How to clean fuel injectors without removing them?

This topic owns a secure place on the tip of the tongue of every vehicle owner. We might’ve twisted the meaning of the age-old saying, but you get the point. Anyway, what we meant to say is: this issue is a very popular one among folks who own a driver’s license. In other words: just about everyone above the age of sixteen.

Are you wondering is there a way to clean fuel injectors without removing them? If so, we’ve got something special for you. We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on the subject. You’ll find it below.

Firstly, obtain a fuel injector cleaning kit. Disconnect the fuel rail and attach the outlet pipe of the kit to it. Make sure the kit is filled with cleaning solvent up to the brim. Take off the fuel tank cover and remove the fuel pump relay. Connect the air compressor to the cleaning kit and start the engine. 

For a more detailed version, don’t hesitate to scroll all the way down to the end! That’s just how it has always been, here at Gas Answer!

Table of Contents

Basic information about fuel injectors (FAQ)

Let’s do something before we show you the guide on cleaning fuel injectors. We’ll check out some basic info about the subject.

What’s a fuel injector?

We can guess you know this one. Still, we thought it might be best to show you a standard definition. A fuel injector is a valve that’s provided with pressurized fuel by the fuel pump. It’s electronically controlled, and when energized – turns the fuel into a fine mist. That way it can burn more easily in your vehicle’s engine.

Can fuel injectors clog up?

They absolutely can. That’s one of the reasons why we’re talking about this today. Experts recommend you clean your fuel injectors every 30k miles. The more clogged up they are – the more gas you’ll be wasting.

How to notice if they’re clogged up?

They usually clog up because fuel filters allow debris and grime into the injectors. These clogged injectors allow too little or too much fuel into the engine. That causes frequent engine problems. Watch out for these warning signs:

  • You’ve got some trouble starting the car or accelerating.
  • It seems you’re running out of fuel way too quickly.
  • Your vehicle is idling rough.

Some of these signs can also appear because your car’s running on bad gasoline. Here’s how to test it out.

Can a mechanic help out here?

Of course, a mechanic can help. Also, if you know how to take your engine apart and put it back together… Don’t worry since there will be no need for that. You can clean fuel injectors even without removing them. Check out our little guide to learn how to do it without contacting your local mechanic!

An engine of a car with visible fuel injectors.

How to clean fuel injectors without removal? – a step-by-step guide

The best thing about this method is that you don’t even have to leave your garage. Every task that needs to be done here you can do in the privacy of your home. Let’s see those steps.

Step #1: Acquire a fuel injector cleaning kit

The first thing you’ll want to do is to purchase a fuel injector cleaning kit. Find the one that fits your vehicle’s model. The kit should contain a hose that you attach to the fuel rail and fuel injectors. Also, it should have a canister of the solvent designed for cleaning fuel injectors. This substance dissolves the hard carbon buildups that make your driving experience worse.

Step #2: Where’s that fuel rail?

The next thing on your to-do list is to find the fuel rail. As we might’ve already mentioned, the fuel rail supplies the fuel injectors with gas. It has a different position, depending on which car model are we talking about. That being said, you should consult your owner’s manual and locate the fuel rail.

Step #3: How about you disconnect the fuel rail?

Next up, you should simply disconnect the fuel rail. Simply? Well, it’s not that hard, really. Depending on the model, you might need to:

  • press down the clips to detach it.
  • loosen up the clamps and hold them with a screwdriver in order to pull ’em off.
  • lose the bolt holding the rail and the lead pipe attached to the tank.

The reason why you should disconnect the fuel rail lies in the fact you’ll need to re-attach it to the cleaning kit.

Step #4: Also, disconnect the fuel regulator pressure line (optional)

If your car has the fuel regulator pressure line, that is. Check your owner’s manual to see if your car model has it. You’ll need to spot the pressure regulator and disconnect the vacuum line from it. The regulator is mostly situated near the injectors.

Step #5: Fill the cleaning kit with the solvent

It’s time to prepare the cleaning kit for action. Fill it with cleaning solvent all the way up to the brim.

Step #6: Attach the cleaning kit to the hood

Most cleaning kits come with a hook you can use to attach the kit to the hood. The cleaning kit needs to hang above the engine.

Step #7: Connect the outlet pipe of the kit to the fuel rail

Remember the disconnected fuel rail? Now you’ll need to attach the kit outlet pipe to it. Cleaning kits usually have plenty of connectors, so you won’t have any trouble with this. These are made to support most car types, regardless of the year or model. Find the right connector and fix it up with the cleaning solvent.

Step #8: Take off the fuel tank cover

You’ll need to do this to prevent pressure buildup. The kit removes the debris by launching pressurized solvent into the injectors. By taking off the fuel tank cover you’ll ensure there’ll be no excess pressure buildups. Otherwise, leaving the cover can cause combustion.

Step #9: Take out the fuel pump relay

Spot the fuse box and remove the fuel pump relay. You want to shut off the pump from supplying the engine with gas. You’ll notice there are many relays in the fuse box. They pretty much look alike. Consult the owner’s manual to see which one’s the fuel pump relay.

Step #10: Attach the air compressor to the cleaning kit

Once you do it, set the PSI (a measuring unit for pressure) to 40, 45, or 50. Pressurized air will push the cleaning solvent into the fuel rail.

Step #11: Start the engine

Next, you’ll have to start the engine. Allow it to idle until you notice there’s no more solvent left in the cleaning kit. Afterward, turn off the engine and detach the cleaning kit.

Step #12: Reattach the disconnected

You’ll need to reconnect all things you’ve disconnected along the way. Reconnect the fuel pump lead hose and the fuel regulator vacuum hose. Also, don’t forget to cover the fuel tank.

Step #13: Lastly, ensure everything works

Once you’ve done cleaning, your engine’s supposed to run smoothly. In other words: it should sound pretty alright. Be on the lookout for leaking injectors, or weird, suspicious noises. Take the car out for a test drive around the neighborhood. If you notice something’s wrong, you might want to contact professionals.

Also, if you notice your car smells like gasoline, here’s what you can do.

Tips on keeping your fuel injectors clean

We’ve prepared a bonus round. Here’s what you can do to ensure your injectors stay clean:

  • Don’t forget to replace the oil and fuel filters on a regular basis.
  • You might wanna use fuel additives designed to keep your fuel injectors clean.
  • Wipe your engine from time to time. It might not work, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it.
  • Last but not least, keep up with your vehicle’s regular oil changes.

How to clean fuel injectors without removing them? – a guide summarized

Let’s do the usual article summary. Alright, so how does one clean fuel injectors without removing them? Here are the necessary steps:

  1. Obtain a fuel injector cleaning kit.
  2. Find the location of the fuel rail.
  3. Disconnect the fuel rail.
  4. Also, detach the fuel regulator pressure line (if your car has one).
  5. Fill the cleaning kit with the solvent all the way up to the brim.
  6. Attach the cleaning kit to the hood, using a little hook.
  7. Connect the outlet pipe of the kit to the fuel rail.
  8. Take off the fuel tank cover.
  9. Take out the fuel pump relay.
  10. Attach the air compressor to the cleaning kit.
  11. Start the engine and idle it until there’s no more cleaning solvent in the container.
  12. Reattach everything you’ve disconnected along the way.
  13. Ensure everything works by taking your car out for a neighborhood stroll.

Final words

Alright, we’ve reached the end. Now you know how to clean fuel injectors without calling the local mechanic. We hope you’ve enjoyed this one, as much as you enjoyed our earlier texts. If you’ve enjoyed them at all, that is. Anyway, feel free to click here for more gasoline tips.