The Best Fuel Injector Cleaners: Improve Your Vehicle’s Performance
Cleaning out your vehicle with fuel injector cleaner can be a great option for you.
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It’s no secret that the key to getting your engine to hum like a dream is a smooth combustion system. You can have a ride looking like it’s straight out of Fast and Furious, but without a good fuel injection setup, the sputtering motor will give you away pretty quickly. Now, everyone knows about fuel injector cleaners — you’ve probably passed by these auto fluids in gas stations or hardware stores and wondered how they work. Giving your tired car a boost, it’s a matter of chemically (and physically) adjusting the contents in your fuel tank to provide optimum combustion efficiency.
However, fuel injector maintenance is about more than just a few drops of fluid here and there. If you really want to get a boost, there are fuel injector cleaning kits that can help your older model run like a dream. Whether you’re polishing up an old junker or want your new ride to really sing, this breakdown details the best fuel injector cleaners that will get the job done right.
Gumout High-Mileage Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Works on rides with more than 75,000 miles
- Helps prevent future build-up
- Reduces overall exhaust emissions
- Clear bottles make contents vulnerable to light
- Each bottle only works for a single fuel injector cleaning
Sea Foam IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Simple to use
- Reduces exhaust emissions
- Boosts overall performance
- Some users don’t notice a difference in fuel economy as product promises
STP Water Remover All Season Cleaner
- Comes in a set of 12 containers
- Treats up to 21 gallons with a single bottle
- Works with vehicles that have a capless gas setup
- Each bottle works for just one cleaning
- Doesn’t have a very long shelf life
- Comes at a higher price than some other models
We scoured the internet for the best fuel injector cleaner and came away with dozens of available options. In the end, we narrowed it down by looking at the brand's reputation, the price, and weighing it with our own history with the manufacturer and its products. If you want to learn more about The Drive's product selection process, you can click this link.
- Best Overall: Gumout High-Mileage Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Best Value: Sea Foam IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Most Efficient: STP Water Remover All Season Cleaner
- Premium Pick: Red Line Complete Fuel System Cleaner
- Honorable Mention: Liqui Moly Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner
- Honorable Mention: Chevron Techron Fuel Injection Cleaner
- Honorable Mention: Berryman B-12 Fuel Treatment
- Honorable Mention: STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Honorable Mention: Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Automotive Additive
Best Fuel Injector Cleaners Reviews & Recommendations
Gumout High-Mileage Fuel Injector CleanerSee It
Whether you just bought an older car to fix up in your spare time or want to make your new model sing, Gumout High-Mileage Fuel Injector Cleaner is a good place to start. This chemical fuel injector cleaning system comes in a set of six, with each container holding 6 ounces of the formula. Designed to tackle carbon deposits on weathered vehicles, this formula is built to work on engines with more than 75,000 miles on them.
Don’t let that deter you if you’ve got a newer model, though. It just makes the results that much more powerful. This cleaner effectively corrodes the carbon that’s caked onto the fuel injection system. It’s safe to use with the oxygen sensors in super and turbocharged vehicles; and, due to its quality manufacturing, won’t void OEM contracts. So, if you’re looking to improve your engine without investing in shop time, this fuel injector cleaner is a solid choice overall.
Keep in mind that each bottle works for a single treatment. It comes with six, but they are in clear containers which exposes the contents to light. Store them in a dark place to avoid shortening the shelf life.
Sea Foam IC5 Fuel Injector CleanerSee It
The Sea Foam IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner is an excellent choice because it's affordable and simple to use. It's designed to clean fuel injectors and improve injector spray patterns, which increase engine performance. The product can be used in all types of gasoline fuel injection engines. It restores fuel economy, reduces exhaust emissions, and lubricates upper cylinders.
IC5 is available in a concentrated 5.25-ounce bottle and treats up to 25 gallons. It even works on capless tanks. When used regularly, IC5 can boost performance by preventing hard starts, rough idling, and hesitations. Users report that their vehicles drive noticeably smoother after using this product. Overall, it does a good job of cleaning the fuel injectors and the entire fuel system.
Some people, however, don't notice a significant difference in fuel economy after using IC5.
STP Water Remover All Season CleanerSee It
When you fix a part of your car, the goal is to keep it working for as long as possible. That’s why the high-efficiency rating of the STP Water Remover All-Season Cleaner is so desirable. It is built to preserve the well-being of your fuel injector system as a whole. The main use of this formula is to remove water from your fuel system (an essential part of perfecting the combustion itself). It achieves this goal without the use of alcohol, making it a safe additive for vehicles of all types. The result is fuel lines that are less likely to freeze and a system that, as a whole, is less susceptible to corrosion. It’s a good pick if you live in an area prone to extreme weather since it will work in any climate. This fuel injector cleaner works with capless gas setups, meaning you can use it on just about any vehicle. Powerful and effective year-round, this is a highly efficient solution.
