7 Best Fuel Additive For Gdi Engines: Boost Engine Performance

Most modern vehicles in use today have GDI engines. These engines tend to be smaller than traditional injection engines but offer improved fuel efficiency and horsepower. However, they have one major issue, carbon buildup.

Carbon buildup in the fuel injectors can cause your car’s fuel efficiency to dip. The car will also not accelerate as fast as it usually does. It may be time to clean the fuel injectors using fuel additives or fuel injector cleaners when this happens.

However, the wide variety of cleaners can make finding the Best Fuel Additive For Gdi Engines a problematic task. This is why we have prepared a list of the best fuel additives for GDI engines.

The number one spot goes to the Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner. This is the cleaner that most GDI vehicle manufacturers recommend. A single bottle of this cleaner will have significant improvements compared to other cleaners.

At number two is the Gumout 510016 and 510014 fuel system cleaners. Gumout is another brand whose cleaners are recommended by GDI engine manufacturers. These Gumout products contain polyetheramine, which works well at dissolving carbon deposits.

A Quick View Of Our Top Rated Fuel Additives For GDI Engines

Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change

Best Fuel Additive For Gdi Engines

Fuel additives can be classified into 8 main categories these are;

Fuel stabilizers

This type is used equipment and vehicles that are not used frequently. When a car is not in use, the fuel inside can corrode the engine causing hard starts. To prevent this, fuel stabilizers mix with gasoline forming a protective layer.

This layer prevents the fuel from oxidizing evaporating and prevents the formation of sticky resins. The layer also repels water. 

Fuel line antifreeze

In freezing weather, condensations may occur in the fuel system, which can lead to rust, leading to blockages and poor engine performance. Fuel-line antifreeze are additives used to prevent this. Unlike GDI engines there are some top-rated antifreeze for Cummins which you can consider if you have run diesel, Cummins.

They work by drastically lowering the freezing point of the fuel, thus preventing it from freezing. Most use an alcohol base for this purpose. However, some use water dispersants to absorb water in the fuel and move it to the engine. It becomes steam and is ejected via the exhaust.

Octane boosters

As their name suggests, these additives add octane into the fuel. The addition of octane helps enhance the burning efficiency of the fuel. This translates to less fuel being needed to generate the same amount of power. 

Cetane booster

Cetane boosters increase the amount of cetane in fuel. These additives are used in diesel engines, though. Added cetane levels in a diesel engine will make it ignite quicker, improving its MPG and horsepower.

Fuel injector cleaners

Fuel injectors are electronically controlled to spray fuel into the engine. This creates the right amount of air and fuel for optimal combustion. The injectors spray pressurized fuel through a nozzle, and it comes out as a mist that burns more efficiently.

Over time these injectors become clogged up due to carbon buildup that is a residue of the combustion process. Fuel injector cleaners are used to clean the built-up carbon in the injectors. Some cleaners are used to prevent carbon buildup, while others are used to clean existing carbon buildup.

Anti-gel additives

These types of additives are used in diesel engines during cold months. Frigid weather causes paraffin wax in diesel engines to crystallize and clog fuel lines. Anti-gel additives reduce the freezing point of the fuel to prevent the paraffin wax from crystallizing in extreme cold. 

Ethanol treatment

Used in fuels with ethanol, these additives prevent the fuel from absorbing water and separating. Ethanol fuel tends to absorb water from the atmosphere, and in older engines, the ethanol can cause buildup.

Advantages of Fuel Additives In GDI Engines

  • Improved fuel efficiency: Fuel additives will help your GDI engine burn fuel more efficiently, which improves its fuel efficiency. Also, the buildup of carbon in fuel injectors will lead to the engine using more fuel to work. Fuel additives prevent carbon build and ensure the fuel is injected correctly.
  • Clean engine: Fuel additives prevent carbon buildup and gunk buildup in the fuel intake system. This translates to a cleaner engine free of gunk and carbon buildup.
  • Improved and faster acceleration: Fuel additives clean out the gunk and other contaminants that interfere with the engine’s performance. By cleaning out these contaminants, the engine is able to burn all fuel and accelerate faster.
  • Smoother start: cleaning out the engine and the combustion system will ensure that the engine starts smoothly without any contaminants or carbon buildup interfering.
  • Low emissions: A dirty engine will increase emissions through the exhaust pipe. By cleaning the engines, valves, intake pipes, etc. clean, fuel additives will help reduce your car’s carbon emissions.

Preventing Carbon Buildup in GDI Engines: Useful Tips To Follow

  • Change the engine’s oil in the intervals prescribed by the manufacturer and use the oil recommended for the engine as well.
  • Replace the spark plugs after the recommended mileage to reduce the amount of unburnt fuel in the combustion chamber
  • Use a good quality fuel additive or fuel injector cleaner in your fuel to prevent the buildup of carbon in the fuel injectors.

