Cleaning and maintaining your fuel injector is crucial to keeping any engine running like new. The fuel injector is the bridge between gas tank and engine; if it is not properly cared for, you will probably need to have your engine professionally serviced more often than you would like.
A good fuel injector cleaner is an easy way to keep your vehicle on the road and out of the shop. It can be poured directly into your gas tank before a routine fill-up, and will actively clean and maintain your fuel injector without any hard work on your part. Most fuel injector cleaners are fairly affordable and simple to measure and use – there is no reason not to invest in one to get the most use out of your engine.
To help narrow down your search, we have put together a list of six of the top fuel injector cleaners on the market in 2019. While these are all great products from some of the top brands, each of them is a little different. We have included a general buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article to help you choose the best fuel injector cleaner for your needs.
At a Glance:
- (Our Top Recommended) Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner: a highly-concentrated fuel injector cleaner for gas or diesel engines.
- RED LINE SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner: a versatile fuel injector cleaner and upper cylinder lubricant, for use with gas engines.
- Liqui Moly Injection Cleaner: a powerful fuel system cleaner for any engine.
- Lucas Oil 10013 Fuel Treatment: a versatile fuel system cleaner and treatment, to clean and improve performance of all engines.
- BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner Power Enhancer: a fuel system cleaner that is powerful and compatible with other formulas and fuel treatments to keep your engine safe. For gas engines only.
- Motorcraft PM6 Fuel Injector Cleaner: a highly powerful fuel injector cleaner for any engine.
Some of these cleaners are meant for specific engine types or can counteract specific problems related to the fuel system. Take a look at our buyer’s guide for a better idea of which one will work best for you. For more details on all of these products, read on.
The Best Fuel Injector Cleaner on the Market 2019
#1 Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner (Our Top Recommended)
This first fuel injector cleaner on our list is produced by Chevron, and designed for use with any engine type. This cleaner is powerful built-up deposits but gentle on your engine’s system, and will keep your engine running clean with use every 1,000 miles.
- Comes in 12 or 20 ounce bottle
- Designed for diesel fuel systems
- Removes harmful deposits on fuel injectors
- Can help to relieve engine cold start issues
- Improves engine responsiveness
- Reduces engine noise
- Safe for use with unconventional and bio-diesel fuels
This Techron fuel system from Chevron is a great mid-range cleaner from a well-trusted brand. The directions on this cleaner are very clear: it is best used on your engine about every 3000 driven miles. It will break down and clean up tough deposits on the fuel injectors and help to maintain your engine, keeping it running smoothly, efficiently and quietly.
This fuel system cleaner is safe to use with diesel engines. It is suitable for older to more modern engines, and performs well with mineral diesel, bio-diesel and blends. The patented, specialized Techron formula is meant to tackle harmful deposits on the nozzle as well as internal diesel injector deposits. It is a high-concentrated formula, so even though the standard bottle size is small, a little bit goes a long way.
We would definitely recommend this fuel systems cleaner to all vehicle owners, especially for vehicles with older engines that require a little more care and maintenance. It works great on any gas-powered engine – you can use it as needed with boats, RVs, motorcycles or anything else that runs on gas. Remember that with a vehicle engine, you should only use it about every 3000 driven miles for your engine’s safety.
#2 RED LINE SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
This Redline product is a versatile fuel system detergent and conditioner that will clean your entire fuel system and help to maintain your engine. This cleaner is for gas, not diesel engines.
- Comes in 15 ounce bottle
- Safe to use with synthetic or mineral lubricants
- Cleans petroleum fuel injectors, intake valves and combustion chambers
- Doubles as synthetic upper cylinder lubricant – helping to service and maintain your engine
- Generally 100% effective after first clean
- Sized for about 2 uses per bottle
- Highly concentrated formula
- High-temperature fuel system cleaner
Redline is one of the best brands out there for fuel and oil additives. This fuel injector cleaner is a great choice for gas engines – it acts as both a cleaner and an upper cylinder lubricant, so you are servicing your engine in more ways than one when you use it.
The formula of the Redline SI-1 is super concentrated and designed for high-temperature efficacy – meaning after just one use, it should be able to completely remove built-up deposits from your fuel system. Because it is so powerful and effective, it does not need to be used as often as other fuel injector cleaners. That is a definite plus, because you only get about 2 uses out of every bottle.
This is a gas-only fuel system cleaner and lubricant. It is not intended for use with diesel engines. If you have a gas vehicle, though, this cleaner is a wonderful choice. It does come at a slightly higher price than some other options, but again, you will not have to use it as often. We would recommend this product to any gas engine vehicle owners.
#3 Liqui Moly Injection Cleaner
Next up on our list is a Liqui Moly injection cleaner that works like a charm on any gasoline engine. It will thoroughly clean out your engine’s entire fuel system, as well as helping to maintain it and reverse some of the problems that can be common in older, worn-down engines.
