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Fuel Injector Cleaners – Do They Really Work On Muscle Cars?

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There has been a lot of talk over the past few years within the automotive industry about fuel injector cleaning solutions that promise to create a more efficient and clean fuel injector system for both petrol and diesel muscle cars. Fuel injectors are important components of a vehicle and are needed for the even and optimum distribution of fuel. They work by controlling the volumes of fuel delivered to the combustion chamber, whilst ensuring that the correct amount of fuel is injected at the right times. 

Fuel injectors were introduced to replace old carburetor systems as they have been designed to optimize greater fuel efficiency whilst reducing emissions. With this in mind, fuel injector cleaners are a simple and cost-effective way of maintaining and cleaning the fuel injectors of a vehicle. 

What are fuel injector cleaners?

Fuel injector cleaners are made up of a combination of different solvents that have been designed to clean out the fuel lines, unblock clogged injectors and optimize the overall fuel efficiency. There are numerous fuel injector cleaners on the market and as the case with any consumer product, higher quality is always preferred and much more likely to deliver better results. 

Fuel injector cleaners are simply poured into the fuel tank and gradually start to take hold by cleaning the injectors. With a high-quality fuel injector cleaner, the solvents within the cleaner act by dissolving any build-up of debris such as unwanted sludge that resides within the fuel injectors of a muscle car and other parts of the fuel line. As the solvents within the cleaning solutions are combustible, they will be burnt away along with the rest of the fuel mix when the engine runs, which means there will be no new build-up of residues within the combustion chamber. 

Three of the most common ingredients

The ingredients within fuel injector cleaners vary between different products and different manufacturers, however, the three most common ingredients to be found are polyether amine, polyisobutylene, and polyisobutylene amine.


Polyisobutylene is targeted towards both diesel and petrol run engines. Polyisobutylene helps to reduce the misfiring and knocking from an engine, both common problems that result from restricted fuel flow due to a build-up of residue.

Polyisobutylene amine

Polyisobutylene amine shares a similar chemical composition to polyisobutylene and similar cleaning outcomes. One additional feature of this ingredient is that it is able to help remove moisture from the fuel lines. Condensation within the fuel lines and injectors can occur from stale fuel which can result in combustion problems. For those that are experiencing condensation problems or if their muscle car has been stored away and not run for a while, a fuel injector cleaner with this ingredient will be a good solution.

Polyether amine

This chemical ingredient is the strongest out of the three and is used for removing the more solid built-up residues within the injectors and fuel lines. Solid residues can cause a more significant reduction in fuel flow which can have a real negative impact on the overall performance of the engine. This compound is highly concentrated and tends to be used in the more extreme cases of fuel flow restrictions and is more of a troubleshooting solution compared to frequent maintenance.

Signs of a faulty fuel injector

In some cases, faulty fuel injectors can cause an impact in engine performance and can lead to breakdowns. This is often the result of a build up of residue within the injectors and fuel lines. The aim of fuel injector cleaners iis to prevent the injectors from becoming faulty in the first place, however, as soon as sign occurs application of a cleaner is recommended. Common signs to look out for include:

  • Engine warning light appears on the dashboard
  • A Misfiring or vibrating engine occurs
  • Rough idle
  • Engine keeps stalling
  • Fuel economy is poor
  • Fuel leak
  • Failed MOT due to emissions 

Are fuel injector cleaners effective?

In short, yes, fuel injector cleaners are effective at cleaning the fuel injectors and fuel lines of a vehicle. They are an inexpensive form of muscle car maintenance that can be carried out home without any specialist assistance required from an auto repair shop. However, it must be noted that whilst fuel injector cleaners are effective, for the more severe blockage cases with a build-up of heavy residue, they won’t be powerful enough and the faulty injectors will need to be serviced with an injector cleaning machine from a garage.


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