A fuel injector or system cleaner is just as the name states. A chemical which can be added to your fuel tank that cleans your fuel system, the intake path, and the combustion chamber. Within the fuel system, injectors can build up a gummy film which can cause a delay in their timing, prevent them from opening completely in severe situations.
Gunky buildup can also reduce the spray pattern which can greatly reduce the fuel atomization which negatively affects the engine’s performance and fuel economy. When your fuel injectors are allowed to build up this excess gunk over time, then they can reduce the amount of power that your engine is producing by up to 30%!
This engine gunk is naturally built up over time through carbon deposits and through ethanol byproducts which are found in most of today's fuels. In the old days, this didn't matter because the engines were generally inefficient and had massive power loss issues anyways.
However, today's engines are built to be far more efficient. They still have the natural power loss that you will get in just about any gasoline-powered engine, but now they are designed to be more airtight and lose a lot less power. This is one of the reasons why it has become so important to use a good fuel injector cleaner.
Using a high-quality injector cleaner can mean the difference between you having a vehicle that performs up to modern standards and you driving a car that performs like it was built thirty years ago. While most cars looked a lot nice thirty years ago, they certainly didn’t get a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon.
Back in those days, gas was also far cheaper than it is today. In 2018, fuel has become one of the most expensive daily commodities in the world. Everybody needs it to get around to work and go places, and the big gas companies have taken advantage of this. If you want to save money, then you need your car to be fuel efficient.
The best way to ensure that your car is performing to the highest standards is to make sure that your injectors are clean and that there isn't a single drop of fuel that's going to waste. Dirty injectors can contaminate the fuel which comes out out them, thus making it noncombustible.
This dirty fuel will sit in your cylinders and will eventually form more carbon deposits than you could have ever imagined.
It will also drip down into your oil pan. When this dirty fuel mixes with your engine oil, it will destabilize it and reduce the lubricating effect that it has on your engine. This, in turn, can lead to your engine running hotter than it should, which will increase wear and tear, and ultimately decrease its life.
If you want your engine to be performing at its peak and you don’t want to waste a bunch of money on lost fuel economy, then it is vital to begin using a fuel injector cleaner early in your engine’s life.
Cleaning your injectors even just a few times a year could give your car an extra 75,000 miles, which is almost three years of extra driving time before you have to perform expensive engine replacement.
The good news is that there are several good products on the market today. However, if you aren't an auto mechanic, it can be very confusing when you walk into an auto parts store or peruse through Amazon's list of products. They all have fancy logos and promise you the world.
Unfortunately, many of these products are complete garbage and don’t do half of the things that they claim to be able to do. In fact, some of them even have dangerous additives which can harm your engine! Therefore, it’s important to find a high-quality product and not just to look for the cheapest product on the shelf.
The Best Fuel Injector Cleaners On The Market
To help you out, we've put together a list of the best fuel injector cleaners on the market. W know how much of a struggle that it can be to find quality products in today's deceptive economy. All of these products are tried and tested and have a good reputation to back them up.
First, we'll start by reviewing the best fuel injector cleaner additives for your gas-powered car, and then we'll dive into some of the most important features that you need to look for when you're picking out your products.
Winner: Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus
Chevron has been making advances in fuel technology for as long as they’ve been around. Not only do they sell the gasoline that powers your vehicle, but they also make a great product which is designed to give your engine a the comprehensive clean that it desperately needs. This is hands down one of the best fuel injector cleaners on the market.
It will clean, protect and restore your engine back to its original condition. It's important to keep in mind, that if your engine is excessively dirty, then you may need to treat it a couple of times to get the full benefit.
Over the course of a few years, your engine can build up a layer of carbon deposits that prevent your engine from functioning at its maximum capacity. When you pour this cleaner into your gas tank, it will run through your entire fuel system.
It will start by cleaning out deposits that are in your fuel tank and then it will make its way through the fuel lines. Finally, it will enter your engine through the injectors, cleaning them along the way. Once this rich fuel mixture combusts within your cylinders, it will remove excessive buildup from both your spark plugs and pistons as well.
After it has fully cleaned your fuel system, Chevron Techron will leave behind a protective residue that will coat the metal surfaces and prevent future buildup until the next time that you treat your engine.
