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What You Need to Know About Fuel Injector Cleaning

You may need to have your fuel injectors cleaned in case you notice the symptoms of clogged injectors in your vehicle. The symptoms include loss of engine power and an increase in emissions. This article discusses the two ways through which fuel injectors can be cleaned.

On-Car Cleaning

It is possible to clean the fuel injectors without removing them from the vehicle. This method involves forcing a pressurised cleaner into the fuel system when the engine of the vehicle is running. The fuel pump is normally disabled after the return fuel line has been plugged. This cleaning method takes a shorter time since minimal disassembly is required. The method also cleans other sections of the fuel system, such as the valves and combustion chambers.

However, on-car injector cleaning has some shortcomings. First, it may not be effective at cleaning fuel injectors that are heavily clogged because the cleaning cycle will not move a sufficient amount of solvent through those injectors. Secondly, the solvents that are used during this method can attack plastic and rubber components in the fuel system. The method also poses safety risks since flammable solvents are run through the system while the engine is running. Any leak can cause a fire.

Off-Car Cleaning

Another way to clean the fuel injectors involves removing them from the vehicle so that they can be attached to cleaning equipment. This method is more thorough because very strong solvents can be used since there is no risk of damaging plastic or rubber components. It is also easier to pinpoint a defective injector since the injectors can be observed as they spray solvents. Test drives aren't needed when this method is used because the cleaning equipment can test each injector to confirm that all are working as expected.

The downside of off-car fuel injector is that it is more expensive and requires more time than on-car cleaning. Furthermore, the cleaning activity is only restricted to the injectors. Deposits in the valves and combustion chambers will remain since those components aren't attended to during this cleaning technique.

As you can see, each of the cleaning methods has its own merits and demerits. It is therefore better for you to talk to your preferred mechanic so that he or she can recommend the most appropriate cleaning method for your fuel injectors. For example, he or she may recommend routine on-car cleaning after off-car cleaning has been done to clean the badly clogged injectors.