If you just want a quick answer, I chose Red Line Complete Fuel Additive as the best fuel injector Cleaner. It made my old Nissan run much smoother.
I will be the first to admit that I am a big skeptic, especially when it comes to things that have to do with my SUV. When my father told me that I should consider using a fuel injector cleaner, I made a scowling face. I’m sure he’s seen it too many times!
I’ve seen the store display with fuel injector cleaners. They make it sound like these little bottles of liquid are pure gold: You will have your car running like new in minutes!
Yeah, right. I decided to check these out for myself before I wasted a single dime on a product that wouldn’t work. What I found out on my latest fact-finding expedition was pretty shocking, to be honest.
|Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner - 20 oz.||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner Gas and Injector Additive Treatment-15 oz Bottle||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Gumout 510014 Regane Complete Fuel System Cleaner, 6 oz. (Pack of 6)||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Lucas 10003 Upper Cylinder Lubrication & Injector Cleaner 32 oz.||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner - 300 ml||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
What I Didn’t Know about Deposits and Fuel Injector Cleaners
We expect our gas to be clean. But you will find that there are still contaminants that accumulate in the gas. They then collect in the tank, the fuel filter, and the fuel injectors.
Fuel injectors like to build up deposits that can slowly clog or mess up their spray pattern.
Ethanol plays a big part in the build-up of deposits. While this additive helps to keep the air cleaner, it doesn’t do much for your injectors. Ethanol can cause deposits that eventually break off and enter the combustion chamber. This happens gradually over time and especially if you have an older vehicle.
These deposits can make their way to intake valves and other parts of the combustion chamber. That degrades engine performance and reduces fuel efficiency.
Another culprit is carbon. Carbon is a normal by-product of the combustion process. But not cleaning it out can cause a real problem with overall engine performance.
Fuel injection cleaners remove harmful deposits and prevent new ones from forming.
Using a fuel injector cleaner regularly makes sense. It especially helps if you use gasoline with ethanol or if you have an older vehicle.
After all, we flush radiators, sometimes the gas tank, even the transmission, so why not the fuel system? Now that makes sense to me.
Which is the Best Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Now that I had decided to give fuel injector cleaners a try, I was on a mission to find the best one on the market. Here is what I found.
Liqui Moly Jectron
Liqui Moly is a large brand name company from Germany that you may have heard about. In its home country, Liqui Moly is one of the biggest sellers and it’s pretty easy to see why. Use according to the instructions. Some have noted that using too much can cause you more problems than before!
Liqui Molyis designed to remove deposits specifically from the valves and cylinder heads. It also helps to remove any deposits that are on or in the fuel injector.
You should plan on changing the fuel filter, oil, and air filter after you run a half a tank of gas through the motor. This is where all those nasty deposits are going to end up.
Most people say that Liqui Moly helped their vehicles to start easier, ran smoother, while giving them better mileage all within just a few miles. Some say that it even cleared their Check Engine light.
It’s perfectly safe for your catalytic converter.
- It’s a well known brand name you can trust.
- You’ll see a noticeable improvement within a short time
- It’s inexpensive.
- Some users state that they felt zero difference.
- You’ll encounter problems if you don’t follow the directions add too much.
Red Line SI-1 Complete Fuel System Cleaner
Red Line has been making fuel injection cleaners and synthetic oils since 1979. The company has a long history of quality.
This fuel injector cleaner is not only designed to clean injectors and valves, but also improves fuel stability. It helps to reduce gum and varnish formation.
You use one 15-ounce bottle per tank, so it’s inexpensive. Many people like using this cleaner regularly to prevent future problems.
A few say that using this product cleared up sensors and turned off their Check Engine light within 2 tanks.
The company doesn’t claim it cleans up sensors. But this product does contain one of the highest concentration levels of PEA (polyetheramine). This is a powerful cleaning agent.
Don’t expect this to help you pass an emission test. I gave this one a try and my old Nissan with 150K was actually running super smooth within half a tank. This injector cleaner is certainly NOT snake oil.
- It’s a very economical option.
- It does the job, usually within half a tank.
- It contains high levels of a powerful cleaning agent
- It can be expensive if you plan on using it with every tank or frequently.
- Don’t use it in Diesel or LPG-fueled cars.
Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner
Everyone knows the Chevron name, but did you know they also make a fuel injection cleaner? I certainly didn’t.
Chevron recommends using this product every 3,000 miles to help prevent engine ping, knocking, and starting issues. At this price, you could use this product at every fill-up!
The product is very inexpensive. Many say that it keeps their very old cars (before 2001) in terrific running condition. This is a well-known name and it appears they want to keep their reputation in shape, so this isn’t just a placebo.
There are a few people who say that this did nothing to improve their car’s running condition or solve any problems. But they are in the minority. Note that the Chevron formula is different (more PEA) than the Techron formula.
- Its super inexpensive.
- Many see results in one tank of gas.
- You need to order it online if Chevron is not available in your area.
Gumout Regane Complete Fuel System Cleaner
My dad swore by Gumout products for years. I can’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t a can of Gumout sitting in the garage. This is a trustworthy brand every backyard, DIY mechanic knows.
This product fights corrosion due to water and ethanol while providing maximized performance. Gumout uses PEA as their main cleaner. It removes and prevents deposits that can form on the valves, intake valves, and the combustion chamber.
One bottle is all you need for up to 21-gallon tanks and is recommended to use every 3,000 miles. Many users say that using a bottle every time they change the oil is an easy way to remember to use it.
Most people who have tried this rave about the difference it made in their gas mileage and in the way their motors ran.
It’s hard to find anyone who didn’t like this product, but a few complained that they didn’t notice any difference. Most of these users had newer models, so maybe it wasn’t needed.
- It comes in an easy to use 6 pack.
- Many see results in as little as half a tank of gas.
- It’s very economical.
- Some gas tank designs won’t allow you to empty the bottle all the way.
- Don’t spill any on your clothes. It causes permanent stains.
Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant
I’m wondering how many people know that the upper cylinders on their car could do with a little lubrication. Even my father didn’t know this!
Lucas isn’t as well known as some of the other names on this list, but it’s been around for decades. This product not only cleans the fuel system, but it also conditions the gas in your tank. This prevents deposits from forming in the first place.
This isf the only product that can be used in diesel engines. Lucas also states that this A combination of a very slippery oil and heavy-duty cleaners means that your vehicle could fuse less gas
Lucas Injection Cleaner comes in a big 32-ounce bottle, but it treats 100 gallons of gas! A combination of a very slippery oil and heavy-duty cleaners means that your vehicle may run more efficiently.
Most users say that this product helps noisy fuel pumps and works great in diesel engines. I have a friend who says he’s used this product for more than a decade and it has kept his 27-year-old car running like a champ.
Still, others complain that this product did nothing for their vehicles. Some claim it even made their gas mileage worse!
- The large 32-ounce size will last a long time.
- It’s also very economical.
- It works in diesel motors.
- You need a funnel. The bottle is not easy to pour.
- Some claim it only works on smaller diesel engines, such as lawnmowers.
The Bottom Line
One thing is certain, I have changed my mind about fuel injector cleaners. Count dad one for the win!
Although all the above fuel injector cleaners have several good qualities to them, I couldn’t try them all out.
I did try one, however, and for me, it was the clear winner: Red Line Complete Fuel Injector Cleaner.
I’ve ordered more of these because of the huge difference I’ve noticed in how smooth my old Nissan runs. It almost feels as if I’ve done a major tune-up!
This is so inexpensive (especially when you compare it to the price a major tune-up) I don’t see any reason to not keep using Red Line with every oil change.