Fuel injector cleaner is an easy way to improve the performance and fuel economy of your vehicle. With this guide, we’re going to go over the best fuel injector cleaners you should buy and the top 5 cleaners we recommend the most.
Liqui Moly Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner
Excellent potency that tackles the most common fuel injector problems
BG 44K Fuel System & Injector Cleaner
Very powerful at cleaning varnish and carbon deposits
Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer
Capable of reducing carbon build-up
Lucas Fuel System & Injector Treatment
Best bang for the buck
Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
Great at restoring power, acceleration, and fuel economy
Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment – Concentrated Gas Formula
Cures and prevents ethanol fuel problems; helps prevent phase separation
Red Line Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
Reduces the need for octane by up to two points
NOTE: Doing any type of fuel injection cleaning, requires repetition. Before we show you the best-rated fuel injector cleaners to buy, you have to understand that (depending on your engine’s internal condition) it will require repeated cycles of any given cleaner to remove all gunk, varnish, and carbon deposits. This is especially true if your vehicle has been under heavy use.
What is Fuel Injector Cleaner?
These days, nearly all vehicles are fuel-injected. That means, instead of using a carburetor to get gasoline to your engine, small electronically-controlled valves, called fuel injectors, do the job.
The problem is that fuel injectors can become clogged over time. Eventually, this leads to rough running, poor performance, and decreased gas mileage.
That’s where fuel injector cleaner comes in. The cleaner is a chemical concoction that’s added to the gas tank. It flows through your fuel system to the injectors to help keep them clean.
Also, because fuel is squirted into the intake port on most engines, injector cleaner has the added benefit of preventing carbon buildup on the intake valves. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to direct-injected engines where gas is shot right into the combustion chamber.
Fuel injector cleaner is able to get rid of gunk and deposits because it’s made up of detergents. Many formulas use a chemical called polyisobutylene amine (PIBA) that is effective in preventing a future buildup of deposits.
That said, not all fuel injector cleaners work well – or work at all. Make sure you use a quality product, like those found on this list, to ensure you aren’t wasting your money.
When Should You Use Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Many vehicle owners claim to have used a bottle of fuel injector cleaner and had their engine performance problems disappear. And it’s probably true. But all too often, by the time your engine has clogged injectors or carbon build-up, it’s too late.
That’s why it’s best to start using fuel injector cleaner before performance problems occur. Think of the product as a type of preventative maintenance, like an oil and oil filter change. You wouldn’t perform an oil and filter change after an engine failure, would you?
Any type of routine maintenance such as the Engine Air Filter change should be done both early and often. Just how frequently should you use injector cleaner?
The general rule of thumb is every 3,000 miles. An easy way to remember is to add a bottle every time you change your oil. All products are different, however, so it’s best to read the label to know exactly when to add.
Top 5 Fuel Injector and System Cleaners
Ever since the introduction of vehicles that heavily rely on electronics to ensure they operate to maximum efficiency, both gasoline and diesel fuels have really taken a toll on the efficiency.
Especially with the lower octane fuels, pistons, valves, cylinder heads, and the entire combustion chamber, all are seeing a gradual increase in carbon build-up, gunk, and varnish. Sometimes this can result in major problems such as lowered fuel economy, less responsive throttle, rough idle, misfires, knocking, and a host of other problems.
Although fuel additives have been around for a few decades now, it wasn’t until recently when cleaners that actually worked quite well, began surfacing to the general public.
With this guide, we’re going to go over the best fuel injector cleaners we recommend the most, they include:
Liqui Moly Jectron, BG 44K, Royal Purple Max-Clean, Lucas Fuel Treatment, and Chevron Techron.
Main Considerations for Fuel Injector Cleaners
For most of us, cost efficiency is of utmost importance. Using fuel system cleaners over a prolonged period of time can really add up and, in most cases, you’ll need more than one serving of any cleaner to make a noticeable difference in your engine’s carbon build-up.
We looked at the potency and the overall cost per serving. While not being the cheapest, the most recommended fuel system cleaners aren’t expensive either.
As long as you’re using them appropriately (we will tell you how below), you can maximize their potency.
What’s a fuel cleaning additive without the proper potency? After all, that’s what we’re buying them for. With the chart above, every cleaner has an exceptionally good satisfaction rating from users, as well as a track record of cleaning potency.
We will go over the products that offer excellent potency, and also a great value.
Liqui Moly Jectron Fuel Fuel Injection Cleaner
Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner – 300 ml
Liqui Moly is a German-based company with a wide variety of oil and gas treatments. Although German products tend to cost more than those made in the U.S. and Asia, their Jectron fuel additive is pretty affordable per can, especially when considering its potency strength.
