleration.
Its two way work process, cleaning and stabilizing, is a unique way to make the driving feel smoother than before.
Because of its build up preventing additives, it ensures a clean and smooth operating fuel system in your vehicle for a longer period of time.
While a pack of it can treat a 20 gallon fuel tank, you can purchase more at a ratio of an ounce per added gallon.
For its versatile usage in both diesel and gasoline engines, you’ll hardly find any vehicle that can’t be treated with this Max Clean fuel injection system cleaner and stabilizing additive.
- Great Quality Fuel Stabilizing Product
- Boosts Engine Power by Cleaning Deposits
- Reduces Exhaust Emission & Improves Mileage
- Prevents Future Deposit Buildup
- One Pack for a 20 Gallon Tank
7. Gumout 510013 Fuel Injector Cleaner
Another cheap fuel system cleaner for your vehicle. Although it is a lot cheaper than our top picks, it is not far away from them in terms of quality and overall effectiveness.
The cleaner cleans up the engine almost entirely including fuel injector, carburetor, intake valves and combustion chamber. That’s not all! It prevents the future build of carbon deposits on the cleaned up surface for an extended period of time.
Because of its thorough clean up and reduction in carbon deposit in the engine interior, it reduces exhaust quite a lot.
On top of that, you get enhanced performance from the engine and greater mileage after treating the fuel system with this awesome fuel injector cleaner.
- Eliminates Carbon Deposits from Old Engine (Over 75000 miles)
- Enhances Engine Performance and Mileage
- Reduces Harmful Omission
- Keeps Oxygen Sensor Safe
- Cleans Injector, Carburetor, intake Valves, Combustion Chamber
8. BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner Power Enhancer
BG is a popular name in the fuel system cleaner industry because of their high quality products. This model from BG can clean up the entire fuel system of your vehicle fast and efficiently without requiring you to consult any mechanic.
It is built to improve your engine performance and reducing the deposit build up related problems like engine surge, power loss, stall, etc.
With its build up preventing feature with friction reducing ability, this becomes one of the top contenders for the greatest fuel injector cleaners ever.
- Fast Clean up of the Injector, Combustion Chambers & Valves
- Improves Overall Engine Performance
- Prevents Corrosion & Future Build up
- Prevents Friction in the Engine
- Reduces Engine Surge, Stall, Power Loss & Other Build up Related Problems
9. DURA LUBE HL-40199-06 Severe Fuel System Cleaner
Another quality product to clean your fuel system cleaner. It cleans up the whole fuel delivery system including combustion chambers to enhance the fuel burn and performance.
So, you will get better mileage and less exhaust after treating the system with this awesome additive.
Another great feature of this product is its versatile usage. You can use this additive in a wide range of cars, SUVs, and light trucks.
With the cleanup process, you will get a more efficient engine that accelerates smoothly when driving.
- High Quality Fuel System Cleaner
- Treats the Fuel System For Enhancing Performance
- Removes deposit that Builds Up Overtime
- Restores Engine Performance & Smoothness
- Apply on SUVs, Cars & Light Trucks
10. OTC Injector Fluid Cleaner
Last product our list is another top-notch product from OTC. The manufacturer provides high quality, vehicle friendly, and easy to use fuel system cleaners.
This injector cleaner eliminates dust from the engine parts pretty well and fast allowing you to maintain the good health of your vehicle for an extended period.
Applying this will improve fuel efficiency, acceleration, and will stabilize the engine to run smoothly.
Because of its harmful build up prevention technology, it makes your fuel system more efficient in burning fuel.
- Increases Engine Power
- Improves Mileage & Acceleration
- Fast Clean Up
- Easy to Use
- Stabilizes the Engine & Extends the Lifespan
How to Clean the Fuel Injection System?
Fuel injectors ensure the right amount of fuel inside the engine combustion chamber when you are driving the car. As the car gets old, the fuel injector becomes partially clogged with the deposits that prevent the injector to properly work.
