Best Fuel Injector Cleaners – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Fuel Injector CleanersAllowing your engine to work better, fuel injector cleaner is added to the fuel in your car periodically to clean your vehicle’s fuel injectors. This chemical compound is designed to run through your engine to remove carbon deposits that form as your engine uses fuel. This can cause poor fuel economy, loss of power, and sometimes engine breakdown. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best fuel injector cleaner and a few reviews to help you start shopping.

Best Fuel Injector Cleaners of 2018

Product Engine's typeFrequency of useLubricanesLesser toxic emissionsValue 
Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner (Editor's Choice)Chevron Techron Fuel System CleanerGasolineRegularlyNoNo20 OzCheck Price
Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel TreatmentLucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel TreatmentGasoline and dieselEvery fill upYesYes1 GallonCheck Price
Sea Foam sf-16 Motor TreatmentSea Foam sf-16 Motor TreatmentGasoline and dieselEvery 5000 milesNoNo16 OzCheck Price
Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System CleanerRed Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System CleanerGasoline enginesCan use regularlyYesNo15 OzCheck Price
Royal Purple 18000 Max AtomizerRoyal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer Fuel Injector CleanerGasoline and dieselEvery 3000 milesNoYes6 OzCheck Price

 

1. Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner – Best For Most Improved Fuel Economy

If you want a more efficient engine, the Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner is unmatched in restoring performance and power by cleaning out your fuel system. By removing deposits from combustion chambers, valves, ports, fuel injectors, and carburetors, you can get rid of cold start problem, pings, and engine knocking. You can also optimize your mileage with a more efficient engine giving you maximum fuel economy.

Trusted by manufacturers, mechanics, and motorists, this additive helps give you the most from your engine with its patented technology. Chevron Techron cleans your engine giving you more fuel economy, lower emissions, and better performance by preventing deposit formation that can be left by poor-quality gasoline. It works on both older and modern models and is especially useful on the direct injection and hybrid engine designs that work best when they are clean.

Chevron Techron fuel system is perfect for RV’s, ATV’s watercraft, boats, lawn care, dirt bikes, and motorcycles as well as cars and trucks. It will also reduce spark plug fouling, hesitation, engine surge, and rough idle while improving fuel stability and cold start performance.

PROS:
  • Some users have found their vehicles are running better and have more power
  • Noticeable less gas consumption after using it
  • Helps with rough idling, great product
CONS:
  • A little on the expensive side
  • Some users can’t really tell if there is a difference or not

 

2. Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment – Most Affordable Cleaner And Conditioner

Extremely versatile and appropriate for almost any engine, the Lucas LUC10013 Fuel Treatment is easy to use, time-saving maintenance. Containing no diesel fuel, alcohol, solvents, or kerosene, this product will not damage engine parts and consists of additives and slick oils that lubricate the systems it will flow through.

A great product for older vehicles that require leaded fuel, the Lucas LUC10013 reduces consumption of fuel and lets the fuel burn more efficiently while replacing the leaded fuel benefits without having to deal with negative side-effects. It is also great to use for diesel engines as it neutralizes the harmful effects found in diesel fuel. It also replaces lost polymers using a special concentrate that does not include bad side-effects of the polymer.

Creating more powerful and efficient engines, the concentrate also increases fuel efficiency and lower consumption of fuel while reducing emissions. It will also prolong the life-span of cylinders by lubricating their rings and walls as well as lubricating compression rings, injectors, carburetors, pumps, and intake valves which is a must for a rotary engine.

PROS:
  • Gives you extra horsepower
  • Engine idles more smoothly and runs better
  • Has an affordable price
CONS:
  • Lacks some cleaning power as a general cleaner
  • Difficult to get out of the carpet in case you spill it

 

3. Sea Foam sf-16 Motor Treatment – Most Versatile Cleaner For BMW Cars

Another very versatile product, the Sea Foam Motor Treatment is a completely petroleum-based blend working as a moisture controller, stabilizer, lubricant, and cleaner. With an affordable price tag, this motor treatment can be applied in several ways and works for a wide range of engines giving you more options on how to care for your vehicle. This is a great product for cleaning and general maintenance purposes.

Commonly seen in garages and repair shops around the country, this product is good for both diesel and gasoline engines and is appropriate for cleaning tasks as well as for use as a fuel treatment to lubricate engines and protect them from wear and tear. Since it works in a wide variety of ways, the Sea Foam Motor Treatment isn’t just good at one task but is much safer than other industrial strength cleaning products thanks to its gentle ingredients.

