Over time, your fuel injector builds up grime from daily exposure to things like oil, carbon, and heat. This buildup can decrease throttle response, cause misfires and knocking, and even increase how often you fill up, making it important to keep your fuel injector clean with the best fuel injector cleaner. With so many options out there, it can be hard to narrow down what the best fuel injector cleaner really is.
Fuel Injector Cleaner FAQs
If you're not experienced with using fuel injector cleaner, you're bound to have some questions. Some of the most common questions about fuel injector cleaner can be found below:
1. Why do I need to clean my fuel injector?
Cleaning your fuel injector keeps your car running smoothly and quietly. Built up oil and carbon from daily use can cause a myriad of auto problems.
2. How do I know if I need to clean my fuel injector?
There are a few key signs you should watch for to determine if it's time to clean your fuel injector. Your car will be less fuel efficient, and might miss strokes or have a rough idle.
A grimy fuel injector burns more fuel in order to perform, causing you to stop more frequently to fill up the tank.
Your car stalls when idling, or there is an unsteady amount of fuel and air reaching the engine causing a rough, out of rhythm idle.
A cylinder misses a stroke resulting in an accompanying sound effect. It can also cause backfiring. If you are wondering if the sound you are hearing is a misfire, take a deep breath. Smell that unburnt gas? If you also smell coolant, steam or oil - you need to call a mechanic or get under the hood, something more serious could be afoot.
While these can be symptoms of a grimy fuel injector, they could be indicators of a greater problem. Proper upkeep with a fuel injector cleaner can decrease your risk of a heart-stalling repair bill down the road.
3. How does a fuel injector cleaner work?
Most fuel injector cleaners are liquids that get poured into your fuel tank to then be spread into your combustion chamber, along with your fuel, to break down carbon build up.
4. What does a fuel injector cleaner do?
Fuel injector cleaners break down carbon build up, allowing air and fuel to reach the engine properly and efficiently.
5. How much does a fuel injector cleaner cost?
Some cleaners may come in larger quantities, resulting in a higher price. While other cleaners have varying prices based on potency and the number of services they provide. For example, BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner cleans the entire fuel system, while Seafoam SS14 Lube and Cleaner focuses on the fuel injector.
How We Reviewed
Our team scoured the top automotive information websites to find the best fuel injector cleaners to keep your car running smoothly. These cleaners were repeatedly featured across a number of credible sites as being the best in the market, along with outstanding reviews.
Top 10 Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
Here are the best 10 fuel injector cleaner options available right now, in no particular order:
- Cures hesitation, stalls, pings, flat spots and rough idle due to carbon buildup
- Use to store and fog 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines
- Helps pass emission tests, epa registered
Seafoam's 100 percent pure petroleum formula makes this cleaner a fast-acting fix. You won’t need many uses to see a difference in your engine running. It is wallet friendly and works great.
Unfortunately, Seafoam uses a spray can rather than a pourable liquid, making the application process a little more difficult than you may want. That's the only real downside. Watch this video on how to apply Seafoam SS14 Lube and Cleaner.
Liqui Moly’s fuel injector cleaner works overtime to fix your startup and rough idling problems. After using this product, you’ll notice a change in throttle response and a noise reduction from the engine.
However, it does have one drawback — it doesn’t work as well on older machines.
Customers liked this product for its long life. Many report seeing positive effects after the first use, like increased mpg and better power.
This fuel injector cleaner is also pretty cheap.
BG 44K is known for blasting fuel injector clogs away with ease. Not only will this cleaner polish up your injector, it will clean your combustion chambers and engine valves, as well.
However, that effectiveness comes at a cost, this is one of the more expensive options on our list.
Car owners found their vehicles running more smoothly overall after using this cleaner. Many claimed they saw an increase in mpg.
