Wondering what the top fuel injector cleaner kits are?
You've come to the right place!
In this ProperMechanic.com guide, you will learn the following:
- Which fuel injection cleaner kits are worth having
- How to disassemble your fuel injectors and clean them
- Which fuel injector cleaners are the most effective
And much more!
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use fuel injector cleaner kits. Keep your engine tuned to the max!
Our Top Pick
Our Top Pick
Sea Foam Motor Treatment
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Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubrication & Injector Cleaner
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Best High End
Best High End
OTC Tools Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit
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Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
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Wisamac Non-Dismantle Fuel-Injection Cleaning Kit
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
We recommend Sea Foam as a completely reliable and safe product for using on any engine.
Sea Foam works especially well on diesel engines! It's our favorite because there are multiple uses for Sea Foam, it's not just a fuel-system specific deal.
Let's just say that if you are always working on cars then Sea Foam is a good product to have around.
Now let's take a closer look at what your options are for getting Sea Foam out of its bottle and into your engine.
Fuel injectors need to be cleaned or replaced every 60-100 thousand miles for the best engine performance.
An engine will even misfire if a fuel injector is clogged.
That's why it's important to always keep the fuel system as clean as possible.
We want you to be firing on all cylinders at all times. It's time to rebuild your fuel injectors to take advantage of the horsepower your vehicle has to offer.
Want to know which fuel injector cleaner kits are the best?
It's time for a tune-up. Let's get that engine burning fuel as it did before and maximize your gas mileage.
Top 5 Best Fuel Injector Cleaning Kits
What Are Fuel Injector Cleaner Kits For Engine Maintenance?
The contents that come inside the typical fuel injector cleaning kits that connect to the fuel rail might slightly vary, but for the most part, they all come with generally the same items, including:
- Auxillary Fuel lines/Hoses
- A canister that holds your cleaner of choice
- Pressure gauge for canister pressure reading
Note: When doing engine work you should always use safety goggles to protect your eyes, and nitrile gloves are also a smart choice to avoid damaging your skin. Gasoline irritates and can even burn your skin.
Fuel injector cleaning kits are the key to maintaining a vehicle that runs reliably over long periods.
Why clean fuel injectors? Think about it on the simplest of levels.
When a car's engine burns fuel repeatedly in a closed environment, the fuel burns into water and carbon dioxide on the exhaust side.
But not all of the water and carbon dioxide escapes, and it stays built up in the nooks and crannies of the engine waiting to be cleaned or burned off.
The contents that come inside fuel injector cleaning kits might slightly vary depend on which option you go with. You can buy a canister that hooks up to the fuel rail on the Schrader valve,
Want simple and cheap? Buy the fuel system cleaner and pour it into the gas tank. It will help. Just in case you hadn't noticed, you can pick up fuel cleaner at basically any refuel station.
Because truckers put so many consecutive miles on their vehicles, fuel system cleaner is like something that truckers buy with their soda or coffee just to keep the engine running up to par at all times and preventative maintenance against breaking down on the side of the highway.
Looking for a more thorough route? Use that same fuel system cleaner by connecting it directly to the fuel rail/fuel injector using either a purchased or DIY kit and run it through the system.
Gasoline and air must mix at the specific 14.7:1 fuel/air ratio, and diesel and air must mix at 14.5:1 for the cleanest combustion.
Biofuel additives like ethanol are another reason why fuel injectors clog and need to be cleaned.
What Are Fuel Injectors?
Fuel injectors are an apparatus made of metal that sprays fuel into the engine's intake or combustion chamber.
Fuel injectors are generally made from heat resistant steel and include in inlet valve that lets fuel through to tiny holes that mist fuel into the combustion cylinder or air intake when voltage is introduced.
Most high-pressure fuel injectors operate electronically with the use of a piezo-electric system inside that expands and contracts when voltage is introduced causing the injector needle to open and close.
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What Are The Different Types of Fuel Injector Cleaners For Engine Maintenance?
There are two different options for cleaning fuel injectors:
For Gas Powered Vehicles
Option 1: Remove the injectors from the engine and run cleaner directly through the injectors by applying 12V, and reinstall.
