The Best Diesel Injector Cleaners: Boost Your Engine’s Performance

Clean and lubricate your vehicle’s fuel system with our top picks for the best diesel injector cleaners.

byNorah Tarichia|
Engine & Motors photo

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BYNorah Tarichia/ LAST UPDATED ON May 15, 2023

Your car relies on fuel injectors to, well, inject fuel to the engine. But due to dust in the air, small particulates in the fuel joining in the journey, as well as any mild corrosion that might be present in the system itself, these crucual components can get gunked up with debris over time.

The gunkier they get, the more your engine struggles. If left unchecked, this impacts the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. But in the worst-case scenario, your engine could get damaged from overworking itself, especially if an injector becomes clogged. From stalls to difficulty accelerating, you risk a lot of performance issues without a diesel injector cleaner. 

To help stave off any issues, you can simply throw in some diesel injector cleaner to address the buildup. Like, as easy as pouring some in the next time you fill up with fresh fuel. This is an easy-yet-essential part of preventative maintenance, and the quality of these cleaners dramatically impacts its effectiveness. So, to save you some legwork, we’ve tracked down the best diesel injector cleaners available on the market today.

Best Overall
Lucas Fuel Treatment

Lucas Fuel Treatment

Efficiently breaking down residue in the injector system, this formula can help improve your engine’s performance. It comes with enough supply to treat 400 gallons of either gasoline or diesel fuel.
  • Works powerfully on diesel engines
  • Restores the proper sulfur content
  • Helps limit buildup on pistons and valves
  • Improves overall fuel economy
  • If it spills, this conditioner can leave stains
  • Can be tricky to control the concentration
Best Value

Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up

Cost-effective and powerful, this cleaner works as a one-shot treatment for any engine. It improves performance, lubricates the interior components, and eliminates moisture.
  • Includes antioxidants to fight corrosion
  • Limits carbon deposits
  • Prevents issues with ethanol corrosion
  • Works on gas, ethanol, and diesel
  • Only enough supply for a single use
  • Container dents and loses its seal fairly easily
Honorable Mention

Sea Foam Motor Treatment

Designed to work in carburetors and fuel injectors, it addresses buildup by liquifying the residues. The chemical formula balances the fuel itself, improving performance.
  • Works with all motor oil types including conventional
  • Improves cylinder performance
  • Powerfully removes deposits by altering their viscosity
  • Includes a de-icer gel that isn’t necessary in many situations

Summary List

Our Methodology

We narrowed down this list of top-choice diesel fuel injector cleaners by balancing out price, review, features, and ease-of-use. Whichever possessed the best mix got on the list, and then we rated them from there. You can't really go wrong with any of them, but some target more specific issues that your car might be experiencing. With that, let's discuss what's best for your spark-plug-less powerplant!

Best Diesel Injector Cleaners: Reviews & Recommendations

Designed to work on all types of engines, the Lucas LUC10013 Fuel Treatment works to improve conditions and prevent further damage. Coming with enough to treat 400 gallons of diesel, it works by using hydrophobic chemicals and additives to slide the particulate through. The detergent in the formula interacts with corroded parts and debris to clean the vehicle from the inside out. It results in a clean burn by enabling a smooth flow of the diesel and regulating the sulfur in the contents. When used regularly, this conditioner can keep your engine working at the top of its game.


Solid value

Ensures a clean burn

Cleans inside the cylinder as well


Extra accessories needed to pour into tank

Extra care must be taken while pouring it in as it'll quickly destroy automotive paint

Care must be taken while measuring out the right amount to add

The Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up cleaner is an affordable product that works on your diesel injectors and the entire fuel system. It’s also suitable for gas, ethanol, and biodiesel engines. The product works with just one treatment on a 21-gallon diesel tank (one ounce per gallon of fuel in both 2- and 4-cycle engines). It cleans the fuel injectors, cylinder heads, the combustion chamber, piston tops, and intake valves. 

The product’s composition is made up of antioxidants, corrosion inhibitors, and cleaning agents that prevent future carbon build-up in your engine. It also features polyetheramine (PEA) that effectively eliminates carbon deposits from the fuel system. The fluid stabilizes the fuel for two years, improves your vehicle's fuel economy, and fights ethanol and water corrosion.

