10 Best Diesel Injector Cleaners of 2021

Using a diesel injector cleaner instead of replacing the injectors can save you thousands of dollars. Here are the best you can find on the market

10 Best Diesel Injector Cleaners

If you’re not using a diesel injector cleaner, it’s time to change that. The right diesel injector will extend the service life of some of the most expensive components on your engine, all while giving you better fuel efficiency and better engine performance.

But since you can’t see what’s going on underneath the hood, it’s imperative that you get the right product so you don’t get bamboozled into spending money on a product that doesn’t work.

That’s why we tracked down and reviewed the ten best diesel injector cleaners for your vehicle. You want your vehicle to last and so do we. These products will help you get there.

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Top 10 Best Diesel Injector Cleaners

1. Chevron Techron D Concentrate Diesel Fuel System Cleaner – Best Overall

Chevron Techron D Concentrate Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
  • Size: 20 ounces
  • Lasts for: 3,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 35 gallons

If you’re looking for the best diesel injector cleaner for your truck, look no further than the Chevron Techron D Concentrate Diesel Fuel System Cleaner. A single 20-ounce bottle treats up to 35 gallons of fuel and lasts up to 3,000-miles!

It’s a diesel-specific formula that’s available for a great price considering the outstanding results. Not only does it do a great job at cleaning the injectors, but it cleans every part of the fuel system. From the rails to the fuel tank itself, with Techron D you see results.

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You’ll notice these results through improved fuel efficiency, restored engine power, boosted cold start performance, and a more responsive throttle. But while you’ll get performance benefits galore, if you’re taking your vehicle in for an inspection, you’ll also notice you get better emissions.

For older diesels struggling to get through the emissions process, a bottle of Techron D might be exactly what you need to get the job done.

Our only real complaint with Techron D – and it’s a stretch – is that it treats a smaller amount of fuel. But at 35 gallons, it’s more than many of the other products on our list, but it does mean you’ll need to purchase a new bottle for each treatment.

Of course, this also means there’s no measuring when you’re using it. Simply pour it all in the fuel tank before filling up, and you’re good to go!

As a final warning, while Chevron offers tons of additives for your engine, only the 20-ounce Techron D concentrate is specifically formulated for diesel engines. If you switch the size, you’re getting a different product, even if you don’t realize it when you place the order!

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Pros

  • Diesel specific formula
  • Good mix of price and performance
  • Cleans entire fuel system
  • Improves emissions and boosts cold start performance
  • Restores engine power
  • Improve fuel efficiency

Cons

  • Treats a smaller amount of fuel

2. Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment – Best Budget

Sea Foam Sf-16 Motor Treatment
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Lasts for: 3,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 20 gallons

There are few products out there that are as controversial as Sea Foam. Some backyard mechanics swear it’s a cure-all for every ailment your engine has, others tell you that it will destroy your engine.

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in between. Sea Foam isn’t the cure-all that some people believe, but it’s certainly not going to damage your engine. But while it won’t damage your engine, and you will see some good results, it’s simply not as good as some of the other options on our list.

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Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment - 16 oz.
  • The product is sf16 16oz motor tune up
  • Easy and simple use kit
  • 100 percent pure petroleum
  • Pea registered product

But that didn’t keep it from rising towards the top of our list for one reason – the price. Most fuel additives will cost you two to four times the cost of Sea Foam, which means if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat Sea Foam.

It’s an EPA registered and safe product, and it’s just as easy to use as any other fuel additive. Simply add it to a near-empty fuel tank and fill it up! Sea Foam will help clean the entire fuel system, but don’t expect the same level results you’ll get from diesel-specific fuel additives.

It’s these mediocre results that keep it from climbing into our top spot, and it’s why it narrowly edged its way into our best budget choice because of its price alone.

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Pros

  • Very affordable
  • EPA registered and safe
  • Easy to use
  • It helps clean the entire fuel system

Cons

  • Not diesel specific
  • Mediocre results
  • Not fuel-specific

3. Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme Clean and Boost – Premium Choice

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme Clean And Boost
  • Size: 64 ounces
  • Lasts for: 6 months
  • Treats up to: 160 gallons

If you’re looking for the best possible fuel additive out there for your engine, there’s little doubt that Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme Clean and Boost is what you want. While it’s not the most affordable product out there, for a premium product, you have to pay a premium price.

