How to Diagnose and Fix Fuel Injector Problems
It's not a good scenario when your vehicle has clogged fuel injectors. When we say clogged, we mean dirt has accumulated inside the injector that there's no fuel flowing through it. When this happens, then the end result is an engine that won't start. And we all know what happens after that.
How to Diagnose for Fuel Injector Problems
It's not easy to diagnose a clogged fuel injector, since it can be mistaken for a broken coil or spark plug. Still, there are common symptoms that--when taken as a whole--can indicate fuel injector problems. These include the following:
- Problems starting your car
- Bad or poor emissions
- Increased fuel consumption
- Rough engine
- Smoke that's coming from the tailpipe
- Low, under-performing, or completely dead engine
- Your car doesn't reach its maximum revolutions-per-minute (RPM)
- Loud engine knocks
- Jerky movement when the throttle regulated
How to Fix Fuel Injector Problems
There's a big likelihood that your fuel injectors are clogged if you see most of these problems happening in your vehicle. Here are ways to fix the problem:
1. Go the Do-It Yourself (D-I-Y) Route
We'd like to warn you that this requires intermediate skills, so don't attempt to do this when you're just beginning to tinker around with your vehicle.
Here's why: oftentimes, removing the injectors and unclogging them aren't enough to solve the problem. You may need a professional to also check for leaking, fuel pressure, and proper fuel mixture--and that may require a more expensive equipment to make sure you've successfully removed the clog.
2. Use a fuel-injector cleaning kit
There are many cleaning kits available either in online or retail hardware shops. They may be more effective than doing it manually from scratch, but make sure you do it properly. The directions are fairly straightforward, but generally, they include the following steps:
- Choose cleaning solvents that are compatible with your vehicle. You can do this by checking your car's manual, or ask a knowledgeable mechanic. Whatever the case, only use recommended cleaning products.
- Place the cleaning kit to your engine's fuel port. Consult your manual to find out where exactly it is.
- Disable your engine's fuel pump by physically removing the pump. You will have to insert a U-tube to allow the fuel to loop back to the gas tank again. If you're uncomfortable doing this, then it's best to stop and ask a professional to do it.
- Disengage your vehicle's fuel pressure regulator.
- Place the compressed air hose to the cleaning kit and alter the pressure depending on its levels.
- Start your vehicle and allow the cleaning kit to absorb all the entire cleaning solvent. Wait for a couple of minutes, and wait till your engine shuts off by itself.
- Detach the kit and reconnect or activate the fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator.
3. Have it done by a professional
Trust us: this is easy, painless, and less stressful in the long run. The only thing that will give you a headache here is getting the mechanic's bill after it's done--but at least your fuel injector's working properly now, so it's worth it.