Almost everyone, car owner or otherwise, has heard of fuel injector cleaners, be it on posters or in automobile ads. We use them to clean the injection systems of our cars. Cleaning is a vital part of automobile maintenance because a clean fuel injection system makes for a more efficient and powerful engine.
Today, most vehicle engines come equipped with a fuel injection system rather than the carburation system. The fuel injection system is a set of electronics and sensors that deliver fuel into an automotive engine. This system forcibly pumps atomized fuel from the tank through a small nozzle under high pressure.
On the other hand, carburetors rely on a suction created by intake air sped through a Venturi tube to draw fuel into the airstream. Fuel injection systems require little to no maintenance and do not usually breakdown like carburetors. With constant use, carbon deposits and other contaminants accumulate in the fuel injection system.
These deposits may cause an overall reduction in fuel-efficiency of the engine and drivability of the automobile. You could take the automobile engine to the mechanic to get them cleared out. A cheaper alternative is to do the cleaning yourself with a fuel injector cleaner.
What is a fuel injector cleaner?
Fuel injector cleaners are detergents that clean the fuel injection system of an automobile engine. They are solvents mixed directly with the fuel pumped into your tank to clean out your engine's fuel injection system. They work by dissolving solids built up in the fuel injector and combustion chamber and prevent further accumulation of other harmful deposits.
These cleaners have active ingredients that dissolve deposits into much smaller pieces for the engine to eject through the exhaust system. As a maintenance tool, the fuel injection cleaner can be used just before an oil change or after every 1,500 to 3,000 miles.
In the next section, we will review some of the best injector cleaners for specific purposes, and show you where to find them on amazon. This article only covers fuel injector cleaners, to learn about fuel injector cleaning kits check out the 9 best fuel injector cleaning kits.
A Review of The Best Fuel Injector Cleaners
Best Overall - Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
If you want to clean your fuel injectors, you might as well clean the whole fuel system including the fuel rails. The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner cleans the entire engine, all at once. The patented Techron additive works to enhance engine performance. It will restore the acceleration and power of your automobile to its original state.
The Techron Concentrate Plus improves your engine's fuel economy and removes harmful carbon deposits throughout your engine block. It makes a noticeable difference in any vehicle's performance. As a result of cleaning up the fuel system, it restores engine power, fuel economy, increases acceleration, and reduces knocking and idling.
The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner also works on lighter vehicles of all types, carbureted or fuel injected engines. It will even work on two-stroke motorcycles and motors that do not have a counter, like a lawnmower's. This quality makes it a versatile choice for all types of automobile engines.
More on the product
The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner is also safe for use with all kinds of fuel. It has Chevron's patented polyether amine technology, making this one of the most capable types of fuel injector cleaners on the market today. This product effectively removes deposits from the injector and engine.
It is so potent users claimed they had up to a 10% increase in miles per gallon. Techron works on a molecular level to remove buildup and to prevent future deposit formation. Ultimately, if you are looking for a single clean for your engine and fuel system, Techron is the best. Always follow the guidelines that Chevron has provided on the product packaging. Do not always pour this additive into your empty fuel tank to avoid eating up seals in your fuel system.
It is easy on the pocket, coming in a compact, 12 fluid ounce and a reasonably large, 20 fluid ounce bottle.
Apart from cleaning your fuel system, you can also clean dirty spark plugs with the Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner. Just take them out and let the plugs soak in a container of the Techron concentrate for a few hours. Ensure the cleaner bottle is kept safe and covered at all times to avoid accidental poisoning or harm due to mishandling.
Best for Diesel Engines - Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner
Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner is a powerful blend of oils and additives designed to increase power and fuel mileage and also lower exhaust emissions through total complete combustion.
Many think diesel engines are exclusive to trucks, but they are ubiquitous in passenger cars in Europe and Asia. Diesel engines run differently from their gasoline engines, so it is only right they have a cleaning product specifically formulated to reduce buildup on their fuel injectors.
Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner can clean the fuel systems of diesel and gasoline engines. It gives your engine a blend of super slick oils and additives with a high detergent action that allows the engine to operate at optimum levels. It cleans and lubricates the fuel system causing the fuel to burn more thoroughly for increased power and better fuel economy.
For diesel engines, Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner are particularly helpful. The manufacturer claims it neutralizes the harmful effects of low sulfur diesel fuel. This quality allows the diesel to comply with environmental sulfur regulations without causing damage, like seal shrinkage.
The Lucas cleaner is an ideal choice for diesel engines. It comes in 5.25-ounce, 32-ounce, and 1-gallon containers.
Best for High-Mileage Vehicles - Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner
If your vehicle has accrued a lot of mileage, say over 75,000 miles, it is likely that the fuel injectors have accrued a good deal of sedimentary buildup. For high-mileage engines, you need a strong fuel system cleaner, and Gumout competitively offers a specialized fuel-injector cleaner product for high-mileage vehicles in particular.
As the name suggests, the Gumout fuel injector cleaner lubricates the engine even after long periods of use, reducing the formation of sediments and gums on high-mileage engines. It works so well this cleaner makes clogged injectors as good as new. It contains Polyether Amine, which helps erode the deposits that form on fuel injectors after repeated usage.
