If you notice that your car is not getting as good gas mileage as it once did, or if you are noticing that it is lethargic when you put your foot on the gas, it may be that your fuel injectors need to be cleaned.
While you could hire someone to clean the fuel injectors of your car for you, another option is to do it yourself. In order to clean your fuel injectors you are going to need a tool for disconnecting your fuel injector and a cleaning kit.
It is important to note that some fuel injectors are not meant to be cleaned and will simply need to be replaced if they become clogged. In addition, using non-approved cleaning products can cause damage to key parts if they are used, so stick with specialist fuel injection cleaners – there are plenty to choose from.
Here are the steps for cleaning your fuel injectors.
Step 1: Buy a Cleaning Kit
You can get a cleaning kit for your fuel injectors at almost any auto store or online. A fuel injector cleaning kit will come with a bottle of cleaner, a gauge to measure the fuel pressure, and a hose to connect to the fuel injector and the fuel rail.
Most of these cleaning kits will work on any type of car. However, it’s worth checking your owner’s manual to see if they recommend a particular brand or type.
Step 2: Get Familiar with the Layout of your Engine
The next step is to take another look at the manual for your car to see where you will find the fuel injectors. Look at the locations of the components of the fuel pump as well.
Step 3: Disconnection of the Fuel Pump
The next step is to disconnect the fuel pump. You may have to remove the fuel pump relay or fuse, depending on your car. Another option is to connect it to the return line or to insert a U tube so that the gas will return to the tank as you are clean. The manual for your vehicle will provide you with instructions on how to go about disconnecting the fuel pump and how to connect the return line or to insert the U tube.
Step 4: Disconnecting the Vacuum Line
The next step is to remove the vacuum line that regulates the pressure.
Step 5: Connecting the Cleaning Kit
Next you need to connect your cleaning kit to the test port. The test port is attached to the fuel rail. The cleaning kit that you purchase should have instructions on how you should attach the hose so that it fits properly on the fuel port. The injectors should not be exposed to any fuel as the cleaner from most cleaning kits is flammable.
Step 6: Using the Cleaner
First take the cap off of the fuel tank to prevent a build up of pressure. Then use the cleaner to clean out any dirt in the area by spraying the cleaning solvent through the injectors.
Step 7: Start the Car
Next, start your car and let it run for a while. Before starting the car make sure that the fuel pump is not on. This process will take about five minutes or so as the cleaner needs to work its way through the fuel injectors completely. Be sure to follow the instructions on your cleaning kit. Once the cleaner has completed its cycle the engine should shut down.
Step 8: Finishing Up
Next, remove the cleaner and then reattach the power supply for the fuel pump and vacuum hose. Replace the fuel cap. Start the car again to make sure that the fuel injectors are working properly. Listen out for any weird noises and then take the car for a short drive to make sure that it runs ok.
Here’s a very helpful visual guide to help you:
If you finish cleaning your fuel injectors and your mileage doesn’t improve, or if it is still slow to engage or idling rough, there may be another problem or your fuel injectors may need to be replaced. If that’s the case you’ll need to go to a mechanic to diagnose any of these issues.
Have you had to clean your fuel injectors recently? If so how did you get on, and what cleaning product did you use?
Let us know below.
Here is another helpful run-through fo teh process with some handy pictures from wikiHow.
Why not check out our new post on the 10 Best Fuel Injector Cleaners Of All Time here.