Fuel injection cleaner or fuel injector cleaner is one of those often missed steps in tuneups for cars, trucks, and other automobiles. Because of the fact that it can get a little pricey to disassemble and replace or clean a fuel injection system, it’s often glossed over during regular tuneups. Either that, or a shop will charge you WAY TOO MUCH MONEY just to put an additive fuel injector cleaner into a tank of gas for you, when all you have to do is just buy a bottle and pour it in a full tank of gas yourself.
Clean fuel injectors are a definite must in the way of fuel economy, emissions, and peak engine performance. When fuel injectors are dirty, they can’t deliver the correct spray required for combustion, and as a result, fuel economy and engine performance suffers. This, in the long run, can be costly or can even begin to cause symptoms like a rough idle or misfires. That’s why I heavily recommend fuel injection cleaner. The reason I recommend fuel injector cleaner is because it’s one of those simple things a person can do without having to replace any parts or any under the hood work. Normally in a tuneup, lots of things get replaced, things like spark plugs, distributor caps, belts, and fluids. But with fuel injectors, running an additive through a tank of gas every once in awhile will definitely do the trick.
Over time, all fuel injectors will become clogged. This happens because the deposits come from the gasoline itself. Gasoline is a compound mixture of hydrocarbons, and includes waxy, heavy chemicals known as oilfins, which yield a lot of energy when burned. As long as a car is running, the fuel injectors and engine runs efficiently. The clogging occurs when the engine is shut off, and a process known as heat soak occurs. Residue of fuel in the injector nozzles begins to evaporate, and it leaves the oilfins behind, which don’t evaporate and some of which don’t get washed away, but instead get baked into hard varnish deposits, which ultimately will clog the injectors.
Newer injectors are more resistant than the old ones to this kind of clogging, and additives are added to gasoline to try and dissolve some of these buildups. But cars that make mostly short trips are still especially susceptible to fuel injection clogging, and every injector will ultimately become clogged over time. If the fuel injectors are never cleaned, as the car ages you’ll start to notice that your car shakes a bit while idling and eventually it will either stall or misfire, and all the while your fuel economy and engine performance will suffer. I was just in a car the other day that suffered from a very rough idle, and the driver had to keep a little pressure on the gas petal while stopped to keep the car from stalling.
There are a wide variety of fuel injector cleaners, one of the most common being gasoline itself! Cheap gasoline is often lacking in the additives that breakdown clogging and, over the long haul, can cost you more money than it saves. The best tip for keeping your injectors clean is to not buy cheap gas. This however, is only a preventative measure. My guess is that for people reading this article, it’s because your fuel injectors are already partially clogged and are causing problems to your engine performance. If that’s the case, then you still have quite a few options. There are many cheap fuel injection cleaners that you can add to your gasoline which will act like drano on a sink pipe and will dissolve many of the clogs in your injectors. When used semi-regularly (once every few months) it will keep your injectors nice and clean.
But this may not be enough for some engines. Older engines already experiencing heavy problems may need a bigger hand. To do this, you might actually need a fuel injection cleaner kit that lets you disassemble the fuel injection system and clean it. This, however, isn’t always a possibility, and some fuel injectors are delicate and difficult to tamper with. Before trying this, I would definitely recommend running a bottle of fuel injection cleaner additive or two through a tank of gas and see if that helps at all. It’s cheap and effective.
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