According to Gumout, the cleaner reduces friction in the upper cylinder to improve fuel economy. If you are looking to lowering emissions and experiencing smoother engine performance, then the Gumout cleaner is the product for the job. Consumers on Amazon give the product has a 4.6-star rating out of a possible five and 84 positive reviews touting everything from its cleaning efficacy to its temperature versatility.
You can purchase Gumout's high-mileage cleaner in a 6-ounce or 12-ounce bottle.
Best Additives - STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner
The STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner contains concentrated detergents that dissolve and remove harmful carbon, gum, and varnish deposits on fuel injectors. STP claims their cleaner delivers three times as many cleaning agents as the competition, thanks to its exclusive formula.
Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner was designed explicitly to cut down on fuel usage and reduce emissions by deep cleaning the whole fuel system, from your tank to your injectors.
This fuel cleaner also does an excellent job of lubricating your engine parts, breathing new life into an old engine, or preserve a new one. Like the other cleaners in this article, the STP cleaner is super easy to use, requiring you to pour the bottle into your fuel tank before you fill it up. A point of difference is that the STP formula also includes a fuel stabilizer.
That means if you plan on putting a vehicle into storage over the winter, it can be a good idea to add a bottle of STP Fuel Cleaner to the tank first to make sure that it still runs come the spring. This cleaner is suitable for use with any vehicle running a gasoline engine and a fuel injector system. The STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner comes highly recommended by consumers and mechanics alike.
One user found that it fixed problems with their check engine light, while another said it helped breathe new life into their old engine. If you have issues with your vehicle's performance, then the STP cleaner is worth a trial.
How does the Fuel Injector Cleaner work?
Most available fuel injector cleaners contain one or a combination of these three chemicals: Polyether Amine (PEA), Polyisobutene (PIB), and Polyisobutylene amine (PIBA).
For any product to be known as a good cleaner, it must contain any or all of these chemicals. Experts highly recommend cleaners containing Polyether Amine, also known as dissolvents. Professionals generally accept PEA as the most powerful cleaning agent. It completely removes deposits from injectors, fuel lines, and even the whole engine. Cleaners with this chemical as its main ingredient do not leave any residue in the fuel injector system.
Polyisobutylene is a fuel injector cleaner that helps remove water from the fuel. It also works like a detergent, scraping off residue and deposits from injectors and fuel lines. PIB is also used to fix engine misfiring and engine knock problems. PIB is found mostly in diesel and gasoline injector engines.
Polyisobutylene Amine is another cleaning agent, but not as strong as Polyether Amine. It functions just like PIB but is better at removing water from the fuel. PIBA is used mostly for maintenance instead of the removal of long-term deposits. Fuel injector cleaners work as detergents in the fuel system.
The chemicals break down the carbon, gum, oil, and other such deposits. After breaking down these deposits, they pass out through the exhaust system during the combustion process. With these deposits out of your fuel injector, you will notice your engine runs better.
The vehicle will show increased power and manage fuel more efficiently. Will you like to clean your fuel injector yourself? If yes, then you should watch the video below on how to do just that.
Video Tip: you can read the comments to gain more insights from fellow car lovers.
How to Choose a Good Fuel Injector Cleaner
With the fuel available nowadays containing more and more impurities, it is pertinent that we clean our automobile engines regularly. It is essential to select not only the right but the best fuel injector cleaner. Also, ensure that the cleaner you use is right for your automobile engine type and blend of fuel used.
Check the instructions for the right quantity of cleaner needed for the size of the fuel tank. For the best cleaning, fill your tank and drive your car on the highway or at higher speeds. The drive increases pressure in the fuel injection system to make the cleaner's job easier.
To ensure the cleaner mixes well with the fuel, pour it into an empty fuel tank and fill it up. Aside from using a good fuel injector cleaner, it helps to use higher quality fuel. With quality fuel, the clogging of the fuel injectors due to carbon accumulation is much slower.
Ensure to clean older engines and those used in cold climates more frequently as they accumulate carbon faster. According to research, the use of fuel injector cleaners on newer engines causes carbon to build up.
Cleaning and maintaining your engine's fuel system remains an effective maintenance strategy often overlooked by most vehicle owners. Carbon and other deposits accumulate with constant use, affecting engine efficiency and fuel economy. Most experts advise after every 3,000 miles, ensure to check the health of the fuel system. Always ensure to follow the guides accompanying whatever product you choose to get the best results.
With numerous excellent user reviews, the Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner is the bestselling fuel injector on Amazon. It is one of the famous brand names on the market and endorsed by car manufacturers and mechanics alike. Chevron cleans and restores the entire fuel system, fuel injectors, intake valves, and combustion chambers.
The Techron prevents the formation of deposits on the injectors while also removing pre-existing ones. A small community has even formed around the usage of the Techron cleaner due to its popularity. Experts call Chevron's cleaner the best because of its consistent performance and popularity amongst users.
Chevron also provides plenty of tips and advice on how to get the best possible performance from the product.