What causes clogging of fuel injectors? Reasons Behind The Scene

Reason Of Fuel Injectors Clogging

One of the by-products of the combustion process is carbon. Typically, the carbon is ejected out of the vehicle after combustion through the exhaust. However, some of the carbon is left in the engine. 

Over time this left carbon builds up and starts clogging up the fuel injectors. Also, clogging up of the injectors can be caused by rust. Small amounts of water in the fuel can, over time, cause the injectors to rust, and the rust particles clog up the injectors.

How Fuel Additives Work And How To Add Fuel Additives: 101

Fuel additives contain a chemical ingredient known as polyetheramine of PEA. This nitrogen-based chemical is scientifically proven to dissolve carbon build deposits. This chemical is also heat resistant and can withstand high temperatures in the combustion chamber.

How to add fuel additives to your car?

The first step is to get the proper additives. Some additives are designed for diesel engines; you want a gasoline additive for GDI engines. Also, you want a fuel injector cleaner and not any other type of additive for this type of engine.

Typically, one bottle of fuel injector cleaner is enough for one fuel tank. Nonetheless, check the instructions to see how much you add to your fuel tank. While you can add fuel injector cleaner into a full gas tank, it is advisable to add it when the tank is low.

This means you have to add the injector cleaner when at a gas station refilling the tank. Pour the cleaner into the tank before refilling it with gasoline. You can use a funnel if you have one for this process. 

Once you have poured the right amount into the tank, refill it with gasoline. You can repeat this process after every 12,000 or 15,000 miles or every year. More importantly, it is advisable to add the cleaner before changing the oil. 

Best Fuel Additive For Gdi Engines: Unbiased Opinion

Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner Review

Most manufacturers recommend the Chevron Techron concentrate plus fuel system cleaner as the Best Fuel injector cleaner For Gdi Engines. You can buy it as a single pack of 20 ounces or a six-pack.

For the purposes of this review, we used the single 20-ounce pack. We used it on a Kia Optima with responsiveness and MPG issues. And one bottle of this fuel system cleaner had noticeable improvements on the MPG and responsiveness.

It is recommended to use this cleaner every 3000 miles. Also, as with any other fuel system cleaner, use it before an oil change. It is pretty affordable, and thus you can use it multiple times without spending a lot of money.

Gumout 510016 and 510014 fuel system cleaners Review

Gumout is another highly rated fuel additive brand recommended by various manufacturers. The brand’s 510016 and 510014 fuel system cleaners work particularly well on GDI engines. These two cleaners come in 10 and 6-ounce bottles, respectively.

The cost of both is quite affordable, and you can afford to buy several bottles. One of the reasons Gumout additives are highly rated is that they contain polyetheramine. As already stated, this product has been scientifically proven to clean carbon buildup.

These two additives protect against corrosion and reduce wear and tear in the upper cylinder. Also, they work for both GDI and traditional engines. Since they contain PEA, you can use them as a preventive measure on GDI engines to prevent future carbon buildup.

104+ Injector Pro Complete Fuel System Cleaner Additive Review

The 104+ injector pro complete fuel system cleaner is designed for GDI and traditional engines. On GDI engines, it works really well and is a better alternative to some of the pricier additives on the market.

We tested this fuel injector cleaner on a 2020 Kia, whose fuel efficiency had dipped quite a bit. Halfway through the tank and the improvement was noticeable. The acceleration was much better than before.

We recommend using this cleaner every 7,000 miles or before an oil change. It is capable of cleaning up to a 20-gallon tank. It comes in a 16 oz 6 pack, which should be enough for several clean-up sessions. 

BG 44k PLATINUM New Review

The BG 44k Platinum new fuel additive works well as a preventive measure for carbon buildup in GDI engines. The additive comes in an 11 ounce can, and obviously, one can won’t be enough to clear out the gunk and carbon buildup in your fuel intake. 

Adding two or three cans of these fuel additives in your fuel tank will help cure any misfires and rough idling issues caused by carbon buildup. And you will notice improved acceleration and throttle response.

But the best part is that it lasts longer. This cleaner can be used after every 15,000 miles, which is better than most other cleaners that need to be used more regularly to be effective. 

Sea Foam SS14 Cleaner and Lube Review

The Sea Foam SS14 cleaner and lube work a little bit differently. This comes in a foam and not liquid like most cleaners. And there are many people who tend to be skeptical about this cleaner. So does it work?

The short answer is yes. It has a unique tube and hook guide that helps in the cleaning process. Spray the foam into the throttle body and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then start your vehicle and drive around, and you should see a grayish cloud from your exhaust.

This seafoam works on GDI and direct injection engines. And helps to lubricate the throttle plates, upper cylinder, and bushings. You can also spray it into cylinder cavities and other areas where regular cleaners don’t typically reach.

Liqui Moly 2007 Jectron Gasoline Fuel Injection Cleaner – 300 ml

The Liqui Moly 2007 jectron gasoline fuel injection cleaner is another affordable fuel cleaner that works well on GDI engines. It comes in a 300 ml bottle, which should be sufficient for 7-20 gallons of fuel.

