These days the majority of newer vehicles that people are driving rely very heavily on onboard electronic systems to make sure that they’re operating efficiently.
The introduction of these electric systems add to an impact on the efficiency of diesel and gasoline fuels and engine problems can start to arise, especially for those using lower-octane fuel for their vehicles.
The problem that happens is that there is a buildup of carbon as well as other gunk that’s prevalent in the lower octane fuels and this can have a detrimental impact on parts in your engine such as the cylinder heads, combustion chamber, distance, and valves.
Some of the symptoms of these problems include less overall fuel efficiency, a less responsive throttle, a rougher idling, more misfires, engine knocking, and other problems as well.
Fuel additives that you add to the fuel have been around for quite a while now but it wasn’t until quite recently when the actual cleaners began working much better and began to get noticed by your average driver.
There are quite a few different fuel injector cleaners to choose from and the important thing to remember if you’re looking to clean your fuel injector is that repetition is one of the most important factors in making sure everything gets cleaned thoroughly and properly.
Before I dive into my recommendations of the best fuel injector cleaner clear that it’s important to use any cleaner more than once on a regular basis so that it has the best opportunity to get rid of all the carbon deposits, built up gunk, and varnish that has occurred over time.
I also believe that it’s more important to use these cleaners on a regular basis especially if you’re doing a lot of driving.
Choosing the Right Fuel Injector Cleaner
One of the first things I look at when I’m in the market for a new fuel injector cleaner is the cost and its overall value.
Since I love taking care of my car I always need to consider how much I’m going to be spending on a regular basis for basic maintenance and whether or not it’s worth paying extra for a premium product or if I should just go with the run-of-the-mill option.
As I’m driving an older car I tend to spend more money on cleaning products and keeping the engine well maintained so I always look for the best fuel injector cleaners that are well within my budget.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to spend and what your budget is when it comes to the different car products that you’re using.
Another factor that should be considered when you’re looking at cleaners for your fuel injector is what its cleaning capability is.
Many of the different options to choose from are made using varying ingredients and components so I recommend taking a look at the info and specifications to see if the cleaner you’re interested in is well-suited for what you need it for.
Different cleaners are designed for different cars as well, such as older vehicles or modern, more higher end models, so keep an eye out to see if there’s any mention of what type/style of vehicle the cleaner is designed to be used on.
Now that I’ve covered some basic info let’s take a look at some of my recommendations on what I believe are suitable options for the best fuel injector cleaner.
The Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
Chevron 65740 Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner can be used not only to clean the fuel injector but also the rest of the fuel system such as the carburetor, combustion chambers, and intake valves.
After pouring it into the fuel system it’s able to remove harmful carbon deposits that have formed on the engine parts throughout the fuel system and this is designed to restore any lost performance or lost power that you might have noticed.
A cleaner fuel system will enable the car to run better and will also improve fuel economy as well as help manage a rough idling, engine surge, as well as improve cold start performance.
It’s a good idea to use this fuel injector cleaner every 3000 miles or so or at the next time that you get an oil change depending on how often you’re changing it.
The way it works is simple – you just pour into the fuel tank and let it work its magic as it makes its way through the fuel system of your vehicle.
This cleaner can be used on both older engines and modern ones and it’s very effective at cleaning carbon engine deposits while also preventing deposit formation.
Royal Purple 11722 Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer
The Royal Purple Max Clean is a synthetic fuel system cleaner and it’s designed to deeply penetrate the fuel system in your vehicle where it works to clean the injectors, intake valves, and combustion chambers.
With these components clean the vehicle should experience better fuel economy, reduced emissions, and the cleaner also helps to prevent rough idle and premature spark plug fouling.
Regular use will also help to reduce engine knocking that’s caused by carbon deposit build-up and it should help to improve overall fuel economy as well as restore horsepower back to the engine.
It’s recommended to use a 20-ounce can of this fuel system cleaner every 10,000 miles and it’s safe to use in diesel engines as well as gasoline ones.
You can use it in a 4 cycle or 2 cycle engine and it’s designed not to harm any specialized emissions equipment.
The 20 ounce can should be used for gas tank sizes up to 20 gallons and when you’re using it you’re going to want to pour the entire can into a nearly empty gas tank and then refuel.
BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner
The BG 44K cleaner is designed to be used to quickly clean the components of your fuel system such as the injectors, combustion chambers, and valves.
