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 it’s so important to find the best option out there. Since there are quite a few options on the market, it can be a bit confusing to get started.
We know the average driver doesn’t have thorough mechanic’s training. That’s why we’ve decided to put this guide together! It’s designed to help you find the absolute best cleaning systems on the market right now. To start our research, we thought a bit about what we wanted in the perfect choice.
The best fuel injector cleaning kits are straightforward, intuitive, and include everything you need to get the job done. They have heavy-duty parts, and some spare supplies for helping you make any tune-ups or replacements that might be needed.
With all these things in mind, we compared and researched dozens of them. We compared features, prices, and parts. Then, we spent lots of time and energy reading reviews from previous buyers. We wanted to see how easy they were to use, and how they stood up over time.
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
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Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit Reviews
1. Little Parts (for Bosch EV1 injectors)
If you’re working on a budget, this includes all the basic supplies you need at a very low cost. It comes with parts and replacements for a full 8-cylinder tune-up, and a straightforward set of instructions to keep you on track. It’s a good choice for people who already have their own toolset, who just need the basic parts to overhaul a set of injectors.
It comes with everything you need to do a full tune-up on an 8-cylinder engine. There are 8 pintle rings, 8 filters, 8 spacers, and 60 o-rings. That means you can replace just about every piece of your injectors that could get clogged or worn. This also includes a few extras. You’ll get a spare o-ring, filter, and pintle cap thrown in.
There’s a full instructional manual included in the box. The company have also put together a video walkthrough to help first-timers learn the process. Previous buyers found the video instructions very useful.
It’s extremely inexpensive. This is less than half the cost of having just a single injector cleaned professionally, let alone all 8!
Previous buyers had no complaints whatsoever about the quality of the parts. Quite a few reviewers said they were surprised by how well-made it was, especially considering the price. They also complimented the company’s customer service, and appreciated the owner reaching out to make sure they’d had good experiences.
While this set comes with all the supplies you need, it doesn’t come with any tools. You’ll need to have a good toolbox already handy.
It’s only a single-use set. If you’ve got multiple vehicles, or like to have additional replacements on hand, it’s probably a good idea to buy a few of them.
Some pintle caps might need a bit larger openings than the ones in this kit. You can always enlarge them yourself, but one previous buyer remarked that it would be nice to have some options for more idiosyncratic cars.
It won’t work for Bosch EV6 or EV14 injectors. This is just for EV1 motors.
2. 3M Fuel System Tune-Up Kit
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. We like this system either on its own, or as a supplement to replacing the injector parts with the Little Parts kit. It’s the best option for people who aren’t super mechanically-minded.
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.
3. OTC Tools Injector Cleaning Kit
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 adaptors.
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 the 3M kit. 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 adaptors 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 adaptor 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 adaptors help you modify the kit to work with import and other more idiosyncratic fuel systems.
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 Little Parts kits for replacing work-out filters or O-rings.
It’s quite expensive.
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 adaptors. You’ll have to buy some of the more specialized options separately.
What is the Best Way to Clean Fuel Injectors?
If you’re looking to replace dirty or worn components in your fuel injectors, we strongly recommend the Little Parts kit.
It’s the cheapest of the three, and it includes all the basic supplies you need to overhaul 8 injectors. However, it doesn’t actually come with any cleaner, and it requires you to have a good toolbox on hand. We’d recommend it as a complement to a canned or bottled cleaning solution. It’s also a good kit to have on hand even if you’re buying one of the more expensive options, since they don’t come with replacement parts.
If you’re looking for the least mechanical option, we highly recommend the 3M kit.
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 the OTC kit.
It’s 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 other two options.
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 option 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.