Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews
Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – MaintainYourRide Recommends:
Introduction – Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
Does Fuel Injector Cleaner Work? This hotly debated topic in the automotive maintenance industry is still up in the air. There are scores of real-world consumer that have experienced physical results from treating their gas with fuel injector cleaners. Posted increases in average miles per gallon (MPG) are tough to argue with, however, there could be environmental factors that come into play. There is, however, good science behind the idea.
No gasoline is perfectly pure of contaminants. Even the top tier gas stations, with the highest octane and all of the additives and detergents cannot guarantee purity of their gasoline. This is why your car has a fuel filter. But fuel filters can only filter down to a certain level. Similar to hard water that you might see on your shower door at home, the molecular contaminants in the fuel that are able to pass through your fuel filter can build up in and around the tiny spray tip that sprays the atomized fuel into your engine.
The atomization of the fuel is very important to the efficiency of the engine. The better the mixture is, the more fuel is burned resulting more kinetic energy is produced from the ignition cycle of the engine. The Engine Control Unit is constantly adjusting the amount of fuel being injected and can send less fuel if what is sent is burned efficiently. When the contaminant deposits build up on the tip of the fuel injectors, they can effect this atomization and lead to poor gas mileage, poor emissions, and poor performance.
Poor Atomization from Build-up
Proper Atomization with Clean Injectors
Fuel injector cleaners are specially designed to dissolve these deposits and restore proper functional efficiency to your fuel injectors. In more severe cases, you may experience a noticeable increase in MPG, reduction in emissions, smoother idle, and better performance. In general, the experts recommend adding a fuel system treatment to a full tank of gas with each oil change. It is better to prevent the build-up of these contaminants than it is to wait until they have built up can potentially cause harm to your engine. We also wrote a great Buyer’s Guide for Best Octane Booster which is very helpful to combat engine knock when used right after a good fuel system cleaning.
Top 5 Best Fuel Injector Cleaner Comparison
Red Line is a well-known brand in aftermarket automotive fluids. The Red Line Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner is one of their premier products featuring the exclusive SI-1 formulation process which results in a more gradual detergent process. The SI-1 is specifically catalyzed by the heat of combustion meaning that the cleaning process is not solely reliant on chemical solvents. It will do the bulk of its cleaning when exiting the fuel injector which is exactly when it is supposed to.
The Red Line SI-1 is rated to reduce the need for octane by up to 2 points, is suitable for use with oxygenated fuel, and safe for continual use. For neglected vehicles, a full bottle treatment is recommended. For maintenance purposes, however, a single bottle can be used to treat up to 100 gallons of fuel.
With 4.5/5 stars across 600 reviews, the Red Line SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner has a proven track record of effectiveness. The real-world before and after effects of using this fuel injector cleaner are well-documented in photographs around the web.
Royal Purple is one of the more popular aftermarket performance fluid companies in the industry. Known for their high-quality lubricants, they also have a vast amount of experience in other common automotive fluids. The Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner is a state-of-the-art synthetic fuel system cleaner that is rated not only to provide great cleaning, but also inhibit corrosion and oxidation.
The product specifications state that users can expect an average of 3.2 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 2.6 percent average increase in horsepower. They also advertise an average reduction in emissions of 13 percent. Royal Purple recommends using one of these 20oz cans at least every 10,000 miles or whenever you are changing your oil.
600 reviews and an average of 4.5/5 stars demonstrates the effectiveness of this fuel system treatment. It is also EPA/CARB compliant and safe for use in gasoline and diesel engines including ethanol and biofuel. Also compatible with both 2 and 4-cycle engines.
Chevron is one of the oil giants of the United States. Techron is a patented petroleum-based fuel additive that contains a proprietary mixture of solvents and chemicals designed specifically to reduce combustion-chamber deposits and keep the fuel and intake systems clean.
Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus is an amped up version of the original Techron. It is more targeted at the fuel system including the fuel injectors, carburetors, and intake valves. It is advertised to improve fuel economy, reduce spark plug fouling, and smooth out your idle. Chevron recommends that car and truck owners perform a treatment approximately every 3,000 miles or at every oil change.
This product has 650 reviews and an average of 4.5/5 stars. It is also compatible with all types of engines including motorcycles, dirt bikes, boats, ATVs, RVs, water craft, lawn mowers, etc.
Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment is one of the most popular products amongst professional mechanics and do-it-yourselfers everywhere. Countless videos on YouTube show the physical effects of a single Sea Foam treatment. Smoke billows out of the exhaust for minutes as the detergent works on dissolving the deposits that have built up.
