Although not all car owners know this, fuel system cleaners can definitely prolong your car’s life by cleaning and lubricating all of your car’s fuel system components. A good fuel system cleaner will also lower the car’s exhaust emissions, improve gas mileage, and increase the engine’s power considerably. With a mixture of PIB (Polyisobutene), PIBA (Polyisobutylene), and PEA (Polyetheramine), fuel system cleaners work by eliminating water from the system and preventing the formation of new deposits.
That said, we should point out that not all fuel system cleaners can be expected to meet the same standards. Not just in regards to their formulation but also in terms of how effective or versatile they are. Depending on the manufacturer, some may even contain solvents that provide a far better outreach than your average cleaner. To figure out which one would best suit your car, you should perhaps take the time and learn about the different types of cleaners and what makes them stand out. To help you in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best fuel system cleaners on the market for you to look at.
Best Fuel System Cleaners – Top List
10Mr. Gasket 120007-2PK Cataclean
To see your car’s hydrocarbon emissions go down remarkably while you ensure reduced carbon buildup in fuel injectors, catalytic converter, cylinder heads, and oxygen sensors, Mr. Gasket 120007-2PK Cataclean is formulated to provide a much deeper cleaning than most. With it, you will experience greater engine fuel use and improved overall vehicle performance, from power to idle, fuel efficiency and starting ease. This cleaner is ideal for use with gas, diesel, and hybrid engines, or even flex-fuel cars. It is, however, not good for oil-gas blends and 2-stroke engines.
93M 08813 Complete Fuel System
With a formula that works effectively to clean fuel combustion chambers and fuel intake valves, this fuel system cleaner helps remove all deposits from your car’s fuel injectors while it prevents carbon build up and problems like engine knocks. With 3M 08813, your engine runs smoothly without stalls or poor performance, all while providing a high cleaning standard. At the same time, it helps restore the fuel efficiency, power, and endurance of the engine, a versatility not many cleaners can provide.
8Lucas Oil 10512 Deep Clean
Blending a unique Lucas additive and particular carrier fluid with no diesel, kerosene, or anything that may degrade good engine performance, the Lucas Oil Deep Clean is one fuel system cleaner you will appreciate. It helps reduce nitrous oxide emissions significantly, eliminating the need and cost for higher octane fuels. At the same time, it cleans the entire car fuel system thoroughly and without causing any sort of harm to the exhaust system. Then again, these are the exact characteristics one should look for in a fuel system cleaner of any kind.
7Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron
Cleaning contaminated gas fuel injection systems and eradicating carbon deposits from inlet valves, fuel pipes, and distributors, the Liqui Moly 2207 Jectron is a fuel system cleaner that stands out for all the right reasons. This fuel system cleaner is the ideal treatment for engine ignition problems as well as lean surging. It also helps with a smoother engine idling and throttle response, eco-friendly fuel combustion and thus low emissions. Furthermore, your car’s injector dosing, as well as fuel automation, also improve with Liqui Moly 2007, making your engine perform as new in no time.
6STABIL 22275 360-Degree Performance
Labeled as a 360-Degree performance fuel system cleaner, this Stanbil’s cleaner is one of the most versatile out there. Its formula integrates a unique Vapor technology that helps protect your engine plus the complete fuel system both above and below fuel line. This is particularly good in averting Ethanol fuel-related engine damage. The cleaner also gets rid of all water elements from the entire system, stopping a hitherto possible corrosion. It also keeps fuel fresh and stabilizes it for quite long, ensuring a good engine performance at all times.
5Red Line 60103 Complete SI-1
A 100% fuel system cleaning efficiency in just a single treatment is what makes this particular cleaner so reliable and popular. A great choice for successive use, the Red Line 60103 fuel system cleaner is quite useful especially if you want to make neglected engines running properly again after a long period of neglect or storage. Like many other great options in this price range, it also contains a unique PEA technology as a lead ingredient, one that enables it to not only clean the fuel system of impurities but to also boost its general performance.
4Royal Purple Max-Clean
When the engine of your engine burns more efficiently, there is a notable decrease in nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide, and this is what the Royal Purple Max-Clean as designed to do. It is a high-quality, powerful fuel system cleaner that also eliminates carbon buildup, restoring and improving your engine’s overall performance. At the same time, the Purple Max-Clean clears all trapped water elements for an even greater engine freedom. This is partly due to an ingenious EPA technology, one that boosts the engine’s efficiency by quite a margin.
3BG 44k Fuel System Cleaner
Added to gasoline, the BG 44K fuel system cleaner supports effective and fast cleaning of the entire fuel system of your car, from the fuel injectors to intake valves, combustion chambers and more. Offering an effective removal of any deposits from the upper engine, BG 44K helps ease the problems caused by deposit buildup such as engine stalling, hesitation, stumble, power surge or loss, restoring its former great performance and efficiency. Given its versatility, you will find that this particular cleaner is bound to work well with different types of engines.
