If you’re experiencing a rough idle, a hesitation under acceleration, poor starting or declining gas mileage it’s possible your fuel injectors are dirty. You could try fuel additive cleaners but they’re marginally effective at best. The only way to return injectors to an as-new condition is by removing and cleaning them thoroughly.
Why clean injectors?
When the engine in your vehicle was designed, the manufacturer carefully optimized the combustion process for power and efficiency while minimizing emissions. A key element in that is the way gasoline is sprayed into the intake airstream. The particle size must be small enough to ensure complete atomization and the spray pattern must provide a uniform fuel:air mixture.
Over time gasoline leaves a tarnish on metal surfaces. This builds up and can reach a point where it partially blocks an orifice or affects how the injector opens and closes. When that happens the result is an uneven distribution of gasoline particles in the air stream, and a mixture that’s either too rich or too weak.
Dirty fuel has a similar effect if particles get through the filter to the injectors. Under light throttle the engine may run smoothly but apply a load and the mixture strength weakens and the engine stumbles.
Regardless of what made your injectors dirty, the only complete fix is thorough cleaning.
Not a DIY job
Let’s be clear – you’re not going to actually strip down the injectors. They’re full of tiny components that need automated equipment to assemble. That leaves your only cleaning option as trying to flow a solvent through the injector. As you can’t operate it once it’s off the vehicle there’s a risk of actually making a blockage worse.
Mike’s injector cleaning service
After logging receipt of your injectors we start with a thorough visual examination and then testing. This lets us identify any particular problems and shows if cleaning will be beneficial. If we determine that replacement is the only sensible option we will let you know quickly.
Assuming we go ahead with cleaning, we do this with specialized ultrasonic equipment. This uses high frequency energy to gently lift away material adhering to the inside and outside of the injector. It’s a kind of vibratory process that leaves internal components unharmed but results in an injector that’s as clean as the day it was manufactured.
Next, we replace the seals and filters before testing the injector again. This starts by checking for leaks, after which we measure the volume or flow rate and check the spray pattern. Finally, we verify electrical properties and ensure the injectors are balanced as a set.
Only when your injectors are back as close to new as possible will we call to ask for payment. We understand that having the injectors out means your car or truck is off the road. That’s why we strive to complete the whole process in 24 hours.
Please note that at this time we do not handle gasoline direct injection (GDI) fuel injectors. If you have a late model vehicle it’s quite possible that it uses this type of system. Please verify you have throttle body or manifold injection and not GDI before sending us your injectors!
Taking advantage of our service
You’ll need to remove your vehicle’s injectors. The details of how to do this vary by vehicle and engine, but it usually entails:
- Depressurize the fuel system. (Remove the fuel pump relay or otherwise disconnect it, then crank the engine a few times. Alternatively, you may see a Schrader-type fitting on the steel fuel line. You can release the pressure through this, but be careful to prevent it spraying!)
- Remove whatever covers the inlet manifold. (Often air ducts run over the top.)
- Disconnect the wiring harness from each injector.
- Remove the fuel pipe with injectors attached.
- Remove each injector from the piping.
- If possible, blow out any remaining drops of fuel before packaging them up and sending to us.
One last tip for when you get back your freshly-cleaned injectors: before installing them, replace your old fuel filter! That way they’ll run like new for many miles to come!