On gasoline engines, the fuel injectors will usually clip into the fuel rail, so once you remove the necessary fuel hoses and unclip the electrical connectors you can remove all of the injectors at once.
Most gasoline injectors are super simple;
Option 2: Leave the vehicle fully intact, and run fuel cleaner through the system by pouring it in the gas tank or connecting a cleaner kit to the Schrader valve on the fuel rail(or both).
For Diesel Vehicles
Diesel fuel injectors are different from gas-powered fuel injectors because they need a significant amount of pressure to function properly (between 10-30 thousand PSI compared to 10-60 psi gas-powered port injection)
If you are going to remove the fuel injectors, you are going to need a good set of tools to help you with the job.
Removing the injectors will include removing the fuel rail and other parts depending on which engine you are servicing.
You can also remove diesel fuel injectors and let the injector tips(just the tip) sit in parts cleaner to get rid of bad carbon deposits.
Diesel injectors are a little bit heavier duty as they must deliver much higher pressure, so as you can imagine cleaning them can potentially consist of completely dismantling the injector, removing the injector needle, and giving it a thorough cleaning and visual inspection to ensure it is functioning at its max potential.
Because the loss of engine power is such a drag. Keep those injectors impeccable!
Some modern-day diesel and some direct engine gasoline engines use piezo injectors for many reasons, one being that they switch 5 times faster than a normal gasoline injector.
Diesel fuel also generally leaves more carbon deposits behind when burned, so it's important to stay on top of diesel fuel system maintenance.
Read More >> How Can You Repair A Brake Line Yourself?
How Do Fuel Injector Cleaner Kits For Engine Maintenance Work?
As vehicles get older, carbon buildup happens inside the fuel system and engine causing them to lose efficiency and performance.
Newer direct injection technology is sometimes the culprit for carbon buildup because fuel is added directly into the combustion chamber decreasing the overall firing temperatures and allowing for less carbon to burn out through the exhaust.
You may notice that direct injection vehicles make a kind of 'clicking' noise especially when they are running cold when compared to an older style port injection system.
Pouring fuel treatment like Liqui Moly, Royal Purple, Red Line, or Sea Foam into the gas tank regularly is one of the easiest ways to avoid fuel system problems and carbon buildup.
Schrader Valve Kit: Simply screw the cleaner kit on to the fuel rail pressure testing port, disconnect the fuse for the fuel pump, start the engine and let it run until the cleaner runs out.
The vehicle will stop running on its own once all of the cleaners has run through the system.
You'll also need to apply compressed air to the cleaner canister at a level that is around the same spec for the fuel pressure of the vehicle.
Fuel pressure gauges connect the same way and are also very helpful in diagnosing engine problems. You may also be interested in a fuel pressure gauge when purchasing off websites like Amazon.
DIY Fuel Injector Cleaner Kit: If you are ambitious enough to make an injector cleaner kit on your own, it's not so hard.
It is time-consuming, however, and only worth it in situations like full engine rebuilds, a suspected failed fuel injector, etc where you have to remove the fuel injectors to get the full scoop on the repair situation.
Supplies you'll need are:
- Auxillary fuel hoses of different diameters
- Electrical shrink tubing
- Small alligator clips for applying a voltage /cut junkyard electrical connector
- 12V of electricity (car battery)
After removing the injectors and separating them from the fuel rail, you can install the right sized fuel hose onto the injector, and adapt it to fit onto the straw that connects onto the fuel cleaner of your choice(we recommend Sea Foam) by using smaller and smaller hose sizes and electrical shrink tubing to seal the gaps between hose size.
Rubbing alcohol inside a spray bottle is a great way to free up electrical connections, and it makes them easier to remove and replace. The same goes for
After you have it all hooked up, all you have to do is apply 12V of electricity which can easily be done using the vehicle's battery and alligator clips(just starter cables could work).
If you can go to an engine junkyard and cut off an old injector cable and electrical connector for the specific, that will give you a solid and easy connection to apply voltage.
Note: After you are done cleaning the injectors, don't forget to replace the rubber o-rings that form the seal.
What To Look For In The Best Fuel Injector Kits For Engine Maintenance?