2Chevron 67740-CASE Techron
The Chevron 67740-Case is one of the most recommended fuel system cleaners today. A premium-quality product, it effectively restores your car’s deteriorating fuel-efficiency plus general performance. It features a unique Polyether Fuel Technology, popularly known as PEA, which works excellently in cleaning deposits and elements that damage the functionality of fuel injectors, combustion chambers, and intake valves. Given its versatility, you can use it for ethanol fuels, E85 or other flex fuels.
That reason why the Sta-Bil 22207-12PK fuel stabilizer bests any other option on the market is for its unmatched efficiency and capacity to work with all types of fuels. Particularly, it can keep fuel fresh 2 years of storage, saving you the task of draining the fuel prior to parking your car for long. Moreover, Sta-Bil 22207-12PK keeps engines at peak performance power, able to ignite easily and fast even after really long periods of inactivity, simultaneously preventing gum buildup and varnish. Last but not least, we should point out that it works for all gasoline engines, even ethanol blends, and 2-cycles.
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What To Look For In A Fuel System Cleaner
While it may seem that fuel system cleaners don’t really differ from one another, we assure you that their ingredients make each and every single one of them quite different. For the most part, they all come in cans or bottles and they all boast a formula that performs pretty much the same. Even so, some are definitely better than others at cleaning deposits whereas some excel at dealing with impurities and water damage. With this in mind, let us find out what to look for when buying a fuel system cleaner of any kind.
The first thing to consider is the potency, mainly how clean the product can render your car’s engine. You can expect most of these cleaners to do a reasonable job at cleaning most engines, you have to remember that most manufacturers don’t really specify the proportions of each compound, meaning that you will have to make an educated choice based on not just what the label claims but also based on product reviews.
For obvious reasons, most system cleaners are fully compatible with gasoline engines but can very well work with diesel. Although in the minority, there are still plenty of system cleaners that work better with diesel engines than gasoline. This is precisely why you should take the time to figure out precisely what a fuel system cleaner does before making a purchase. Keep in mind, however, that diesel cleaners are rarely marketed as such but rather as ‘multi-fuel’ cleaners.
Ease Of Use
Another thing to consider is just how easy to use the cleaner is and how well it works with your particular car. Most cleaners allow you to add their contents straight into the fuel tank whereas others require that you pour them into the fuel line. For practical reasons, those that you add to the fuel line are a bit more effective whereas fuel system cleaners that you pour straight into the fuel tank are more convenient to use.
You also want to look for a fuel system cleaner that does more than what’s expected of it. We say this because manufacturers sometimes include chemicals that provide additional benefits like cleaning and stabilizing the fuel system or lubricating it. In fact, some of the best fuel system cleaners stand out precisely for their versatility, one that enables them to not only clean but stabilize, lubricate, and control moisture within a fuel system.
Last but not least, keep in mind that although the price doesn’t always dictate the cleaning standards you can expect from a fuel system cleaner, it is indicative of its overall quality to some extent. This is because reputable manufacturers spend a lot of time and resources figuring out the best formula and how to innovate with their products. Their research and development costs are usually included in the basic price of the cleaner, thus reflecting the quality of the cleaner in one way or another.
The Necessity Of Using A Fuel System Cleaner
Some people ask will ask themselves sooner or later if they truly need a fuel system cleaner or not. In practical terms, let us just say that it definitely provides benefits your car’s engine will definitely take advantage of, both short and long-term. Among the many benefits of using a fuel system cleaner is the fuel economy in regards to mileage. Even though you shouldn’t expect the cleaner to drastically change the way your car performs, a good one can definitely pay for itself over time.
Using A Fuel System Cleaner
The first thing you do before using a fuel system cleaner is to pay close attention to the label and the manufacturer’s instructions. While some of these cleaners can be used at will without the fear of damaging your engine, some have to be portioned before each use. If possible, pour the contents into an empty tank before filling it with gasoline or diesel. Bear in mind that you might have to use a fuel system cleaner multiple times to see noticeable results.
Consistency Is Key
Even though you shouldn’t use a fuel system cleaner too often, there is also the danger of waiting until it is far too late. This is precisely what many people are doing, not having read their car’s manual. By using it regularly, you prevent the appearance of build-ups while boosting your engine’s overall performance. In this respect, it is perhaps best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation or to at least ask a car mechanic’s opinion.
Despite the fact that many such cleaners contain solvents and substrates to some extent, this doesn’t mean that they provide an all-around treatment for your fuel system. The only real way to know if you can or cannot use a fuel system cleaner with certain additives is to check whether the manufacturer approves of it. Be advised that it is imperative for you to check the compatibility of a fuel system cleaner with various additives before mixing them up, lest you want to damage your fuel system.
Fuel System Cleaners VS Fuel Injector Cleaners
Many people wrongfully presume that fuel injector cleaners and fuel system cleaners are roughly one and the same. In reality, a fuel system cleaner is a lot more potent and much more versatile, mostly because it contains a higher concentration of detergents to provide a much deeper type of cleaning. At the same time, such a cleaner may contain chemicals that provide lubricity, reducing octane need, stabilizing the fuel, and conditioning the fuel system itself. That said, a fuel system cleaner is a lot more versatile whereas fuel injector cleaners serve the single purpose of cleaning the injector line.