Fuel Injector Cleaner Buying Guide
A fuel injector cleaner will help keep your fuel injection system clean and add years to the life of your car. But before putting anything in your gas tank, you should know how the system works and which cleaner is best for your car.
Adding the wrong cleaning products to your gas tank can damage your fuel injection system and your car’s engine. You should always read the label and select only the cleaning products that are designed for your specific car.
Fuel is pumped from the gas tank into the engine by the injection system. Every time an engine piston pumps, a flap on the injector opens up and a small amount of gas is pumped into the engine. Depending on your speed, this little flap can open and close hundreds of times every minute.
Each time gas is pumped into the engine there is a small explosion that causes the engine piston to pump up and down. This small explosion also creates combustion byproducts that are similar to the exhaust gasses that flow out your car’s tailpipe.
Since this small explosion occurs in the confines of the engine, there is no place for these gas to escape to. So they build up in your fuel injector and start to harden on the side of the injector walls. Over time, they can start to degrade the fuel efficiency of your car.
Now that you know how the system works, you can start looking for the right fuel injector cleaner for your car. You want to find something that is strong enough to dissolve the hardened chemicals that have built up on the inside of your fuel injector.
There are many different types of cleaners available, so you will want to read the label and find the one that is right for your car. The type of cleaner you need is determined by the type of fuel your car uses, a number of chemicals that are clogging up the injector and the type of engine you have.
Buying The Right Fuel Injector Cleaner
Some engines require certain fuel mixtures. They are either designed to burn higher octanes or higher concentrations of ethanol. Regardless, these special mixtures require special types of fuel injector cleaner. That is why it is so important to get the right products for your car.
Some people think that cleaner products are generic and work in all cars but that is only a myth. The injector itself might be able to handle different types of cleaners but the engine cannot. If the wrong fuel injector cleaner is used, it can cause engine damage even if it does not do anything to the injector.
Finding the right type of fuel injector cleaner is as easy as reading the label on the bottle. The law requires that chemical companies print clear instructions on the back label concerning the types of cars and engines that the cleaner works in. Just flip the bottle over and it will tell you everything you need to know.
Are fuel cleaners worth it?
If you ever decide to venture into your nearest auto store you will see tons of different fuel cleaners from more than dozens of brands. Which one should you get? Do they even work at all?
Gasoline/Petroleum companies say that they load their fuel with detergents to clean the fuel system, is it enough? Not likely. Dirt buildup, especially carbon buildup is a very common problem. I see almost everyday with most cars which have clocked 20K miles or more. Carbon/dirt/resin buildup in the fuel intake area can lead to multiple problems ranging from irregular engine idle to decreased fuel economy. The highest quality gasoline/petrol is also not completely safe and leads to corrosion and resin buildup over time. For me, fuel system cleaners are an obvious regular maintenance item.
This buildup is not limited to injectors alone. Engine valves, pistons, cylinders are all damaged due to it.