Frustrated by issues with your vehicle’s engine? It’s possible a fuel injector cleaner could be exactly what your engine needs. While a fuel injector cleaner or fuel system cleaner won’t turn an old pickup truck into an F1 racecar, it will likely improve your engine’s performance.
You can expect the best fuel injector cleaners to improve rough idling and fuel efficiency, prevent carbon buildup in your engine, and more. Customers who have used one, some, or all of our recommended fuel additives stand by these products and their effectiveness.
5 Best Fuel Injector Cleaners
#1 Top Pick: Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant & Fuel Injector Cleaner
The Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant & Fuel Injector Cleaner is formulated for both gasoline engines and diesel engines, meaning that whether you fill up with standard gas or diesel fuel, this product has you covered. This fuel injector cleaner consists of a powerful blend of oils and additives which don’t contain solvents. Designed to increase power and fuel efficiency, this cleaner simultaneously lowers exhaust emissions.
The fuel injector cleaner will improve your vehicle’s overall engine performance as the cleaning agents lubricate and remove carbon deposits in your fuel injection system. The product lengthens the lifespan of fuel pumps and diesel injectors while providing a thorough fuel injector cleaning. It should be noted that this fuel additive complies with federal low sulfur content requirements.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5
What Customers Are Saying
Around 200 customers have left reviews on Amazon for the Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant & Fuel Injector Cleaner. Incredibly, 97 percent rate this product 4 stars or higher.
One reviewer mentions this fuel additive increased the fuel economy in their 1996 Jeep Cherokee, while another mentions it increasing their vehicle’s horsepower. Many reviewers speak to how well this product cleans out their entire fuel system.
#2 Best Fuel System Cleaner: Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus
The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner works on both fuel-injected engines and carbureted engines. This product is designed to reduce rough idle, engine surge, and spark plug fouling, all things that can easily damage your engine. Additionally, the fuel additive will restore lost power, acceleration, and fuel economy.
This fuel system cleaner from Chevron features the company’s patented Techron® fuel additive technology, one trusted by automotive manufacturers across the globe. From the fuel injectors to the combustion chamber, this additive will clean and protect the entirety of your fuel system. Above all, the product raises your car’s fuel economy so the same amount of fuel should take you further than it did prior to using this product.
Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5
What Customers Are Saying
The Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner is the most well-reviewed product in this article with over 13,000 reviews on Amazon. Roughly 88 percent of reviewers rated it 4 or more stars.
Reviewers point to the improvement in fuel efficiency once they started using this fuel system cleaner regularly. One reviewer claims the product made their V8 Chevy’s rough idle turn into smoother idling than they’d ever experienced in a car. A large number of reviewers also recommend replacing your spark plugs in tandem with beginning to use this product, as that will fully eliminate any carbon buildup.
#3 Best Value: STP Fuel Injector & Carburetor Cleaner
The STP Fuel Injector & Carburetor Cleaner is exceptionally affordable, as it’s less than half the price of the next cheapest fuel additive in this article. The fuel injector cleaner reduces carbon deposit buildup and fights engine friction. Additionally, the redesigned fuel additive bottle is compatible with cap-less fuel tanks.
This fuel injector cleaner helps your car avoid issues such as rough idling, weak acceleration, and stalling. The manufacturer asserts in the product description that one 5.3-ounce bottle of this fuel additive can treat up to 21.0 gallons of gasoline. This fuel injector cleaner is made from jet fuel, as it’s a high-quality carrier of active ingredients. However, it should be noted that the product only works on gasoline engines.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5
What Customers Are Saying
Featuring over 800 reviews on Amazon, customers are singing the praises of the STP Fuel Injector & Carburetor Cleaner. Around 74 percent of reviewers rate this fuel injector cleaner a faultless 5 out of 5 stars.
Reviewers note that this added several gallons of fuel to their vehicle’s mileage or miles per gallon (MPG), with one seeing their 2017 Honda Pilot go from 16.0 mpg to a high mileage of 20.0 mpg. Gas mileage isn’t the only thing that impresses customers, as another reviewer mentions it cured his engine’s cylinder misfire. Many reviewers rave over the price of this high-quality product. Several negative reviews complain that one of the 5.25-ounce bottles was empty upon arrival.
#4 Best For Clogs: Red Line 60103 Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
Meant to be used every 3,000.0 miles for gasoline or petrol engines, the Red Line 60103 Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner is designed to prevent corrosion in fuel systems. This fuel system cleaner contains upper cylinder lubricant and reduces an engine’s octane requirement by up to two points. It should be noted that the fuel additive won’t damage oxygen sensors or catalytic converters.
