How To Clean Your Fuel Injectors Without Removing Them?

As vehicles age, a lot of times carbon builds up in both the engine and the fuel injectors and makes you burn a lot more gas and get worse gas mileage. The fuel injectors can get clogged up and you end up using more gas than you need to.

How To Clean Your Fuel Injectors Without Removing Them?

Cleaning your fuel injectors is something that you should do every 30,000 miles. You have to be a skilled mechanic to be able to remove your fuel injectors, clean them, and then re-install them. What if I show you how to clean your fuel injectors without removing them?

For cleaning my fuel injectors without removing them I use a fuel injector cleaning tool that I got from Follow the steps and at the end, you will have clean fuel injectors which will significantly increase your vehicle’s fuel economy.

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How To Clean Your Fuel Injectors Without Removing Them

1. Locate the fuel rail on the fuel injector

Locate the fuel rail on the fuel injector

The fuel rail is one of the most important components of the fuel injector. It has a function to supply the fuel injectors with fuel. The location of the fuel injectors and fuel rail will vary from vehicle to vehicle. It’s best if you read your manufacturer’s manual to successfully locate your fuel rail.

2. Disconnect the fuel rail

Disconnect the fuel rail

Once you locate the fuel rail on the fuel injectors, go ahead and disconnect it. You should have an exposed hose on which you will connect the fuel injector cleaning tool later on.

3. Fill the fuel injector cleaning tool with a cleaning solution

Remove the cap of the fuel injector cleaning tool and add the cleaning solution. I personally use a fuel cleaning product made by Lucas (check prices on Make sure to fill the cleaning tool all the way to the top.

4. Attach the cleaning tool to the hood

hang the cleaning tool on the hood

The cleaning tool has to be above the engine. Ideally, you should hang the cleaning tool on the hood. There is a hook on the cleaning tool which allows you to do so.

5. Connect the outlet pipe to the fuel rail

Connect the outlet pipe to the fuel rail

After you hang the cleaning tool, you need to attach the outlet pipe of the cleaning tool to the exposed fuel rail. The cleaning tool comes with a lot of connectors. Install the connector that fits your fuel rail and attach the cleaning tool.

6. Remove the fuel pump relay from the fuse box

Go to the fuse box and take out the fuel pump relay to turn the fuel pump off so it cannot supply the fuel to the engine. There are many relays and they all look the same. So, it’s best if you read the manufacturer’s manual to see which relay is for the fuel pump.

7. Connect the air compressor to the cleaning tool

Connect the air compressor to the cleaning tool

Connect the air compressor to the air inlet connector of the cleaning tool and set the PSI anywhere between 40 and 50. You need air to push the cleaning fluid into the fuel rail. If you don’t have an air compressor, you can grab one on

8. Start your vehicle

Start your vehicle and keep it running until there is no more cleaning fluid in the cleaning tool. When the cleaning tool runs out of cleaning fluid, you need to turn your vehicle off and disconnect the cleaning tool.

9. Reconnect your fuel pump relay and fuel rail hose

Re-install the fuel pump relay in the fuse box and reconnect the fuel rail hose. Make sure that your engine is cold so you won’t get burned. At this point, you should have clean fuel injectors.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Bad Fuel Injectors

There are 6 common signs that a bad or failing fuel injector will give before it fails. These signs and symptoms can be caught even by an untrained mechanic.

1. Engine shaking

A clogged fuel injector will create an unbalanced situation resulting in a shaky or rough idle. An engine shaking is a sign of a misfire. You can use a scan tool and determine which cylinder is misfiring. Usually, P0301, P0302, P0303, and P0304 error codes are associated with cylinder misfiring. You can use a graphing tool to test each fuel injector.

2. Lack of power

When a cylinder is not firing properly, there will be a lack of power at takeoff and high speed. Dirty fuel injectors will restrict the amount of fuel going to the cylinders causing a lean condition. A lean condition can result in a lack of power. This is very hard on the engine causing premature wear.

3. White smoke coming out of the tailpipe

Usually, when white smoke starts coming out of your tailpipe, this means the fuel injector is stuck open and is spraying more gas than it should. This action will result in poor gas mileage and will trigger a rich code.

4. Hard starting

Your vehicle will have a hard time starting if one or more fuel injectors are completely clogged up. Cleaning them might not be a solution at this point.

5. Vehicle not starting at all

When one or more fuel injectors are stuck open, the excess fuel can foul out the spark plug. The spark plugs can get wet from the fuel and it won’t be able to create a spark to ignite the combustion.

6. Bad catalytic converter or oxygen sensor

Usually, when excess fuel is dumped into the exhaust system for a long period of time, this can damage the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter.

Do fuel injectors need to be cleaned?

Fuel injectors need to be cleaned every 30,000 miles or less, depending on the condition of the vehicle. If your vehicle is starting to show signs of clogged fuel injectors, you should clean them more often. The most common sign of a failing fuel injector is an engine shaking.

Can you just replace one fuel injector?

Technically, you can replace just one fuel injector. But, it’s always a good idea to change them all as a set. This is because if you have old fuel injectors and new fuel injectors, the engine will run unevenly.

Will injector cleaner fix a misfire? If your engine misfires due to unbalanced air to fuel ratio because of clogged fuel injectors, then yes, injector cleaner could clean the clogged fuel injectors and restore the air to fuel ratio.

Vide Polowenski

General Mechanic with over 20 years of experience specializing in General mechanics, exhaust systems, fuel systems, and fuse-related problems.

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