How to Fix a Clogged Fuel Injector

Your vehicle runs on fuel injection, which means that in order for your vehicle to get fuel to the engine, it is sprayed into the engine in a mist form through a nozzle. Unlike the old carburetor system that relied upon suction to distribute the fuel, the fuel injection system pumps the fuel into the engine. This helps to provide a higher fuel-efficient system, which saves you money on gas and is better for the environment.

The nozzle that makes up the fuel injection system is nothing more than a spray tip that can become clogged if you have any debris in your fuel system. Even without debris, there can be contaminants that get through the filter and clog up the nozzle. The nozzle is a finely tuned critical component of your fuel system, so if you feel like you are not getting the correct fuel mileage, or you think that your vehicle is running rough, you may do well to clean the fuel injector to get your engine performing properly.

The tools are simple for this: a screwdriver and the appropriate fuel injector cleaning kit for your make and model.

The cleaning kit comes with a canister filled with fuel injector cleaner. It also has a fuel pressure gauge and a hose that will attach to the fuel injectors on your vehicle. Make sure that you get the right kit for your vehicle, and make sure that you get all the necessary parts if the kit is not complete.

Tools in hand, here are the instructions for cleaning your fuel injectors:

  1. Use your vehicle manual to locate the fuel injectors and note the location of the fuel pump and components.
  2. Disconnect the fuel injectors from the fuel pump. Connect the fuel pump to the fuel return line or use a U tube to reroute the fuel back into the engine while you have it disconnected. Your manual should have instructions on how to do this if you are not sure.
  3. Disconnect the pressure regulator.
  4. Attach the cleaning kit to the fuel rail in your engine. Additional instructions will come with the kit on how to connect to the fuel port. Do not expose the injectors to fuel since the cleaner is flammable.
  5. Take the gas cap off your vehicle. This will allow pressure to release when you clean the fuel injectors. The cleaning is done with a burst of pressure when it injects the solvent into the injectors. When you open the cap, it prevents a possible combustion from the pressure.
  6. Make sure your fuel pump is turned off, and turn the engine on and allow it to run. It may take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes for the cleaner to circulate through the injectors. Consult with the instructions that came with your cleaning kit. The engine will shut down once the cleaner has been used.
  7. Disconnect the cleaner from the fuel port.
  8. Reattach the pressure regulator and the fuel pump.
  9. Replace the gas cap.
  10. Start your engine and listen for noises that are not normal. Drive your vehicle for a few minutes to make sure that it is running smoothly.

If for any reason you are unsure, then consult with your local dealership for more information. Additionally, if you continue to get bad gas mileage or it hesitates upon acceleration, you may need additional parts such as fuel injectors, so consult with your local dealership.

Otherwise, you have now cleaned the fuel injectors on your vehicle, and you should see a marked improvement in performance and gas mileage.