Although some people feel that the use of fuel injector cleaners is somehow controversial, the truth of the matter is that at some point in time you’re going to have to use them to restore your vehicle’s performance. The only real alternatives to using these cleaners to protect your fuel system are either paying a mechanic to do it or having your fuel injectors replaced—both of which, are expensive propositions.

Keeping your fuel injectors in good condition is so important that we decided to go ahead and write this guide laying out the top ten products currently available. We’ve looked everywhere and have come up with some truly exceptional fuel injector cleaning products for you to ponder. These are cleaners which will not only help you restore your car’s performance but will also give you some piece of mind as well. All you have to do is sit back and soak in some of the knowledge we’re going to lay down for you.

Best Fuel Injector Cleaners – Reviews & Buying Guide

10STP Super Concentrated Cleaner

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Although each bottle only contains approximately 5.25-ounces of cleaner, it’s a concentrated formula that contains just the right amount of detergents to begin removing some of the gunk that can clog your injector lines. This product is capable of removing carbon, varnish deposits, and gum that’s often the product of old or poor value gasoline. While it may take more than one bottle to see truly exceptional results, this product can help to resolve some of the rough idling and lost acceleration that’s due to fuel line problems. And unlike other lower-quality cleaners, this product is actually made with jet fuel to deliver the detergents where you need to deliver them.

Pros:

  • Contains Jet Fuel
  • Concentrated Formula
  • Helps With Lost Acceleration

Cons:

  • Additional Treatments May Be Required

9Liqui-Moly Jectron Gasoline Cleaner

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Designed to clean out some of the carbon deposits that can begin to cause damage to fuel injector systems, this product is made from high-quality ingredients and is a good treatment for engines with catalytic converters. It can remove deposits from fuel distributors, injection valves and from fuel lines, allowing the vehicle to run the way it’s supposed to run. This results in smoother idling, an increased throttle response and can even resolve problems engine stalling problems. And since it works on the entire fuel system, it’s also capable of cleaning up the vehicle’s gasoline combustion, resulting in less hesitation.

Pros:

  • Cleans Fuel Lines Well
  • Cleans Injection Valves Well
  • Reduces stalling
  • Helps With Rough Idling

Cons:

  • May Require Additional Treatments

8Redline Complete Fuel System Cleaner

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This super concentrated formula only has to be used once every 3,000-miles to keep just about any gas-powered engine in good running condition. It can reduce octane needs by up to two full points and can clean carbon deposits that have built up on the car’s injector valves. This product just doesn’t clean, however. It also contains synthetic lubricants to keep the fuel system in good running condition. And since this product uses only high-quality detergents, it can be used on a regular basis to keep the vehicle in top running condition. Although it’s a little expensive, it does work quite well.

Pros:

  • Concentrated Formula
  • Safe to Use
  • Can Maintain Vehicle Performance
  • Helps With Rough Idling

Cons:

  • Slightly Expensive

7BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner

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Formulated to be a high-performance fuel injector cleaner, this product has a concentrated formula that can treat up to 20-gallons of gasoline at a time. This cleaner is compatible with just about any type of fuel and all commercial fuel additives as well. It’s also capable of powering away carbon deposits and removing varnishes that may have developed along the fuel line of the vehicle. This means that is can resolve a variety of different engine problems related to fuel line deposits including power loss, engine hesitation, engine surging and even engine stalling. Using this product on a regular basis will also improve your vehicle’s driveability, too.

Pros:

  • Concentrated Formula
  • Helps With Engine Stalling
  • Restores Driveability
  • Helps Smooth Rough Idling

Cons:

  • Expensive

6Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer

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What product can be used to stabilize ethanol, can be used to clean fuel injectors and maximizes horsepower? The answer is this Royal Purple Max Atomizer fuel cleaner. This product can accomplish all of these things, and it does so without interfering with the normal functioning of the vehicle. It’s suitable for both gasoline and diesel engines and is supposed to be able to also restore fuel economy—although results are mixed in that regard. What it does do well, however, is help the engine perform to the best of its ability and it really does a good job at improving the responsiveness of most engines.