If you see things getting harder to start the engine or you are getting low mileage, then there could be a clog in your fuel injector that needs cleaning ASAP.
1. Get a Good Product
The first step to cleaning the fuel injector is to get an authentic fuel injector cleaner. You’ll find many choices in the market and it is hard to choose one that can serve your purpose. Although most of the fuel injector cleaners are made for use on different models of vehicle globally, it is good to see the product details before you decide to buy it.
Generally, you’ll find two types of fuel injector cleaners, i.e. PEA and PIBA. Between these two, we recommend PEA cleaners for the efficiency of cleaning the injector.
2. Find the Fuel Injector in Your Car
Now that you have the best fuel injector cleaner in hand, you need to find the injector itself to do the cleaning job. A great way to find the exact location is by reviewing the manual of the car. If you lost your manual, don’t worry! Fuel injectors are placed under the hood, go and find it now!
3. Disconnect Fuel Pump and Pressure Regulator Vacuum Line
As you have located the fuel injector, now it’s your turn to disconnect the fuel pump from the injector. We recommend reviewing the user manual of the car for properly disconnecting the fuel pump from the injector. After removing the pump, make sure to connect the fuel returning line or a gas U tube for funneling the gas to the tank when clean the injectors.
4. Attach Cleaning Kit to Fuel Port
Now find the fuel port in your engine and connect the cleaning kit according to the instructions given by the kit manufacturer. Since this step varies depending on the product you purchase, it is important to look at the instruction written on the kit manual for efficient cleaning.
5. Open the Fuel Tank Cap
Since the cleaning process is done by a burst of pressure through the injectors, it is recommended to remove the cap from the fuel tank. This will remove the risk of building up additional pressure in the engine that can cause combustion.
6. Turn the Engine on
Turn off your fuel pump and start the engine. This process will let the cleaner into the injector for the cleaning process. You’ll need to keep the motor running for around 5-10 minutes till the cleaning additives are all used up. The motor will stop once all the cleaner is used up.
7. Remove Cleaning Kit and Reconnect Pump
Now that you have cleaned the engine, it is time to remove the cleaning kit from the car and reattaching the previously removed pump and pressure regulator vacuum line. Double-check the connections if they are perfectly placed or not.
8. Turn on Engine for Check
Start your engine and go for a short drive to check if everything is running smoothly. A properly cleaned fuel injector should improve the performance of your car. In case you experience anything abnormal, go to a mechanic for a thorough check.
How to Keep Fuel Injector in Good Health?
Periodic maintenance is what keeps machinery in good shape. If you are looking for a way out to extend the lifespan of your fuel injector, here are some quick tips to follow-
1. Clean the Fuel Injector once in A Year
Fuel injectors become clogged by the regular usage of the vehicle. For efficient fuel consumption and preventing clog in the injector, you should clean the fuel injector once every year.
2. Replace if Malfunction
In case you experience anything problematic in your fuel injector or getting very low mileage, we recommend checking the injector for a possible failure. If the injector is not in good shape, replacing it with a new one is what we recommend for removing the risk of future problems in the fuel system.
3. Consult Professionals
If you are worried about anything in your car, consult a professional. Professionals see many things that you can’t see without proper knowledge about the problem. So, don’t hesitate when it comes to fuel system malfunction.
Best Fuel System Cleaner Buying Guide
How to Pick the Best Fuel Injector Cleaner?
We have outlined some of the key things to consider before you decide to purchase a fuel injector cleaner. Here are those-
1. Cleaning Capability
The first and most important thing to consider when buying a fuel injector cleaner is the capability of the product to clean the injector. After all, you are getting it to do the job, right? So, double check the ingredients used in the pack and make sure those can break down the deposits of your fuel injector and make things smooth.
2. Time to Clean
The next thing to consider is the amount of time it requires to clean the injector. While most of the cleaners do the job within an hour, you must check whether the product you have picked does the same or not. You can’t afford to do the cleaning job for a full day or longer than that.