The main thing to look for when selecting a fuel injector cleaner kit is to ensure that it is compatible with the type of engine.
For example, diesel-powered engines need much higher pressure atomized fuel to perform effectively. Remember, diesel engines fire on compression(not spark) so high pressure is the key.
So how do you know that your fuel system needs to be cleaned?
Aside from performing preventative maintenance, here are some symptoms of a faulty fuel injector:
- Rough idling
- Poor fuel economy
- Starting issues
- Engine stalls under load
Top 5 Best Fuel Injector Cleaning Kits
Pick #1: Sea Foam Motor Treatment
Oh, the wonders of Sea Foam! This motor treatment is works wonders on engine parts, especially fuel injectors.
For a ridiculously inexpensive price and available at virtually anywhere; you will find the best price purchasing online from spots like Amazon, and it's always good to have a couple of bottles of Sea Foam lying around if you are a constant motorist.
Sea Foam is made from highly refined petroleum, and you can never add too much to an engine--it's like an elixir!
This popular choice cleans and lubricates the fuel system and upper cylinder altogether at an unbeatable price per fluid ounce.
Lucas is a complete fuel treatment that is priced reasonably that both cleans the fuel system components and also lubricates the upper cylinder to help keep the engine healthy.
Give Lucas a try if you are looking to make your engine last longer.
Pick #3: OTC Tools Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit
OTC tools provide a quality solution to cleaning fuel injectors that don't involve the complicated mess of disassembling the fuel rail and removing the fuel injectors.
Simply screw the canister into the fuel rail, apply pressure to the OTC, cut power to the fuel pump and start the engine up to get real engine performance and fuel efficiency results and super clean fuel injectors.
Pick up this solid stainless steel kit and say goodbye to fuel injection problems the right way.
Okay, we'll mention another fuel additive because sometimes that is the best option.
Pick up a bottle of Chevron Techron and say goodbye to a dirty fuel system. Say hello to the advertised fuel economy and engine performance that you expected.
Mechanics like the wacky(but smart) Scotty Kilmer on Youtube recommends Chevron Techron because he says it is a nitrogen-based solution that does a thorough job at cleaning the injectors.
Our Top Pick: Sea Foam Motor Treatment
Sea Foam is just too good to be true when cleaning out the fuel system.
For example, on a diesel engine, you can pour an ample amount of Sea Foam into the gas tank.
Then, remove the fuel filter, dump out the remaining fuel and fill or "prime" it back up with Sea Foam.
After that, run the engine hot for about an hour to burn all the gunk out of the fuel system.
And not only is Sea Foam effective in the fuel system, but you can also mix it in with the oil when performing an oil change service to help liquefy petroleum deposits.
And this doesn't mean that you shouldn't pick up an OTC cleaning kit. A perfect solution would be to purchase the OTC kit and run Sea Foam through your injectors with it!
Plus, they're an excellent value for the money! Check the low price now on Amazon.
Final Thoughts On The Best Fuel Injectors For Engines
It's time to get ripping on those fuel injectors! Just remember to replace the o-ring before installing them again - fuel leaks aren't fun!
Or just don't take anything apart and use fuel treatment. It's really up to you.
Chances are if you are wanting to give an older engine some life you will be ambitious enough to visually inspect the performance of the fuel injectors. And don't forget to replace the fuel filter while you're at it!
Is a full kit necessary? In most cases no, but it's helpful, especially in professional situations.
Because there's nothing better than physical evidence that your car parts are functioning.
Watching the fuel injectors mist fuel will give you a good idea of how the system works, and you will also be able to notice if one(or more) of the injectors aren't functioning properly.
How To Tell If Your Car Is Fuel Injected Or Carbureted?
Easy; look for fuel injectors and their electrical connectors going inside the air intake or engine head.
It's also good to know what a carburetor actually looks like.
You can also look for differences in the ignition system, as carbureted engines typically have a rotor and spark plug wire boots instead of coil packs that connect to the spark plugs like most fuel injected engines have.
Fuel injection started becoming a standard on gas-powered vehicles during the 1980s, so if the vehicle is from the 1970's you can assume that it has a carburetor.
