Why Clean Fuel Injectors?
When the engine of your vehicle shuts down, the deposit of gasoline vapors is left in the nozzles of fuel injectors. With the passage of time the deposits build up and clog the fuel injectors within the engine. Yes, as frustrating as that sounds, it still needs to be dealt with, but where do you start? Well, to reduce this problem detergents and gasoline additives are mixed into the gasoline.
However, it does not completely eliminate the problem but rather slows down the depositing process. The only way left is to periodically clean the fuel injectors. Experts recommend that fuel injectors should be cleaned after every 30,000 miles.
Majority of gas stations in the US usually purchase gasoline from the cheapest available sources. At times, gas stations purchase the gasoline directly from the refiners to save money. Such type of gasoline does not include detergents that are meant to protect the engine. It is why brand gasoline filling stations are more reliable and good for your vehicles because they use additive cocktail.
People who travel to south of the border must know that the only gasoline they can buy in Mexico is Pemex. It is reported that Pemex not only skimp adding detergents to the gasoline but also sells watered-down gasoline on the market. Such a gasoline is the worst for your vehicle’s engine.
You should always use the top-quality gasoline available in the market. It’s best that you change fuel filter of your vehicle once a year. You can also add some injector cleaning detergents to your gas tank to keep fuel system clean. However, we do not recommend that you go for the cheap products on the market. You should always purchase cleaning detergents from reliable brands.
No matter how much careful you are, a time comes when the fuel injectors of your vehicle needs cleaning. You should visit a professional mechanic for this task as most people are not skilled enough to clean fuel injectors themselves. However, if you are DIY enthusiast, we have two methods for you to clean fuel injectors of your engine. Both methods have their merits and demerits; however, the method that involves using a cleaning kit is better than the other one.
Methods to Clean Fuel Injectors
There are two ways to clean fuel injectors if you want to do it yourself. The first way is manual cleaning, and it involves removing the fuel injectors from the engine and cleaning it with your hands. You must have the required tools for dissembling the fuel injectors from the engine.
The second way is very efficient because it involves a specific cleaning kit. You begin with attaching the cleaning kit to the fuel system and injectors. The kit releases cleaning solvents into the injector system at high pressure which cleans the entire system. It is more reliable and requires less skillset; however, it also have some limitations and considerations.
We will now explain step by step procedure of cleaning fuel injectors with a good cleaner. First, we will explain the manual cleaning procedure and then we will explain how to use a specific kit for cleaning the fuel injector system.
Before we tell you how to do it, we do not recommend that beginners disassemble the engine parts of a vehicle. If you know how to properly disassemble engine parts, this method can save some good money for you.
The method has limitations because you can only remove and clean the injectors. It is also difficult for most people, and it is not always successful. Sometimes the entire fuel system needs cleaning, and you cannot do it manually.
Before we tell you how to do it, we do not recommend that beginners disassemble the engine parts of a vehicle. If you know how to properly disassemble engine parts, this method can save some good money for you. The method has limitations because you can only remove and clean the injectors. It is also difficult for most people, and it is not always successful. Sometimes the entire fuel system needs cleaning, and you cannot do it manually.
When you manually remove the fuel injectors of your vehicle, use a soft cloth and detergents to thoroughly clean them. Do it with soft hands and avoid cleaning the parts aggressively because a little damage can create more problems for your engine. You might need to replace the fuel injectors you damage them during aggressive cleaning strokes. There are different things that you must check before you assemble them back. You should never ignore it if you notice cracks in the injectors. It means it is the time to replace them. There are mainly four things that you must check in the fuel injectors:
- Fuel volume
The individual components of fuel injectors are discs, balls, and pintles. You must ensure they are properly sealed; otherwise, they will leak while operating under pressure. Fully clean injectors supply the right amount of fuel when they operate under pressure. When all fuel injectors are properly cleaned, the fuel is injected into the engine at the right pressure to provide optimal combustion which is vital for engine’s efficient performance. Therefore, you must ensure that no fuel injector is left improperly cleaned.
