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Fuel injector cleaners like STP that work with gasoline-powered engines get frequent ad publicity. But diesel engines need fuel injector cleaner as well. The hardest part of this is knowing which diesel fuel injector cleaners you should look out for when shopping for one. Luckily, we’ve researched all of the standard diesel injector cleaner products and have assembled the top five in a list for you here in this post.
When shopping for a good diesel fuel injector cleaner, search for a strong and fast-acting but affordable product. Here are the top five fuel injector cleaners for diesel engines:
- Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubrication & Injector Cleaner
- Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme
- Archoil Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
- BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
- CRC Diesel Fuel Therapy
Those are the five best fuel injector cleaning products for diesel engines on the market right now, but you need to know more about each option. Please continue reading for a breakdown of each product, how to tell if your fuel injectors need cleaning, and how to clean them when it comes down to it. Additionally, we will discuss how often you should clean your fuel injectors and how long the process takes to complete.
The Best Fuel Injector Cleaners for Diesel Engines
Like their gasoline cousins, diesel engines also need periodic fuel injector cleanings. Over time, fuel injectors become clogged with grime caused by carbon build-up and other material deposits. The carbon that builds up around the fuel injectors and other parts of the fuel system results from that carbon not burning up in the combustion process.
A good fuel injector cleaner will rid your injectors of all that gunk and produce noticeable improvements to your vehicle’s performance. The benefits are improved compression, combustion, fuel economy, and lubricated cylinder walls. A good fuel injector cleaner for a diesel vehicle should be strong, effective, and affordable. Ideally, a great diesel injector cleaner will also function as a lubricant for your engine’s internal parts.
Now let’s discuss each of the five best fuel injector cleaners.
1. Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubrication & Injector Cleaner
The Lucas upper cylinder lubrication and injector cleaner actually work on both diesel and gasoline engines. The product is made from lubricating, heat-resistant oils that touch nearly every part of the fuel system. For diesel engines, this cleaner cancels out the negative effects that can be caused by diesel fuel with low sulfur content.
Lucas fuel injector cleaner even works on fuel injector cleaners that are completely clogged. So if you need help passing an emissions or smog test, the Lucas injector cleaner could be exactly what you need to get beyond the threshold of passing.
2. Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme
Hot Shot’s Secret diesel extreme fuel injector cleaner is a full fuel system cleaning product made especially for diesel engines. This Hot Shot’s product formula solves black smoke, declining fuel economy, and unresponsive throttle issues. It solves and restores those things by cleaning out every section of the fuel’s path from the gas tank and through the engine.
Additionally, it contains a cetane booster, a lubricant, and a fuel stabilizer for returning your engine to its peak performance. Do not use Hot Shot’s Secret diesel extreme on regular gasoline engines.
3. Archoil Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
The Archoil diesel fuel system cleaner clears out both fuel injectors and the turbos common with diesel engines. Not only does the Archoil remove carbon deposits from both the injectors and turbo, but it also prevents future build-up. As a result, using this product will increase your overall fuel economy and power while giving you a smoother driving experience, particularly while idling.
4. BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
The Premium diesel fuel system cleaner from BG 245 increases fuel economy, reduces emissions, and improves cold start and idling problems in all diesel engine vehicles. BG 245 cleans the entire fuel system, including hardened deposits that may be giving your engine and driving experience problems.
Additionally, like some of the other injector cleaners on this list, the BG 245 formula also includes a lubricant and a cetane booster to improve overall engine function.
5. CRC Diesel Fuel Therapy
Lastly, the CRC Diesel Fuel Therapy prides itself on being able to increase fuel efficiency and power by up to 4%. The Fuel Therapy works especially well in Cummins diesel engines, and the company recommends this product for cleaning their fuel systems.
The special formula cleans current buildup and prevents future corrosion of internal engine fuel line parts. Additionally, the CRC Fuel Therapy comes with a lubricant that improves low-sulfur diesel fuel.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Diesel Injectors?
Unless you have a lot of experience with auto mechanics or dissembling vehicles, the best way to clean diesel fuel injectors is by using a fuel additive. Using a fuel injector cleaner like the ones on the list above will remove nasty carbon build-up that collects in your engine. This way, you will not have to seek a professional to disassemble your engine, charging you an arm and a leg to do so.
How Do I Know If My Fuel Injectors are Clogged?
It is not always easy to tell if your fuel injectors are clogged, but there are some symptoms to look out for. First, your vehicle may have difficulty starting. This is typically a symptom of a bad battery, starter, or alternator. But if those are in working order, you should clean your injectors.
Second, your fuel economy could start to suffer, a sign that the engine is working as efficiently as it should.
Third, you may experience some sputtering when the car is sitting still. This is another symptom that the fuel injectors are not in working order and may have carbon build-up preventing them from doing their job.
How Often Should Diesel Injectors be Serviced?
To keep your fuel injectors working at peak performance, you have to maintain a routine service schedule. A nice trick to help you remember to clean your fuel injectors is to clean them on the same schedule as your oil changes. That translates to around every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on your vehicle, engine, and oil type. Maintaining this schedule will ensure that your fuel injectors and fuel tank stay free of build-up.
How Long Does it Take Fuel Injector Cleaner to Work?
Fuel injector cleaner is a fast-acting cleaning solution. Because you add the cleaner liquid to your fuel tank, you need to run the vehicle to get the cleaning effects. The process begins as soon as you start driving the vehicle with the fuel/injector cleaner mix. As the solution makes its way through the engine, it cleans the fuel injectors and lubricates the cylinder walls. So, you can see positive effects of the cleaner almost immediately after running the engine with the product.
The cleaner will start cleaning within 10 or 15 minutes of you pouring it in and driving around. Additionally, the cleaner will remain mixed in that fuel tank and will continue to clean for the next week or so. Or at least until you refill the tank again.
Like gasoline engines, diesel fuel engines require routine fuel injector cleanings. It may even be more necessary in diesel engines due to the nature of diesel fuel. The build-up that comes along with diesel fuel can cause many problems for your engine and driving experience. Using one of the fuel injector cleaners on this list, every 3,000 to 5,000 miles will ensure that your diesel engine is n the best shape possible.
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