This is a problem that often develops in older cars. When the injectors and spark plugs become dirty, then the fuel cannot properly combust. When your fuel can’t combust properly, then it can cause your engine to vibrate and shake. Not only is this disconcerting for the driver, but it can go on to cause excessive wear and tear on your engine supports.
When you use a fuel injector cleaner, it will remove the dirt from your injectors and will allow your fuel to burn a lot cleaner. This will reduce the number of micro-explosions within your cylinders which are the primary cause of rough idling.
When you ask yourself what fuel injector cleaner works the best, the answer is the one that works and the one that provides long-lasting protection against future buildup. Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus will last for up to 3,000 miles. If you drive an average of 12,000 miles a year, then this means you will only need to treat your engine four times in a given year.
Many cheap fuel injector cleaners will only last you for 1,000 or 2,000 miles at a time. This means if you want your engine to remain in good condition, then you will have to treat your engine almost eight times a year. It is very easy for car owners to forget to schedule this many treatments, and will also cost more money in the long run.
Runner-Up: Royal Purple Max-Clean
If you’re looking for one of the best all-around cleaners on the market, then the Royal Purple Max-Clean is a great option for you! It is versatile and will work well with almost any vehicle that you want to treat. It will work in your boat, your motorcycle, car, and even your lawnmower.
Royal Purple has been a favorite among truckers for many years. It is one of the best diesel fuel injector cleaners on the market.
Excessive carbon emissions have become a serious problem in today’s world. Cities are becoming more polluted than ever, and many states have even put certain laws in place to prevent people from buying cars that can’t pass strict emissions tests. If you cannot pass these tests, then you will often be penalized or even fined.
In advanced tests, Royal Purple Max-Clean was able to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 12 percent, NOx emissions by 13 percent, and Carbon Monoxide emissions by a whopping 18 percent. If you have an older vehicle and you want it to be able to pass the rigorous annual inspections that your state gives, then this is a great option for you!
Royal Purple Max-Clean has a patented 3-in-1 system that is designed to clean your engine and provide lasting protection. One of the best benefits of using a cleaning product like this is that it will increase your engine’s horsepower.
When your fuel tank is cleaned properly, then you won't have as many contaminates polluting your gas. When your gas is cleaner, it will have a higher octane rating and will burn a lot smoother. You will get more combustion power from your fuel, which translates into increased engine power and more horsepower to the ground.
One of the best things about Royal Purple Max-Clean is that it is a very versatile product. Many fuel injector cleaners are only made for gas-powered cars. They can often damage small engines like boats and motorcycles.
Royal Purple Max-Clean also works great for diesel engines. This is truly an all-in-one product. When you get a can of this, you can take care of your entire garage.
If these aren’t quite what you’re looking for, or if they’re a little outside of your price range, then we have a few other great product recommendations for you. These are guaranteed to boost your engines performance and fuel economy without the expensive price tag!
Alternative: BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner
BG 44K is a gentle cleaner that isn’t as harsh as competing brands. It contains no alcohol byproducts which have been known to sometimes cause overheating and can damage older engines that weren’t meant to take that kind of high-temperature cleaning combustion. If you have an older vehicle that needs a more gentle treatment, then BG 44K is right for you!
The average automobile has a fuel tank capacity of about 20 gallons. This means that you don't have to do as much math when you are trying to figure out how much cleaner to add to your tank. This is a problem that many car owners run into the first time that they are using a new product.
They either don't add enough, or they add too much. If you don't add enough cleaner, then you are getting little to no benefit from the cleaner, and will pretty much just be a waste of money. If you add too much, then you can potentially damage your engine beyond repair. BG 44K makes it simple; one can treats 20 gallons of fuel.
The reason why many cars begin to lose power when they get old is that their spark plugs get dirty and aren’t able to perform to their best ability. When your spark plugs get dirty, it’s a lot like trying to start a fire with a damp log. The fire won’t burn as strong or give out as much heat.
Using BG 44K will give your engine's spark plugs a good clean without causing any long-term damage. This will allow them to provide top-notch performance, and you will get far better combustion quality. This in turn will give your vehicle greater horsepower and waste less gasoline.
