Is your engine starting to misfire, idle unevenly, or rev high and low? Then you need to take a good look under the hood. A possible culprit is a dirty fuel injector. Once this component gets clogged with rust, engine dirt, or grime, expect a lot of engine problems. If, after troubleshooting, a dirty fuel injector is the one causing all these engine problems, it's time to get your hands on a cleaning kit. Fortunately, unclogging an injector is a fairly easy task. Here's what you need to do:
Tools you'll need:
- Cleaner kit (which usually includes a fuel pressure gauge and hose)
- Torx wrench
- Lubricating oil
Step 1: Disconnect the fuel pump.
Locate the fuel pump and disconnect it from the fuel injectors. The pump is usually located on top of the gas tank. If you're not sure where to find the pump, consult your vehicle manual. Using a screwdriver, tap the tabs on the ring above the tank until the pump comes out of the tank. Then attach a U-tube or a fuel return line to make sure that fuel flows back into the tank.
Step 2: Disconnect the fuel pressure regulator.
Spray the bolts that hold the fuel lines and fuel pressure regulator down with some lubricating oil for easier removal. Relieve pressure by pushing the pressure valve with a screwdriver. Then unscrew the Torx bolts that attach the fuel lines and regulator onto the fuel rail with a Torx wrench. You can now pull off the regulator from the fuel rail.
Step 3: Attach the cleaning kit to the fuel port.
Connect the hose of the cleaning kit to the fuel port located at the fuel rail. Double check manufacturer's instructions on how to attach the cleaning kit to make sure you're attaching the right tube into the right port.
Step 4: Relieve pressure.
Because the cleaner uses pressure to inject a cleaning agent into the injectors, you need to remove the cap from the tank to relieve pressure. Keep in mind that excess pressure can cause combustion, so make sure you open the tank.
Step 5: Switch on the engine.
While the fuel pump is switched off, turn on the ignition. Keep the pressure valve that's included in the kit open until the pressure reading matches your vehicle's reading. Then start the engine and let it run until the cleaner is all used up, which can take about five minutes. Once all the cleaning solvent is used, the engine will automatically shut down.
Step 6: Remove the cleaning kit and reinstall the parts you've removed.
Remove the cleaning kit from the fuel port. Then reinstall the fuel pressure regulator and pump. Don't forget to put the fuel cap back in place. Once every part is reinstalled properly, go for a test drive to check if the fuel injectors work. Watch out for weird noises, bad mileage, or a gas pedal that hesitates whenever you step on it. If these signs persist even if you've properly cleaned the fuel injector, consult a mechanic.