Diesel engines have always been fuel-injected, and if you run biodiesel you will dirty up your fuel injectors even faster, especially if the fuel filter isn't constantly being replaced.
Another foolproof way of knowing how your vehicle works is by checking the service manual in the fuel system section.
Are You Still Having Misfire Issues?
Keep in mind that clogged fuel injectors are one of the various reasons why engine misfiring occurs.
If you have cleaned the injectors thinking that it was the problem, and there is still a check engine light for misfiring, don't worry--it could be something simple like spark plugs. Now it's time to diagnose the engine.
What's The Difference Between Direct Fuel Injection And Port Fuel Injection?
When fuel injection first came out, the commonly used method was port fuel injection where the fuel injectors spray the fuel into the air intake right above the intake valve inlet.
Direct injection, however, injects the fuel directly inside the combustion chamber at a higher pressure (in the thousands of PSI).
Most vehicles still use port fuel injection, however, near vehicles are starting to switch over to direct injection because it improves engine performance and fuel economy.
How To Test Fuel Pressure?
Sometimes it's necessary to test the fuel pressure when diagnosing engine problems, and you may also want to purchase a fuel pressure tester kit when shopping for fuel injection system maintenance tools.
Fuel pressure can be easily tested on most vehicles through the test port on the fuel rail.
Simply screw on the tester, and watch the pressure of the fuel as it is pumped into the engine from the fuel pump.
Buying The Wrong Gas?
You have to be careful with which fuel you put in your vehicle. For example, some gas stations sell cheap or defective gas that has water or solvents in it that can drastically harm your engine.
If your engine requires premium gas you SHOULD use premium, and you will notice a difference in engine performance(and your fuel injectors may experience more carbon buildup). Premium gas is less prone to knocking and pre-ignition, and it also contains detergents that will help keep your fuel system cleaner in the long run.
Check out websites like this one that will as a listing of where ethanol-free gas is sold throughout the US and Canada.
How much fuel pressure is required for combustion?
Each vehicle has its own spec for what the fuel pressure should be. When using a non-dismantle fuel injector cleaner kit on gas-powered vehicles you should set the pressure of the canister with compressed air to about the same pressure the engine requires.
You can find all vehicle specs and service information on programs like Alldata or by purchasing the service manual for the specific vehicle you are working on.
Have You Tried Fuel Stabilizer?
There are ample amounts of products you can use to help keep your engine's vital systems running properly. Like fuel stabilizers, for example.
If you plan on putting your vehicle away for a period of longer than a month or so, a fuel stabilizer is a petroleum-based product that prevents fuel from deteriorating.
Fuel-stabilizer bonds with gasoline creating a longer-lasting formula that is perfect for storing emergency fuel tanks, etc. and minimizing the risk of gumming up your fuel injection system in the first place.
Are You Still Having Fuel System Problems?
Fuel injectors aren't always the problem when a fuel system error code comes up. The fuel filter will cause the engine stoppage first, and failed fuel pump(s) spark plug(s), and fuel regulators will also cause a mishap.
And remember, gasoline is really on good for 3-6 months, so if the vehicle has been sitting for a long time and doesn't want to start then the best option is to drain the existing fuel, add new gas and clean the fuel injectors with one of these fuel additives mentioned in our list.
When doing an engine rebuild or yearly maintenance, replacing the fuel filter is a good preventative measure that also helps with fuel economy and power.
If the engine has a misfire code, don't forget to check things like the air filter, air intake, throttle body, oxygen sensor heater, catalytic converters, and other factors that can trip code and illuminate the check engine light on the dash. It's always a good idea to own a copy of the complete service manual of the specific vehicle that you are working on.
And just to be safe, you should always read the label on the product you are using to stay informed of warnings and use.
Have You Tried Fuel Stabilizers?
Fuel stabilizers are a great product to use for avoiding the need to clean fuel injectors in the first place.
Put fuel stabilizer in all of your gas cans sitting inside the garage to guarantee max performance out of the fuel.
Have any questions? Drop us any questions on our Proper Mechanic home page where we will be happy to give you sound answers fast!
Do You Have Any Questions?
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