Best Diesel Injector Cleaner

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The most common issue with diesel engines is typically the death of an injector or two due to accumulative build-up.

Yes, you know what that means: A very expensive visit to your mechanic.

To help your very expensive injectors stay in good shape, it’s a good idea to use a specific cleaner every so often.

Additionally, with a wider range of diesel fuel additives available today, it is best to have a glimpse of the best ones. This way, you can compare what each has to offer that will better suit your engine.

Hence, I’ve compiled a list of the best diesel injection cleaners that you can buy right now, to keep your engine running for a lot of miles.

Each of these products will ensure that your fuel system is optimized and running as well as the day it was built. Talk about engine power made better by an improved flow of fuel!

Each of these products will ensure that your fuel system is optimized and running as well as the day it was built.

List of the Best Diesel Injector Cleaners

Comparison Chart

41hXYfNj08L. SL500
Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment – 16 oz. , white
41A2HvU8pIL. SL160
Lucas LUC10013 Fuel Treatment – 1 Gallon
41R02Se6WhL. SL160
Royal Purple 11755 Max-Tane Total Diesel Fuel Performance – 20 oz. Can
BG244 Diesel Fuel System Cleaner 11oz can
417djIwn3GL. SL500
Liqui Moly 2002 Super Diesel Additive – 300 ml
Genuine GM Fluid 88861803 Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner – 16 oz.

1. Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment

41hXYfNj08L. SL500

When trying to figure out the best diesel fuel injection cleaner to buy, one of the most important factors to consider can be the brand.

Dirty fuel injectors can be a costly problem, so it will greatly help prevent any possible wear-and-tear factors that can pull down your engine performance in the long run.

Reliable brands well-known in the automotive engine repair industry can help when you’re bombarded with a wide range of choices.

After all, these brands are tested to be true, excellent choices.


  • Materials: 100% pure petroleum
  • Composition: Foam spray
  • Application: Watch video below 😉
  • How Often to Use It: Every 5000 miles

Certain companies out there are well-known for making high-quality materials, which can help ensure that you aren’t getting a subpar mixture for your vehicle.

Fortunately, Sea Foam is one of the better brands out there, so that isn’t a concern here.

When compared to other diesel cleaners, you’ll notice that this mixture is more generic than others.

One of the reasons that I like this product so much is that you can use it on a wide variety of engines, whether it’s a car, truck, boat, gasoline, or diesel. It can even work on different engine types.

This versatility means that you can take advantage of it regardless of the kind of vehicle you have, and it allows you to put it into your fuel system much more easily, as you can dump it into the tank, the crankcase, or the carburetor itself.

Another reason that I prefer this cleaner to others is that it offers so much more than just a cleaner engine.

It helps to lubricate and stabilize your fuel system, which is why you don’t have to use it as often. Also, it helps prevent freezing in your lines and will quiet your engine.

Here’s the exact step by step on how to get the most out of my favorite fuel treatment system:


  • Works on gasoline and diesel
  • Lubricates, cleans, and stabilizes fuel
  • Can be applied in multiple ways
  • Long-lasting formula
  • 100% petroleum cleaner
  • EPA registered for environmental impact
  • Liquefies gum and varnish deposits
  • Helps reduce freeze-ups in the system


  • Does not work as well in motor oil

2. Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment

41A2HvU8pIL. SL500

Having a car can be expensive, which means that you want to be as economical as possible without sacrificing on quality.

As much as you wish to be smart about the gallons of fuel you can save, you can also review fuel economy through the lenses of maintaining your engine.


  • Materials: Blend of oils and additives
  • Composition: Thick, viscous liquid
  • Application: Pour into fuel tank at 2 ounces/1 gallon
  • How Often to Use It: Every 1-2 fill-ups

Diesel injector cleaners usually pay for themselves based on the improvement you get in both fuel efficiency and engine longevity, but they can still be somewhat costly overall.

Fortunately, if you want something that’s effective and relatively cheap, then you’ll love this treatment from Lucas.

Technically speaking, this product is not designed specifically for diesel engines, which makes it a versatile option for a wide range of vehicles. Not only that, but it also works well across different types of engines. Nonetheless, it still works wonders on diesel injectors, which is why I have it on this list.

The price alone is worthwhile, but the performance is also decent.

The primary reason to get this treatment is to improve your overall fuel efficiency and cleanliness.

Also, it helps prevent the wear and tear of cold starts by improving your fuel system overall, and it can reduce smoke and sulfur deposits exceptionally well.

Unfortunately, since this product is not geared towards diesel engines, in particular, it does fall short compared to other brands.

Also, it doesn’t last as long as many other cleaners, so you will go through it relatively quickly.

For best results, you should add it every time you fill your tank up. Thus, you should keep it in your trunk so that you never forget it.


