Additives for cleaning fuel injection
We’ve had many clients who have been sold fuel injection cleaning services by convenience oil change providers, in what seem to us a deceptive way. Fuel injector cleaning is definitely a valid service; clean injectors are critical to proper engine function and efficiency. But knowing why it’s important, how it works, and when it should be done will keep you from paying for this service if it’s not really necessary.
How fuel injectors work
Fuel injectors pressurize fuel and pump it through either a fixed or electronically-controlled aperture, delivering the fuel as a fine, cone-shaped spray to the engine. This mist is easier to ignite than a solid stream, burning more evenly and efficiently. Over time, deposits from the burning fuel build up in the aperture, decreasing the injector’s performance and turning the fine mist into an inconsistent dribble.
Symptoms of clogged injectors
Symptoms of dirty fuel injectors may include:
- hard starting
- rough idle
- throttle “tip-in” hesitation
- pre-ignition (sometimes heard as that ‘pinging sound’)
- poor overall performance
- decreased gas mileage
How to know if your injectors need cleaning
The business end of fuel injectors can’t be seen while the engine is running. Since it can take well over an hour to access and evaluate fuel injectors, injector maintenance is done by time and mileage intervals rather than from direct inspection. We recommend cleaning fuel injectors at least every 36 months or 45, 000 miles. Consider it a tune up for your fuel system- it’s really amazing the difference people experience after having a fuel injection and throttle body cleaning on a car that has gone more than 60, 000 miles without those services. Many engine parts can be replaced without noticeable improvement in performance, but when dirty injectors are cleaned there can be a distinct before-and-after difference!
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