How to clean fuel injectors?
Fuel injectors are essential to the smooth running of your car. They are strong, but can become clogged after tens of thousands of miles. Ideally, you should be able to clean them to avoid having to replace them with expensive new injectors.
Principle and role of the injection system
The fuel injection system is an essential part of the engine. The injector, located at the cylinder inlet or in the intake manifold, delivers fuel to the combustion zone. The amount of fuel delivered is calculated for optimum combustion, and this engine component also provides a seal with the combustion chamber.
The injection system is not simply a mechanical device, but a set of electronically controlled solenoid valves that are true precision instruments. The nozzles are linked to other combustion-related components and sensors through the engine control unit.
Injection systems have largely replaced carburetors in vehicle production. The position of the injector makes it possible to control the amount of fuel injected and avoid wastage, whereas carburetors can be compared to real watering cans. Injectors have also made it possible to improve the precision of the air-fuel mixture for optimal combustion.
Why clean the fuel injectors?
Injectors need to be cleaned because, over time, gasoline leaves deposits between the valve seat and the valve, reducing the amount of fuel the injector can inject and causing uneven spraying in the engine, or worse, complete blockage of the injector. This deposit of varnish and sometimes carbon also promotes continuous dripping from the injectors, causing catalytic converter problems, reducing engine performance and increasing your vehicle's fuel consumption.
Benefits of having your injectors cleaned
- Increased prevention of mechanical problems associated with poor injector maintenance.
- Performance: Ensures smooth engine operation because clean injectors result in better combustion.
- Better fuel economy for your vehicle
- The best time to make sure all your injectors are working (if they're tested, of course!).
- Saves money: when you compare reconditioning (cleaning and testing) with buying new injectors. Don't replace all your injectors with expensive new ones.
4 solutions to clean injectors
Scheduled maintenance keeps your fuel injection system operating at peak performance. Proper cleaning of these highly technical parts is beyond the reach of the do-it-yourselfer. Cleaning a diesel injector is a very important operation that must be done as carefully as possible. Four different solutions are available.
Solution 1: Use a injector cleaner
Injector cleaner additives are available at most stores. However, you should be aware that they are not effective if the injector is already clogged. They are intended for preventative use. If you're a city dweller, it's a good idea to use them every 4 to 5,000 km. This will quickly add to your bill.
There's nothing rocket science about using these additives. In fact, it's clearly spelled out on the product label. First, you'll need to pour the entire product into your car's gas tank. The tank must either be empty or contain a certain amount of fuel, depending on the instructions on the product. If the bottle doesn't come with a funnel, get one! Fill it up if necessary. Finally, drive at normal speed until the fuel runs out.
Solution 2: Call a professional with a pressure tank cleaning system
If you go to your local garage, they may be able to offer you a pressurized cleaning service. Professionals use a pressurized tank cleaning system to do this. This system is connected directly to the injector manifold. The cleaning agent is then delivered under pressure without coming into contact with the fuel. All while the engine is running for a few minutes.
The system described above could prove to be far more effective than simply adding cleaner to the tank, without achieving maximum performance. In diesel cars, the injectors can be pressurized to 2,500 bar, which is impossible to achieve with a pressurized tank.
Solution 3: Use a professional ultrasonic cleaning system
The other solution is ultrasonic cleaning, and again, you need to call in a professional.
Injectors are cleaned in an ultrasonic tank, which uses an electric current to send the cleaning solution into the injector. You can follow the steps below to disassemble your injectors yourself before sending them to the shop.
First, remove any parts or components that separate you from the injectors. This includes the air filter housing and the intake manifold. Then you'll need a special wrench to loosen the injectors. Remember to remove the injector seal at the same time. Once the injectors are removed, plug the fuel inlet and outlet. Then protect the tip before sending your parts to the shop.
Solution 4: Test your injectors
To ensure that your injectors are properly maintained and thoroughly tested, we recommend that you send them to a shop that has the right equipment for the job. In particular, they should be equipped with an injector test bench. With this machine, you can reproduce the pressure that the injectors receive. You can also use it to test the correct operation of your injectors and perform many other operations.
It's very important to take care of your car and especially your engine. Many impurities pass through the engine system and its components are bound to become clogged. This is especially true for fuel injectors. Fortunately, it's possible to take certain precautions up front to reduce the risk of clogging, as well as to thoroughly clean these components to ensure the longest possible service life.