In this Guide
While there are lots of fuel injector cleaners that you can just run through your tank, getting some cleaner right in your injectors is always the best way to get them completely clean. Having it done professionally can be pretty pricey but you can clean them yourself without too much mechanical expertise. That means getting up close and personal with your fuel injectors!
Taking apart the injector assembly can be a bit complicated for the average driver, so you’ll want a good cleaning kit to help you out. However, with the wrong one, you’ll risk frustration at best and engine damage at worst. That’s why we’ve created this guide!
We know the average driver doesn’t have thorough mechanic’s training. This guide will introduce you to the absolute best cleaning systems on the market right now.
Here in our special guide, we’ll walk you through three great options for helping you do a professional job.
Here are the winners!
|Best on a Budget||Berryman 1120 Chemtool Thru-rail Fuel Injector Cleaner|
|Best Seller||Mityvac MV5565|
There are quite a few different options for fuel injector cleaning kits. In most cases, you’ll use a concentrated detergent, applied with a special tool. We’re including recommendations for both below.
You’ll also find some other recommendations in our “See Also” section. The products in that category will help you clean everything else in your engine.
All the kits we’ve recommended are straightforward, intuitive, and include everything you need to get the job done. They have heavy-duty parts, strong detergents, and some spare supplies for helping you make any tune-ups or replacements that might be needed.
Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit Reviews
If you want the best solution for cleaning your injectors directly, this Berryman product is where the buck stops. It works on all fuel-injected gasoline engines. The 1120 solution is designed to be used in one of the kits below and it comes in a single-use 12oz can.
This is the absolute best cleaner we’ve found for targeted applications. It blasts through anything you’ll find under the hood, and it works very quickly.
*this requires a shop-class applicator setup like the Mityvac or OTC to use it properly. If you want something you can use without an expensive cleaner tool, check out the 3M kit below.
The biggest difference between the Berryman and the countless other injector cleaners on the market is the incredibly powerful detergents in this one. Lots of other companies make effective injector cleaners, but nothing on the scale or speed of this stuff.
Its’s highly concentrated–far stronger than the fuel-line cleaners we recommend. This is professional-grade in every sense of the word (it’s only supposed to be used by pros, though we think it’s safe for a competent home mechanic).
You should check out the product video: this stuff dissolves styrene on contact! It’s specifically formulated to obliterate petroleum-related byproducts, like soot, gum, fuel residue, etc. Berryman’s HEST “high-energy solvent technology” sounds like a gimmick in the marketing materials, but the fact is it’s insanely effective.
You don’t have to worry about this stuff damaging your car, though! It’s safe on catalytic converters and oxygen sensors. It’ll tear through any gunk under the hood, but it doesn’t have any side effects for the components you’re cleaning.
This comes in a pressurized can, which is designed to fit in a kit like the two we recommend below. So, you don’t need a compressor except if you want to use a blow-out adapter after the cleaner (we suggest you do, since this isn’t the sort of thing you want to leave in your tools long-term)
You’ll need tools to apply this solution. Be sure to pick up one of the kits below, if you don’t already have one.
This is an aggressive cleaning solution. It’s safe for your tools and your car, but be sure you don’t leave it in your tool after you use a can. Always run shop air through to clear the system, since this’ll eventually start to wear down the hoses on your applicator.
Mityvac’s MV5565 kit is very similar to the OTC system we recommend as our pro-grade pick. It’s also a shop-class cleaning setup, and it has most of the same features. We recommend it as a slightly less pricey alternative.
Like the OTC, the Mityvac is a direct applicator system. It’s basically a precision dispenser for your a concentrated injector cleaner. You have a metal canister, pressure regulator gauges/valves, and an output hose. It’s simple, but covers all the basics.
It works on practically anything, with the right adapters. As long as you can find an adapter to fit between the hose and your specific auto, you’re good as gold with this thing. It’ll work on any gas engine where you can get to the injectors/rail.
Like the OTC, the Mityvac includes a blowout component, which you can connect to your garage air compressor. The point of this is to flush your cleaner setup, as well as your combustion system. You just hook up to your compressor, then run for a few minutes.
