Before going into the details of how to clean fuel injectors, let’s get familiarized with the fuel injection system first. Fuel injection, in your car engine, is the introduction of fuel to an internal combustion engine using an injector. For the smooth function of an automotive engine, this injection of fuel should happen in a continuous fashion.
Fuel injection system can be of two types: direct injection and indirect Injection. In direct injection, fuel is directly injected into the engine cylinder, which is filled with compressed air. This happens precisely in diesel engines. In indirect injection, the fuel is injected into a pre-combustion chamber, and this commonly happens in Petrol Engines.
When your internal combustion engine is stopped, combustion chamber will have left over fuel-gas mixture, which hangs around for some time. When the engine cools, the mixture settles on the surface of the chamber and in the fuel injector too. This sticky residue will remain on the injector in the long run. Apart from fumes and fuel, the injectors can be clogged by debris from the gas or fuel system. The higher the temperature, the more the waxy sediment there is, and the more the tendency to clog.
Obviously, when the fuel injectors are clogged, the amount of fuel injected into the combustion engine will be lesser, and this will affect the combustion rate. This affects the engine performance on the whole.
Even though it’s not possible to be 100% sure about injectors getting clogged, whenever you experience a lesser fuel efficiency, a rough idle or when your car takes the time to start, be careful, it could be due to your clogged injector.
It’s difficult to detect the problem in early stages, as technology has developed to such an extent that the emission of fuel to the engine can be adjusted to compensate for the minor errors. This is made possible by internal sensors available in modern engines. All thanks to technology!
Most of the engine problems that you face like hesitation, rough idling can be due to fuel injection issues. This clogging can be avoided by your routine engine tune-up and maintenance. It’s very crucial that your fuel injector be clean and be working all healthily to have peak engine performance.
Now, let’s get into the details of how to clean fuel injectors, step by step. Ideally, fuel injectors should be checked for clogging every 15000 miles in the absence of any other indicators above.
Fuel Injection Cleaning
To remove the deposits from the fuel injector, fuel injector cleaning solvents are widely available in the market. We can make use of this solvent, which will dissolve the sediments in the fuel injector and thus clean the injectors. You can even use the best fuel additive available in the market to clean the fuel injection system. One among the best diesel fuel additives available is the red line 85 plus.
For car users who are not willing to spend money on getting professional help to clean your injectors, you can even go for the following option:
1. Manual Cleaning
For car users who are experts and have the fair understanding of the engine layout and components of the engine, manual cleaning of fuel injectors is advisable. The engine needs to be disassembled; the fuel injectors need to be taken out and cleaned manually by using solvents to remove the sediments. After that, the engine components can be reassembled again as per the layout.
Novices – don’t even think of attempting this. This is highly risky, because you might end up messing around with the engine parts and assembly and might end up creating more issues than what you are trying to solve.
The pain will be aggravated if you require cleaning the entire fuel system rather than the fuel injector alone. Trust me; assembling engine parts is not going to be a piece of cake.
2. Using Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit
This method is proved to be highly effective and less time-consuming. This can easily be performed, and there are fewer chances of failures.
However, for doing the cleaning on your own, you can get a fuel injector cleaning kit, which contains a cleaning agent. This is essentially made of solvents, detergents, and additives, which can be run through the engine system, of course, under high pressure to clean the sediments. Please follow the steps with utmost care.
- Get the right fuel injector cleaner kit: In most of the cases, the fuel injector cleaner kit is common for all the vehicles. But don’t take chances; check your car manual to get a cleaner kit suitable for your engine. The cleaning kit contains a canister of the fuel injector, a hose, and a gauge to determine the air pressure.
- Locate the Fuel Injector: Take a look at the manual of your car to locate the fuel injector and have an idea of the position of the fuel pump and the components. The instructions in the cleaning kit will also be helpful.
- Disconnect the pump: The next step is to disconnect the fuel pump or close it in such a way that the fuel returns to the tank when you are attempting to clean the pump.
- Disconnect the Pressure regulator vacuum line: The pressure regulator vacuum line should also be disconnected as the next step.
- Connecting the cleaning Kit: The cleaning kit should be connected to the fuel pressure test port after referring the instruction in the cleaner. It’s very important that the injectors should not have any exposure to fuel, as the cleaner is flammable.
- Open the cap of the fuel tank: The cleaning process happens by injecting the solvent under high pressure to the fuel injectors. The fuel cap is opened to reduce the pressure and to prevent combustion.
- Turn on the engine: Before you go ahead with this step, check once again to see whether the fuel pump is off. It takes merely 5 to 10 minutes for the cleaner to pass through the injectors to get consumed. The engine will automatically turn off completely on using up the cleaner.
- Remove the cleaner and reattach the fuel pump and pressure regular hose: Now that we are done with the cleaning process, the next step is to remove the cleaner and to realign the fuel pump and pressure regular hose. Now you can turn on the vehicle and test whether the fuel injectors are working fine.
If you have followed all the instructions in the right manner, be assured that your engine will run smoothly without any problem post the cleaning process. Remember if there are any unusual noises, immediately approach a professional.
3. Seek Professional Support
The next method after cleaning your clogged fuel injector is to visit a professional, which is the most effective way of cleaning and the safest method. The only drawback is that it’s a bit expensive.
If you are looking at reducing the maintenance expense of your cars, the safest way is to clean your fuel injection system every 15000 to 30000 miles. This will save money and bring in efficiency.
Next time you have a clogged injector, try this out and share your comments.