For the most effective results, the manufacturer recommends using one bottle per tank. The manufacturer further asserts that one bottle will clean your fuel system to nearly 100 percent efficiency. This concentrated and detergent-based fuel system cleaner cleans injectors, carburetors, valves, fuel lines, and combustion chamber deposits with ease.
Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5
What Customers Are Saying
The Red Line 60103 Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner features over 4,700 reviews on Amazon. The majority of customer feedback is positive with over 78 percent rating this product 5 stars.
Reviews speak to the fuel system cleaner’s ability to get the gum out of dirty fuel injectors and de-gunking the complete fuel system. One reviewer notes that it fixed the throttle response on their vehicle with over 200,000.0 miles. Negative reviews claim this product didn’t fix their fuel intake valve issues.
#5 Also Consider: Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer
The Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner is designed for use in both gasoline and diesel engines. This fuel injector cleaner will restore fuel economy, stabilize ethanol, maximize horsepower, and improve responsiveness. The product is fully synthetic and is specially formulated to solve issues with modern-day direct injection engines.
Royal Purple’s Max Atomizer line of fuel injector cleaners features highly concentrated polyetheramine (PEA) detergents, which quickly and efficiently clean clogged injectors.
The manufacturer asserts that this specific model of Royal Purple Max Atomizer is the only fuel injector cleaner that stabilizes ethanol. Ethanol is known to absorb moisture, which can corrode engine parts. The amount of ethanol in low-quality fuel pumps paired with a lack of detergents means that most cars need fuel treatment of some kind.
Our Rating: 4.2 out of 5
What Customers Are Saying
With over 1,600 reviews on Amazon, the Royal Purple 18000 Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner is customer-approved. A total of 74 percent of reviewers rate this fuel treatment a faultless 5 stars.
Reviews mention how beneficial it is that this fuel injector cleaner includes a fuel stabilizer in it. One reviewer was simply pleased that it got all the gunk out of his motorcycle’s injectors and he won’t have to worry about clogging for a while. Many reviewers note their improved gas mileage after using this fuel injector cleaner. Negative reviews note that the product arrived unsealed.
How Do I Use Fuel Injector Cleaners?
It is typically recommended that you add a fuel injector cleaner to a relatively empty gas tank right before filling up. This helps the cleaner mix with the gas and maximizes the effectiveness of the fuel injector cleaner.
How Do I Know If I Need A Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Your engine will tell you when it needs to be cleaned. Classic signs of clogged fuel injectors are:
- Engine misfirings
- Rough idling
- Poor gas mileage
- Dancing tachometer needle
- Your vehicle’s engine has simply died
Fuel Injector Cleaner Buyers Guide
Fuel injector cleaners can help make your old car feel like the new car it once was. But the specific fuel injector cleaner you choose must align with the type of fuel injection you’re looking to improve.
Types Of Fuel Injection
Not all fuel injector cleaners work with every type of fuel injection. That’s why it’s important to know the differences between each type and which one is featured on your vehicle.
- Single-point: Otherwise known as throttle-body injection, this is the earliest and simplest type of fuel injection. It involves replacing the carburetor with one or two fuel injector nozzles in the throttle body.
- Port: Also known as multiport fuel injection, this involves devoting a separate injector nozzle to each cylinder right outside its intake port.
- Sequential: In this type of multiport injection, the nozzles are independently triggered, similar to the way spark plugs are timed.
- Direct: This type of fuel injection is more common in diesel engines, but more and more gasoline engines are implementing this method of fuel injection. It involves injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber and bypassing the valves.
Fuel Injector Cleaner Vs. Fuel System Cleaner
Although this article is focused on fuel injector cleaners, it does feature several fuel system cleaners. Knowing what you want out of your fuel additive can help determine which of the two fuel additives is best for you and your needs.
- Fuel injector cleaner: This type of fuel additive works best on more modern cars with fuel injector engines. This type of product is designed to clean the fuel injectors, valves, and fuel lines. Fuel injector cleaners typically include solvent-based additives.
- Fuel system cleaner: This type of fuel additive is most effective on carbureted engines or older vehicles. This type of product is meant to clean out the entirety of a car’s fuel system. Fuel system cleaners typically consist of detergent-based additives.
Our Review Standards
To select the five fuel injector cleaners in this review, our team searched Amazon and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, prices, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we review over 1,000 auto products. Our team of product experts thoroughly researches top products and tests items on real vehicles when possible before making our recommendations.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.
Fuel Injector Cleaners: Frequently Asked Questions
*Data accurate at time of publication.