But there are two things that help justify the higher price tag. First, it comes in a larger 64-ounce container that treats up to 160 gallons. So, while you’ll undoubtedly spend more upfront, you won’t need to buy it nearly as often as other fuel additives.

Hot Shot's Secret - P040464Z Diesel Extreme...
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Hot Shot's Secret - P040464Z Diesel Extreme...
  • Clean out the tank, lines and injectors
  • Remove free water from the system
  • Stabilize fuel, boost cetane
  • Lubricate the fuel pump and injectors

Second, it’s the results. You want a fuel additive that’s going to make a difference, and with Hot Shot’s Secret, there’s no doubt it’s making a difference. It starts by cleaning the injectors, and even there, it outperforms by removing hard deposits other fuel additives can only dream of clearing up.

It goes onto the clean every fuel component in the engine, removing hard deposits all along the way. It works on any diesel engine you can think of, which is another huge perk if you own multiple diesel vehicles.

And of course, all this cleaning has outstanding results you can see. First, when you go to start up your diesel on a cold day, you’ll notice outstanding performance. Second, after long trips, you’ll find that you’re making fewer trips to the gas station.

And while you’re driving, you’ll experience an improved throttle response and overall better engine performance! Finally, like all the best diesel injector cleaners, Hot Shot’s Secret is sure to improve your vehicle’s emission standards too.

Using Hot Shot’s Secret can save you a ton of money in expensive repairs, making it a product that really pays for itself in the long run. Our only complaint outside of the price with Hot Shot’s Secret is that you have to measure it out to get the right ratio in your engine.

It’s not a huge deal, but it is an extra step that you don’t have to deal with when you’re using other additives.

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Pros

  • Treats a ton of fuel
  • Improves cold starting
  • Improves throttle response
  • Increases fuel efficiency
  • Improves emissions
  • Works on all diesel engines

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • You need to portion it out

4. Archoil AR6400-D Diesel Fuel System Cleaner

Archoil Ar6400-D Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
  • Size: 12 ounces
  • Lasts for: 5,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 40 gallons

While Archoil AR6400-D Diesel Fuel System Cleaner just narrowly missed our top three, it’s not because it’s a poor product. In fact, it’s an outstanding mix of price and performance, and it gave Chevron Techron D Concentrate Diesel Fuel System Cleaner a run for the top spot.

The only problem is that it works better with their full diesel system treatment, which drives up the cost quite a bit. Still, even if you’re just using their AR6400-D product, you’re going to notice some phenomenal results.

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It cleans the entire fuel system and improves engine performance, especially during cold starting conditions. It also improves engine emissions, which is a big deal if you need to go through annual inspections.

This cleaner works on all diesel engines, so whether you’re need something for marine applications, lawnmowers, or an F150, this cleaner can get the job done.

Another perk that this cleaner offers compared to many other additives is that it lasts for up to 5,000 miles. While it’s not the longest distance out there, it’s far longer than most products that need a new treatment after 3,000 miles to stay effective.

And if you’re looking for a complete engine treatment, they have an option for that too! Their full diesel treatment can be exactly what your engine needs to get trouble engines back under control. 

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Pros

  • Great mix of price and performance
  • It lasts up to 5,000 miles
  • Works on all diesel engines
  • Cleans fuel system, turbo, and exhaust system
  • Restores engine power

Cons


5. Stanadyne Performance Formula Bundle with Injector Cleaner Diesel Fuel Additive

Stanadyne Performance Formula
  • Size: 8 ounce – pack of 4
  • Lasts for: 3,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 25 gallons per 8 ounces

Alright, the Stanadyne Performance Formula Bundle with Injector Cleaner Diesel Fuel Additive is a bit confusing when you look at it for the first time. But the more you dig into it, the more you realize what a great deal it is – if you know what you’re doing.

For just a few bucks more than most of the choices on our list, you’re not getting one but two treatments of two different products! That means with a single purchase can last for 6,000-miles instead of the 3,000 many other options offer.

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But with the Stanadyne Performance Formula Bundle, you’ll need to apply two treatments at each session, and you can’t do them at the same time.