A 300 ml can of Liqui Moly Jectron is fairly priced for the value it provides. In addition, if you choose to purchase 6 or more cans of the Jectron fuel additive at a time you can save a few $$.
BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner
BG is an American-based company that originally came from Wichita, Kansas in 1971. Today, they are known for a dozen or so premium products and one of the most potent fuel cleaning products on the market, the BG 44K Fuel System & Injector Cleaner.
This is a premium product and so you should expect to pay a little extra here, but once again, you can save some money by purchasing BG 44K in bulk.
Royal Purple Motor Oil
Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer 11722
Royal Purple is an American company that is primarily known for its line of synthetic Royal Purple Motor Oil products.
Their products are geared toward being used in high-performance applications and their Max-Clean fuel injector and system cleaner prove it. This product will get your engine 2 times cleaner than the products listed above and at a pretty decent price too. Check it out!
Lucas 1-Gallon Fuel Treatment
Lucas Oil is another American-based company you might be familiar with. Their oil supplements and “Quick
Transmission Fix” additives are widely used, primarily in the trucking community, on all corners of the globe. It’s very uncommon to find any negative feedback about their oil and fuel additives.
When it comes to value for the money, Lucas has taken the win. The fuel system & injector cleaner is very competitively priced and come in a 1-gallon (128 oz) jug. This is enough to treat up to 400 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus
Chevron is widely known for being a HUGE fuel provider, located in practically every country. The company’s Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus is popularly used to clean up carbon deposits left from gasoline fuels.
Probably the most affordable product in our top 5 recommendation list, you can grab an entire pack at a very reasonable cost.
Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – Why You Need It
When an engine’s internal components have less build-up of gunk and varnish, you can expect to see increased horsepower, fuel economy, ride quality, and fewer electrical problems.
So, what are you waiting for? Show your car some love by ordering a bottle of fuel injector cleaner today. Overall, fuel injector cleaners make a BIG difference when an engine has all the other aspects running smoothly.
If you like the fuel injector guide above, you’ll also enjoy our Spark Plugs Buyers Guide and OBD2 Scanner Buyers Guide.
Read up on each one, you can drastically increase the life of your vehicle.
Buyers Guide to Fuel Injectors
Now that you’ve read all the pros and cons of our top picks above and have found the best fuel injector cleaner for your needs we have created a buyers guide and FAQ section to answer any other questions you still might have.
➡️What is Needed to Clean My Fuel Injectors?
We’d suggest keeping some basic car tools handy on the chance that you might notice any other problems while you are cleaning your fuel injectors. It’s always a good time to check for any other vehicle maintenance tasks while attending to this job.
You’ll just need;
- Fuel Injector cleaner
- A hose to attach to the fuel rail and fuel injector
- A fuel pressure gauge
- A u-tube to funnel the gas to the tank
➡️How Often Should I Use a Fuel Injection Cleaner?
The phrase ‘ the best cure is prevention’ springs to mind when we are asked how often we should use a fuel injection cleaner. You’ll often hear people saying unless you are having problems with your car there is no need for fuel injection cleaners.
We’d suggest otherwise and that you should add a routine of a yearly clean of your fuel injectors. Of course, this will depend on your mileage and other factors, for instance, older vehicles might require more frequent use of fuel injection cleaners.
You can always set a reminder on your calendar or phone so that you don’t forget. Combine it with your yearly oil change to kill two birds with one stone!
➡️How to Tell If My Fuel Injector is Clogged?
There are a few common signs that your fuel injector might be clogged.
Difficulties starting the engine of your vehicle if you are having issues when starting the engine or if it’s not starting at all then this is a common indicator that you have a clogged fuel injector.
As fuel injectors control how much fuel reaches the car engine to make it start if the injector is clogged it may be stuck either open or closed.
If this happens, when you attempt to start your car it won’t deliver the correct amount of fuel or none at all. You are likely to hear the signs of it being clogged as your vehicle will misfire or sputter when you start it.
The fuel economy is poor
One less noticeable sign that you have a clogged fuel injector is poor fuel economy. If your car engine isn’t getting the correct amount of fuel it requires it will put more need on the fuel injector to provide it with added fuel. This leads to poor fuel economy as the vehicle’s engine control unit thinks it is required when it isn’t necessary.
You’ll need to monitor your gas gauge when driving any long distance to see if it’s an issue. It should be noticed low fuel economy can be a result of other issues such as misfiring spark plugs or incorrect tire pressure.
