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How to Use a Fuel Injector Cleaner: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Use a Fuel Injector Cleaner

Maintaining your vehicle can be a daunting task for some, even the simpler acts of keeping your fuel lines clean.

The thing is, however, this is an important step that ensures your fuel system allows you to enjoy your vehicle’s maximum efficiency by keeping the fuel line free from deposits that can limit your mileage, decrease your fuel economy, and lead to expensive repairs down the road.

We are here to help you prevent all that from happening. This article talks about how to use a fuel injector cleaner so you can ensure that your vehicle hits its rated MPG figure at all times. Ready? Let’s get started!

Want to find more amazing options when it comes to fuel injector cleaners? Check out our comprehensive product reviews on 2021’s best fuel injector cleaners here!

How to use a fuel injector cleaner

Cleaning products intended for your fuel line are actually simple and easy to use even for those who have little to no knowledge when it comes to car maintenance. All it takes is a couple of simple steps to get your fuel lines squeaky clean once more. You can even do it right at a nearby gas station, which is ideal as you’ll be able to fill your tank immediately afterward.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure that your fuel tank is almost empty. If not, either siphon the fuel out or drive the car for a bit (this might be a good time to run some errands).
  2. Take your fuel injector cleaner. Read the instructions on the label, and add the recommended amount of fluid. This amount would be based on the size of your tank.
  3. Pour the contents of the fuel cleaner mix into your fuel tank, then top up the tank with your regular fuel.

Remember to add the cleaner only when your tank is nearly empty in order to ensure that you’re getting a good mix of fuel and fuel cleaner. Moreover, make sure that you follow the instructions on the fuel cleaner label, which may state additional steps like setting your vehicle to idle for a brief period of time before you drive as you normally would.

How fuel injector cleaners work

A fuel injector cleaner is a solvent that is designed to be directly applied to your fuel mixture. This solvent dissolves deposits and product buildup inside the fuel line in order to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and mileage.

This is important because no fuel from any gas station is 100% pure. Gasoline, for instance, contains additives, and even storing the fuel in a tank farm can somewhat compromise its quality. Any chemical reaction and sediment in the fuel can result in thick deposits that will eventually build up along your fuel line.

Benefits of a fuel injector cleaner

Benefits of a fuel injector cleanerUsing a good quality fuel injector cleaner during your regular vehicle maintenance can benefit you in many different ways.

For starters, once the carbon deposits inside the fuel system of your vehicle are cleaned out, your overall gas mileage will increase since the fuel being used isn’t as dirty and is used by your engine more efficiently. This is not only great for your wallet as you save on fuel consumption, but it’s better for the environment as well.

Cleaning your fuel line also improves your engine’s performance in the sense that the engine will be free of caky deposits that require your engine to work harder while still delivering the same results, or even less.

Furthermore, as you keep your fuel system and engine clean and deposit free, you’re also lowering chances that things may go wrong or something might stop functioning properly, thereby saving you inexpensive maintenance and repair costs down the line.

Fuel injector cleaner components

Typically, a fuel injector cleaner would be composed of three primary chemical components, which determine the types of applications that the cleaner is suitable for. Below is a list of these components and how they work:


Polyisobutylene, otherwise called PIB, is a chemical that is used not only in fuel injector cleaners but also in diesel injector cleaners. This component functions as a detergent that scrapes off deposits and residue from fuel lines and injectors, while also reducing engine knock problems and addresses the issue of misfiring.

Polyether amine

Polyether amine, sometimes referred to as PEA, is a highly efficient component that resolves impeded flow in flow lines and injector cleaners by eliminating solid deposits, which works through effectively breaking down these sediment deposits at a molecular level bond.

Afterwards, the broken down deposits pass through combustion chambers and catalytic converters before finally being ejected through your vehicle exhaust, therefore leaving no trace of sediment nor cleaning product.

Polyisobutylene amine

Polyisobutylene amine, also called PIBA, functions similarly to polyisobutylene, although this component works better under the presence of moisture. Now, it doesn’t exactly tackle and eliminate solid deposits and long term buildup, and cannot, for the most part, filter your combustion chamber, but it is an essential component that helps maintain your engine.

Types: Dissolvents vs detergents

There are actually two types of fuel injector cleaners- dissolvents and detergents. Dissolvents are much more common and typically use polyether amine in breaking down the carbon composites into smaller pieces so they don’t further build-up in the injector or combustion chamber. Rather, they are ejected through your vehicle’s exhaust system.

Detergents, on the other hand, are a less common fuel additive, primarily because it’s not quite clear whether these are actually effective when it comes to cleaning out your vehicle’s fuel system. That’s because detergents essentially work by activating certain chemicals that make the carbon deposits slip then slide out of your fuel system.

Fuel injector cleaner FAQs

Fuel Injector

Do gas mileage and fuel economy matter?

Yes. Gas mileage and fuel economy go hand in hand- if you have a full gas tank, you’ll be using up significantly less fuel, which is better for the environment, and you’ll also improve your fuel economy, which is better for your pockets, so yes, accounting for gas mileage does pay off.

Does a car’s gas mileage decrease as the vehicle gets older?

Yes. unfortunately, gas mileage does decrease with age. More specifically, the number goes down after around fifteen years of use, on average, although if you maintain the condition of your vehicle well, then you can delay the onset of this problem, enabling you to enjoy better gas mileage for a longer period of time.

Does towing decrease gas mileage?

Yes. Since you are giving your vehicle a considerable extra load that it needs to carry along, all your car components have to work harder, and this significantly reduces your gas mileage. This is the reason why everyone tells you to keep your vehicle load and cargo as light as you can.

Does using air conditioning affect gas mileage?

Yes. if you use your AC often, your gas mileage can decrease by a noticeable amount. As a matter of fact, this can amount to an astounding twenty percent decrease, especially in older cars, although newer vehicles don’t suffer as much.

Read also related articles: Camshaft Position Actuator Solenoid, Best octane booster, best diesel engine oil, and best ow-20 oil.

Looking for the best fuel injector cleaner in 2020?

Take a look at the Red Line 60103-4PK Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner, a top rated fuel injector cleaner that is highly rated by professionals thanks to its ability to work at 100% performance and accuracy.

It also boasts of the highest concentration of polyether amines (PEA) to deliver exceptional cleaning properties, which means you get to enjoy the most product quantity and cleaning power per dollar spent as compared to all other fuel injector cleaners on the market.

Plus, it also comes in a generously sized bottle that is more than plenty for your vehicle tank and can even be used safely on a regular basis. The best part? Not only does it clean your fuel system, but it also improves your combustion chambers, valves, and other vehicle parts thanks to the synthetic cylinder lubricants in its unique formulation. In other words, it’s perfection.

Final tips

Fuel injector cleaners play a critical role when it comes to keeping your engine running as smoothly and efficiently as possible while improving your mileage and fuel economy and also reducing the risk of performance issues and breakdowns by eliminating sediment deposits and solidified buildups along your fuel line as well as in the vehicle’s engine.

The good news is, there are plenty of different fuel injector cleaners available online and in stores, and they are all easy to use as well, even if you have no knowledge about vehicle maintenance. Just make sure that you buy the right cleaner based on the fuel type you use on your vehicle.

For best results, it’s best to use heavy-duty cleaners that are PEA based if your fuel lines haven’t been cleaned for a long time. Alternatively, you can opt for a PIBA or PIB beginner that will offer adequate fuel line cleaning as long as you use it at regular mileage intervals. Either way, make sure to follow the instructions on the product label.

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