Pros:

  • Maximizes Horsepower
  • Cleans Well
  • Suitable for Both Gas & Diesel

Cons:

  • Fuel Economy Results Are Mixed

5Chevron Techron Concentrated Cleaner

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When used every 3,000-miles or so, this cleaner is able to clean most fuel injection systems. This product will restore lost power, smooth the vehicle’s idle and help keep the fuel gauge sensor in top running condition. This product will also improve cold-start performance and can be used as a fuel stabilizer to keep fuel fresh until it’s used. Another key benefit of this product is that is will prevent spark plug fouling, help prevent engine surging and also helps solve engine hesitation. While it didn’t improve gas mileage as well as I had hoped, it did perform well in every other category.

Pros:

  • Cleans Well
  • Smooths Idling
  • Prevents Engine Surging
  • Prevents Engine Hesitation

Cons:

  • Only Improves Gas Mileage Slightly

4Sea Foam Motor Treatment

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Sea Foam is a product that has achieved almost legendary status in some garages, and there’s a good reason for that fact. That’s because this product can not only be used to clean fuel injectors but can also be used for a variety of other motor related fixes. For instance, it can be used to control moisture in the fuel, to lube the engine’s upper cylinders, to clean fuel line deposits, and to clean carb jets. And it can be used on not only cars but also motorcycles and boats, too. All of which means that it’s a very versatile product. However, when it comes to cleaning injectors, I have found that it usually has to be used at full strength and pumped through the injectors directly.

Pros:

  • Work Well Undiluted
  • Versatile Cleaning Product
  • Good For Cars & Boats
  • Cleans Fuel Systems

Cons:

  • Not As Effective Added To Gas

3Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubrication & Injector Cleaner

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Lucas is a fuel treatment that’s been used to neutralize low-quality gas and improve engine performance for many years now. It can be used on both gas and diesel engines and can be used either on vehicles with carburetors or fuel-injected ones. Many people use this product to improve their engine’s emissions so that it will easily pass smog tests. Other people use it to reduce rough motor idling or to improve cold-start performance. Some people use it to reduce fuel consumption. Where we found it to be truly effective, however, is improving engine power. When used as directed, it can really enhance horsepower.

Pros:

  • Improves Horsepower
  • Reduces Harmful Emissions
  • Improves Fuel Quality
  • Lowers Fuel Consumption

Cons:

  • Bottle is Flimsy

2Lucas Fuel Treatment

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If you can get good results with a 32-ounce bottle of Lucas, then imagine what you can do with this 1-gallon bottle. This one-gallon bottle of fuel system cleaner is enough to handle several different vehicles and keep them in good running condition. It can be used to improve fuel performance, improve the quality of poor fuel, and to lubricate the necessary parts of any fuel system. Using this product on a regular basis will also help with problems such as rough idling or surging, and it can be used safely in any engine on a regular basis. This one-gallon size is also an economical choice for the budget-conscious car owner.

Pros:

  • Improves Horsepower
  • Reduces Harmful Emissions
  • Improves Fuel Quality
  • Lowers Fuel Consumption
  • Economical Cleaner

Cons:

  • Bottle Can Be Awkward To Use

1STABIL 360° Performance

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There’s no need to settle for just cleaning your fuel injectors when this product can be used to clean the entire fuel system. This fuel cleaner uses Vapor Technology to clean the fuel system and protect the engine below the fuel line. It can be used to stabilize fuel, to increase engine power, increase gas mileage and help clear up water that may be lurking in your fuel tank. This product is not just effective, however, but it’s also safe to use. In fact, it will help prevent Ethanol fuel-related damage in vehicles and most small engines. And it can also be used on a regular basis without harming the engine. All of which makes it the best fuel cleaner available.

Pros:

  • Improves Gas Mileage
  • Prevents Moisture Damage
  • Improves Engine Performance
  • Stabilizes Fuel

Cons:

  • None

More products also worth checking out:

A Guide to Fuel Injectors

Sooner or later, your fuel injectors will begin to become clogged, and this will affect how your engine runs. The longer you let this go on, the harder it will be to clean those clogged injectors. And if you wait too long, it will be extremely difficult, or even impossible to get them back in good condition.

Fortunately, fuel injector cleaners work extremely well—both as a preventive treatment and as a cure for clogged injectors. All you have to do is to purchase a high-quality fuel injector and use it according to label instructions. 

