A clogged fuel injector can be the source of a variety of problems—from a loss of fuel economy and engine performance to breakdowns and poor emissions. A dirty fuel injector is a malfunctioning one; meaning that, if it’s clogged enough, the fuel injector actually inhibits the flow of fuel instead of conducting it. This results in an injector that won’t spray fuel in the designed pattern, starving the engine of fuel.
If you’re looking to clean your fuel injector—it’s helpful to know that there are two schools of thought regarding the matter. One method involves removing the injector in question from the car before cleaning. While this provides a more up close and possibly thorough cleaning, it’s a very time consuming and complex option. The second and more common method of cleaning a problematic fuel injector is to simply clean it while still installed. [Related Post: Know the Signs: Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Pump]
This cheat sheet will focus on the method of cleaning dirty fuel injectors without removing them.
1. Make sure the engine is off!
2. Refer to your manual or engine repair guide to locate the fuel injectors.
3. Use pressurized equipment to impart solvent on your injectors when the engine is running.
4. Connect the pressurized equipment to the engine, and spray solvent into the injectors—be sure to disable the fuel pump and either block the fuel line or use a U-tube to plug to cycle fuel back into the tank.
5. After connecting the equipment, and disabling the fuel pump it's time to start your vehicle and cycle the solvent through the injectors.
6. Once you’re done, shut down the engine, reconnect your fuel lines and pump before restarting the engine.
7. If you don’t notice an improvement in drive or economy your fuel injectors might be dirty enough to warrant a second pass. If so, re-run the process from step one.
A manual cleaning job is best done by a professional if you’re not sure of your abilities. However you decide to go about yours, a clean fuel injector will ensure that your engine runs at peak ability and provides the best possible gas mileage. Visit Buy Auto Parts for how-to videos and more information on fuel injectors and how to get yours clean!
Written by Dara Greaney