- Cleans and lubricates the fuel system. Neutralizes low sulfur fuel problems
- Increases power and miles per gallon by burning excess exhaust emissions
- Made in USA
If your engine could pop open and say thank you for using Lucas Fuel Treatment, it would! This product acts as a cleaner and lubricant for your entire engine, even your piston rings. An all-in-one elixir for your engine, and a bargain for a full gallon.
There is a minor downside, though — unlike most fuel injector cleaners, like Seafoam, Lucas Fuel Treatment requires multiple uses for the desired effect. Customers who used this said their idling became smoother afterward.
- Cleans, restores, protects the entire fuel system (fuel injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers)
- Restores: lost power, acceleration, lost fuel economy, and operation of the fuel gauge sensor
- Reduces: rough idle, engine surge, hesitation, and spark plus fouling
Chevron Techron says this product should be used with every oil change for a full fuel system cleaning and coating. Unlike other cleaners, it also prevents spark plugs from fouling.
Reviewing customers noticed a smoother engine after just one use, but some also complained that it did not improve fuel consumption.
- DESIGNED TO EXCEED EXPECTATIONS - Red Line Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner treatment for cleaning & preventing...
- PERFORM & PROTECT - Fuel additive cleans injectors, carburetors, valve & combustion chamber deposits with a powerful...
- EFFICIENT FUEL BURN - Gas treatment that enhances gasoline stability, while reducing the buildup of gum and varnish...
Red Line runs against the pack when it comes to its formula. It uses polyether amines, a strong ingredient in fuel injector cleaner. It also contains an upper cylinder lubricant which takes care of your car in the long run, preventing more auto bills. Moderately priced and supported by excellent reviews, this cleaner seems to be a strong contender for the best.
There is one major drawback, though, as it does not improve fuel consumption.
Customers felt an increase in responsiveness, as well as a smoother idle with this product.
- 3-in-1 fuel additive keeps new engines clean and improves vehicle's performance
- Improves fuel economy an average of 3.2 percent
- Increases horsepower an average of 2.6 percent
Royal Purple is nothing short of royalty in the fuel injector cleaner industry. Improving your horsepower, as well as decreasing your harmful emissions, Royal Purple gives your car the royal treatment. It stays in your system longer than other cleaners, like Chevron Techron, to break through long-lasting carbon buildup.
It may take more than one use to see full benefits, but customers noticed an increase in power after using Royal Purple.
STP is known for its accommodation for capless gas systems. It also improves oil pressure, as well as MPG, and caters to all types of motors. We recommend the twin pack at a low price and great value.
Some customers did not see a change in performance, but those who noticed a difference after using STP experienced more powerful acceleration as well as a quieter engine.
- Removes carbon deposits from engines with over 75,000 miles
- Prevents future carbon buildup on port/indirect fuel injectors, intake valves, and ports
- Maximizes performance and fuel economy
Like Royal Purple Max, Gumout stays in your car’s system for a long lasting lubrication process. Weighing in at a whopping 0.16oz, it’s definitely a big cleaner in a small package. It can even tackle big jobs like supercharged and turbocharged vehicle issues — all while lubricating to decrease further buildup.
Customers report that the product performed as advertised and improved the running of their vehicles.
Is someone knocking on your car door, or is that your engine? PM6 is specifically designed to stop those knocks and create a quieter ride. It also improves your fuel efficiency. While this cleaner does not have a large following like Red Line, it is making a name for itself with customers who try it and love it.
Customers agree that it's cheaper and quicker than a repair shop, making it worth the money — that is, if it fixes your problem. It's easy to misdiagnose car problems, after all.
Based on uses and potency, our best fuel injector cleaner pick is Seafoam SS14 Lube and Cleaner! This cleaner is the quick fix and restoration we are looking for. While its spray nozzle makes it difficult for beginners to use, a quick youtube video explains just how easy the process can be, making it your best friend whether you are a professional or just a regular Joe.
Which best fuel injector cleaner do you use? Let us know your favorite brand and product in the comments!