  • Cost-effective formula
  • Improves overall fuel efficiency
  • Works on gas and diesel engines
  • Can treat up to 400 gallons
  • Improves octane rating
  • Lowers overall emissions
  • Lubricates and cleans
  • Extra safe blend
  • Easy to use


  • Not as powerful as other cleaners
  • Must be applied more frequently to maintain results

3. Royal Purple 11755 Max-Tane Total Diesel

41R02Se6WhL. SL500

So far, I’ve shown you cleaners that are more of a generic solution to the problem of deposits.

Though harmful deposits, specifically carbon deposits, are the biggest factor to your diesel injector, some cleaners do more than just address this.


  • Materials: Proprietary blend of oils and additives
  • Composition: Liquid
  • Application: Pour into tank at 1 oz per 5 gal of fuel
  • How Often to Use It: Each fill-up, up to 100 gallons

Royal Purple does more than just clean, which means that while they work well, they aren’t geared toward diesel engines in particular. In this instance, however, Royal Purple is specially formulated for all kinds of diesel engines and fuels, including biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Not only that, but you can have anything from a light to a heavy-duty engine, and this stuff will work.

Overall, what I like about this product is that it both improves fuel efficiency and the overall life of the engine.

This formula is designed for year-round use on your diesel fuel injector. Although if you have a wide gap in temperatures, then it may reduce its efficacy.

It can boost your fuel economy by 10% and your octane rating by eight, and it will help significantly with cold starts.

Overall, this is one of the better diesel injector cleaners on the market.

The only downside is that it may require several applications before you see any major changes in terms of cleaner combustion and optimal conditions for your engine.

You do have to apply it at every fill up for best results, so plan to have a canister in your trunk at all times.


  • Works on all diesel engines
  • Improves octane rating
  • Increases fuel efficiency by 10%
  • Easy to use
  • Cleans the whole fuel system
  • Removes black smoke and odor
  • Helps improve cold starts
  • Prevents gelling
  • Lubricates and cleans
  • Cost-effective formula
  • Works with older and newer cars


  • If there is a significant fluctuation in temperatures, it’s not as effective
  • May require several applications before significant improvement

4. BG244 Diesel Fuel System Cleaner

When picking out the right diesel injector cleaner, the age of your car should be a factor in your decision-making process.

Contemporary vehicles might not require as much fuel injector cleaning as older cars, which are more likely to already have harmful deposits.


  • Materials: Proprietary blend of oils and additives
  • Composition: Liquid
  • Application: One canister (11 oz) per 15 gallons
  • How Often to Use It: Every 7500 miles

If your vehicle is still relatively new (less than ten years old), then you can get away with almost any cleaning agent, and they will work about the same. However, if you are driving an older car or truck, then you want something like the BG244.

The reason that this cleaner is ideal for older engines is that it is highly concentrated.

​Being a concentrated fuel injector means that its formula comes at a much higher cost. Overall, when compared to most other treatments, this is one of the most expensive by volume.

Nonetheless, if your vehicle has a lot of deposits built up over the years, this can remove them in a single blow. It still is a reasonable price for the work it delivers to clean up your type of diesel injector.

Unfortunately, because this does not also work as a fuel additive, you won’t necessarily see a significant boost in your engine’s performance. Overall, it’s good to use if you haven’t cleaned your system in a while.


  • Professional-grade cleaner
  • Long-lasting formula
  • Removes all carbon deposits
  • Improves engine idling
  • Can restore fuel economy in older vehicles
  • Reduces exhaust emissions


  • May not show significant improvement in newer cars
  • More expensive than other cleaners

5. Liqui Moly 2002 Super Diesel Additive

417djIwn3GL. SL500

One component that comes with many different diesel injector cleaners is a fuel additive that both improves efficiency and overall engine performance.


  • Materials: 75% Petroleum naphta, 20% 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (for cetane increasing), 5% tall-oil (natural tree oil for lubricity)
  • Composition: Thick, viscous liquid
  • Application: Pour one canister (300 ml) into your fuel tank
  • How Often to Use It: Every two to three fill-ups (1200 miles)

Since this cleaner contains extra additives, you can either get a blend that just removes deposits and keeps your system optimized, or you can get one that does that while making your car or truck operate significantly better. It gives you the freedom to select your additive of choice.

In this case, Liqui Moly 2002 just does the former, so don’t expect to see a huge difference after applying it.

Overall, when getting these kinds of cleaners, you have to understand that you’re performing preventative maintenance.

Many people assume that all cleaners have fuel additives, but that’s just not the case.

When compared to other diesel injector cleaners, Liqui Moly 2002 does help make your engine run more smoothly, and you will notice an improvement over time.

