How to Clean Fuel Injectors with Ultrasonic Energy
Many internal combustion engines use carburetors to meter fuel to combustion chambers. Newer engines use fuel injectors to accomplish the task.Fuel injector maintenance is important. A December 2020 article in Dieselogic reports, "On average, you can expect to pay between $350 and $850 to replace your fuel injectors."This post describes how to clean fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy (and hopefully put off replacement costs).
Fuel Injectors Explained
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.As with carburetors, periodic cleaning fuel injectors is important to restoring optimum engine performance.
Options on How to Clean Fuel Injectors
While several methods describing how to clean fuel injectors are on the market, some require complex fussing with fuel lines.An ideal method for backyard mechanics as well as automotive repair services is simply immersing fuel injectors in an ultrasonic cleaning solution and letting cavitation action – ultrasonic energy – do the job in minutes.
Why Sonic Cleaning Fuel Injectors Works Best
As noted above, fuel injectors can be costly to replace.That's because they are delicate and precisely manufactured.
Carbon deposits and other contaminants that attach to fuel 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 to Clean 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 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 on how to clean fuel injectors:
- 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 fuel injector cleaner for 15-20 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.
Fuel Injector Cleaning 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 instruction manual on cleaning the tank then fill it with fresh solution.
Call the iUltrasonic cleaning experts for help in for more info on how to clean fuel injectors or other cleaning challenges.