It’s worth a mention that this works best in conjunction with a full fuel injection system cleaning job. So long as it’s used properly, it can prevent residue buildup as your vehicle ages.
Red Line Complete SI-1 Fuel System CleanerSee It
The Red Line Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner is designed to clean fuel systems and prevent corrosion from occurring. Using SI-1 ensures long life and improved operation of your gas-powered engine. This product contains synthetic upper cylinder lubricant and cleans injectors, carburetors, valve, and combustion chamber deposits using high-temp and low-temp detergents.
It can tackle all types of fuel injectors, including GDI, and can be used with oxygenated fuel. You can also use it safely on a regular basis. The SI-1 boosts fuel stability, keeps gum and varnish from forming, and cleans pollution control valves.
One bottle per tank provides almost 100 percent efficiency and effectively cleans your fuel system. While this product is a little more expensive than some of its competitors, it is one of the best fuel system cleaners available.
Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection CleanerSee It
The Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner removes carbon deposits from injection and inlet valves, fuel pipes, and fuel distributors, and it's ideal for engines with catalytic converters. It's an excellent inexpensive product to use on older, sluggish vehicles. Jectron stops starting problems, hesitation, and stalling and promotes smoother idling and better throttle response. It is a low-pollution product that promotes environmentally sound combustion. Jectron also works to reduce fuel consumption and restore an engine's original performance by using accurate injector dosing and fuel atomization. Some users report they can actually hear a difference when the cleaner hits the combustion chambers. Overall, the engine should feel more responsive, stronger, and quieter after using this product. Some users, however, don't notice a difference in mileage after using it.
Chevron Techron Fuel Injection CleanerSee It
The Chevron Techron Fuel Injection Cleaner is compatible with carbureted or fuel-injected spark ignition engines. You can safely use it every 1,000 miles and on vehicles with catalytic converters and oxygen sensors. This product restores lost fuel economy and removes water to prevent gas line freeze. Users report that provides an increase in horsepower, makes the engine run much more smoothly and improves the idle. It tackles carbon deposits and can slightly improve fuel economy. It's also easy to use as the container's neck fits down the fuel filler neck, and it’s a great option for vehicles with high mileage.
However, not all users notice a change in fuel economy after using this product. Also, it is not recommended for air-cooled, two-stroke engines.
Berryman Products B-12 Chemtool Fuel Injector CleanerSee It
Over time, your vehicle’s fuel injectors can become altered, which in turn alters performance — but with Berryman Products B-12 Chemtool Fuel Injector Cleaner, you can bring back their former glory. Specially formulated to reduce emissions and lower your maintenance costs, using this fuel injector cleaner on a regular basis will restore your injectors, bringing them back to their original factory spray pattern.
Made with a solvent-based formula, this product will eliminate moisture and gum (along with other residues left behind by fuel) in no time at all. Once applied, it gets to work cleaning intake valves, port deposits, and more. And while it does so, you’ll wind up with improved engine performance, better fuel economy, and a smooth-running fuel system.
While this fuel injector cleaner is compatible with a number of different makes and models, make sure to check that it’s suitable for use in your particular vehicle. It may not deliver the results you expect if it isn’t a proper match.
STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector CleanerSee It
If you’re facing a fuel system that’s full of dangerous deposits that just won’t go away, you need a bottle of STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner. This extra-strong formula is made to be even more effective on your fuel injectors, delivering the performance and acceleration you’ve lost over time.
In fact, this fuel injector cleaner is actually made with concentrated detergents and jet fuel, which is a carrier of active ingredients. Once used, the liquid will dissolve and eliminate dangerous deposits in your fuel injectors and throughout the fuel system. It can get rid of varnish, gum, and carbon, and it’ll solve woes like hard starts and rough idling. If you use this cleaner every oil change, you can see improved acceleration, more power, and the old factory-fresh engine performance you loved when you first bought your vehicle.
This product is safe for any gasoline engine and can treat up to 21 gallons of gas, but it isn’t suitable for use with diesel engines.
Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector CleanerSee It
Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner is a highly concentrated formula that’s designed to restore a high level of engine performance under the hood.
