(Updated on April 16, 2020)
How often do you clean your fuel injectors? Most car owners do not even consider cleaning their injectors because they never think about the possibility of them getting clogged. However, they will get clogged eventually after you have used your vehicle for more than a few years. You will know when the fuel injectors are clogged because your gas mileage will start to decrease. If it gets too bad, you may even notice hesitation coming from your engine after you step on the gas pedal. The only way to fix this problem is to clean your fuel injectors.
Cleaning Fuel Injectors at Home (Step-by-Step)
You do not need to go to a professional mechanic to clean your fuel injectors. Why not save yourself hundreds of dollars in labor costs by doing the cleaning yourself? All you need is a fuel injector cleaner kit to perform this job. You can purchase one of these kits online or at any reputable auto parts store. The tools within the kit will include a canister of cleaner fluid, hose, and gauge. The gauge is what will measure the fuel pressure while the hose is what goes into the fuel injector.
These fuel injector cleaning kits are usually universal, which means they can be used with most make and model vehicles. However, if there is a specific fuel injector cleaning kit that is designed for your particular model, then always choose that one above all the rest. Also, if the canister does not include the cleaning fluid, then you can always purchase the fluid separately.
Fuel injectors are easy to spot simply by opening and lifting the hood. They should be found somewhere around the head of your vehicle’s engine. Its nozzle should be sticking directly inside the combustion chamber. If you have trouble finding them, refer to your owner’s manual for further clarification as to the location.
Below are the 5 basic steps to cleaning your fuel injectors at home.
1) The fuel pump needs to be removed from the injectors. Use a U-tube to let the fuel go back into the gas tank. If there is a fuel return line, then use that. Now remove the pressure regulator vacuum line.
2) Take the hose from your cleaning kit and attach it to the fuel pressure port. All fuel should be kept away from the injectors at this point. The cleaning fluid will be flammable if exposure is present.
3) Take off the fuel tank cap. Now you are going to use the canister to place the cleaning fluid into the injectors. There will be a bit of pressure made during this injection. The open cap is a precaution so that there won’t be a buildup of pressure that could result in combustion.
4) Turn the fuel pump off if it is not already off. Turn on the vehicle and keep the engine running for about 6 or 7 minutes. During this time, the cleaning fluid is going to pass throughout the fuel injectors. Once the cleaning fluid is all gone, the engine should automatically turn off.
5) Now remove the canister and hose. Put the fuel pump back on the injectors and reattach the vacuum line. Place the cap back on the fuel tank. At this point, all the components should be back to their original positions. Turn on your car one more time to injure that your injectors are functioning properly.
Take your car for a short drive to see how it runs. If you find that it runs strange or if you hear strange noises, then you should probably have a professional check out the fuel injectors to see if something looks wrong. Sometimes you may just have bad fuel injectors that cannot be salvaged by simply cleaning them. In that case, you will need to have them replaced altogether. If your gas mileage is still lousy even after that, then there must be another problem that is causing it.