That’s because two of the four bottles you get are a fuel injector cleaner, and the other two are performance additives. You can’t add too many additives to the same tank of fuel, so you need to apply the first dose of the fuel injector cleaner two tanks of fuel before you add the performance additive.

This requires more work since it’s pretty easy to forget when you need to add an additive and when you added the last one. Still, it’s pretty easy to use since all you need to do is pour the entire bottle into an empty fuel tank before filling up! 

And since you’re using both a fuel injector cleaner and a performance additive, you’re getting two products specifically formulated to improve those areas.

Not only will you get a clean fuel system, but you’ll get much better engine performance compared to most other fuel additives!

The Stanadyne Performance Formula Bundle might require a little more work, but it’s a great value that delivers even better results!

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Pros

  • Outstanding price for multiple treatments
  • Two products for the price of one
  • Easy to use
  • Cleans entire fuel system
  • Improves performance and improves emissions

Cons

  • You shouldn’t apply both products at once
  • It takes two separate treatments to achieve maximum results

6. Opti-Lube XPD Formula Diesel Fuel Additive

Opti-Lube Xpd Formula Diesel Fuel Additive
  • Size: 32 ounces
  • Lasts for: One tank of gas
  • Treats up to: 128 gallons

Not too many people are looking for a fuel additive that they need to apply at every fill-up, but if you are, then Opti-Lube XPD Formula Diesel Fuel Additive is precisely what you’re looking for. The advantage of using a product that you need to add at every fill-up is that you’re getting consistent results that don’t wear down over time.

This keeps your injectors clean longer and gives you better performance results. However, there’s no doubt that a product you need to add at every fill-up will cost you more in the long run, and it’s a bit of a headache to remember to add it every time.

Not only that, but since a single 32-ounce container treats up to 128 gallons, that means you need to measure it out each time to get consistent results. It’s a ton of extra work that not too many people want to deal with.

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But it will help improve your fuel efficiency, clean the injectors and keep them clean, and it will help improve your emissions.

So, while we can’t deny that it does a great job, we can’t help but send it down to the middle of our list since there are additives you can every 3,000 to 10,000 miles and get similar – if not identical – results. 

But if you have a little extra patience and want to get instant gratification at every fill-up, Opti-Lube XPD Formula Diesel Fuel Additive is here for you.

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Pros

  • Treats up to 128 gallons of fuel
  • Cleans injectors and keeps them clean
  • Improves fuel efficiency
  • Helps improve emissions

Cons

  • You need to add it every time you fill up

7. BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner

Bg 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner
  • Size: 11 ounces
  • Lasts for: 10,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 15 gallons

While BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner might not be the biggest name in the industry, that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent choice for your vehicle. For starters, it lasts up to 10,000-miles. That’s twice as long as the next closest product on our list.

That’s a pretty big deal since that lines you up with most service intervals if you’re using synthetic oil. It’s also a big deal considering that a single container of BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner only treats 15 gallons of fuel, and it’s about the same price as a product that treats twice as much.

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BG 245 Premium Diesel Fuel System Cleaner 11...
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But since it lasts twice as long, it’s not like you’re spending any more in the long run! BG 245 treats the entire fuel system, not just the injectors, giving you maximum results. You get improved fuel efficiency, better engine performance, improved cold starts, and more.

It works better on high-pressure common-rail systems, which is on most diesel vehicles, but it will clean up any diesel engine. It can clean up stuck-on hard deposits that are derailing the injectors and get performance back on track without the need to spend a fortune.

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Pros

  • It lasts up to 10,000 miles!
  • Improves emissions
  • Cleans the entire fuel system – including hard deposits
  • Works better in high-pressure common-rail systems
  • Improves cold starts

Cons

  • Treats a smaller amount of fuel
  • More expensive product (for how much you need)

8. Lucas 10872 Oil Diesel Deep Clean

Lucas 10872 Oil Diesel Deep Clean
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Lasts for: 1,500 to 3,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 30 gallons

Lucas Oil is one of the largest names in the additive industry, but that doesn’t mean they should be your go to. To be clear, they’re not a bad choice, but we don’t like that you start to notice performance drop-offs after just 1,500 miles.

