Best fuel injector cleaners

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Mechanic removing fuel injector

Taking care of your car is one of the things that must be done once in a while. A properly maintained car not only will cost you less money in the long run, but it will also keep you safe on the roads. A lot of accidents happen because people fail to do all the check-ups, and even more, cars break down because the owners fail to fix little things. The thing with cars is that they follow the ‘snowball’ principle. One small defect can turn into a major cause of concern if it is not handled appropriately and as soon as possible.

The fuel system is one of the parts of the car that deteriorates the most often. That is because gas does not always meet the standards imposed by vehicle manufacturers. They have too much carbon, too much ethanol, and God knows what else. That will bring damage because of deposits on different parts of the system. One of the parts I am talking about is the injectors. Keep them clean, and the engine will be more silent, the ignition will go smoother, and you will have an overall ‘healthier’ car. For that, you need a high-quality fuel injector cleaner.

Is cleaning fuel injectors necessary?

I already said that it is, but people are skeptical about it and claim that is all a scheme of making people buy stuff they don’t need. If that is what you truly believe, then I guess you will have to wait and see. Of course, you can change your mind. I hope that you will see the use of a fuel injector cleaner after you read what I have to say.

One of the reasons you need such a product is that fuel is more chemically unstable than ever. That is mostly because ethanol is used as an octane-boosting ingredient. The thing with ethanol (alcohol) is that it emulsifies and oxidizes, which ultimately results in a non-combustible byproduct. As a result, the engine loses its performance, reduces fuel economy, the ignition is slow, and the emissions increase. And all that because of built-up deposits in the fuel injectors, on the back side of intake valves, and throughout the engine’s combustion chamber.

However, fuel injector cleaners (and fuel system cleaners, in general,) can eliminate the deposits if they are used regularly. It is enough to do it once a year. The effort is minimal because you have a little bottle that you need to pour into a full tank of gas. Doing that once a year is a small price to pay for a fully-functional car. The cleaner is a must for people who have cars that run on gasoline, but all car owners should use it.

How does a fuel injector cleaner work?

Such a cleaner contains solvents and other components, but one of the most important ingredients is a chemical compound called polyetheramine, PEA for short. It is the only thing that can handle carbonaceous deposits with a high rate of success. 

Just to paint a clearer picture, think of the fuel injector cleaner as an oven cleaner. The chemical compounds in the cleaner break down the deposits into very small particles. Once they get small, the engine will pass them through the exhaust system. It’s the engine’s way of clearing the gunk with a sponge, just as you do with the oven once the cleaning solution soaked all the deposits on its surface.

The PEA detergents fully dissolve the deposits, and then they are easily washed away by the engine’s combustion process. And that’s not even all. Not only the cleaner will remove the existing deposits, but will also prevent new deposits from forming.

The results of using a fuel injector cleaner

I don’t suppose I have to repeat myself and say everything I said above. However, the fuel injector cleaner will not only get rid of the deposits inside the fuel injector but some others benefit that result from that process. 

  • The car will run smoother than before using the cleaner. That is because the combustion process is more efficient than before. Not to mention that you will barely hear the engine anymore. It will purr like a cat, just as it did when you bought it (provided you bought it new, or second-hand with no issue whatsoever.)
  • You will feel a more-powerful engine. The best moment to notice that is when you step on the gas pedal. The throttle will be as good as new. 
  • You will save gas – as you can imagine, it’s not a huge amount. It’s barely noticeable. However, if you have a powerful engine, you’ll see the difference.
  • Control over fuel consumption – by definition, injectors spray gasoline into the combustion chamber. If the injectors have deposits, the nozzles can get stifled, which can lead to poor ‘injecting.’ Again, by definition injectors are meant not to waste gas. But because of the deposits, fuel will get wasted, and the combustion process has to suffer. But not if you use a fuel injector cleaner.
  • Fewer toxic emissions – fuel injectors are designed to deliver gasoline to the engine in the most optimal way possible. The fuel gets in the mix with the oxygen from the engine. That ensures a better combustion process and fewer toxins during the entire process. However, if the gas delivery is faulty, the burning process suffers, and more toxins will be released into the environment.
  • Some people may notice a small gain in overall efficiency. If the engine absorbs gasoline in the form of drops, there is a lot of friction, which can cause strain, wear and tear. However, a deposit-free fuel injector will deliver the gasoline in the form of mist. That means no stress on the engine.
  • The ignition will be faster.