Sea Foam is comprised of 100% pure petroleum ingredients meaning it is safe to be added to the crankcase as an oil additive, the fuel tank as a fuel additive, and even added directly into the intake manifold to clean the deposits such as those that come from the PCV Valve. This product is advertised to free sticky lifters, remove unwanted moisture, and clean the PCV Valve and Fuel Systems.
> Sea Foam only contains petroleum-based ingredients and cannot harm your engine
> Sea Foam will not change the viscosity of motor oil
> Sea Foam is compatible with all types of Gasoline 4-cycle and Diesel engines
> For use in all types and variations of conventional and synthetic motor oil
> Sea Foam will not affect seals, gaskets, or o-rings
> Most autos/ trucks have 5 or 6 quart oil systems. Use one-half of a 16 oz pint can
This is by far the cheapest on the list, yet it has a huge cult following. It is likely due to the extreme physical effects that you see while the product is working inside the engine. With 1800 reviews and 4.7/5 stars, this is definitely the go-to Fuel Injector Cleaner for those on a budget.
BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner is the number one best fuel injector cleaner. Surveys amongst automotive technicians show that it was chosen 6 to 1 over the other aftermarket Fuel Injector Cleaner options. The can includes just 11oz of liquid, but it is plenty due to the high quality of the the detergents and additives.
BG 44K is rated to restore lost performance, improve fuel efficiency, and increase power output with just one treatment. It is fully compatible with all fuel system materials including alcohol-blended fuels and common fuel additives. In order to use the BG 44k fuel injector cleaner, you simply open up the can and pour the contents into your gas tank. From there, the cleaner will be cycled through the engine cleaning combustion chambers, valves, ports, and even the lower intake manifold. Be sure to use a funnel with this cleaner as it is strong enough to damage the paint finish on your vehicle!
With 4.5/5 stars and 600 reviews, it is easy to justify the slightly higher price tag for the BG 44K. The single 11oz can is rated to treat up to 20 gallons of gasoline and is compatible with 2 and 4-cycle engines. Pricing is very reasonable for such a powerful cleaner. Check out the link below for additional information including pricing, reviews, and detailed instructions:
How to Use Fuel Injector Cleaner
Usage of fuel injector cleaners or fuel system cleaners will vary depending on the type of product you are using. The majority of cleaners are designed to be poured directly into the gas tank in order to mix with the gasoline and be pumped through the fuel injectors. Certain cleaners, such as SeaFoam Motor Treatment, are actually designed to be added to the crankcase with your engine oil or even be added further up the manifold via a vacuum line.
The vacuum line application involves disconnecting a vacuum line from one of the components under the hood – Brake boosters are usually a prime candidate based on their location near the firewall or even the PCV Valve. With the engine running, slowly dip just a portion of the opening of the hose into the SeaFoam liquid. Dunking the entire opening will cause the engine to stall and the goal here is to keep it running while it sucks up as much of the SeaFoam as possible. Your car will produce heavy amounts of white smoke from the tailpipe which is theoretically the engine gunk being burnt up in the combustion chamber.
The crankcase application involves just popping off the oil cap and dumping a small amount (1-1.5 oz) of the liquid into the oil fill hole (consult the individual product manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate amounts). SeaFoam is rated for treatment of all 4-cycle engines including gasoline, rotary, and diesel engines. It is highly recommended to hold off on the crankcase treatment until you are getting ready to change the oil and filter on your ride. SeaFoam recommends an oil change after 100-300 miles of driving with their product in the crankcase.
There you have it. The top 5 best fuel system cleaners on the market today. Obviously we prefer the BG44K over SeaFoam but SeaFoam is cheaper and does almost as good a job according to our research. It’s also nice watching the white smoke billowing out of your exhaust while you’re running SeaFoam through.
Hopefully this guide helps you choose the best fuel injector cleaner for your application. If so, we have tons more valuable information to help you Maintain Your Ride. Be sure to check out our Buyer’s Guide for the Best Oil Filter if you’re looking get into engine maintenance. Or maybe you’d like to get started with electronics and audio? Our Best Aux Cable Guide is a great first step. Automotive Detailing interest you? Our Best Car Wax and Best Headlight Restoration Kits will be super helpful in getting started there.
MYR Recommended Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – Overall – BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner
MYR Recommended Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – Performance – BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner
MYR Recommended Best Fuel Injector Cleaner – Value – Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment