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Cleaning Fuel Injectors with Ultrasonic Energy

Fuel injectors work like miniature spray guns that spray fuel into automotive combustion chambers.  Fuel injector nozzles have extremely fine openings that over time may clog, thereby reducing engine performance and fuel economy.  While several methods for cleaning fuel injectors are on the market, some of which require complex fussing with fuel lines, an ideal method for backyard mechanics as well as automotive repair services is simply immersing the injectors in an ultrasonic cleaning solution and letting cavitation action – ultrasonic energy – do the job in minutes.

Dirty Fuel Injector

Use Ultrasonic Cleaning for Dirty Fuel Injectors

Why Sonic Cleaning Fuel Injectors Works Best

Fuel injectors can be costly to replace, are delicate and precisely manufactured.  Carbon deposits and other contaminants that attach to injectors are most safely removed by cavitation action in an ultrasonic cleaner.  This is the powerful but safe implosion of millions of minute bubbles in a biodegradable ultrasonic cleaning solution.  The bubbles are produced by the cleaner’s generator powered transducers vibrating at ultrasonic frequencies such as 37 and 40 kHz.   The bubbles are so small that they reach all surfaces of the injectors, even the interior of the nozzles, to loosen and carry away all contaminants.

This cleaning action will not damage other injector components.

Ultrasonic Kits for Cleaning Fuel Injectors

DIY shade tree mechanics or full service auto repair facilities can put the power of cavitation to work cleaning fuel injector nozzles and similar components with one of the four Sonic Grease Buster Kits available from iUltrasonic with cleaning solution capacities from ¾ to 10 gallons. The kits include a powerful ultrasonic cleaner with lid and basket, a supply of elma tec clean A4 biodegradable cleaning solution concentrate that dilutes to 1 to 5% with water, and an instruction manual.  These ultrasonic systems can also be used to clean carburetors and other engine components faster and safer than sprays and solvents used in parts washers.

Setting Up the Fuel Injector Cleaning System

Select a location that supports an orderly flow of work. Proximity to a sanitary drain is ideal for disposing of spent cleaning solution, but first check with local authorities.  While elma tec clean A4 cleaning solution is biodegradable it’s wise to be sure it’s OK to pour down the drain.

Following is a brief description of the fuel injector cleaning process:

  • Fill the tank half full of water and add the correct amount of cleaning solution concentrate.  As an example, for the ¾ gallon tank add approximately 2/3 cup; for the 1.6 gallon tank 1-1/4 cup.  Continue adding water to the tank fill line.
  • Degas the solution by operating the ultrasonic cleaner for about 20 minutes. This drives off cavitation inhibiting entrained air and also mixes your solution.  The degassing step must be performed every time you prepare fresh cleaning solution. 

When you are ready to clean:

  • Carefully position the fuel injectors in the basket with nozzle holes facing up.  It’s important that the solution accesses the interior of the injectors.
  • Activate the ultrasound, lower the basket into the solution and place the lid on the tank to reduce evaporation and noise.  Set the timer for 15 minutes. Cleaning time depends on condition and can be adjusted either way.  Depending on fuel injector configuration it may be beneficial to remove the basket and reposition the injectors.  (Note the solution will get hot, do not reach into it, and consider wearing protective gloves.)
  • When satisfied rinse the injectors in fresh water and blow dry with an air hose.

Bath Maintenance

Contaminants that float to the surface should be skimmed off and set aside.  When the cleaning solution loses its effectiveness it must be replaced.  Drain the tank and dispose of the solution and collected skimmings, according to local regulations.  Follow the cleaner’s instruction manual on cleaning the tank then fill it with fresh solution.

Call the iUltrasonic cleaning experts for help in solving your cleaning challenges.


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