The main problem with this product is that the mouth of the bottle may not fit on a fuel tank, which makes application difficult. You would have to use a funnel to avoid spilling the content on the surrounding area.  Moreover, the manufacturer could improve on the design and packaging of the bottle as it often comes with external damages to the can.


Works powerfully on diesel engines

Helps limit buildup on pistons and valves Improves overall fuel economy

Restores the proper sulfur content


If it spills, this conditioner can leave stains

Can be tricky to control the concentration

The Sea Foam Motor Treatment graces our list as a professional-grade cleaner that cleans injectors, carb jets, motors, passageways, intake pistons, and valves in both diesel and gas engines. This fuel system cleaner enhances the engine’s overall performance, promotes better fuel economy, and better fuel system operation. It also improves your vehicle’s performance with faster throttle response and smoother idle.


Works with all motor oil types including conventional

Powerfully removes deposits by altering their viscosity

Improves cylinder performance


Includes de-icer gel that might be unnecessary for some applications

Hard to pour into gas tank

The Star Tron brand of fuel injector cleaner is available in several different sized containers. If you need only a little amount of the liquid (8 ounces), you’re covered. You can go for a larger amount (1 gallon) that will last you quite a long time. The injector allows your engine to start more easily, smoothly, and quickly once applied. It also helps reduce emission and carbon buildup from burners, injectors, and exhaust components.


Cleans not only the injectors but the engine's valves as well

Doubles as a fuel stabilizer for vehicle storage

Good price


Dispenses slowly, taking a while to add to fuel

Cheap containers might crack and leak over time in storage

This diesel injector cleaner is formulated to clean out the whole fuel injection setup in the vehicle, with enough supply to mix well with a single tank of gas. Once you’ve used the cleaner and driven your vehicle for a while, it becomes better able to cold start and burns fuel more efficiently. The resulting cleaner combustion both reduces your carbon output and can save you at the pump. Meant to address carbon deposits, it lubricates and removes particulate from the injectors.


Helps remedy cold start issues and hesitation

Includes strong cleaning agents

Great pricee


Some users report the funnel not included in packaging

Higher in price than most competitors

Coming with four bottles of fuel additive, the Stanadyne Performance Diesel Injector Cleaner is a great way to address issues and plan ahead. The hydrophobic chemical repels moisture and limits the risk of rust taking hold of metal parts. Designed to be used as frequently as every two months, these treatments are effective for those who drive a lot. Each bottle is meant to work with 25 gallons of fuel, sufficient for many diesel engines.


Effective detergents that treat up to 25 gallons of diesel per bottle

Combats oxidization of metals in fueling system

Lubricates fuel system


Not all users might want to shell out for a package of four up front

High price

Unlike many treatments that aim for versatility, the CRC Diesel Fuel Therapy puts its whole focus into working on diesel. Working on biodiesel as well, it addresses issues with corrosion and rust. Helping your fuel remain in optimal condition, this conditioner stabilizes it on a chemical level. After it’s applied, the cleaner limits the smoke output by causing a cleaner burn.


Value-minded price from a popular brand

Works especially well in combating carbon buildup

Easy-to-use bottle


Might not last in longterm storage

Low flashpoint—be sure to keep it away from hot exhaust

Our Verdict on the Best Diesel Injector Cleaners

After careful consideration, we’ve picked the Lucas LUC10013 Fuel Treatment as the winner of this roundup. Powerful, affordable, and long-lasting, it’s a solid choice. Looking to save a bit more? Consider the Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up as a one-shot treatment.


Q: Does injector cleaner work on diesel engines?

A: Yes, injector cleaner works on diesel engines, provided it is compatible with that system. Make sure it specifies that you can use the formula on diesel. If you rely on biodiesel, make sure it tackles ethanol issues. Many cleaners work on all types of engines, but if you use the wrong one, it can cause problems.  

Q: How often should you use diesel injector cleaner? 

A: Aim to use a fuel injector every 1,500 miles, especially if your car is getting up there in mileage. If you have a newer vehicle, you can stretch it to 3,000. Try not to push it any further, as fuel injector build-up is inevitable. The earlier you address it, the better. 

Q: Can you use too much diesel injector cleaner? 

A: While most fuel injector cleaners indicate that they won’t cause harm if you add too much, exercise caution. All the containers state the proper concentration. Look at how much diesel it’s meant to treat and stick to the instructions. This way, you don’t cause damage through the detergent build-up, undoing all the work the cleaner could have otherwise done. 

