A proper way to reduce the emissions of your car and optimize fuel efficiency is by cleaning your fuel injector.
The fuel injector is an electronic valve that delivers gas to the engine, opening, and closing in times of milliseconds. The fuel to the injector is being supplied by the fuel pump in the form of pressurized gasoline, and then fine mists of gasoline are sprayed to be burned by the engine.
The fuel flow can be restricted if the fuel injectors get dirty with deposits and the car’s MPG ratio will be reduced.
Cleaning the fuel injector cost will usually depend on the shop where you plan to get the job done, your geographical location, and the model of the car.
How much does fuel injector cleaning cost?
A full-service cleaning for your fuel injector has an average cost of $60 to $100 at the local auto service. As little as $10 will be the cost if you want to do it yourself. The difference between the do-it-yourself job and the professional one will be made by its final „shining level” meaning that the professional job will usually be the more efficient one.
A popular mechanic chain called Jiffy Lube will charge you around $100 for a fuel system cleaning service.
PepBoys.com, which is another popular franchise has three offers, ranging from $9 to $90. For $9 you will only get a concentrated cleaning, while for $90 you get the whole package: a visual inspection along with the concentrated cleaning, full-throttle body service, and the in-tank system cleaning.
For instance, a LATimes.com article states that hiring a professional mechanic for injector cleaning service will average around $69.
What are the extra costs?
Considering the fuel injector is interconnected, additional car repairs or maintenance may be needed. Either you have to buy a new injector and spend an additional $100 (this is the average cost of a fuel injector), swap the old fuel filter with a new one for $50, or just change the oil as it frequently happens, you should be ready to spend extra on your car or truck.
As mentioned already, the cleaning can be done simply and cheaply with the use of a concentrated fuel injector cleaner that is being poured into the dirty fuel tank. The complete fuel induction cleaning, the tank cleaning, and the elimination of engine noises (knocks or pings) preceded by a visual inspection are part of the professional procedure from a service center.
The „three-step process” is also known as a professional procedure used during cleanings. After pouring the cleaner into the fuel tank, the mechanic idles the engine for 15 minutes as part of the first step. Meanwhile, he will prepare the second step, which is mixing a super-concentrated cleaner with gasoline. By pouring this mix into the flushing cylinder the contents will get pressurized.
These two steps will be followed by the last one, in which the fuel pump will be disabled and hooked up to the flushing cylinder. To have the job done, the engine will be started up again for the carburetor mixture to be cleaning the injector.
How can I save money on fuel injection cleaning?
First of all, make sure that this is indeed your problem. If you do not have any performance problems and you know for sure that cleaning the injector is your decisive solution, there’s no point in repairing it. However, if you proceed with the repairs, try to get some quotes before.
If you decide to do the job by yourself, keep in mind that there are plenty of products that cost around $10 and it’s not rocket science at all. You just have to pour some cleaner into the gas tank and let the engine idle for 15 minutes. Not to mention, that except for the visual inspection, you won’t notice anything different when you take your car to the mechanic.
The most important thing is to keep it under $100. It’s highly recommended to look up assistance elsewhere if the price is higher than $100.
This can also be considered a long-term investment because you will avoid changing the fuel injector if you take care of it at the right time. By keeping the injector clean and running your car efficiently, you will save money on gas in the long run.
How do you know if you have bad fuel injectors?
The main cause of injector failures is the deposition of impurities on their inside. Injector problems make their presence felt by spraying the fuel incorrectly. If your car has this fault, you will notice certain signals that you cannot ignore. Local overheating is one of them and is manifested when the beam of the jet touches the head of the piston after it is adjusted. This produces either a burn or a hole in the piston.
When the fuel jet is projected onto the cylinder wall, the lubrication layer is washed and interrupted by it. The engine is gripped because the lubrication of the fuel is insufficient. This is a second potential failure of the injectors.
The third consists of the rattle present at the combustion and is manifested in the case of Diesel type engines. Some of the injected fuel burns suddenly, leading to engine noise and increased fuel consumption. The problem is a serious one because it can also lead to damage to engine bearings and loss of power.
Important signs that your fuel injectors need a cleaning
Depending on the model of the vehicle, and if you have an old car with pintle-style multiple port injectors, you should have it checked once a year, as they are susceptible to clogging. Regularly cleaning them by yourself is also an option.
Though cleaning is usually done at 60,000 miles, make sure you check your car’s manual too. The cleaning timings are different depending on the models. For instance, the older systems often require regular cleaning to prevent clogging, while the newer cars should only be cleaned when a problem is noticed. A common issue for which many experts recommend you to bring the injector for cleaning is when the check engine light turns on.
Other signs of an unhealthy injector are loss of power, engine misfire, engine clanking, or a rough idle. The engine can misfire due to a restriction in fuel that is above 8 percent.
Most of the manuals do not recommend this type of repair, so it is better to consult several mechanics, especially if you do not have a trusted one. Cleaning injectors is a popular scam among many of them.
When you should get your fuel system cleaned?
You should think about an injector cleaning if:
- you notice problems at the startup;
- uneven running/locking of the engine at idle;
- any indicators on board that are lit (check engine or other indicating faults of the injection system).