Issues when Idling
If your engine appears to be running roughly when idling then this is a likely sign that your fuel injectors aren’t working correctly. If your fuel injectors aren’t sending a consistent amount of fuel to your engine you’ll notice this issue. The same issue can also result in your car stalling as it is not getting an even supply of fuel.
➡️Do Fuel Additives Benefit My Injectors?
Yes, fuel additives can be beneficial for many reasons, they will keep your injectors clean and lubricated and reduce the buildup of carbon, especially in older cars. If you have a vintage car that you store for a long length of time then a fuel additive will ensure it stays on the road for a few more years.
➡️What is the Benefit of Having Clean Fuel Injectors?
Save money – As your vehicle’s engine will be more efficient with less wear and tear and better fuel consumption you will ultimately save your hard-earned cash.
Improved Performance – As your fuel efficiency is now better optimized you’ll find that your vehicle will improve in overall performance making it a pleasure to drive.
Fewer emissions – For the environmentally friendly, it will be good to know that your car is creating fewer toxic byproducts than it was before your fuel injectors were cleaned.
➡️What Is the Best Diesel Injector Cleaner?
The best Diesel injector cleaning system works much the same as with other fuel systems. The only difference is that you must make sure it is compatible with diesel engines. Our best-rated product to clean diesel injectors is Lucas fuel cleaner treatment which works as injector cleaner diesel and gas.
How to Use Fuel Cleaner – A Step By Step Guide
Detach the fuel pump from the fuel injectors
To clean the fuel injection it is required that you remove it from the fuel pump. Once you have disconnected it you have the option of attaching the fuel pump to a fuel return line or you can use a u-tube to funnel the gas to the fuel tank.
Detach the pressure regulator vacuum line if required
Not all vehicles have a fuel pressure regulator so before carrying out this step check your vehicle’s manual. Assuming you do have one you will need to find the fuel pressure regulator typically this will be found behind the injectors but will depend on your vehicle. Gently disconnect the vacuum line.
Connect your fuel injector cleaning kit to the fuel port
Identify the fuel port which will be connected to the fuel rail. Your fuel injector cleaner kit will have instructions on how to attach the fitting and hose to the port. Ensure that the fitting is properly attached and as the fuel injector cleaner is flammable ensure that the fuel injectors aren’t exposed to fuel.
Remove the cap from the fuel tank
To prevent the build-up of pressure take off the fuel tank cap and put it somewhere safe.
Turn your car on
Before you do anything [ and this is vital] make sure that you have checked that the fuel pump is off. All you need to do then is start the engine and keep it running. The fuel injector cleaner fluid will run through the engine for around 5-10 minutes once the fluid is finished the motor will automatically stop.
Remove and Reconnect.
Remove everything from the fuel port and reconnect the power supply for the fuel and the vacuum hose and don’t forget to put the fuel cap back on.
Turn your car on to ensure everything is connected and attached correctly. Go for a short drive for 15 minutes or so to make sure that everything is running fine. If everything sounds fine and the car is running smoothly congratulate yourself on a job well done. If not it might mean that your fuel injectors need replacing or a trip to the mechanics.
The Simple Quick Clean Method
The step-by-step procedure above is straightforward enough but If you aren’t confident disconnecting and connecting engine parts there is another way. Some of the formulas available can be used without getting under the car hood.
First of all, make sure the fuel tank has less than one gallon of gasoline in it, you don’t want to dilute the product. You’ll now need to find out the size of your gas tank and add the recommended amount of formula as per the instructions.
Once you’ve added it, top the tank up with your usual fuel. When you next start up your car it will push the formula through your fuel injectors and clean them.
Fuel Injectors FAQs
➡️Are fuel injector cleaners able to fix leaks?
No, not by themselves, if you have found that there is a leak the likelihood is that the O ring seal needs replacing if it is the actual body leaking, which is rare. then you are best to consult a professional mechanic to check it out. When you use the best fuel injector cleaners they will highlight issues such as leaks.
➡️Can fuel injector cleaners help with overall engine function?
While the cleaners are designed for a specific purpose they are part of a holistic approach to your vehicle, by cleaning the fuel injectors will help with the overall wear and tear of the engine and help keep it clean.
➡️What is the difference between fuel injector cleaners and fuel additives?
There are many different types of fuel additives that are all designed in different ways to improve a vehicle’s performance. Fuel injector cleaners have one clear purpose and that is to clean your injectors. If you do use other fuel additives then having a clean fuel injector will help them work properly.
➡️How often should I clean my fuel injector?