There are a lot of different kits like this around the same price. There are even a few that are cheaper. We only recommend the Mityvac, because it’s the only one so inexpensive which is made by a reputable tool company. Unlike so many, it’s sold in professional auto parts shops, and it’s covered by a legitimate warranty.
It’s also made much better than comparable models. The Mityvac has high-quality hoses and fittings which can handle strong cleaning solutions and regular use. All the metal components are steel or aluminum. No cheap alloys here!
The 32oz canister on this one holds a lot of cleaner. You should be able to use a couple cans at a time in this.
Since this is so robust, you can safely use this with any good, concentrated cleaner. We think it works especially well with the Berryman above, but if you have a solution you prefer, go for it!
It’s relatively easy to store this, since it includes a mounting bracket for your garage wall.
You’ll need a pressurized cleaner to use inside (we suggest the Berryman).
The biggest downside of this one compared to the OTC: it doesn’t come with adapters. There are any number of inexpensive, reliable options available online, or you can also get a Mityvac set:
One warning about the set: that puts the price above the OTC when you look at the whole package. If you can find one specific adapter to use instead of buying the entire set, you can save quite a bit of money.
You’ll need a good air compressor to use the blowout feature. That’s also true of the OTC.
If you’re looking for a professional grade solution for cleaning your fuel injectors, we recommend this OTC kit. It includes all the parts and tools you need to do a direct cleaning on all your injectors, exactly how the pros do it.
We’re very impressed by how well-made this equipment is, from the heavy duty hose to the stainless steel tank. This is a surefire solution for the more mechanically-inclined driver.
It’s compatible with nearly any cleaner. This one allows you to use your favorite brand injector cleaner in the dispensing tank, and apply it directly to the fuel injectors and other components.
Since it’s so versatile, you can use different cleaners for different vehicles without needing a separate tool.
You can make it work with any sort of injectors, though you’ll need the right adapters.
The deluxe manual and instruction book has tips and directions for cleaning out even the rarest imported motors, as well as the standard American issues. It’s designed to help you with anything built between 1997 and 2013.
It comes with a heavy stainless steel tank to help you dispense cleaners directly into your injectors. This tool is essentially an industrial strength alternative to the spray cans and wands you get with things like the 3M kit below.
The tank and the hose are compatible with ethanol based fuels and even the most aggressive cleaning solutions, so you don’t have to worry about any fuels of cleaners damaging the equipment.
There’s a simple ball valve in the system to give you instant control over flow and pressure.
It also comes with a pressure gauge, so you can test your engine’s performance before and after the cleaning job. Plus, it includes a blowout tool to help you clean out excess solution and gunk when you’re finished cleaning.
You also get a few other adapters and fittings to help you with other cleaning tasks. There’s a spring lock tool for cleaning out couplings, a few different banjo-style and quick connect fittings, and a decarbonizing adapter for cleaning the throttle plate and the intake manifold (like the 3M kit).
In addition to helping you with other parts of the fuel system, these adapters help you modify the kit to work with import and other more idiosyncratic fuel systems. The fact that this one comes with several adapters out of the box is a key advantage over the Mityvac.
The cleaners themselves and any replacement parts will cost you extra. You’ll want to plan on a few dollars for cleaning solution, and if you don’t keep replacement parts on hand, you might want to throw in one or two kits for replacing work-out filters or O-rings. We don’t recommend specific replacement components, since you’ll need to find a set intended for your specific injectors.
It’s quite expensive. If you don’t mind finding your adapters and extra tools separately, you can get a comparable product in the Mityvac for less money.
It’s probably not the best choice for people who only drive occasionally. This is a kit for people who have multiple cars, expensive cars, or have regular long commutes. Plus, chances are that the casual driver won’t have the garage space or mechanical aptitude to use a kit like this.
It doesn’t come with many adapters. You’ll have to buy some of the more specialized options separately.
