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Best Fuel Injector Cleaners in 2022: Review and FAQs

TopSpeedGears
  Nov 30, 2022 1:46 AM

Looking for the best fuel injector cleaners for your engines? Read on to learn some tips from our experts, and find out which option suits your needs the best.


Intro

Every car owner understands that the engine is the heart of the vehicle, and puts the utmost effort in maintaining this specific component. But no matter how hard you try, engine-related issues can still arise from time to time, leading to poor gas performance and mileage. As frustrating as this can be, it’s important to find out the cause of such problems. Most of the time, it comes down to the ineffectiveness of the fuel injectors due to prolonged use. In this case, having the best fuel injector cleaners will make a huge difference.

To help you get your money’s worth, we’ve compiled this extensive buying guide to fuel injector cleaners. Let’s get to it:


Types

The engine of your car is a complicated machine with many different moving parts. One essential component, in particular, is the fuel injector, due to its main role in creating combustion. Its job is to deliver the exact amounts of fuel needed to cylinders to create power to either start your car, or keep it going. In order to provide the optimal condition for its operation, the experts recommend you to use high-quality fuels and clean it periodically.

But the fuels that we use are never as “pure” as we want it to be. There are still small amounts of deposits and various other ingredients in them. Over many times of filling up, these particles start to build up and can block the passing of fuels to create combustion. The design of the engine also allows carbon build-ups to accumulate in the chamber, which makes things even worse over time. If not maintained correctly, your car will lose power while consuming just as much, if not more fuels than before.

And that‘s where fuel injector cleaners come into play. These are chemical additives that can clean and eliminate these carbon and deposit build-ups. Using them is a good way to restore the engine-related systems to their original state and avoid losing money on fuels. The exact amount of cleaner you need will depend on the overall condition of your system. After mixing them with fuels, simply drive around to activate its effects and feel the difference.


Reviews

1. Chevron - 9280 Techron Fuel Injector Cleaner 

Overview: Chevron is a brand that is famous for its patented additive technology, and the Chevron - 9280 Techron Fuel Injector Cleaner is a great representative of that. The formula contains PEA detergents, which does a good job of cleaning your fuel injector while not causing further issues. Because of its enormous cleaning capability, Chevron recommends this option for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.

Specifications:

  • Use for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors, not for diesel engines (require a different version of the product)

  • Size: 20oz

  • Contains PEA detergents

  • Works on 1 full tank of gas

Pros:

  • Highly concentrated

  • Operates well as it should

  • Doesn’t cause further engine-related issues

Cons:

  • Might not be the best option for older cars

Summary: The best fuel injector cleaner for recent versions of vehicles.

2. Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner 

Overview: While the Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner isn’t famous for its chemical formula, it makes up for that by being incredibly versatile. It can be used for both gasoline and diesel engines, and the PEA detergents in its content are all that matters. As good as it is at improving fuel economy and responsiveness, there is another big selling point for car owners. It is the only option on this list that can stabilize ethanol in fuels and prolong the life of your engine.

Specifications:

  • Universal fit for gasoline/diesel engines

  • Size: 6oz

  • Contains PEA detergents

  • Extra feature: Stabilizing ethanol

Pros:

  • Highly concentrated

  • Works very well 

  • Signature feature included

Cons:

  • Takes a bit of time to see all improvements

Summary: The only fuel injector cleaner that can stabilize ethanol.

3. Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner 

Overview: The Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner comes from Germany, and the quality control is done by the TUV. The lack of DEA detergents allows it to handle older fuel injections well. This one is recommended for engines with catalytic converters, and the results are fantastic. No more engine hesitations and stalling from now on! 

Specifications:

  • Works best for engines with catalytic converters

  • Size: 300ml

  • Tested and approved by the TUV

Pros:

  • Serves intended purposes well

  • Takes little time to see improvements

  • Works well on older car models

Cons:

  • Very limited use for other engines

Summary: The best fuel injector cleaner for engines with catalytic converters.

4. STP Fuel Injector Cleaner, Super Concentrated, Bottles 

Overview: The STP Fuel Injector Cleaner, Super Concentrated, Bottles does a very similar job to the aforementioned Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner, but on gasoline engines. This one is also DEA-free, and is specifically made for cap-less gas systems. Users can expect drastic and positive changes in no time, and as long as it is used on older car models, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s better to buy this option in packs, since you get better prices per unit, and you don’t have to worry about buying new cleaners for a while.

Specifications:

  • For gasoline engines

  • Size: 5.25oz

  • Compatible with cap-less gas systems

Pros:

  • Works well as intended

  • Dramatic improvements in little time

  • Suitable for older car models

Cons:

  • Shipping issues

Summary: The best fuel injector cleaner for older car models.

5. Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment 

Overview: The Lucas LUC10013 10013 Fuel Treatment is considered to be one of the best options on the market, and for good reasons. It works well for gasoline engines, but even better for diesel engines. This is due to its ability to neutralize the bad effects of low sulfur fuels, which is appealing to those who have diesel engines. Each unit comes with 1 gallon of cleaning chemical, which will keep your engine clear and responsive for the foreseeable future.

Specifications:

  • Vehicle-specific fit for gasoline and diesel engines

  • Size: 1 gallon

  • Extra feature: Neutralizing low sulfur fuel problems

Pros:

  • Works well for vehicles that require leaded fuels

  • Signature feature

  • Takes little time to show improvements

Cons:

  • Pouring can be tough due to thick consistency

Summary: The best fuel injector cleaner to combat the harmful effects of low sulfur diesel fuel.

6. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner - Gas and Injector Additive Treatment 

Overview: The Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner - Gas and Injector Additive Treatment is known to be a good injector cleaner, but it also acts as a chemical treatment for your gas. This one has the powerful PEA detergents that work on all types of injectors. This makes it compatible with a wide variety of engines, but it works best in combination with oxygenated fuels. When used correctly, this one can actually enhance the gasoline stability, leaving you worry-free even with lower-quality fuels.

Specifications:

  • For use with oxygenated fuel on all forms of fuel injectors

  • Contains PEA detergents

  • Size: 15oz

  • Extra feature: Enhancing gasoline ability

  • Recommended amount: 1 bottle/tank

Pros:

  • Highly concentrated

  • Works well as advertised

  • Signature feature 

Cons:

  • Takes a bit to improve fuel quality

Summary: The most well-rounded fuel injector cleaner available.

7. Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment 

Overview: Although the Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment is PEA-free, no car users would call it a lesser option than the other ones on this list. It works well with a wide range of engines, and that’s already a positive sign to start with. The main attraction lies in its extra features, and this one is packed with surprises. It helps include the quality of your fuels, acts as a lubricant for your engine, and even supports crankcase oil. What more can you ask for?

Specifications:

  • Works with gasoline and diesel engines

  • Size: 16oz

  • Extra features: Stabilizing gas and diesel fuels, lubricating cylinders, liquefy harmful residues and deposits in crankcase oil

Pros:

  • Works well as advertised

  • Many signature features

  • Very versatile and shows significant improvements

Cons:

  • Takes some time to produce results

Summary: The best and most well-rounded fuel injector cleaner without PEA detergents.


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Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying guide

Like many other car accessories, fuel injector cleaners come in all sorts of options with distinct characteristics. To nail down the perfect option for you, take the following factors into consideration:

  • Type of cleaner: The main difference between fuel injector cleaners lies in the ingredients, which make them more or less powerful when it comes to cleaning. Dissolvents are needed when you haven’t cleaned your fuel injector for a long time, while detergents are more suitable for scheduled maintenance.

There are also cleaners that work particularly well on certain types of engine and fuel. Before buying, make sure these attributes of the cleaner match the ones of your vehicle.

  • PEA detergents: Polyetheramine (PEA) is a special cleaning agent that dissolves carbon deposits. Other detergents, such as Polyisobutene (PIB) or Polyisobutylene Amine (PIBA) are also common, but they aren’t as powerful as PEA. Alcohol is also a powerful ingredient, but it can also damage certain compartments within your system. If you want the safest and most effective way to clean, an option with PEA detergents is the best choice. For more powerful cleaning capabilities, choose a highly-concentrated cleaner with low water content.

  • Pour-in application: The best fuel injector cleaners are ones that allow seamless pour-in application. Whether you have a capped or capless tank, pouring the cleaner in should never be a problem. To cover your needs, go for an option that works well with both types of tank.

  • Extra functions: Aside from eliminating carbon build-ups, fuel injector cleaners can be incredibly versatile. Some will stabilize lower-quality fuels and give your engine’s performance a boost, others will lubricate and prolong the lifespan of your fuel system. These characteristics are very useful, and finding them in your fuel injector cleaner is easy. These options usually have “3 in 1” or “5 in 1” labels on the package, which will provide information on what they can do.

FAQs

What are the main differences between fuel injector cleaners and fuel system cleaners?

These 2 types of equipment can sound similar, but they are made for different purposes. Fuel system cleaners help your car recover from engine-related problems, while fuel injectors cleaners clean your fuel injector thoroughly, even in cases where there is no problem. The former acts as a treatment for your issues, while the latter is often used periodically as a preventive measure. As a result, fuel system cleaners are more powerful and more expensive than fuel injector cleaners.

At what fuel level do fuel injector cleaners work the best?

Most fuel injector cleaners can work their magic even when your fuel tank is full. However, most manufacturers recommend you pour your cleaner in an empty fuel tank. This allows it to be mixed better, especially since you’ll have to fill your car with fuel afterwards. You can get both tasks done at your local gas station.

What is the most important thing to remember when driving after using the fuel injector cleaner?

After pouring your fuel injector cleaner and filling your tank, you should hit the highway at high speeds (with high engine rpms). This keeps a certain level of pressure on the fuel system, which speeds up the cleaning and ejecting process.

How often should I use my fuel injector cleaner?

There are all sorts of recommendations from the experts and manufacturers regarding this topic. Our advice is to use your fuel injector cleaner before every oil change, but not on your new engines. Using it on new engines can have reverse effects and cause carbon build-ups to form more quickly. Instead, use it on older engines that operate frequently for short distances in cold and harsh weather. It’s in those conditions that your engines can develop problems, and you can put your fuel injector cleaner to good use.

What is the best fuel injector cleaner?

Car owners only want the best fuel injector cleaners for their vehicles, and for good reasons. However, there’s no definitive answer to this type of question. In our buying guide, we’ve stated that factors like PEA detergents, easy pour-in application and other extra features are important to think about. You just have to note down the characteristics that you need and find a matching option.

To help you get to your option quickly, we’ve created this shortcut for you. If you’re looking for a powerful and well-rounded fuel injector cleaner, the Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner - Gas and Injector Additive Treatment would be a perfect fit. If you want other well-rounded features but find PEA detergents unnecessary, you can’t go wrong with something like the Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment.


Conclusion

Due to their design, fuel injectors can get clogged and dirty over time. This results in situations where you can’t even start the car, let alone get the most out of your fuel system. Once you have the best fuel injector cleaners in hand and put them to good use, you can be confident heading out on the road again. Hopefully this article has helped you choose the perfect fuel injector for your needs. For now, hop on Amazon through the links provided and make your purchase!


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