To achieve efficient and safe combustion, it is important that spray pattern of fuel injectors is correct. You can accurately check these things if you have the reliable equipment and the right skills. Do not try this method if you are a novice; otherwise, you can damage the fuel injector system of your vehicle.
The next method for cleaning fuel injectors is with the help of a special cleaning kit. It is more reliable and you don’t need to have extraordinary skills for it. Even a novice can use this method to properly clean fuel injectors provided he follows the given instructions provided in the manuals of the cleaning kit and engine
using a Cleaning Kit (step-by-step)
The first step is to find the right fuel injector cleaning kit. Not all cleaning kits might be compatible with the engine of your vehicle. Therefore, it is better that you ask the company to recommend the most suitable cleaning kit for your engine. It is also possible that you will need to purchase additional connectors or adapters.
You need only two things for this method:
- A fuel injector cleaning kit which is easily available on most auto supply outlets.
- A long screw driver.
Following is the step-by-step procedure to use a fuel injector cleaning kit:
- Open the box of fuel injector cleaning kit and fill the canister with the cleaning solvent. It is very important that you are using the right solvent. Many companies recommend certain cleaning solvents, and it is wise that you use the recommended cleaning solvents.
- On the fuel rail of the engine, you will see a fuel port. Attach the cleaning kit to the fuel port of the engine. It is better that you read the manual of the cleaning kit to understand how to locate the connections and attach them to the cleaning kit.
- The next step is the disable the fuel pump of the engine. You can do it by either removing the pump or using the fuse box. Another way is to use a U-tube which ensures that fuel returns to the fuel tank. Do it very carefully because the fuel can be under pressure. In some cases, the CPU of the vehicle will show error codes when you remove or disconnect the pump. If that happens, you will have to clear the error codes after the cleaning.
- After that you disconnect the regulator of fuel pressure. The cleaning kit will provide the required pressure.
- To ensure that the fuel pump is offline, turn the ignition. The engine should not turn over.
- The next step is to remove the cap of the gas tank of your vehicle. It is a precautionary measure which ensures that excessive pressure does not builds up in the fuel system.
- After that you attach the hose of compressed air to the cleaning kit and increase the pressure to the required levels. To know what is the required pressure, you should check the manuals of your vehicle’s engine and the cleaning kit.
- Now start the car and allow the cleaning kit to consume the entire cleaning solvent. It can take up to fifteen minutes, and then the engine will shut off itself when it has used all the liquid.
- The next step is very important because now you will reverse the previous steps. First, you disconnect the kit and reconnect the fuel pump. After that you activate the fuel pressure regulator.
- The final step is extremely important. You start the car and listen carefully if there are any unusual noises.
- Drive your car for 5 to 10 minutes to check if there are any problems. If there are no problems then you are done. In case, there is some problem then you should visit a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
Limitations & Considerations
Although using a cleaning kit is a very good way to clean fuel injectors of your vehicle, it is not a perfect method for a variety of reasons. The method has some limitations and considerations that DIY enthusiasts must know.
- If the fuel injectors of your vehicle are badly clogged, the required amount of solvent will not pass through during the cleaning cycle. When that happens then the injectors are not thoroughly cleaned.
- To confirm that injectors responded well to the cleaning efforts, you may need to do some tests such as injector pressure drop test or checking the levels of CO and HC.
- Most strong solvents have the tendency to damage the plastic and rubber components. Therefore, you must check plastic and rubber components in fuel lines, regulator, and pump.
- There is one danger you should be aware of. Both gasoline and cleaning solvent are flammable, and you need the engine to be running while cleaning the fuel injectors. Therefore, there is always some risk of injury associated with this method.
Cleaning fuel injectors with a cleaning kit is an easier and faster method. It has the following benefits:
- It takes only 15 minutes to find out whether the cleaning treatment achieved the desired results or not.
All you need to do is to run the engine for 15 minutes and you will be able to know whether the symptoms of clogged fuel injectors are gone or not.
- A great advantage of using the fuel injector cleaning kit is that it is used on a running engine, and doing so removes various deposits inside the combustion chambers and valves too.