Since so many people have questions about how these cleaners should be used, when they need to be used and whether they need to use them in the first place, we decided to assemble this guide to give you a better understanding on how and why these cleaners work. 

What Are Fuel Injectors?

Fuel injectors are an extremely important part of your engine. They are tasked with the job of supplying your car’s cylinders with just the right amount of gas, at exactly the right time. If they do their job properly, then the right mixture of fuel and air combines in the cylinder of your car, and that’s ignited by your car’s spark plugs. This results in the proper movement of the cylinder, which drives the vehicle forward. If one of the nozzles found in the fuel injector becomes even a little bit clogged, then it can easily affect the performance of the vehicle. 

Are Your Fuel Injectors Dirty or Clogged?

Some people delay treating their dirty or clogged fuel injectors because they don’t realize that they have a problem in the first place. They just don’t know the symptoms of a dirty or clogged fuel injector. To correct that problem, we’ve listed some of the more common symptoms you need to watch out for to determine if your injectors need cleaning. 

Common Clogged Fuel Injector Symptoms:

Engine Hesitation: If your engine shudders or stumbles when it’s running, then your engine is probably failing to keep a proper air to fuel ratio and this is almost always a result of the engine being deprived of gas. Of course, it’s not always the fuel injectors that are the culprit because other conditions can also cause these problems, but it’s a good place to start. 

Performance Loss: Your engine being deprived of gasoline is a common cause of performance loss, but other things can result in it, too. If it’s not your fuel injectors, then it’s probably a clogged gas line, dirty air filter or your spark plugs need to be replaced. 

Rough Idling: Although poor or failing spark plugs can also cause this problem, so can clogged or dirty injectors. 

Increased Fuel Consumption: Getting poor gas mileage is often a common complaint of people with clogged injectors. That’s because gasoline is being wasted because it’s not being supplied to the engine at the right time. 

Failing Emission Testing: Dirty fuel filters will result in an uneven burning of your car’s gas and this will result in more toxic emissions coming out of your tailpipe. 

Engine Misfires: Engine misfires result from an improper air and fuel mixture in your car’s cylinders which can prevent the gas from burning properly. This will then result in the cylinder missing a stroke and this will cause the unmistakable jerking motion of an engine misfire. 

Keeping Your Fuel Injectors Clean

Solving a fuel injection problem before it even starts is probably the best way to go. That’s because once your vehicle begins to show symptoms, then it’s already suffered a good deal of clogging. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to run a bottle of cleaner through your car every 3,000 miles or so. You can keep note of this by writing it in the service schedule of your owner’s manual, or you can simply do what I used to do, and that’s using a fuel system cleaner after I changed my oil. 

What to Look For in Fuel Injector Cleaners?

Just about all of the deposits which build-up in your fuel injectors is carbon deposits. These carbon deposits are what’s left over when gasoline is burned in your engine and these can clog your injectors. Think of it like burning charcoal in your grill, except the charcoal is really the gas in your engine. When the charcoal burns, it still leaves a fine layer of dirt. That’s the same thing your gas does, so when you’re searching for a cleaner for your car, you need to find a product that has the right ingredient for dealing with carbon. And that ingredient is PEA. 

PEA, otherwise known as polyetherimide, dissolves carbon deposits. In fact, it’s the chemical that does one of the best jobs at dissolving carbon deposits. Once these deposits have been dissolved, your car can then naturally flush them out of the fuel system. Although there are other solvents which can dissolve carbon deposits, PEA does it the best, so try to buy products that contain that ingredient in it. 

Using Your Fuel Injector

Although I’m going to give you an overview of how many fuel injector cleaners work, I’d like to preface this section by stating that you should always follow the directions on your product to the letter. And this means that if your instructions are different than what I’m about to tell you, then you should follow your product’s directions and disregard mine. To do otherwise can result in decreased cleaning performance or can result in damage to your engine. With that being said, here is a common way that fuel injector cleaner is used:

Start With Less Gas: Most of these cleaners should be added to your gas tank when it’s mostly empty. This will prevent the product from being diluted by too much gas.

Choose the Right Amount: Following your product’s directions, add the right amount of fuel cleaner according to your gas tank size.

Top it Off: Once you’ve added the cleaner, you can then top off with your regular brand of gasoline.