3. Ease of Use
Some cleaners come in one size bottle that does not require any measure or funnel to pour into the fuel system. Those are pre-measured to clean standard-sized fuel tanks and make things really easy for the user to do the job.
What are the Types of Fuel Injector Cleaners?
Fuel injector cleaners are generally two types, i.e. Dissolvent and Detergent. Here are the details about them-
As the name indicates, this type of cleaners dissolve the deposit build up from the fuel system and eliminate them through the exhaust to make your fuel system clean. The main ingredient of this type is polyetheramine that helps break down carbon deposits fast after the application and then dissolve the harmful elements and eliminate those through the exhaust system.
While dissolvent breaks down the thick deposit into small particles and then ejects the particles through the exhaust, detergents do the work in a different way. Detergents chemically react with the fuel deposits in the fuel system and make them loose and slide out of the fuel system.
Although both types work pretty well, people do prefer using dissolvent for their fast and efficient cleaning process.
What is the Best Fuel System Cleaner Brand?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of brands of fuel injector cleaners and very few of them make products that actually work. That’s why many people ask the question- ‘do fuel injector cleaner work?’ often. We’ll discuss this later in the article. Now about the brands! Here are some of the top fuel injector cleaners brand on which you can rely on-
Chevron (Techron) – One of the top brands when it comes to petroleum-related products. In fact, our best pick is a Chevron Techron product. So, you can get a hint of the quality they provide.
Red Line – Red Line is also a great brand for fuel injector cleaners. They make high quality products and sell those at a very competitive price point.
Liqui Moly – Another top brand for fuel system cleaners. Their products are easy to use, can break down fuel deposits real quick and give you a sound sleep.
How Much is a Pack Fuel Injector Cleaner?
The price of the fuel injector cleaners depends on the ingredient used for making it. Detergent based products are cheaper than Polyetheramine based products. Generally, you should get a bottle for your standard size fuel tank for around 10 to 20 bucks.
However, the amount is not something that requires much attention as you should find all the high end products within 30 dollars. So, these are very affordable.
What are the Key Ingredients in A Fuel Injector Cleaner?
As we have discussed earlier, the key ingredient of your fuel injector cleaner is either polyetheramine or Detergent based solvent that can break down thick carbon composites. Apart from these main ingredients, fuel injector cleaners are actually combustible liquid, so there are some other combustible ingredients too along with materials like a lubricating agent, and fuel conditioning agent.
It actually depends on the product you are choosing as different brands use different solutions to make their own cleaners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Fuel Injector Cleaner Work?
The answer depends on various factors, two important of which are i.e. how heavy the deposits are in the injector and how efficient the cleaner is.
Fuel injector cleaners work pretty well when they are used regularly after a recommended period of time. But waiting too much between two clean up process allows the deposit to become too thick and heavy that hardly comes out of the surface with a fuel dissolvent.
If you clean the fuel injectors regularly, then the injector cleaner will surely work to eliminate carbon deposits, harmful particles and dust from the engine parts.
Is there a fuel Additive that Help Clean the Catalytic Converter?
Yes, there are some awesome products that can clean the catalytic converter along with your fuel system. One of which is the Red Line Complete Fuel System Cleaner.
It can clean your fuel injector, catalytic converter and other engine parts to enhance the engine performance, improve acceleration, reduce stall, engine surge and other problems.
What is the Difference Between Fuel Injector Cleaner and Fuel System Cleaner?
While in most of the cases, both are the same, there are some instances where you may find some differences between fuel injector cleaners and the fuel system cleaner.
Generally speaking, fuel injector cleaners are for cleaning the injector only while the fuel system cleaner works on the whole fuel system to enhance your engine performance.
However, you will hardly see any difference nowadays between these two products as the manufacturers are in a healthy competition of providing the most advanced and efficient cleaner that can do all your fuel system cleaning within an hour.