2nd Alternative: Sea Foam Motor Treatment
If you ask your grandfather what the best motor treatment on the market is, he will probably tell you that it is Seafoam. This product has been around for a long time and was traditionally used as a carburetor cleaner. It first came on the market in the 1930's and was used primarily for boat engines, which were notorious even back then for being problematic money holes.
Sailors would put Seafoam into their fuel system at the beginning of each season. This would ensure that their motors would run clean throughout the year, no matter how far out at sea they were. In the 1930’s they didn’t have satellite phones, and you didn’t want to be stranded in the middle of the ocean because your motor failed you.
Eventually, the mariners realized that Seafoam helped their automobile engines run cleaner and last longer as well. Today the product is used far more for automotive applications than boating. Seafoam also works well in small engines like motorcycles, chainsaws, and lawnmowers.
One of the things that makes this such a great product is that it is made completely from petroleum products. That means that it's all-natural and doesn't have all of the harmful additives that are commonly found in modern fuel injector cleaners. Although some of these additives are great for newer engines, they can often be harmful to older engines.
One of the advantages of being in business for almost 90 years is that you tend to gain the trust of not only your customers but the government as well. The Environment Protection Agency is one of the strictest government groups in existence. If they give their stamp of approval to a product, then you can be sure that it is safe to use in your vehicle.
3rd Alternative: Liqui Moly Jectron Fuel Injection Cleaner
If you are looking for a cheap product that works well, then Liqui Moly Jectron is a great product for you to try. It doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles that modern-day engine cleaners have, but it gets the job done for a reasonable price. One can costs under $10!
If you want an engine that runs smoothly, then you need your fuel to burn clean. One of the best ways to ensure that your fuel is burning cleanly is to make sure that it is atomized properly. Your fuel injectors should be spraying gasoline into the combustion chamber in a very fine mist.
When the fuel is sprayed in a fine mist like this, then it is at its most efficient. The fuel is also able to burn evenly. When it is dropped out in heavy clumps, it can cause micro-explosions within your combustion chamber.
Over time, these micro-explosions can wreak havoc on the inside of your engine, and are the reason why you may have a rough idle. When you use a fuel injection cleaner like Liqui Moly, it will blast away all of the gunk and carbon deposits that are the primary problem causers.
Have you ever pressed your acceleration pedal down and had a two-second delay before you felt your car going faster? This is usually the result of buildup that is stuck inside of your fuel lines. It decreases the fuel flow, and is making your car suck gasoline through the lines the same way that you would suck a milkshake from a straw.
When you treat your fuel injection system with Liqui Moly, it will clean the lines out and increase the line suction. Once you are getting smooth, consistent suction, you will notice a far quicker throttle response whenever you press your accelerator pedal.
What To Look For
That concludes our best fuel injector cleaner reviews. Now let’s take a look at some of the features that you will want to consider before you make a final decision on your product.
Pure Petroleum Or Additives
Most modern-day fuel system cleaners will have some type of additive to increase their cleaning power. These solvents are usually alcohol-based and will cause your engine to burn hotter which will remove more carbon deposits.
Many of these modern cleaners will have additional chemical lubricants and protective elements added to them which will coat the inside of your combustion chamber and prevent future buildup.
However, some fuel injection cleaners like Seafoam are made entirely from petroleum. This can be great if you have an older car that can’t withstand the higher burning temperatures caused by most alcohol-based solvents.
This is the second most important thing to look for, and where a lot of cheaper brands will get you. Each can should say how much gasoline that it can treat. The industry standard is that one small can will be able to treat a 20-gallon tank of fuel.
Make sure that you get enough cleaner so that it can effectively clean your engine, but never put too much in as this can cause lasting damage.
Some fuel injection cleaners were designed only to work with certain types of engines. This can be good if you only have one vehicle that you are treating, but if you have multiple engines, then you will want something that is a little bit more versatile. Look for a cleaner that you can use in your car, your motorcycle, and even your diesel truck.
This concludes our buyer’s guide! We hope that you found it helpful and that it helps you to make a well-informed decision. If you’re looking for the best fuel injector cleaner that money can buy, definitely be sure to check out the Chevron Techron and the Royal Purple Max-Clean.
If those are a little bit out of your price range or you have an older vehicle, then the Seafoam or BG 44K are two other great options.