The way it works is by removing carbon deposits and build up from the fuel system and upper engine components and this helps to alleviate some problem cause issues such as engine surges, power loss, stalling, and rough idling.
It’s also able to thoroughly clean corrosive deposits on the fuel sending unit and in case you’re worried it’s safe to use with the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors as well.
Regardless of the car you’re driving you can use this cleaner with all fuel system materials as well as alcohol blended fuels and your most typical fuel additives although if you’re looking for a diesel fuel injector cleaner I suggest taking a look at my recommendations down below.
The BG 44K comes in an 11-ounce can and one can should be used for a 20 gallon tank.
Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
The Red Line SI-1 is a fuel system cleaner that can be used to clean to almost 100% efficiency with just a single treatment.
It’s a concentrated fuel additive that’s detergent-based and using it regularly helps to clean deposits on the fuel system components such as the injectors, combustion chamber, carburetors, and valves.
Since it’s concentrated it’s possible to use a lesser amount per tank as the entire 15-ounces can be used to treat up to 100 gallons although you could use the entire amount for a vehicle that has been neglected or that has never had the fuel system cleaned before.
This cleaner can be used with oxygenated fuel and not only will it also clean pollution control valves but it can also reduce the need for octane by up to two points.
Power Service 03080-06 +Cetane Boost Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive
When it comes to the best diesel fuel injector cleaner it’s the Power Service 03080-06 +Cetane Boost Diesel Kleen Fuel Additive that I would recommend taking a look at.
It works by cleaning dirty injectors as well as preventing the injector from sticking.
With a cleaner fuel system you’re able to take advantage of an improved fuel economy as well as better emissions overall and with regular use it’s likely that the engine will run smoother and will start better in the cold.
This cleaner contains a slick diesel lubricator and this helps with maximum fuel lubrication where it’s able to protect the pumps as well as the fuel injectors from faster wear and tear.
It’s possible to use the Power Service Diesel Fuel Additive with all diesel fuels, even the ultra low sulfur diesel and biodiesel, and it’s designed not to harm any diesel exhaust in engines that are from 2007 or newer.
Do Fuel Injector Cleaners Work?
Using a liquid fuel injector cleaning solution is the easiest and usually the most affordable way of cleaning any injector clogging issues as well as clearing away gunk and buildup from the rest of the fuel system.
There are definitely some harder ways, such as actually removing the injectors and using a dedicated fuel injector cleaning kit, but I believe using the liquid solution is the best method for most people.
The majority of the liquid cleaners available these days contain chemicals that are designed to break down the deposits, debris, and dirt that builds up on the injector and the rest of the fuel system.
One of the more popular chemicals, PBA (polybutene amine), helps to clean:
- Fuel injectors
- Intake valves
And it can also help with:
- Restoring engine performance
- Lowering engine emissions
There’s even another chemical that is used in these cleaners called PEA (polyether amine) and this chemical also comes with its own benefits.
It’s able to help clean out the combustion chambers, which reduces engine pinging and knocking, and it’s also able to help relieve cold start up issues while removing sulfur deposits from the gas gauge sensors so that they’re less likely to malfunction.
The problem with some of the cleaners these days is that many companies don’t do their due diligence and the products that they release aren’t as good as they could be.
These lesser quality products don’t come with the proper chemicals or they’re much too diluted to be useful and these can cost you money without delivering the benefits that you’re looking for in a fuel system cleaner.
With this in mind, it’s why I always recommend choosing products made from reputable companies as well as doing your research beforehand to see what the best recommendations are that you could find.
Another important thing to consider is that you need to approach cleaning your fuel system with a fuel injector cleaner with the right expectations.
Older cars that haven’t been well maintained and are extremely dirty aren’t really going to have much of a noticeable benefit when using a liquid fuel additive and if this is the case it’s a better idea to take the time to make improvements over a gradual period rather than hoping for a catch-all solution.
The same goes for newer cars that have been very well maintained because there wasn’t much room for improvement if you’re using a liquid cleaner as the components are very likely already quite clean to begin with.
In the end, I find that most of the cleaners are quite reasonably priced and as long as you pick the right one to use for a gasoline or diesel based vehicle then you should be ok.
When it comes to initial maintenance efforts because maybe you noticed some clogged injector symptoms then using a fuel additive is a suitable place to start before bringing the car to a mechanic and spending a lot more money than you need to.