Fuel Injector Cleaning Tips

It's important to do a fuel injector cleaning regularly on your vehicle to help keep it running smoothly. After repeated use, the injectors start to get a build-up of carbon and varnish which reduces the fuel mileage of your vehicle and overall engine performance. The non-mechanically inclined should get their fuel injectors professionally cleaned. Those mechanically gifted can take on this task themselves. Follow these fuel injector cleaning tips to make the job as efficient as possible.

Turn Off the Engine

Safety is important so before even taking a look at your vehicle's fuel injectors, be sure to turn off the engine. If you're unfamiliar with engines, you may need to look at the vehicle's manual to locate the fuel injectors. You will need to open the engine compartment first.

Be Aware of the Fuel Injector Cleaning Processes for Different Systems

Don't assume that just because your vehicle has poor fuel mileage that the problem is the injectors. Some fuel injectors shouldn't be cleaned. Check your vehicle manual to find out if it's okay to clean the injector system on your car. For example, Multec I injectors installed in vehicles built before 1994 should not be cleaned.

They're special wet-coil injectors designed with tips that control deposits. The same type of injector made after 1994 also has wet coil injectors, but they've been modified so they can be cleaned. Contact your vehicle's manufacturer or check the manufacturer's website to find out if any bulletins have been sent out regarding the cleaning of the fuel injector systems on your vehicle.

Follow Safety Precautions

Be sure to wear heavy duty rubber gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes from any fuel injector solvent. They can be acidic and cause permanent skin damage or blindness. Stay away from anything that could flame or spark since the solvents usually are also flammable. Be aware that the gas is pressurized in the fuel lines. Be careful when disconnecting them so that you don't get gas sprayed in your face.

Run Engine to Save on Cleaning Time

While in most cases you need to turn off the engine to do a good fuel injector cleaning (the only way you can remove the injectors), you can sometimes reduce the time it takes to complete the cleaning process by doing it while the engine is running. Time is reduced because when running the engine, you don't need to remove the injectors. Use pressurized equipment, which you may need to rent from a local mechanic, to feed the injector cleaning solvent directly into the fuel rail as the engine runs.

To do this you'll need to either disable the fuel pump so you can plug the equipment into the fuel return line. Or you'll need to install a u-tube to recirculate the fuel back into the tank. As the cleaner runs through the injectors, deposits in the valves and combustion chambers can also be removed. The entire job takes only 10 to 15 minutes, but only works if the fuel lines aren't excessively clogged. Check to make sure the injectors were effectively cleaned by disconnecting the equipment and running the engine on its own. There should be no idle misfire and the engine should run smoother.