Q: What are some top brands that sell diesel injector cleaner?

A: Lucas: Opening its doors in 1989, this California-based company focuses on manufacturing motor and aerospace supplies. It has a proud history of providing supplies to the military during World War I and continued on that trajectory to success. Lucas Industries remains a leading manufacturer of automotive supplies. Among its top selections is the Lucas LUC10013 Fuel Treatment.

Sea Foam: Starting operations in the 1930s, the Sea Foam products have come a long way from a petrol salesman’s original vision. After years of work, the proprietor, Fred Fandrei, found the ideal solution. He first sold it in beer bottles to fishermen, earning the formula its namesake. Since then, Sea Foam has come a long way, though it retains its focus on manufacturing supplies to optimize engine performance. One of its popular formulas for diesel engines is the Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

Chevron: It’s almost impossible not to recognize the Chevron name. With a hand in all types of energy from geothermal to oil and gas, its product lines span from lubricants and additives to base oils. For diesel engines, one of its top selections is the Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus.

Q: What should I expect to pay for a diesel injector cleaner?

A: Under $10: If you’re getting a single treatment chemical cleaner, it will likely fall in this range. For those with larger engines, make sure that it comes with sufficient supply to treat a full tank of fuel.

$10 to $30: Most diesel injector cleaners are in this category, with the majority including enough solution to treat a full tank. You can get multiple smaller containers or a single large bottle in this price range. 

$30 and up: If you’re going to a mechanic to approach repairs through an ultrasonic cleaning or a rail-induced approach, you will end up paying over $30. If you use a cleaner regularly, you can usually get the same results and pay less.

Q: How long does it take for an injector cleaner to work? 

A: It’s a common misconception that the results are immediate. The cleaner gets rid of water within a few minutes of driving, but getting rid of the deposits takes more than that. After a week of regular driving, the cleaner will take its full effect. Take note of when you use it and the impact on fuel mileage at the beginning and after a week. If you notice a difference, the treatment was successful.

Q: What are some tips to using and selecting a diesel injector cleaner?

A: The more frequently you use a chemical treatment, the better the results will be. Aim for every 1,500 miles. 

Everything from hilly terrain to polluted conditions can impact the frequency at which you require diesel injector cleaner. 

Listen to your engine. If it’s stuttering, stalling, or showing issues with combustion, cleaning your injectors is the first thing to try. 

You can track the fuel efficiency improvements by checking your odometer for distance traveled on a full tank before and after treatments. 

Ultimately, fuel injector cleaner is a part of preventative maintenance. It saves your engine from damage, but it won’t fix leaks or cure severe engine damage. 

Don’t mistake the instant results of the cleaner for long-term effects. It takes a week of use to unclog any debris, so wait until to get a full picture of how well it works.

Q: What are the signs of a clogged fuel injector?

A: A few of the signs include an engine that won’t start or gives you trouble before starting, a decreased MPG which points to lowered fuel economy, increased hydrocarbon emissions, and non-firing cylinders. Also, if you open the vehicle’s hood and notice some traces of diesel on the spark plugs, then you know that you have a clogged fuel injector.

Q: How does a diesel injector cleaner work?

A: Most cleaner fluids work by mixing with the diesel in the fuel tank, and then it’s transmitted by the fuel pump to the fuel rail, into the injectors, and finally into the combustion chambers. Throughout the entire process, the cleaner breaks down solid particles into soluble bits, and cleans any signs of corrosion in the tank. The remaining cleaner liquid is blown out through the vehicle’s exhaust system.

Q: How often should I clean my diesel injector?

A: First off, you should clean your fuel injector before you start to encounter any issues with the engine or injectors. It's a good idea to do a deep cleaning of the diesel injector at least once a year or after every 30,000 miles. However, it depends on the age of your vehicle, your driving conditions, and the type of fuel you use. Your vehicle owner’s manual may give you the recommended clean-up period for your fuel injector.

Q: Should I use fuel additives to boost the cleaner?

A: Fuel injector additives can be used to boost the fuel injector’s performance after you use the injector cleaner. The additives are poured into the fuel tank and increase the life expectancy of the fuel, prevent build-up or corrosion, and keep the injectors lubricated. You should, therefore, use a fuel cleaner to clear up the deposits, and follow it up with fuel additives to help keep the fuel system cleaner for longer.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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