Apart from that, car owners notice that their car has a decline in performance over time, and they all think that is because the vehicle gets old. That is not necessarily true. A lot of that poor performance can be associated with carbon deposits. A fuel injector cleaner can get rid of that.

Read also: Diesel additives

What are the best fuel injector cleaners?

I cannot say that I tried them all. It’s almost impossible. I use a bottle of fuel injector cleaner every other 3000 miles, and I don’t use my car every day. However, from the ones I tried, three of them stand out. And it is not me saying that, but my mechanic as well. Of course, I noticed a few changes. So here are the three best fuel injector cleaners that I used.

STP 78577 Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner

This is one of the first fuel injector cleaners I tried, and I must say that I was very satisfied with it. If I hadn’t found a better one, I think I would still use this one today. I tried it because my car has a capless gas system and the label said that STP is compatible. I noticed the effects shortly after I put it in the tank. Suddenly, my car was not as idle as before, and my acceleration was excellent.

STP 78577 Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner

STP unclogs the fuel injectors from all that dirt and carbon deposits, and it immediately restores the car’s performance. Your vehicle will run faster and smoother than before putting this cleaner in. I must say that I too was a skeptic regarding this practice, but I will never doubt my mechanic again. If you notice that your car has lost its power and acceleration, chances are that it needs a fuel injector cleaner. The concentrated detergents from STP will dissolve any harmful deposits like carbon, varnish, and even gum.

This product is made with jet fuel, which is a known high-quality carrier of active ingredients. That way, the detergents from STP will reach every single area of the fuel system. Your car will have an enhanced performance, and the ignition will run as smoothly as when you first bought it. Not to mention that it saves you money on gas. Not very much, but the savings will exceed the price of the STP, so there is no way you can lose, but only gain.

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Lucas 1003 Upper Cylinder Lubrication and Injector Cleaner

I bought the Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner when my mechanic told me that the entire fuel system needs some sort of rejuvenation. He recommended this, and I have no regrets. To this day, I still use Lucas, because it’s the best one I tried so far.

Lucas 1003 Upper Cylinder Lubrication and Injector Cleaner

As I said, this cleaner is more than an injector cleaner. It conditions the entire fuel system, from the tank, all up to the combustion chamber. From what I can tell, the car is running smoothly, and ever since I started using this cleaner, my car never lost performance again. From what I was told, the Lucas cleaner also reduces toxic emissions, which I consider a huge plus.

I have noticed several things since I started using Lucas. First of all, my fuel system is consistently clean and properly lubricated. All the low-sulfur-related issues are completely gone (at least that’s what my mechanic says), and it improved the mileage capacity of my car. I thought that my vehicle is just getting old, and that is why it was running so slow, but as it turned out, it just needed a ‘rejuvenation.’

The point is that the Lucas cleaner improved my car. I didn’t even think a 32-ounce bottle of liquid could have such a significant effect on how my car is running. My car runs as smoothly as possible, and yours will too, even from the first bottle.

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Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injector Cleaner

Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injector Cleaner

I tried Liqui Moly before Lucas fuel injector cleaner, and the only reason I gave up on it was that it focuses more on the injectors, and its lubrication capability is lower. I needed something more, so that is why I decided to try something new. But don’t get me wrong, it was brilliant. It worked like a charm in a very short time since I started using it.

The Liqui Moly cleans all contaminated petrol injection systems. It successfully removes carbon deposits (and other deposits) from the tank, fuel pipes, distributors, injection, and inlet valves. If there is a trace of deposits anywhere inside the fuel system, Liqui Moly will remove it with ease. As a result, your car will have no problems starting, there will be no lean surging, it will get a smoother idling, a good throttle response, and the level of pollution will be small.

Using Liqui Moly, your car has all the chances of regaining its initial performance. The fuel consumption will be under control and reduced. The manufacturer recommends this product for people who have cars with catalytic converters, but nobody says you cannot use it on other engine types.

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My recommendation: The best fuel injector cleaner

It is only natural that I recommend the Lucas fuel injector cleaner because it’s the one I am using right now. It’s the best fuel injector cleaner I have ever used, and I don’t see myself changing it anytime soon. Unless something better comes up. And even if it does, I am very satisfied with the effects of Lucas, and I have no reason for giving up on it. 


I don’t know about you, but I take pretty good care of my car. I am perfectly aware that it will break down one day if I don’t fix up all the small things. And it’s normal for things to break. Nothing lasts forever. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent that from happening. One of those things is using a fuel injector cleaner. It will add years to your car’s life, and it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Have you ever seen the price of injectors? Trust me, you don’t want to know.


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Updated on March 2, 2023