- Comes in 300 ml (10 0unce) bottle with applicator
- Removes built-up deposits on injection valves, intake valves, spark plugs and combustion chamber
- Prevents build-up of future deposits
- Helps to combat and revers engine start problems and rough running
- Helps with idling and poor throttle response caused by deposits in older engines
- Can be safely used as often as necessary
- Quiets and prevents chatter in engine
This Liqui Moly formula is labeled as a fuel injection cleaner, but it really does much more than that. This is a great fuel system cleaner for older gasoline engines that are experiencing some problems as a result of built-up deposits anywhere in the fuel system.
After only one use, your engine should start easily and run more smoothly and quietly. It can help to improve throttle responsiveness and idling. One 300 ml bottle mixes safely with about 70 liters of fuel, but you can use it as regularly as you need to if engine problems continue or reoccur.
This is a great injector cleaner for keeping your vehicle out of the shop. It is much more affordable than a professional mechanic, and will improve the starting and running performance of your engine with just one use. As an added bonus, it comes with a handy applicator at the top to easily pour the cleaner into your gas tank, without any mess.
We would recommend this fuel injector cleaner to drivers with older, poorly-maintained gasoline engines.
#4 Lucas Oil 10013 Fuel Treatment
This fuel injector treatment has a standard, effective formula for both diesel and gas engines. It cleans and lubricates the entire fuel system, as well as lessening the harmful impacts caused by low-sulphur diesel fuel.
- Comes in 32 ounce or gallon bottle
- Designed for use in both gas and diesel engines
- Effectively cleans and lubricates fuel system
- Tackles damaging effects of low-sulphur fuel
- Replaces the benefits of leaded fuel with less harmful emissions
- Prevents fuel thickening – increases mileage and overall performance of vehicle
- Can increase lifespan of fuel pumps and injectors
This Lucas oil fuel treatment is a bit more expensive than some other products on our list, but it is highly versatile and effective as a cleaner and lubricant. It is also compatible with both diesel and gas engines – overall, a great catch-all product.
The fuel treatment formula will clean harmful deposits from the fuel system, keep it lubricated and prevent future deposit build-up. It also helps your car to pass smog and be a little more eco-friendly – combine it with unleaded fuel in an engine that requires leaded fuel to effectively replace the benefits of lead in the fuel system, without all the harmful emissions.
The Lucas formula also works to tackle the damage done by low-sulphur diesel fuels, restoring and lengthening the lifespan of your fuel system in the long run. On top of that, preventing fuel thickening in the fuel tank and engine helps to increase your mileage per gallon and keep the engine running as smoothly as possible. The increased MPG combined with the lead-replacement ability makes this one of the greenest fuel injector cleaners on our list.
We would recommend this versatile product to owners of gas or diesel engines. Bear in mind, though, that as a catch-all cleaner it will not be as attuned to the specific needs of a diesel or gas engine. Especially for an older diesel engine, we would still recommend a diesel-specific fuel injector cleaner.
#5 BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner Power Enhancer
This BG fuel system cleaner is the best on our list for compatibility. It can safely be used in gas engines with any kind of fuel, lubricant, oil or fuel treatment, without any adverse reactions. Of course, it also works great to clean out the fuel system in just one use.
- 11 ounce can
- Designed for use with gas engines
- Removes carbon deposits from combustion areas and fuel system
- Restores overall engine performance
- Can improve engine’s power output
- Can lengthen mileage per gallon
- Each can compatible with about 75 liters of gas fuel
- Highly-trusted brand by sports car and luxury vehicle owners
The BG 44K is another more high-end fuel injector cleaner compared to others on our list – but as always, it is well worth the price. This formula cleans, restores and maximizes the performance of gas fuel systems, giving you improved MPG and better performance out of your engine in general.
What vehicle owners love most about this cleaner is its compatibility with other fuel treatments or lubricants. With some formulas, it can be risky to mix chemicals within your engine, but the BG 44K is designed to be non-reactive with other chemical formulas – a huge plus for someone with an older engine that uses multiple chemical treatments.
If there is a downside to this fuel injector cleaner, it is that – while it is one of the safest for your vehicle – it is one of the more toxic formulas for you. We highly recommend it for all gas vehicles, but we also recommend keeping it away from your eyes and bare skin – as long as you do, you should be perfectly safe using it.
#6 Motorcraft PM6 Fuel Injector Cleaner
The last fuel injector cleaner on this list is a powerful formula for Motorcraft. This is a product from a lesser-known brand (Motorcraft is a smaller off-shoot of Ford) that is quickly gaining popularity among all vehicle owners – it can vastly improve engine performance with just one use.
- Comes in 8 ounce bottle
- Compatible with diesel and gas engines
- Super concentrated, powerful chemical formula
- Removes harmful build-up
- Lubricates and protects fuel system parts
- Reduces engine knock
- Improves overall engine performance
- Improves mileage per gallon
The Motorcraft PM6 may be last on our list, but it is certainly not last in our hearts. This is one of the most powerful chemical formulas reviewed on this list of top fuel injector cleaners. It is safe for use with most engine types and nearly any fuel type, and it will noticeably improve the performance of your engine after one use.
One of the best features of this cleaner is its ability to reduce that obnoxious knocking sound in your engine, without having to bring in a mechanic. It also thoroughly cleans out harmful carbon build-up in your fuel system and helps to extend the life of your engine in the long run. Improving your MPG is never a bad thing, too.
This is a versatile and powerful fuel system cleaner. We would recommend it for use with any engine, but especially for vehicles that have been experiencing engine knock. It should reduce the knock within one or two uses – if not, the problem may be better suited for a professional.
How to Choose the Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
Every product reviewed on this list is an effective and powerful fuel system cleaner. However, some of them come with different specialties and uses – no cleaner is perfect for every engine and owner. Here are some of the most important factors you will want to take into consideration before you purchase your new fuel injector cleaner.
The Right Cleaner per Engine Type
The fuel systems of our engines can be delicate, and it is important not to mix the wrong kind of chemicals and risk harming the entire system. So, it should go without saying – if you purchase a fuel injector cleaner specific to a diesel engine, you should not try to use it on a petrol engine, and vice versa.
That said, how can you know if a diesel-specific or a universal cleaner will be better for your engine?
Generally, we would say that a cleaner designed for multiple engine types will be just as effective for most engines. However, if you are concerned about the maintenance of your engine – especially with older, more sensitive diesel engines – you will be better off with a fuel system cleaner formulated for your specific engine type.
Targeting Specific Problems
Some fuel injector cleaners are formulated to tackle specific engine problems, such as engine knock, stalling or starting problems, idling or responsiveness.
As a general rule of thumb, regular use of any fuel injector cleaner will help your engine run more smoothly. If you are dealing with a specific problem in your vehicle, though, look for a cleaner formulated to help with it. Bear in mind that a single use of a cleaner is not a replacement for a mechanic – if the issue persists beyond one or two uses of the fuel injector cleaner, the source of the problem may be beyond fuel system deposits.
Using a fuel injector cleaner should improve the performance of your fuel system, therefore giving you better miles per gallon. Some formulas, though, are designed more specifically with a better MPG in mind. These are generally more concentrated, powerful and fast-acting cleaners.
A fuel system cleaner that will help improve your vehicle’s MPG might be a bit more expensive than other options, but you will save money on fuel in the long run. You can also feel a little better about your vehicle’s environmental impact the less often you have to fuel up.
Using a Fuel Injector Cleaner
There are two ways to use a fuel injector cleaner on your vehicle. The first is a bit more complicated but will help to tackle more serious engine problems, and the second is simpler, for routine use.
While this buyer’s guide is not meant to be a full instruction manual, we can give you a brief step-by-step of both processes, just to help you have a better idea of how they work.
Under the Hood
This method requires a little effort and elbow grease – not to mention know-how and experience working on vehicle engines. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
First, you will need to disconnect the fuel pump from the fuel injectors, and disconnect the pressure regulator vacuum line, located just above the fuel injectors (in most vehicles). Then connect the cleaner through a hose to the fuel pressure test port.
Remove the fuel tank cap, then – making 100% sure that the fuel pump is off – turn on the car. The cleaner will run its course through your engine in 5-10 minutes.
After that, you can reconnect everything and take the vehicle for a test drive to be sure the cleaner did its job.
Through the Fuel Tank
Not sure if you can handle all that? No problem. You don’t need to be a professional to use a fuel injector cleaner to service your engine. Here’s how you can quickly run it through your fuel system with no mess or hassle.
Wait until your tank is nearly empty – adding the cleaner to a full tank risks diluting the formula. Then, just before you fill up, add the appropriate amount of cleaner straight to the tank.
To know exactly how much cleaner to add, check in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It wouldn’t hurt to contact the producers of the fuel injector cleaner, too.
After you have added the cleaner, fill up the tank with your ordinary fuel. The fuel injector cleaner will be pushed through the injectors as soon as you next start up the engine.
If you have never used a fuel injector cleaner before, there is no reason not to start now. All of the products reviewed on this list are powerful and will help to keep your engine running smoothly – and most of them are incredibly cheap, especially compared to the cost of having to get your engine professionally serviced.
Built-up carbon deposits in your fuel system can be really damaging to a vehicle’s engine. The older an engine gets, the more susceptible it will be to damage from deposits. Using a fuel injector cleaner will counteract this damage and improve the overall performance of your vehicle.
Keep your vehicle running clean and out of the shop, and invest in the best fuel injector cleaner for you.