How often you use fuel injector cleaner will depend on a number of different factors. For instance, cars with lower mileage won’t require their injectors to be cleaned as often as those with higher ones.
While it should be a task that is carried out routinely many variables should be taken into consideration. As we have already mentioned the mileage should be taken into account as well as the age and model of the car.
It will also depend on how the car is used, a car that is used often for short trips is likely to build up more deposits in the engine than one that has longer trips on the highway. A newer car is likely to have a technologically better fuel injection system than older models.
You’ll hear various recommendations for when to clean your fuel injectors cleaned from between 15,000 to 30,000 miles. One factor that will determine how much gunk builds up is the quality of the gasoline you use, go for the highest octane when you get a tank of gas and it will prolong the life of your fuel injectors.
➡️What is the cause of deposits and can they damage my car?
Deposits are impurities found in gasoline that are prone to form in engines some areas are more likely to form deposits than others including the intake valves, combustion chambers, and fuel injectors. If you don’t deal with these impurities in a timely manner they can build up over time and cause major issues over the long term.
If the deposits have built up in the fuel injectors it can make the fuel delivery system less efficient and lead to poor fuel economy. You also could experience problems with higher emissions, a misfiring engine, and vibration when idling.
The deposits tend to build up at a faster rate if the car is used for short drives as deposits are more likely to form after the engine has been switched off.
If the deposits build up on the intake valves airflow can be restricted which can cause a loss of acceleration and high-speed power.
Deposits on the combustion chamber can increase the need for octane fuel for an engine. When deposits form on the piston crown there will be a change in the volume inside the combustion chamber.
This changes the octane rating required to maintain that the fuel ignites at the optimum time for the engine. This may generate other issues like hot spots and also pinging or knocking.
➡️Can a fuel system formula cause any issues?
If you overuse fuel injector cleaners they can cause problems. If there are no obvious signs that the injectors need cleaning such as increased emission levels, stalling, and rough idling then don’t use it. If you are overusing these cleaners they can result in the additives eating away at the seals of the fuel injection system this can also happen if you don’t dilute them enough. Another potential issue that can easily be avoided is to make sure that it is not a formula just designed for gasoline engines if you have a diesel car.
➡️Can injector cleaners improve fuel consumption?
Overall yes it will definitely improve it but how much is difficult to say as every car and driver is different. It also will depend on how high the quality of the fuel is that you put in your vehicle.
➡️Can I switch brands without damaging my engine?
Yes if you have used a different brand before it won’t have any negative effect on your car just make sure that you follow the instructions for the new brand you are using.
➡️How do I know if I should replace my fuel Injectors or not?
If you have used a product to clean your injectors and you are still having issues then it could be that you need to replace them. First of all, use one of the best fuel injector cleaners that we have recommended above and see if this fixes the issues.
If you continue to have issues such as stalling engines, rough idling, misfires, or fuel leaks it could mean that you may need new fuel injectors.
This is a video showing you how to use fuel injector cleaner:
The manual for your car should tell you how many miles you need to replace your fuel injector. Also, check the rings and seals to see if that is the issue. It’s likely that you will probably need to bite the bullet and see a professional mechanic.
Make sure that you get it replaced in time as it can also damage other areas of your vehicle such as valves and fuel pumps.
➡️How long does it take for fuel injector cleaners to start working?
It’s no instant fix you need to give it time to work, as much as two tanks of gas and approximately around one hundred miles of driving for it to work. It will require time to break down the deposits from the fuel injectors as it works their way through the fuel system.
➡️What Improvements can I expect after a fuel injector treatment?
While you can’t expect instant results after using injector cleaners you’ll find once it has kicked in when you idle there will be fewer vibrations, fewer fuel emissions, improved fuel economy, and better throttle response.
➡️What is the best way to store fuel injectors?
Corrosion is the injectors’ biggest foe as the internal components are made from steel alloy which can easily result in them rusting or corroding. When the fuel inside the injectors dries out it causes the deposits to harden which will result in the pintle sticking to the seat of the injector making it unusable. The fuel injectors should be cleaned thoroughly inside and outside and lubricated. They should then be sealed in a plastic bag and then stored somewhere cool and dry.
➡️How long should my fuel injector last?
A fuel injector will usually last somewhere between fifty thousand to a hundred thousand miles. You should also take into account the type of gasoline you use in your car if you use lower-grade gasoline it will result in the fuel injectors getting clogged up.
This is the time to use fuel injector cleaners to break up the deposits but if you are still experiencing issues such as poor fuel efficiency, misfires, and fuel leaks close to where the injectors are mounted then it could be time for replacements.