So, fuel injector cleaners too clean the entire fuel system and enhance the performance of your vehicle.
Can Fuel Injector Cleaners Cause Problem?
It depends on the cleaner quality. Poor quality fuel injector cleaners can damage parts like catalytic converter and oxygen sensor of the fuel injector while the good quality products clean the fuel system without posing any risk to your vehicle engine parts.
That’s why we recommend using the most authentic and high quality fuel injector cleaners so that you do not end up damaging any parts of the engine.
How Do You Know If Your Fuel Injectors Are Clogged?
The most common hint of a clogged fuel injector is difficulty starting the engine. Apart from starting problems, clogged fuel injector causes- engine misfire, engine surge, stall, poor fuel economy, poor acceleration and deceleration etc.
If you are facing any one of these problems with your vehicle, don’t wait before it’s too late. Check your fuel filter and other accessible engine parts for any unwanted element or a possible leak. And then, calculate how many miles you drove after the last fuel system clean up.
By following this trick, you should be able to find out whether the problem is with deposit build up or anything else.
How Much Does a Fuel System Cleaning Cost?
The cost of fuel system cleaning differs based on who and by which cleaner you are cleaning the system. If you are doing it yourself, you should be able to clean the system within an hour at an expense of just 10 to 20 bucks.
On the contrary, consulting a professional mechanic to clean the system will cost you around 50 to 100 bucks, or even more. Importantly, it takes more time to clean the fuel system by professionals than doing it yourself. So, we recommend doing the system clean up by yourself unless you have any problem other than a clogged fuel injector and deposit build up in the engine parts.
When to Use Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Generally, you should use fuel injector cleaners after every 3000 miles. However, this can vary depending on the quality of the fuel you use in your vehicle, quality of the fuel system cleaner you have used earlier.
You should read the owner’s manual of your vehicle to get a hint about it and then refer to the fuel injector cleaner you have used earlier. Taking both of them into consideration, you should be able to guess the right moment to use the fuel injector cleaner again.
Can a Bad Fuel Injector Damage the Engine?
In most of the cases, a bad fuel injector won’t damage your engine. I’m saying this because you will get several types of hint of a bad fuel injector for quite a long time before it starts damaging the engine of your vehicle.
If you leave the damaged fuel injector in the engine for long, it can do some significant damage to the piston and other engine parts. So, act as fast as you can when you see problems like poor mileage, stall, bad acceleration, engine surge, engine starting problems, etc.
Perform a quick engine check, try cleaning the fuel system and see the result. If nothing improves, you may have to inspect further and act accordingly.
How to Clean a Car Fuel Tank without Removing It?
The simplest way to do it is by using a high quality fuel system cleaner. Fuel system cleaners work by loosening the carbon and other particles that build up at the bottom and side of the tank. After loosening and breaking down the sludge into small particles, the cleaners get rid of them through the exhaust system of your vehicle.
However, if you have not cleaned the tank for a longer period than recommended, you may not be able to clean things up inside the tank as expected. In such cases, we recommend removing the tank from the car and using fuel tank cleaning methods that your vehicle manufacturer asked you to follow through the manual.
How Often Should I Use Fuel Injector Cleaners?
This depends on various factors. But in general, you should use fuel injector cleaners after driving 3000 miles with your vehicle.
The calculation may vary depending on the quality of the fuel you use and the deposit prevention technologies in your fuel system by the manufacturer. So, go through the manual of your vehicle and the cleaner you used last time.
Is a Fuel System Cleaning Worth it?
Of course! In fact, it is mandatory to clean the fuel system at regular intervals to keep your vehicle healthy and smooth. If you let the deposits stick to your fuel system firmly, it will give you a very difficult time in the future. And the best part? Fuel system cleaning is very cheap with a ready made bottle of cleaner that comes at around 10 to 20 bucks.
Can I Put Fuel Injector Cleaners in a Half Tank?
Yes, you can but that is not recommended. Always try to follow the steps instructed to follow in the cleaner pack for the best result.