If you’re looking to clean your system without replacing the parts, this 3M kit is a solid option. It comes with 3 different products to help you clean your whole fuel system, including the throttle plate, carburetor plate, and fuel injectors.
It’s a great option for people who aren’t super mechanically-minded.
*While we used to include the 3M in our main recommendations, it’s become pretty hard to find. We’re still including it as a See Also pick because it’s a real winner if you can find it available online or near you.
It does a few different things inside your fuel system.
There’s a spray can cleaner with a wand for cleaning the intake manifold, valves, and combustion chamber. It’s designed to clean as your motor idles, so the motor moves the cleaner through the system for you.
There’s also an additional spray can for cleaning the throttle plate and carburetor.
This kit comes with specific cleaners for each component, so you can do a thorough job on each part of your motor.
The spray cans help you get inside the motor to clean parts that fuel-line injector cleaners can’t get to. This is basically what a professional mechanic would do if you paid to have your car serviced at a shop.
Applying cleaner directly to the engine parts is more effective than running cleaner through the fuel line, since it’s not being diluted. You’ll be applying the cleaner at full strength, which means you’ll clean off more carbon crud than with fuel line cleaners.
This one also comes with its own included can of fuel injector cleaner, so you can have the best of both worlds. You can run the fluid through your fuel tank to clean the injectors and all the other parts of your fuel line where gas can cause carbon and soot buildup.
It’s ideal for cleaning all the components that are hard to reach without taking the motor assembly apart.
We like this kit because it combines manual cleaning tools with a fuel-line cleaner to get the best of both cleaning approaches. As a result, the 3M kit gives you an all-around boost.
This kit will help your fuel economy, prevent carbon buildup inside the motor assembly, and give you smoother, more powerful performance from your vehicle.
It doesn’t require as much mechanical aptitude as the Little Parts approach. It also doesn’t require you to have as many tools.
This one’s much easier for people who don’t have a dedicated garage or workbench. If you can change your oil, you can use this kit very easily.
It comes with a full set of instructions, including tips on preparing your vehicle for cleaning and keeping you safe during the process. There are also video walkthroughs, just like you get with the Little Parts kit. Previous buyers found the whole thing very easy to use.
It doesn’t come with any replacement parts. While this kit will clean your fuel injectors, it won’t help much if you’ve got worn-out filters or other components.
You’ll need someone else to help you, since the spray cleaners are designed to be used with the motor running. While you could probably make it work yourself, it’s much safer to have someone else in the drivers’ seat.
Berryman’s B-12 is a fuel system cleaner for everything but your fuel injectors. We know, we know. That’s counterintuitive for a site all about injector cleaning, right? Well, as we always advise readers, there are a lot of other components under the hood which can get scummed-up with the same kinds of buildup.
This Berryman kit is our go-to for cleaning all those other components. In this concentrated package, it’s perfect for a once-over cleaning of your intake valves and combustion chamber. Basically, all those non-fuel line parts. You don’t have to remove anything to use it, and it does a great job!
This stuff is highly concentrated! It’s way, way more concentrated than any of the cleaners you run through your fuel line. In fact, it’s the strongest stuff we recommend on this site. So, even if you’ve never taken it upon yourself to clean your fuel system, this will do the trick in one go.
It dissolves buildup fast! Other cleaners can be painstakingly slow to use. This one’s not! It uses Berryman’s signature HEST (high-energy solvent technology), which sounds like snake oil until you see it in action.We’ve never seen anything it won’t dissolve. Check out the product video, and you can see what it does to styrene alone!
It works on everything in your combustion system, and your car’s vacuum pump does the job of spreading it around for you! One can of this, and you can clean all your intake valves thoroughly, as well as the combustion chamber. It’s a lot easier than doing any of that by hand!
You’ll see any number of benefits from doing this. Like cleaning your injectors, scrubbing the combustion system will help with efficiency. The biggest benefits are in your throttle function, though, and in your emissions. You should notice big differences in both, especially if you’ve never cleaned them before.