PROS:
  • Works well with either diesel or gasoline engines
  • A versatile cleaner that works for several types of tasks
  • Affordable price that comes in several size options
CONS:
  • Lacks some cleaning power as a general cleaner
  • Beginners may have problems with the cleaning process of an engine

 

4. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner – Most Rated Non-Abrasive Cleaner With Additives

Featuring a unique system cleaner, the Red Line SI-1 is used both for cleansing and for preventing build-up of debris, carbon deposits, and moisture. Red Line SI-1 uses verified polyether amines to give you the best quality cleaning, unlike its competitors that use a mix of synthetic oil and different types of ingredients that can create abrasives that can harm your engine, carburetors, pump, and fuel system.

It not only uses a special synthetic lubricant for upper cylinders but it also can handle both the lowest and highest engine temperatures out there. Every vehicle out there varies which makes the Red Line SI-1 a great product for its flexibility and high-performance results. Unlike its competitors, the Red Line SI-1 gives you more cost-effective and higher quality treatment for combustion chambers and intake valves making it the best product to clean out your injectors and increase your engine’s performance.

PROS:
  • Non-abrasive but powerful
  • Improved fuel efficiency and smooth functionality
  • Decreases the need for higher octane fuel saving you money
CONS:
  • Doesn’t work on diesel engines
  • It doesn’t work on all fuel injectors

 

5. Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer – Best For Petrol and Diesel Engines

The highly concentrated, fully-synthetic Max-Atomizer is a high-performance cleaner for your fuel injector. Specifically formulated to take care of problems with direct injection engines, this cleaner works with any type of fuel injector. The Max-Atomizer uses a high concentration of polyether amine detergents that will clean choked and clogged injectors quickly.

By better atomizing fuel and optimizing injector spray patterns when entering the combustion chamber, the Max Atomizer increases your engine’s fuel economy, performance, and power while reducing emissions and giving you a faster start and smoother idle. It also will stabilize any ethanol that will chemically break down causing harmful effects to your engine. This easy to use product is easy to use and works in both diesel and gasoline engines.

PROS:
  • Improves fuel economy
  • Easy to use and pour into your tank
  • Works in both diesel and gasoline engines
CONS:
  • No change in performance

 

Buyer’s Guide

A standard since the mid 80’s, fuel injected engines have been known over time to be affected by carbon deposits, small particles, and dirt. These types of deposits stop fuel from running smoothly creating a small diameter in the injector nozzle so fuel is not delivered efficiently. This can make your engine noisier, use more fuel, and be more difficult to start.
If you own a diesel engine, this gets even more complicated since diesel injectors require a higher pressure than gasoline engines. As the fuel injectors in a diesel engine clog up, you can get a bad combustion cycle since the fuel is not spraying correctly into the cylinder head which can eventually kill a diesel engine.

Gas all over the world has become less stable as ethanol has been used as an octane-boosting ingredient meaning modern engines that use modern fuel need to have their injectors cleaned regularly. As a result, manufacturers of car care products started to design a chemical that could clean the injectors. Vehicle owners can no purchase fuel injector cleaner fluid to regularly clean their fuel injectors and save on expensive trips to the mechanic.

What You Need to Know to Buy Fuel Injector Cleaner

Know Your Engine

It is vital to find a fuel injector cleaner that is right for your car. You don’t want to get a fuel injector cleaner that is for diesel engines when you have a gas engine. Make sure to buy a fuel injector cleaner that is correct for usage of your vehicle’s engine, specifications, and fuel type, specifications. You will also notice that high-performance engines are more sensitive to a dirty fuel injector than normal performance units, so a sports car may need a different type.

Get the Right Quantity

Available in all sizes and shapes, a gallon or small bottle will work for your personal use or at least one cleaning procedure so you don’t need an industrial size container. If you do buy a large container, make sure to store it safely as it is a flammable fluid and should be kept away from children.

Check Manufacturers Suggestions

Since you want to make sure your fuel injector cleaner is compatible with your engine, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions. This way you will get the best results and avoid a huge and costly mistake. You will also find that some manufacturers will work with car companies to give you the product for specific vehicles. So, a little research can help your car get the best performance and efficiency from a fuel injector cleaning fluid.

Watch Out for Your Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are an important part of a modern engine’s exhaust system of the car. Designed to work with fumes form fuel, these converters mix cleaning fluid and fuel causing damage and the engine check light to come on. Using the wrong type of fluid can you’re your converter and possibly burn it.

When Should You Give Your Vehicle a Fuel Injection Cleaning?

There is no right or wrong answer. Mostly, you just need to pay attention to how your engine sounds and acts to decide when the right time is. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

Don’t put fuel injector cleaner in a new car

There is no reason to add cleaning fluid to a low mileage or brand new vehicle as the fuel injectors have not had a chance to get dirty yet. If you put cleaning fluid in a new car, it just won’t make a difference.