Formulated just for modern direct injection engines, this cleaner can be used with any kind of fuel injection setup. Once it’s added into your gas tank, its highly concentrated polyether amine (PEA) detergents will unclog and unchoke injectors. You’ll see restored fuel injector spray patterns, better fuel atomizing, and overall enhanced performance.
If you use Royal Purple’s fuel injector cleaner regularly, you’ll easily combat issues like slow, rough starts and a rough idle. It’ll lead to quick starts, smoother idle, and more power from your engine. All you have to do is add it into your fuel at least once every 3,000 miles — or even as frequently as every time you fill up. This cleaner even stabilizes ethanol to prevent harmful effects on your engine.
Our Verdict on the Best Fuel Injector Cleaners
So, now you know the art and science behind finding the best fuel injector cleaners around. Maybe you’ve got an older ride and want the Gumout High-Mileage Fuel Injector Cleaner or want to save a few bucks in the long term with our value pick, the Sea Foam IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner. Wherever the road takes you, there’s a fuel injector cleaner to help your engine hum.
When you’re picking out a powerful fuel injector cleaner, you want to make sure you’re grabbing one that includes polyetheramine (PEA) detergents. These ingredients are the most important inclusion in a fuel cleaner additive — they’re what dissolves carbon deposits. PEA detergents actually bond with contaminants in the fuel system, which allows them to eliminate those harmful additions. As powerful active ingredients, they make a difference in just how clean your fuel injectors and system will actually get. For the best potential and most noticeable improvement, you need PEA detergents.
You've got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What are the different types of fuel injector cleaners?
A: Most fuel injector cleaners are dissolvents — which means they literally dissolve the contaminants, grime, and clogs that are gunking up your injectors. Once they’re in your fuel tank, dissolvent formulas use chemical detergents (like polyetheramines or PEAs) to break down the carbon and other types of contaminants present. They eat away at and dissolve any impurities, then they leave your vehicle’s fuel system via the exhaust system. Though they dissolve these contaminants by breaking them down chemically, they work quickly.
Detergent fuel injector cleaners are made of cleaning agents. This kind of fuel additive is meant to “clean up” contaminants and build-up as it moves through your vehicle’s fuel system. However, it’s unclear how exactly these detergents work to clean your fuel injectors and other components. They vary in amount from product to product, and they’re supposed to force carbon deposits out of your system with activated chemicals. But they can actually leave behind a residue of their own, which means they’re less “clean” than dissolvents.
Q: What are some tips for using fuel injector cleaners?
A: There are significant signs to look out for to know whether or not you need fuel injector cleaner. If your vehicle has trouble starting, sounds rough when idling, or begins to lose fuel economy, then a good cleaning would definitely help.
Make sure to follow the company's guidelines on the usage of fuel cleaners. Not using enough of the product may not achieve the best results. Using too much can have a negative effect on your vehicle's overall performance.
If you own a diesel vehicle, make sure the fuel cleaner you buy will work on diesel fuel systems. Reading the product description will tell you if a cleaner is for gasoline and diesel engines or just gasoline engines.
Depending on the amount of buildup your vehicle has, it may take more than one use to start seeing the additives' effects. Our suggested products have the best injector cleaner reviews in terms of seeing results fast.
Be sure to store your fuel injection cleaner in a safe and secure place. Since these are aggressive chemicals, they are tough to clean up—especially from your car's interior.
Q: How do I know if I need fuel injector cleaner?
A: There are a few tangible signs that you might need to use a fuel injector cleaner. If you’re experiencing rough idling or rough starts, your injectors could be dirty or clogged. If you’ve noticed your fuel economy has decreased, or your acceleration is less powerful than it was previously, these are also key signs that your vehicle could benefit from the use of a fuel injector cleaner. Adding the cleaner into your tank could help smooth out or resolve these issues.
Q: Will using fuel injector cleaner increase my car’s gas mileage?
A: Yes, fuel injector cleaners are made to get rid of the excess build up of impurities that are found throughout your fuel system. Clearing this debris will allow the engine to work more efficiently and reduce fuel consumption.
Q: Can I use an old bottle of fuel cleaner that’s been sitting in my garage?
A: First, it’s important to check the container to ensure there's no damage or compromise in any way. If the fuel cleaner is kept sealed in a dry climate, the product shouldn’t expire or separate.
Q: Can I use a fuel cleaner with a turbocharged engine?
A: Yes, these fuel cleaners are designed to keep any gasoline engine clean and running at optimal performance.
Q: If I previously used another fuel cleaner, will it hurt my engine to switch to a different brand?
A: Not at all. As long as you follow the suggested amount and frequency, using different types of cleaners won’t have any adverse reaction.
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