What is the best fuel system cleaner?

For most owners, the fuel system might seem like a maintenance free system. But if you want to keep your car running smoothly, or for those who own older cars, something to clean out the fuel system is a good idea. A complete fuel system cleaner cleans out dirt and deposits from more than just your injectors. They will often contain powerful detergents and solvents to clean the whole system and for those with an older car many of them clean the carburetor. In this fuel system cleaner review, we compare five of the top sellers.

To use a fuel system cleaner, you will have to empty your tank and then use the recommended amount of the product. Typically, it is one ounce per gallon – a fairly simple conversion. One you fill up again, you will notice a difference in your cars performance after about forty miles of driving. You will notice better fuel efficiency, a smoother drive, less emissions and fewer engine problems.

Best Fuel System Cleaner

royal purple


Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner

The Redline fuel system cleaner claims to “clean to nearly 100 percent efficiency in one treatment.” This formula actually reduces the need for octane and helps with buildup in the fuel system. The formula is gentle on the car, so it can be used continually on a car that has a lot of movement. Redline has a very powerful detergent based cleaner that will also clean the carburetor in an older car, as well as valves and combustion chamber deposits.  If your car has never had a fuel system cleaner before, the company recommends using one bottle per tank to clear everything out, and then continue to follow the bottle’s instructions.

Current customers report that this is an extremely easy bottle to use because of the thin neck. However, they also report that while some have seen better driving, they have no seen better fuel miles, especially in the colder months.

Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner

The Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner is the newest formula from the Chevron company.  It now has improved deposit control that cleans corrosive sulfur deposits that show up in a fuel system that has been mistreated for a few years. Some say that the Techron fuel system cleaner restores the efficiency and performance of their vehicle. This product also gives a lot of bang for the buck: with 20 gallon tank uses every 3,000 miles. You can also safely use this cleaner in all ethanol fuels, including flex fuel such as E85.

You will probably need to use this particular formula more often for it to work best. As with any cleaner it does not work to keep the system clean in between treatments.

Lucas Deep Clean Fuel System Cleaner

The Lucas fuel system cleaner is one of the more economic choices for a fuel system cleaner. The Lucas Fuel treatment does reduce nitrous oxide emissions, making it a greener choice for fuel system cleaners. Because it is economic, it also eliminates the need to buy high octane fuel. Carbon deposits are removed, which helps with the combustion chamber and eliminates those knocking and pinging sounds that those older cars can make.

While the product claims to help with mileage and performance, many customers said that they have no seen an improvement with their mileage unless they continually use the product. However, one bottle treats up to 35 gallons.

BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner

The BG 44k fuel system cleaner is the choice fuel system cleaner for many big name companies. The formula restores performance and gas mileage to that of a newer car. It cleans the entire fuel system from the combustion chambers and ports to the intake manifolds and on valves. Together, this restores the flow of fuel into the injectors. It is one of the fastest acting cleaners, removing all deposits in a single treatment.

This is probably the best product for people who don’t buy the highest quality gasoline or don’t buy a consistent quality of fuel.  Typically people who own newer cars that do not have as much buildup within their fuel system won’t notice much change in the performance of the car, however regular use of the product will maintain this level of performance.

Royal Purple Max Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer

The Royal Purple Max Clean is the clear winner out of these five choices. This product reduces hydrocarbon and CO emissions while improving fuel economy and restoring horsepower back to the vehicle, no matter the age. Many people who use this product claim that this cleaner restored the fuel system back to factory standards, cleaning the injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers. It stabilizes fuel in all seasons, and even works for storage. Formulated for 4-cycle and 2-cycle engines, it will not harm vehicle emissions equipment.

Another benefit of this product is that packaging – there have been no reports of leaking or cracking. One can of Royal Purple fuel system cleaner will treat up to 20 gallons, equaling about one ounce per gallon.

Not sure if the problems you are having are coming from your injectors?  Check out our handy article that will help you tell if your fuel injectors are clogged.

If you want a product to specifically target your injectors check out our fuel injector cleaner review.