You don’t need any additional equipment to use it. The whole thing’s also relatively easy to do if you don’t have lots of experience. You just plug the hosing into your vacuum line with the can installed, and run the engine until the can is empty. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Like all the best cleaners, the Berryman comes with excellent instructions. There are any number of online tutorials, too. Even if you’ve never fiddled with your air system before, you should find it a piece of cake.
Best of all, it’s cheap. This doesn’t cost more than any single can/bottle of fuel injector cleaner, despite the fact that it includes all the hoses you need
It’s not for turbo-charged or diesel engines. You can’t use something like this in a new car with direct injection, either.
It’s aggressive, so don’t use it if your intake hoses are worn!
It doesn’t clean your injectors! Make sure you know that before you buy. It’s easy to hear “total combustion” and think that includes the fuel line components, but this only cleans the airway-related parts.
What is the Best Way to Clean Fuel Injectors?
If you’re looking for the least mechanical option, we highly recommend the 3M kit. It’s getting a bit hard to find, but it’s still a great value.
It’s the easiest for laymen to use, and it’s the only one of the kits to include actual cleaning solution. This one only requires you to have the most basic of tools and mechanical skills, and it’s an all-round cleaning solution for your fuel system.
However, it doesn’t have the tools or parts to actually take apart your injectors for a truly direct cleaning.
For those drivers who want to do the absolute best possible job, our recommendation is to use the Berryman 1120 solution with either the OTC kit or the Mityvac kit.
The OTC is professional-grade, and it’s a solidly built tool that can help you to both test and clean your fuel system. We like it because it helps you clean out all your injectors and other intake components, and also provides you with a gauge so you can tell when the seals and filters need to be replaced.
However, you’ll have to purchase the actual cleaning fluid separately, and this kit requires a bit more mechanical skill than the 3M.
The Mityvac provides a comparable setup for a lower price, albeit without the adapters.
How to Choose the Best Fuel System Cleaning Kit
Think about your budget:
Fuel injector cleaning kits can cost anywhere from $20-$500+ depending on the brand and the equipment that’s included.
The cheapest options are replacement part kits, which give you all the basic pieces to upgrade your injectors, without including any tools or cleaners.
The next options are cleaner-based kits, which don’t come with tools, but have a few specific cleaners to tackle your injectors and the other parts of the fuel line.
The most expensive option is to buy a mechanic’s kit, which allows you to both run cleaner directly into your injectors, and to gauge the pressure on each injector to see if you need to replace the seals or filters. These kits give you professional-level control and industrial build quality, but they’ll also cost you.
Think about your garage:
Deciding which type of kit to buy will depend on what you’ve got in your garage.
If you’ve already got a wide range of tools, you can probably get away with buying just the replacement components for your injectors. If you don’t have many auto tools around your garage, you’ll probably have a hard time getting into the injector assembly and putting everything back together again. If you have lots of replacement pieces hanging around your workbench, you probably don’t need to buy a kit with replacement parts.
You’ll want one of the kits that allows you to take apart the injectors using the tools you already own. Even if you have a bunch of tools, you may want to consider getting a professional-grade kit specifically for you fuel injectors. They include cleaner applicators and pressure gauges than most people won’t have on hand already.
And, of course, you’ll want to consider your workspace.
If you have a cramped garage, or shared parking outside your home, you might have a hard time getting your injectors all disassembled, cleaned, and put together again. In that case, you’ll want a cleaner-based kit that will allow you to clean around your engine without actually taking the injectors out.
If you’ve got room to work, we’d recommend getting a kit that will help you clean injectors directly, since that means you’ll be doing a more thorough job in the end.
Consider your skillset:
If you’re looking at injector cleaning kits, you probably have at least some mechanical knowledge. However, if your motor know-how doesn’t translate to being good at tinkering with your actual engine, you probably don’t want to buy a kit that involves taking injectors apart or cleaning them directly.
If you’re pretty good at DIY repairs, you might want to spend a little more for a professional-grade kit that includes a cleaning tool and pressure gauge. Having a gauge on hand helps you establish whether you need to replace O-ring seals or filters, or whether the problem can be solved just by cleaning.