Although it doesn’t last as long as some of the other blends I’ve seen, it’s a decent product at a reasonable price.

Also, the fact that this fuel injector additive works with turbochargers makes it an ideal candidate for most passenger vehicles.


  • Cost-effective solution
  • Works on all diesel engines
  • Improves starting power
  • Reduces engine knocking
  • Increases octane rating
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with turbochargers
  • Works with biodiesel fuels
  • Helps to quiet engine


  • May create a foaming mess when added to fuel
  • Does not significantly improve fuel efficiency or engine performance

6. Genuine GM Fluid 88861803 Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner


As with the BG244 above, this diesel injection cleaner is well-known because it comes in a super-concentrated formula.

In fact, unlike anything else I’ve shown you on this list, the GM Upper Engine Cleaner has to be applied via the fuel rail.

If you’re not sure how to place it into your diesel engine, then you should have a professional look at it.


  • Materials: Proprietary blend of oils and additives
  • Composition: Thick, viscous liquid
  • Application: Pressure-fed into fuel rail (professional use only)
  • How Often to Use It: 3000-5000 miles

One thing to remember is that if you apply this product incorrectly, it will do severe damage to your car.

With that in mind, assuming that you’re able to inject this formula correctly, you will notice immediate results.

Because it’s so concentrated, it works best on vehicles that have not been cleaned in a long time, as well as older diesel engines that are losing their performance.

If, however, you have a newer car or truck, you won’t see significant increases in fuel efficiency or performance until you’ve used it a few times.

Overall, if your engine does have a lot of deposits or you just want to go longer in between cleanings, then this could be an excellent option for your vehicle.


  • Ultra-concentrated blend
  • Provides instant results
  • Cleans and lubricatesCompliant with low VOC regulations
  • Works on all diesel engines
  • Can be used for gasoline
  • Helps reduce emissions
  • Improves octane rating
  • Enables smoother operation
  • Creates a quieter engine


  • Must be applied to the fuel rail (NOT THE GAS TANK)
  • Must sit for up to four hours to dissolve correctly
  • May require professional supervision

Diesel Injector Cleaner FAQ

What are the most common ingredients in diesel injector cleaner?

For the most part, these products are made up of a blend of the following materials.

  • Polyisobutylene: This substance acts as a detergent to remove sediments in your fuel lines. It also helps prevent knocking and misfiring.
  • Polyisobutylene Amine: This is similar to the material above, but it is much better at removing moisture from your fuel and the system as a whole.
  • Polyether Amine: This stuff works best at breaking down solidified deposits that won’t be removed with regular detergent. High-end cleaners will contain this chemical, also known as PEA.

How are the deposits removed?

The cleaner breaks up the sediment and gunk that is clogging your fuel system and ensures that they are burned up with the rest of your gas or diesel. The deposits do not have harmful effects, although they may produce smoke if a lot is burning off.

Should I add cleaner before or after I fill up?

Different brands will have their own instructions regarding this step, but usually, it won’t make much of a difference. As long as you stick to the recommended dosage, it can be added before or after.

How Does One Use a Diesel Injector Cleaner?

For more information on how to use your diesel injector cleaner, here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Use up your vehicle’s fuel.

As mentioned, each brand will have its own recommendations on when it’s best to use a diesel injector cleaner.

However, we prefer to do so before filling up.

That said, the first step is to simply drive your car until it runs out of fuel. It doesn’t need to be completely dry.

However, we have found diesel injector cleaners to work more efficiently the closer you get to emptying your tank.

Step 2: Add the formula.

How much diesel injector cleaner you need will largely depend on two factors: the size of your fuel tank and the brand of your chosen product. 

Once you have determined the proper amount, go ahead and add it to your tank.

Step 3: Fill up the tank.

The last step is to fill your tank with diesel and just wait for the additive to do what it’s formulated to do一clean the tank and rid it of accumulated gunk.

Indeed, most brands are really easy to use.

Just pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much and how often the product should be used to get the best results.

While we haven’t experienced any problems in applying this additive too often as intended, doing so can be unnecessarily costly.

On the other hand, you will also want to ensure you are adding enough for optimal efficiency.

In addition, we also prefer products that state the specific vehicles it is intended for. There is no one-size-fits-all formula, especially if you expect the best results.

Final Verdict

Even though I’ve shown you some incredible diesel injector cleaners, I have to say that my favorite is by far the Sea Foam SF-16.

I love the versatility and performance of the spray since it will last longer and do more for your fuel system than anything else we’ve seen, including no less than other diesel fuel additive available on the market.

Overall, no matter what kind of vehicle you have (even if it’s not diesel, and even if it is as extreme as a boat engine you are trying to maintain), you can benefit from a Sea Foam treatment.