So, yeah, it’s a more affordable additive upfront, but if you’re not getting the results you’re expecting, you’ll need to add more, and then your savings are straight out the window. 

Lucas 10872 Oil Diesel Deep Clean, 16 Ounce
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Lucas 10872 Oil Diesel Deep Clean, 16 Ounce
  • Reduces particulate matter in filters
  • Cleans fuel injectors
  • Restores power loss
  • Improves acceleration

In the end, it’s a good product that improves your overall engine performance, improves fuel efficiency, and of course cleans your injectors, but it’s also going to cost you more in the long run. For a product that sells itself as a more affordable alternative, it’s a bit of a letdown.

Because while you might save a bit of money the first time you buy it, there’s no doubt you’ll spend more in the long run compared to other products. But it’s still better than using no fuel additive at all! 

Still, if you want a product from a big-name brand for the extra trust factor, you could do far worse than Lucas 10872 Oil Diesel Deep Clean. You’ll notice results, just don’t be surprised if many of those results start to wane away long before the 3,000-mile mark.

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Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Improves engine performance
  • Improves fuel efficiency

Cons

  • It does not last as long as other options

9. Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner

Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner
  • Size: 17 ounces
  • Lasts for: 1,500 miles
  • Treats up to: 15 gallons

Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner is a German product that does a great job at cleaning up diesel engines. It’s an extremely affordable product that improves your fuel efficiency and gives you a quiet ride.

The only problem is that it only lasts about 1,500 miles. The difference is that Liqui Moly is a product they recommend to use to spot treat problems, and that’s why it fell down our list a bit. 

Sure, there’s a place for a product that helps spot treat problems, but we want something that can help spot treat problems and that you can use a preventative to keep those problems from coming back!

Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner, Blue ,...
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Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner, blue ,...
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With Liqui Moly it can work that way, but that’s not what they made it for. And it’s for this reason alone it fell down to the bottom third of our list. 

If you go with Liqui Moly Pro-Line Diesel Cleaner, we recommend it as a one-time treatment before moving on to a different product farther up our list. It’ll do a great job at clearing up problems, but once the problem goes away, it’s best to use something that specializes in prevention.

Who wants to use a product hoping the problem will go away when you can use something to keep the problem from coming up to begin with!

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Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Improves fuel efficiency
  • It gives you a quiet ride
  • Protects the fuel system

Cons

  • It does not last as long as other products
  • Does not treat as much fuel

10. XADO Xtreme Cleaner Heavy-Duty Semi Truck Diesel Treatment

Xado Xtreme Cleaner Heavy-Duty Semi Truck Diesel Treatment
  • Size: 17 ounces
  • Lasts for: 10,000 miles
  • Treats up to: 130 gallons

While the XADO Xtreme Cleaner Heavy-Duty Semi Truck Diesel Treatment might be the last product on our list, it’s not because it doesn’t do a great job. The truth is that it only fell so far because it has a very limited application. 

You can only use this diesel fuel additive on semi-trucks. It’s a super concentrate formula that effectively treats large quantities of fuel. 

So, unless you have a 130-gallon fuel tank or larger, you should steer clear. Don’t try to measure it out to get the right among for a much smaller engine because even a little too much can have disastrous results.

Xado Xtreme Cleaner Heavy-Duty Semi Truck...
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But considering an average semi-truck has a fuel tank between the size of 125 and 300 gallons, this is the perfect product. You might need two if your engine is on the larger size, but when you look at the ultra-affordable price of this product that’s no big deal.

This additive will improve your engine performance, clean the injectors, and improve your fuel economy. 

You’ll save money by making fewer trips to the gas station and by staying on the road longer, making XADO Xtreme Cleaner Heavy-Duty Semi Truck Diesel Treatment a no-brainer choice for those driving a larger truck.

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Pros

  • Treats large amounts of fuel
  • It lasts a long time
  • Improves engine performance
  • Very affordable 
  • Improves fuel efficiency

Cons

  • Only for heavy-duty semi-trucks

Diesel Injector Cleaner FAQ

If you have a few questions after reading through the reviews, you’re not alone. That’s why we took the time to answer some of the most common questions you might have here.

Do Diesel Injector Cleaners Really Work?

