Are Injector Cleaners Effective?


    – Injector cleaner: its composition

    – Use of the injector cleaner

    – Cost of injector cleaner

    – Injector cleaner: conclusion

Injectors are sensitive to impurities and water, so it is essential to change the fuel filter regularly. When the fuel filter is saturated, one solution is to use injector cleaner. But there are two families of injector cleaners depending on the engine: gasoline or diesel. Let’s take a closer look.

Injector cleaner: its composition

It is tough to obtain precise technical data on injector cleaners’ composition due to manufacturing secrecy. However, this post has deciphered the technical names of the ingredients on a product label:

    – cleaning of the feeding system: we can assume the use of detergent products (degreasers) that correspond to aliphatic hydrocarbons and propanol;

    – removal of traces of water from the fuel: water repellents (alkanes and isoalkanes);

    – improvement of combustion, cleaning of combustion chambers, reduction of pollutants. This information is inaccurate because the more complete the combustion is, the more NOx is produced!

    – reducing fuel consumption and less smoke (ease of passage to the technical inspection).

These statements lead us to the possibility of products that boost engine combustion by increasing the cetane (diesel) or octane (gasoline) ratings.

On the technical datasheet, we find C10-C13 hydrocarbons, that is to say, fuels and solvents (petrol – kerosene) and non-detailed aromatic hydrocarbons, which, according to their exact composition, are additive agents for octane boost, solvents for the destruction of calamines…

Use of the injector cleaner

There are 2 methods of applying the injector cleaner: the preventive mode and the curative mode.

Preventive mode

As its name suggests, this treatment is a maintenance operation aimed at preventing any malfunction.

The product must generally be poured into the tank (minimum 20 liters of fuel), an operation to be repeated every 5,000 km.

Curative mode

Here, the treatment results from engine operating problems (misfires, smoke, fouling, loss of power, etc.).

Depending on the products, the treatment process is not the same:

    – for some, the frequency of treatment will have to be increased;

    – for others, the product will be specific and concentrated for a single treatment (either in the tank or, if possible, the supply hose directly connected to the product container).

Cost of injector cleaner

Prices are relatively high: depending on the brand and capacity, they vary around $40 (± 10) per dose.

Example: for a diesel vehicle that consumes 6 l/100km (average price per liter = $1.10), with a treatment every 5,000 km, the extra cost will be around 10%, i.e., the liter of diesel at $1.21.

Injector cleaner: conclusion

Do you think your injector will look as clean as in this picture after using the injector cleaner?

The questions that you cannot ignore are: Is it effective? But also, what are the risks of treating your injection system with these products?


Objectively, to our knowledge, no serious studies have been published on this subject, except for the cleaners manufacturers’ catchy advertisements.

Not to mention the extra cost, the technical progress made on engine oils, fuels, filtering, and engine optimization (as long as vehicle maintenance is properly monitored), makes the use of these products superfluous.


If you still use these products, get well-known brand name cleaners (some have partnerships with manufacturers – check with brand dealerships), as others may cause your vehicle to malfunction.

The injectors and the high-pressure pump of HDI engines are precision machined parts (a few microns) and are lubricated by diesel fuel. Changes in fuel oil characteristics can cause seizures or malfunctions that can lead to engine destruction.

Good to know: the Bosch OEM, for example, will carry out an expert assessment of any engine malfunction caused by its products and will not be liable for any traces of additives or cleaners in them.

That’s it. You can now knowingly use (or not use) injector cleaner. Please, share this post and leave your comments below.


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