Injector cleaner work in a diluted amount and slight variation in dilution does not make much difference. Careful! We are saying, ‘not much’, that means it actually makes at least some difference in the result you will get.
So, while you can put fuel injector cleaners in a half fuel tank, it is not recommended to do so. The fuel tank should be near empty when you put the injector cleaners and then the tank needs to be filled up with new fuel for a good result.
Do Fuel Additives Improve Gas Mileage?
Yes, you will see improvement in gas mileage after you treat your fuel system with fuel additives. It cleans up carbon deposits from the fuel system improving better fuel combustion without any wastage. So, you should see an improvement of about a percent to 5 percent in fuel economy.
Are Fuel Injectors Expensive to Fix?
Fixing fuel injectors are not so expensive compared to other key components fixing cost. Depending on the brand and quality, it may cost you around two hundred to five hundred dollars to fix the fuel injectors.
Should I Use Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Yes, you should. Cleaning fuel injectors keep the fuel flow normal and enhance the performance of the engine while reducing the malfunctions. However, you need to check whether the product you are using is safe for your fuel system. As modern fuel injector cleaners are very diluted, you shouldn’t have any problem but it is always better to double check things.
Can I use an Old Bottle of Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Depends on the condition of the bottle. If it is sealed and has not expired yet, then you can use an old bottle of fuel injector cleaner without any hesitation.
However, if the bottle has been opened earlier or has any opening by which the internals got in touch with air, you shouldn’t use that bottle in your vehicle.
Can Fuel Injector Cleaners Fix Leaks?
No, fuel injector cleaners do not fix leaks. These cleaners are made to break down impurities of the fuel that got stuck in the engine over time. However, you may end up seeing a fix in your leaky fuel system after cleaning the system with a good quality product. Although there is no clear indication of why that happens, we assume that this is because of the normal flow of the fuel without any pressure build up on a certain location.
Are Fuel Injector Cleaners & Fuel Additives are the Same?
Although they work almost similarly and the application processes are also very similar, these are different products. Cleaners are for cleaning the fuel system and the fuel additive optimizes and conditions your fuel for better combustion and less exhaust emission.
However, as you know injector cleaners also give you the same results, people often confuse themselves referring to fuel additives as injector cleaners.
What Causes Deposit Build Up?
Deposit builds up because of using poor quality impure fuel and during the heat soak period. In case you don’t know, this phenomenon happens every time you shut off the engine. So, frequent and short drive cycles maximize the deposit build up in your vehicle.
Although you can’t prevent heat soaking, you can use better quality fuel and fuel additives to condition the fuel system for regular break down of the deposits.
Can Deposits Hurt My Car Engine?
As you already know, you can’t prevent deposit build up fully because of various factors. However, you can slow down the build up and do regular engine maintenance by cleaning the fuel system and using fuel additives.
Back to the main point, Yes! Deposits can hurt your car engine if you leave those in the engine for too long. A small amount of deposit that is regularly cleaned won’t do any damage to your engine but having them for too long and not removing them regularly can cause problems like valve sticking, valve burning and even can cause hot spots in the combustion chamber that may eventually damage your engine by preignition.
Should I Replace Fuel Injector with a New one Or Try Injector Cleaners?
We recommend trying a good quality and authentic fuel injector cleaner that fits your vehicle. After all, this costs only 10 bucks to try this. In most cases, you should see improvement in performance.
However, if the problem persists after using the cleaner, you may need to consult with a good mechanic to diagnose the problem and act accordingly.
How to Store Fuel Injector Cleaners Properly?
Fuel injectors are not made to store. They come in small one time use bottles and you should use a whole standard size bottle in your fuel system to clean ‘em up.
However, if you want to store them, make sure not to open the bottle. Keep the bottle sealed and store it in a dry place. Keep in mind that the fuel injector cleaners are combustible and thus, you must store the pack in a place where no fire source is available.