If you get the right injector absolutely! They work by removing carbon deposits along fuel lines and at the injector nozzles, which goes a long way in preserving everything in your engine.

Just keep in mind that results don’t happen overnight, and you might need to use several treatments to get the best possible results. While the first treatment should certainly help, you likely won’t see optimal results until three or four treatments down the line!

How Do You Clean Diesel Injectors?

The easiest way to clean diesel injectors is with an additive. These additives break down carbon deposits in the fuel lines, and since there’s no carbon gumming up the works, the injectors get clean as a result.

While this is the easiest way, if you take the time to remove the injector, you can get even better results with the right products. Just keep in mind that none of these cleaning procedures will fix a worn injector.

When Should Diesel Injectors Be Replaced?

The average diesel injector will last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. The key is to try and get them all as close to the 150,000-mile mark as possible.

This is where injector cleaners come in. If you use an injector cleaner consistently throughout the life of the injectors, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get the full 150,000 miles or more out of them! Considering each injector costs about $45 and many diesel engines have eight of them – that’s $350 to $400 in parts alone!

Once you add in labor, it can quickly turn into a $600 to $700 job. Getting your injectors to last that much longer pays for the additives themselves, and fuel efficiency savings are just an additional perk.

Who Makes the Best Diesel Fuel Injector Cleaner?

While it’s certainly debatable, we think that the best choice out there is the Chevron Techron D Concentrate Diesel Fuel System Cleaner. It’s an outstanding mix of price and performance for diesel engines. It’ll give you the results you’re looking for without spending a ton of money!

Buyer’s Guide

Injector Cleaners

It can be challenging to determine which one is right for your vehicle with so many great products. That’s why we came up with a brief buyer’s guide here to walk you through what you need to know.

How to Use a Diesel Injector Cleaner

Before we dive into picking out the perfect diesel injector cleaner, we want to walk you through how to use one. You use every diesel injector cleaner on our list the same way – and it’s easy!

Simply drive your diesel vehicle around until it is almost out of fuel. You don’t need to run it bone dry, but the closer you can get it to empty, the better. Go to the fuel station and pull up to a pump.

Open the fuel cap and put the appropriate amount of additive in the tank (this varies depending on the product and the size of your fuel tank). From there, just fill up the tank with diesel!

That’s all you need to do. When you’re driving around, the additive will work its magic, and there’s nothing else you need to do. We told you it was easy.

Service Intervals

While there’s not much harm if you add an additive too often (as long as you don’t add too much at once), it is a waste of money. Meanwhile, if you’re not adding it enough, you’re not getting optimal results.

Luckily each brand recommends how often you should use their product, and this is a pretty good guide to follow if you want the best results. Don’t skip treatments, and expect your injectors and the rest of your fuel system to last as long as it would otherwise!

Diesel Specific?

Plenty of products claim they can treat just about anything. Don’t fall for the hype. There are specific formulas that help get everything under control, and companies that focus on one problem at a time do a better job at completing that task.

That’s why a product like Sea Foam doesn’t work nearly as well as the Techron product at the top of our list. Sure it gets the job done, but if you want the best results, get a cleaner that works for your vehicle specifically, even if it costs a few bucks more.

Getting the Treatment Amount Right

If you want the best possible results this is a crucial part of the process. Every product treats a different amount of fuel, and if you don’t use enough or if you use too much you won’t get the results you want.

That’s why we put the exact amount of fuel each product can treat right at the top of our product descriptions. If you want a product you don’t have to measure, get one that matches the size of your vehicle’s fuel tank!

Otherwise, you need something to measure out your additive and use the right amount, or you have is to simply add less fuel. 

For example, if your vehicle has a 30-gallon tank but your product only treats 20-gallons, drive until you have about 1-gallon in the fuel tank. Put in the additive, then add 19-gallons of fuel. Drive around until you need to fill up again, and you should be good to go!

You’ll have to make an extra trip to the fuel station, but at least you didn’t have to measure anything out or purchase multiple bottles of the same product.

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Written by:

Magnus is the owner and main author of MechanicBase. He has been working as a mechanic for over 10 years, and the majority of them specialized in advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. Certified Automotive Diagnostic Technician.