Does your car’s performance seem a little sluggish lately? Carbon buildup in your fuel system can choke the engine performance of your car and cause it to act sluggish. You can clean your fuel system and help restore your car’s performance, but choosing the right fuel system cleaner can be a challenge. We’re here to help by providing some general information about fuel system cleaners and reviews of the top 10 best fuel system cleaners in 2019.
Features and Benefits of Fuel System Cleaners
Fuel system cleaners have a fourfold affect on your car’s performance: they clean and lubricate fuel system components, lower exhaust emissions, improve gas mileage, and increase power. Fuel system cleaners typically contain any or all of the following ingredients in various proportions to the mixture:
- Polyisobutene (PIB) eliminates water from the system and prevents new deposits from forming, but doesn’t get rid of existing deposits.
- Polyisobutylene amine (PIBA) scrubs the fuel system and gets rid of any existing deposits and does not require the frequency of application that PIB cleaners do.
- Acetone. Similar to PIBA in its effectiveness.
- Polyetheramine (PEA) is the most powerful cleaning agent in fuel additives and is more efficient at cleaning your fuel system than both PIB and PIBA.
- Naphtha or Stoddard Solvent were the precursors to PEA, but not quite as effective at overall cleaning.
Locating these chemicals on the label of potential fuel system cleaners will let you know just how much bang you’re going to get for your buck when you buy it. With this information in mind, let’s jump right into our reviews of the top 10 fuel system cleaners for 2019.
10. 3M 08813 Complete Fuel System Cleaner Bottle
3M Complete Fuel System Cleaner is designed to remove carbon buildup in combustion chambers and fuel injectors on your engine in the time it takes to consume 15 to 20 gallons of fuel. Additionally, it protects against carbon buildup over time. It’s active ingredient is polyethelene amine, which is a type of PIBA.
- Will clean and protect against carbon build up.
- Good price at $0.82 per oz.
- Won’t do anything for water deposits.
- Mostly kerosene and a weaker grade of cleaner.
9. Lucas Oil 10512 Deep Clean Fuel System Cleaner
If you are focused on getting rid of nitrous oxide Lucas Oil Deep Clean is for you. It does also take care of carbon buildup and the prevention of long-term carbon buildup, which contributes to pinging and lower fuel efficiency. It’s active ingredient is also PIBA.
- Effective against carbon buildup cleaning and protection.
- Very economical at $0.50 per oz.
- Weaker grade of cleaner, mostly kerosene.
- Won’t get rid of water in your fuel.
8. Chevron 67740-CASE Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner
Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner helps improve cold start performance and fuel stability, reduces sparkplug fouling and erratic engine performance, and restores lost power and fuel economy. How it does all that is something of a mystery because we could not find any listing of its active ingredients, but more than likely it also uses PIBA as the active ingredient.
- It will clean and protect against carbon buildup.
- Economically priced when you buy a case at $0.55.
- Will not clean water out of your fuel system.
- Weaker cleaner, mostly kerosene.
7. 3 Pack BG 44k Fuel System Cleaner w/ BG Funnel
BG 44k Fuel System Cleaner is wildly popular and demands a higher price. It will raise the octane of your fuel and give you better fuel economy and a performance boost. It cleans your fuel system, but not any more effectively than the three listed above. Its active ingredients are Xylene and Cumene, which are both solvents similar to PIBA.
- Raises your fuel economy and engine performance with an octane boost.
- Demand lends some credibility to effectiveness.
- Can and funnel system is sort of a pain.
- Overpriced at $1.55 per oz.
6. STA-BIL 22275 360 Performance with Vapor Technology
Helping to prevent vapor lock and remove water from your fuel system are two goals of STA-BIL 360 Performance. It helps maintain fuel stability when your engine is not being used for a long period time, like boats, snowmobiles and other engines that are used seasonally. It also prevents carbon buildup over the long term. Given that list of attributes, though we could not find any list of active ingredients, we have to assume that this product’s active ingredient is PIB.
- Gets rid of water in fuel system.
- Helps prevent vapor lock.
- Prevents future carbon buildup.
- Stabilizes fuel.
- Decent price at $0.62 per oz.
- Does not get rid of existing carbon build up.
5. Mr. Gasket (120007-2PK) Cataclean Fuel and Exhaust System Cleaner
Mr Gasket Cataclean Fuel and Exhaust System Cleaner is EPA approved for the reduction of carbon emissions by up to 50%. The reason it is EPA approved is because it does actually clean carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber of your engine as well as your exhaust system. It makes use of acetone as an active ingredient, which does actually clean carbon buildup from your engine.
- Gets rid of carbon buildup in your fuel and exhaust systems.
- Reduces carbon emissions.
- Protects your engine against future carbon build up.
- A little pricey at $1.56 per oz., probably due to the EPA endorsement.
- We’re still not dealing with water in the fuel system.
4. Royal Purple 11722 Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer
The reduction of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions from your exhaust system is related to your engine burning cleaner, which is what Royal Purple Max-Clean accomplishes in your fuel system. By reducing and eliminating carbon buildup, fuel economy and engine performance are also enhanced. Besides eliminating and preventing carbon buildup in your fuel system, Royal Purple also gets rid of water. Its active ingredient is PEA.
- Effectively cleans and protects against carbon buildup.
- Eliminates water from your fuel system.
- Better value for your money at $0.68 per oz.
- No pour spout attached to the container.
3. Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner
Cleaner combustion and lower fuel consumption are two of the benefits of Liqui Moly Jectron Fuel Cleaner. These two attributes are a result of a fuel system cleaner that truly performs as billed. Liqui Moly not only gets rid of carbon buildup, but also eliminates water in your fuel system. Its active ingredient is also PEA.
- Eliminates carbon existing carbon buildup and prevents future buildup.
- Cleans water out of your fuel line.
- Cleaner emissions.
- Has the pour spout attached.
- A little more expensive at $0.96 per oz.
2. Sta-Bil 22207-12PK Fuel Stabilizer
The purpose of a fuel stabilizer is to maintain the quality of your fuel whenever it has to be stored. STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer fulfills that purpose and also prevents corrosion inside your engine due to the presence of water in your fuel system. This treatment utilizes PIB as an active ingredient and is best used right before you put your seasonal engines into storage while they’re not being used. Because this is so vital for the performance of seasonal engines, it gets a boost toward the top of the list.
- Gets rid of water and water corrosion inside your engine.
- Keeps fuel compounds from breaking down during storage.
- Great case price offering at $0.42 per oz.
- Is not really effective for improving engine performance while running.
- Doesn’t remove carbon buildup.
1. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner
The highly concentrated efficiency of Red Line Complete Fuel System Cleaner cleans close to 100% efficiency in one treatment. It is safe for continual use and boosts fuel octane by 2 points. It is especially efficient at getting neglected or seasonal engines that were not stored using a fuel stabilizer running right from the get go. As you’ve probably already guessed, Red-Line does have PEA as an active ingredient.
- Gets rid of carbon buildup and prevents future buildup.
- Lowers NO and CO emissions.
- Cleans water out of the fuel system.
- Boosts fuel octane 2 points.
- Midrange price at $0.99 per oz.
- Many users saw no increase in fuel economy after using this product.
Fuel system cleaners are somewhat controversial among automotive experts. The reason for that is the fact that so many fuel system cleaners have unsubstantiated claims for their products. By reading labels and doing research, you can determine whether or not the fuel system cleaner you use is actually doing what it says, or you can just make use of one of the top 10 best fuel system cleaners for 2019 in our list and keep your engine performing at its best. If you have questions, want to add to our list, or simply have comments, please add them in the section below.
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