This cleaner is designed for cleaning the fuel injection system. Using this cleaner will result in improved throttle response and a smoother idle. After pouring it into your gas tank, the effects may take a few days. Still, after 2 or 3 days, you should notice significant improvements.

It is recommended to use this cleaner every 3000 miles or before an oil change. However, some people have been able to go 5000 miles between clean-ups. Overall, this cleaner should be able to clear out any carbon buildup and gunk in your fuel injection systems.

STP Fuel Injector Cleaner, Direct Injection, Bottles Review

The STP fuel injector cleaner can clean the fuel injection system and prevent fuel from freezing during extreme cold. If you live in an area that experiences extreme winters, this will be the Best Fuel treatment For Gdi Engines.

It comes in a 12 fl oz bottle and is great for removing carbon deposits and preventing corrosion. Using this will fix any rough idle challenges you are having caused by dirty intake injectors. It will also help improve the engine’s fuel efficiency if it was dipping.

If your engine fuel injection system has a lot of gunk and carbon buildup, adding this cleaner may result in the engine performing more poorly as the gunk is burnt up with the fuel. However, this problem will clear once the gunk and carbon buildup is clear. 

Berryman 2611 Intake Valve and Combustion Chamber Cleaner Review

Contained inside a 16-ounce aerosol can, the Berryman 2611 intake valve and combustion chamber cleaner is perfect for GDI engines. Used regularly, it will help keep carbon buildup in the intake valves and combustion chambers at a minimum.

One of the best things about this cleaner is that it can be used while the engine is at average idle speed. Also, it comes with fittings included that help attaches it to the engine. The total-release valve of the can is another nice feature that you press down once, and the product flows in.

This product is excellent for cleaning the intake valves of a GDI engine that typically do not have the fuel wash effect. Using it periodically will help keep your GDI engine in optimal condition and ensure you never require an expensive mechanical cleaning.

Gumout 510011 Multi-System Tune-Up Review

The next Gumout cleaner you should consider for your GDI engine is the Gumout 510011 multi-system tune-up cleaner. It comes in a 16-ounce bottle and helps clear out carbon buildup in the injection fuel system.

It is common for GDI engines with carbon buildup to knock and ping when accelerating. Adding this cleaner into the fuel tank should stop this knock and pinging. And like other Gumout products, it has polyetheramine as the active ingredient.

The only negative we noted with this cleaner was the bottle design. The wide neck may not fit into some fuel tank openings. We would have preferred the slim neck that other cleaner bottles have. 

How To Choose The best fuel additives for GDI engines

You need to consider several things when searching for the best fuel system cleaner for GDI Engines. The main points of consideration are;

Engine Compatibility

Not all fuel additives are designed for GDI engines. Some fuel additives are designed for older vehicle models and are not ideal for GDI engines. In terms of vehicle models, all fuel injector cleaners designed for GDI engines will work on all GDI vehicle models.

The purpose of buying

Fuel additives or fuel injector cleaners vary from antifreeze additives to injector cleaners and octane boosters. For GDI engines, the reason for buying a cleaner will most likely be to clean up the carbon buildup in the fuel intake valves and combustion chamber.

For this purpose, you want to buy an injector cleaner that contains polyetheramine or PEA. Cleaners with this ingredient are scientifically proven to dissolve carbon buildup. As such will work great in GDI engines.

Driving conditions

If you drive frequently or in colder climates, your car will be more prone to carbon buildup. This means you will have to add the cleaner more frequently. And here is where price becomes a factor. Consider a cleaner that is affordable enough for you to purchase more regularly. 

EPA approval

All fuels and fuel additives in use have to be approved by the EPA. Thus, verifying that the fuel additive you are buying is EPA approved is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do GDI engines need cleaning?

Yes, GDI engines require more frequent maintenance and cleaning than conventional engines. Ideally, it is advisable to maintain and clean after every 10,000 miles.

Do fuel additives really work on GDI engines?

Yes, fuel additives that contain polyetheramine have been proven to dissolve and clean out carbon buildup in the fuel intake and fuel injector pipes.

How often should you add fuel additives?

It is recommended to use fuel injector cleaners every 3,000 miles or every time you change the oil. Some newer cars that use premium gas can go for up to 10,000 miles before fuel additives can be added, though.

When to Add Fuel Injector Cleaner or fuel additive Before or After Gasoline refill?

Fuel injector cleaners or fuel additives should be added before refilling gasoline. This should be done when refilling at a gas station. Also, it is wise to add the fuel cleaner before an oil change. 


GDI engines are great as they improve fuel efficiency, engine power, and emissions due to them being smaller than traditional engines. However, their design makes them prone to carbon buildup, which can cause engine problems, reduced fuel efficiency, and reduced acceleration.

Using a fuel injector cleaner often will help keep these issues at bay. You can use many cleaners; however, not all will have the desired results. For the Best Fuel Additive For Gdi Engines, you can consider any one of the ones above.

Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Rifen

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