The first sign of dirty injectors

When your car is a few years old and has some mileage on it, you will want to get its first fuel injection cleaning fluid treatment. Some of the first signs that it needs one include loud engine noise, hard starts, and some loss of power. The color of the exhaust smoke can also signal that you need a fuel injector cleaning, but this is mostly in diesel-powered cars and trucks.

Routine maintenance

A fuel injection cleaning should be part of your routine maintenance, especially if you have high mileage and use your car a lot. If you use your car for city driving, the fuel injectors can really be affected by the stop and go traffic, so using a fuel injector treatment at least once a year will give you the best results. If you have a diesel vehicle and your fuel quality varies, you will want to make sure that a fuel injectors fluid is used with every oil service interval.

Long storage periods

Today’s fuel is not as chemically stable as it was before due to the use of ethanol that can change its characteristic once it is inside your vehicle, especially if it is left for too long. So, if your vehicle has been stored for a while, you will want to drain out the old fuel and put in new fuel along with a fuel injectors cleaning fluid. Not only will you clean out your tank of old fluid, but you will be able to clean your whole system as well.

Benefits of Using Fuel Injector Cleaner

Low maintenance

When you use a good fuel injector cleaner, you won’t have the same issues when it comes to deposits and debris slowly down your system. This will help save you time and money when it is time for a maintenance session.

Better Performance

You will notice an improvement in your vehicle’s performance, plus it won’t eat up fuel as fast. When your fuel injector is clean and neat, then your vehicle’s efficient for fuel delivery will be moderate.

Longer Life

We all know that proper maintenance will increase the life of your engine and the same can be said for your fuel injector. Cleaning it on a regular basis will lessen any potential problems and help it last longer saving you time and money.

Other Considerations

Will it fix leaks?

Not all by themselves. If you do find a major leak, you will need a mechanic to fix it. However, a good fuel injector cleaner can help you find a leak during the process of cleaning your fuel injector. When there is pressure build up, you can tell if there is a leak, particularly if you find gas on the spark plugs.

Can it help other parts of your engine?

While its primary function is to clean a vehicle’s fuel injectors, it can also help other areas of your engine as a part of a once-over cleaning. You can also take this time to remove built-up grime in areas like the gas cap. And remember, this is more than just a cleaning process, fuel injector cleaners include fuel additives to slow down grime production and get rid of sediment. With its ability to power through tough chemical build up, fuel injector cleaner helps to get rid of residue from the engine and all of the moving parts so that you can see immediate benefits.

Are fuel additives the same as fuel injector cleaners?

Although some cleaners do have benefits that are similar to fuel additives, it is not the same product. Cleaners are meant to optimize your vehicle’s performance and remove clogs while additives are meant to improve your vehicle’s performance. They do work together to solve the same problem since you have to have clean injectors to allows the additives to function correctly.

After how many miles should you clean your fuel injectors?

That depends on how old your vehicle is and what type of vehicle it is.

How do deposits form?

Deposit in EngineA deposit is basically impurities that are found in your fuel that can create problems for your vehicle. Similar to how blood circulates through the human body, impurities can accumulate in your blood to a dangerous level that becomes plugs inside your blood vessels stopping blood from flowing efficiently. In comparison, deposits in your engine can create issues like increased emissions, loss of power, engine pings or knocks, poor acceleration, hard starts, and low gas mileage.

These deposits can be located in your fuel system, and if they are found inside your injectors, you can problems with the efficiency of your fuel’s delivery that can lead to problems with bad fuel economy, increased hydrocarbon emissions, rough idling, hesitation, and engine misfires. With shorter trips and a higher frequency of drive cycles, these deposits can build up faster as the deposits start to form after you shut off the engine.

You will also find deposits forming inside the throttle, the intake valves, the top of the pistons or inside the combustion chamber that can cause loss of speed or power, increased emissions, increase in combustion pressure, and bad fuel consumption. So, it is important to make sure your fuel is clean and pure to prevent these impurities from accumulating over the years and giving you huge headaches when things start to break down in your engine. It is important not to ignore these issues and to stop deposits from growing helping you to save money and give your vehicle a long repair free life.

Conclusion

Everyone appreciates a vehicle that is working well and getting great gas mileage. Periodically adding fuel injector cleaner to your fuel can help ensure that your vehicle stays running smoothly, gets better gas mileage, and has enough power to get you where you need to go. Remember that a good fuel injector cleaner can not only save you money on gas but also on repairs over the years.

Ryan Chambers

I'm Ryan Chambers, an enthusiast of cars and pretty girls; I try to run, repair and equip my garage on my own. On the pages of this blog you'll find all information you'll need related to the operation and repair of a home garage.

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