Fuel system cleaners have a fourfold effect 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 eliminate existing deposits.
- Polyisobutylene amine (PIBA) scrubs the fuel system, eliminates any existing deposits, and does not require the application frequency 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.
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. Its active ingredient is polyethylene amine, which is a type of PIBA.
- Will clean and protect against carbon build-up.
- Good price at $0.82 per oz.
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 also takes care of carbon buildup and the prevention of long-term carbon buildup, which contributes to pinging and lower fuel efficiency. Its active ingredient is also PIBA.
- Effective against carbon buildup cleaning and protection.
- Very economical at $0.50 per oz.
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.
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 effective 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.
6. STA-BIL 22275 360 Performance with Vapor Technology
Helping 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 time, like boats, snowmobiles, and other used engines seasonally. It also prevents carbon buildup over the long term. Given that list of attributes, though we could not find any active ingredients, we have to assume that this product’s active ingredient is PIB.
- Gets rid of water in the fuel system.
- Helps prevent vapor lock.
- Prevents future carbon buildup.
- Stabilizes fuel.
- Reasonable price at $0.62 per oz.
5. Mr. Gasket (120007-2PK) Cataclean Fuel And Exhaust System Cleaner
Mr. Gasket Cataclean Fuel And Exhaust System Cleaner are EPA approved to reduce carbon emissions by up to 50%. It is EPA approved because it does actually clean carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber of your engine and 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.
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.
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?
2. Sta-Bil 22207-12PK Fuel Stabilizer
The purpose of a fuel stabilizer is to maintain your fuel quality whenever it has to be stored. STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer fulfills that purpose and prevents corrosion inside your engine due to water in your fuel system. This treatment utilizes PIB as an active ingredient and is best used right before putting your seasonal engines into storage while they’re not being used. Because this is so vital for seasonal engines’ performance, 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.
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.
- It 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.