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High-grade gasoline and responsible driving can help you avoid gummed-up fuel injectors, but they aren’t sure-fire solutions. The only way to make sure your fuel injectors are functioning properly is to use a cleaner. Keeping your fuel system working at peak performance is a critical part of car maintenance. But with so many cleaning agents out there, what is the best fuel system cleaner for you?
The best fuel system cleaners on the market
For many, the automotive section of any store is an uncomfortable, intimidating aisle. Thankfully, Staff at CNET put together a list of the best options for fuel system cleaners based on engine types. Here’s what experts and customer satisfaction results showed.
Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Complete Fuel System Cleaner is the best option, overall
Most people use gasoline-powered vehicles. For them, Chevron’s fuel system cleaner is the best because it works for every size of vehicle, from motorcycles to full-size pickup trucks.
Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus works using an ingredient called polyetheramine (PEA) which erodes carbon deposits throughout your whole fuel system, from your lines and pump to your injectors. For most drivers, it’s the only cleaning agent your fuel system needs.
For diesel engines, Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner works best
Every owner of a diesel engine knows they have to be careful to use the right products for their vehicle. Fuel injector cleaners are no different. CNET’s staff say the best option for these drivers is Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner.
Suitable for all types of gasoline and diesel vehicles, this product is the best fuel system cleaner for diesel engines. Besides cleaning the fuel system, it also lubricates it and neutralizes the negative effects of low-sulfur diesel, like shrinking seals.
Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner is a stronger alternative for those who’ve gone further without a cleaning
If you’ve accumulated a lot of miles in your car without using a fuel injector or fuel system cleaner, you might need something a little more powerful to clean the gunk out of your engine. Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner will do the trick.
A sort of hybrid of the two previous products, this cleaning agent uses the same PEA ingredient as Concentrate Plus to remove blockages while also lubricating the upper cylinder like the Lucas cleaner, which it says improves fuel economy.
Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner works best for direct-injection engines
While most injectors add fuel to the engine in the intake tract, many new systems inject straight into the combustion chamber. This system improves fuel efficiency and performance even more than traditional fuel injection, but it also requires distinct cleaning products.
Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner is such a product, and it has multiple benefits. Besides removing dirt from your gas or diesel fuel system using PEA, it also claims to improve horsepower.
There is one downside to the Max Atomizer, though. One bottle is said to last a maximum of 3,000 miles, and the manufacturer encourages drivers to add one at every fillup. Even at $13 for a pack of ten, it will end up costing you more than the other cleaning agents listed here.
How fuel system cleaners affect car ownership costs
Using the best fuel system cleaner might be an afterthought for many drivers, but the low cost of these cleaning products could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. It can also help you minimize your car’s value depreciation, the main contributor to car ownership costs.
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