Regardless of what YouTube videos or internet write-ups might say or show, almost all “DIY fuel injector cleaning” projects can be described as a failure simply because the DIY’ers cannot verify the end result of their injector cleaning project and does not have the equipment to properly clean the internals of the fuel injectors.

By the time the DIY’er collected, made or purchase the necessary equipment to make his or her  injector cleaning attempt successful they would almost always have spend more time and money than what it would have cost to send the injector set  to a professional for cleaning.

Besides current draw, cracks and other obvious problems, the four most important factors to check when cleaning fuel injectors are:

  1. Leaking fuel injectors: Does the fuel injector pintle, ball or disc properly seal or seat under operating pressure, thus preventing the fuel injector from leaking.
  2. Volume: The amount of fuel the fuel injector delivers under operating pressure or at various loads.
  3. Atomization: How well the fuel being delivered are atomized.
  4. Distribution: The length or depth and the width of the spray pattern.

In most instances the DIY’er does not have the ability to accurately and under operating pressure, measure how much fuel the injector delivers before and after the cleaning process. Some recommend that theses test been done using the fuel rail and fuel from the vehicle. This recommendation is irresponsible, dangerous and pose a real fire hazard that could to sever bodily injury.

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Injector cleaning at home:

Cleaning fuel injectors at home by flushing them with carb or brake cleaner does absolute nothing other than flushing out “some” loose dirt and grime. If, as suggested in some of the YouTube videos, you start the DIY fuel injector cleaning process at the inlet side of the fuel injector there is a very good chance to lodge loose dirt and grime between the pintle and pintle sleeve.

With the proper fuel injector cleaning equipment it takes about 45 – 60 minutes to clean a single or set of fuel injectors. Do you really believe that a couple of squirts with “carb and choke” cleaner can achieve the same result?

100% of fuel injectors we have tested after they were cleaned via a DIY injector cleaning project failed the minimum acceptable performance standard for that specific fuel injector.

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Fuel injector Atomization and Distribution

During the DIY fuel injector cleaning process the spray pattern which indicates atomization and distribution cannot be verified. The spray pattern of a fuel injector is very important to not only the performance of the engine but also as to the amount of Hydrocarbon [HC] and Carbon Monoxide [CO] that will be emitted. Incorrect or poor fuel injector spray patterns can cause a wide range of drivability issues such as emissions, poor starting, poor fuel consumption and even engine detonation.

DIY Fuel Injector Cleaning - spray patterns

Visual inspection of fuel injector spray patterns

The five fuel injectors in the image on the right flows exactly the same amount of fuel but the spray patterns are noticeably different.

For all intense and purpose the engine should perform properly because all the cylinders are getting the same amount of fuel but not so. Fuel atomization and distribution factors were causing this engine to throw misfire codes and engine performance was noticeably down. These problems can never be picked up during a DIY fuel injector cleaning project.

fuel injector bad spray pattern

Leaking Fuel Injectors

Last but equally important is the ability to check if the fuel injector pintle, disc or ball properly seal under operating pressure. Leaking fuel injectors are a fire hazard and can cause many serious and expensive problems.

Time, money and resources invested in the DIY fuel injector cleaning project almost always will cost more than what it would have cost if the fuel injectors were sent to a professional fuel injector cleaning and flow testing facility such as Injector Rx.

How to clean injectors:

Ultrasonic fuel injector cleaning and flow testing is the only process that can guarantee reliable and complete fuel injector cleaning.

Even with the proper tools, professional fuel injector cleaning equipment and specialized ultrasonic cleaning solutions it still takes about 45 – 60 minutes to properly clean injectors.