Fuel injectors are nozzles that deliver a measured high-pressure spray of fuel into your engine’s combustion chambers. Your computerized engine tells the fuel injector when and how much fuel should be delivered thousands of times per minute in all diesel and gas-powered vehicles. With the exception of your personal driving behavior, the efficiency of your fuel injectors is the most important factor in determining your fuel economy and performance.
In order to understand the significance of having clean injectors, it’s important first to know how the fuel system works. First, the fuel pump draws from the fuel sitting in your fuel tank. From there, it sends it up the fuel line and into the common rail which feeds the fuel into the injectors which then inject the fuel into the cylinder or combustion chamber for detonation. The fuel pumps control the amount of fuel pressure that goes through the injectors. This pressure is measured in units called PSI (pound force per square inch). The older, more traditional diesel engines operated at 1800-3000 PSI. Nowadays, a common rail engine won’t even fire if the pressure isn’t at least 5,000 psi – the minimum pressure needed just to idle. The average PSI in these newer engines is generally 30-35,000. As a rule of thumb, the higher the pressure of delivery for fuel, the more efficiently it will burn. At these ultra high pressures it is even more important for your injectors to stay super clean – even the slightest clog can affect your engine’s performance!
So what does this mean for your injectors? It means that your fuel system cannot run efficiently if your injectors are not kept spotlessly clean. Over time, injectors can get fouled with wax, dirt, water, and most commonly- carbon build-up. Deposits build up on the tips of the injectors, usually when there’s fuel left in the injector tips after the engine is turned off, which cooks the fuel and causes it to stick to the injector tips. They become partially clogged, which prevents them from delivering fuel at the correct pressure. When injectors are dirty, fuel is not injected in an optimal mist and therefore doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power.
So how can I keep my injectors clean?
If your injectors are fouled and have carbon deposits, dirt, etc., then it’s important to immediately clean them to restore power and engine performance. A professional garage will use their mechanical expertise to disassemble your fuel system, clean your injectors, and put them back together. The risk you encounter here is that these engine components are very sensitive and any break can be costly. If you are not interested in paying for this service and taking a chance that something might be damaged a less expensive route is to try using fuel additive injector cleaners that contain added lubricity and detergents. The Fuel Ox with Combustion Catalyst complete fuel treatment cleans out the whole fuel system for you so that your fuel injectors operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time. It removes foulants such as deposits, carbon, and water so that they do not interfere with your injectors. Fuel Ox with Combustion Catalyst goes far beyond the normal “injector cleaner” additives on the shelf as it provides the added bonus of improving your combustion thereby giving you more power, better mpg and reducing your emissions. If, after using a powerful additive, the power to your vehicle is not restored, you should consider the possibility that your injector may just be worn out and you may need a replacement which can be quite costly. But at least by now you know that you have done everything you could to avoid spending the big bucks!