A fuel injector is a small valve in your vehicle engine which atomises fuel as it passes through the valve, turning it into a fine mist to enable easy burning. When the valve receives an electronic charge, it takes in fuel from the fuel pump and a plunger forces the fuel through a nozzle in a fine mist. Cleaning your fuel injectors maximises their performance, helping ensure optimal fuel efficiency. While you can hire a professional to provide this service, with the right tools, and following the right procedure, you can effectively clean your own fuel injectors at home.
When to Clean Your Fuel Injectors
Cleaning your fuel injectors plays an important part of vehicle maintenance, allowing you to get optimal performance from your car. One key indicator is a noticeable rise in fuel consumption. When a vehicle begins to travel at fewer miles per gallon, this indicates that the fuel injectors are dirty or have partial clogs in the nozzles. To ensure optimal fuel efficiency, you should clean your fuel injectors at least every 40,000 kilometres.
What You Need Before Cleaning Your Fuel Injectors
Purchase a fuel injector cleaning kit. Choose a high-quality kit, such as a 3M kit, to ensure optimal cleaning. You also require a long screwdriver to use as a stethoscope to check the injectors after cleaning. Work outdoors, with plenty of ventilation, and ensure you are not close to a heat source, as you are working with potentially harmful chemicals, as well as combustible ones. Because of the harmful and corrosive nature of the chemicals, protect your skin by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, and protective gloves. To gain more dexterity, switch the protective gloves for disposable vinyl gloves. Protect your eyes with safety goggles and protect your lungs and airway by wearing a high-quality dust mask which filters out harmful chemicals as you inhale.
How to Clean Your Fuel Injectors
To properly clean your fuel injectors, there are a number of steps to follow. First, ensure the engine is cool. Open the bonnet and access the fuel pump, and then disable or disconnect it. To avoid the potential for high pressure and combustion, remove or open your petrol cap. Because petrol or diesel, as well as the fuel injector cleaning agent are all highly flammable, you must stop the fuel from coming into contact with the fuel injector cleaning agent, and this also stops your fuel from becoming tainted. Therefore, you cannot allow any fuel into the engine during the cleaning process. You prevent this by running the fuel return line, or a fuel hose, to create a path for the fuel to safely return to the tank without running through the fuel injectors or the fuel pump. Following the manufacturer's instructions, connect the fuel injection cleaning kit to the fuel injectors, start your engine, and allow it to run its course.