Introduction of fuel system cleaning
Every modern petrol engine has fuel injectors. Multi-point fuel injection (MPI) became popular in the mid-90s and arrived to stay. At present, all fuel management systems for petrol engines have fuel injectors to supply the cylinders with fuel. Multi-point fuel injection means that each cylinder has its own injector, making the engine more efficient.
Fuel injectors are fed with fuel coming from the fuel ramp. The fuel ramp has a pressure regulator that keeps the fuel pressure equalized. The ramp is connected to the fuel pump by an inlet and a return hose passing through the fuel filter. Fuel injectors are small solenoid valves that spray a precise amount of atomized fuel into the engine’s cylinders through tiny atomizing nozzles. The amount of fuel that the fuel injectors pump into the engine is regulated by the engine’s ECU (Engine Control Unit). Fuel injectors have a needle that allows or prevents fuel circulation. Simplifying, the ECU sends pulses to the injectors to open and close them. The time the needle stays open is called “injection time”.
As you can see, the fuel injector’s working principle is pretty simple. However, they are pretty delicate; they can easily get clogged and thus lose their efficiency.
Benefits of keeping the fuel system clean
With time, no matter how good your vehicle’s fuel filter is, fuel injectors eventually get dirty.
When the engine is off, unused gasoline stays inside the injectors. As this gas evaporates, it leaves residues that may clog the fuel injectors’ moving parts or the nozzle. Besides, carbon build-up and small particles that get through the fuel filter don’t help much to keep the fuel injectors clean. When a fuel injector gets clogged, it can lose efficiency or it can stop working completely. Keeping the fuel injectors clean and in good shape will prevent problems such as:
● Poor fuel economy
● Reduced engine performance
● Poor acceleration
● High emissions levels
● Rough idling
● Engine stalling
● Starting problems
● Throttle hesitation
● Leaky fuel injectors
● Fuel injectors’ permanent damage
● Major engine breakdowns caused by fuel starvation
Improving fuel economy is one of the most frequent concerns of vehicle owners. Another concern is conserving the performance and the lifespan of their vehicles. Keeping the fuel injectors clean is a good way to achieve these goals. The injectors can be cleaned to solve an actual problem or as a part of good and responsible preventive maintenance. Cleaning the fuel system between 50,000 and 60,000 miles should be enough to keep an engine running healthily and efficiently.
Fuel System Cleaning Methods
The most common ways of cleaning the fuel injectors are:
● Removing the fuel injectors from the engine and cleaning them using an ultrasonic cleaner. It looks good at first sight but it’s a very expensive method compared with others. Not all fuel injectors are easy to remove from an engine. For example, many models have the fuel ramp mounted below the intake manifold. In order to remove them, a professional must remove the intake manifold first, dramatically increasing the time and the cost of the job. Add to that equation the cost of the tools necessary to do the job and the extra costs that stem from having to remove an intake manifold, like having to change its o-rings, and gasket, or the risk of breaking hoses or other engine components. It’s complicated for the mechanic and costly for the customer. This method cannot always be used: some injectors like the ones fitted in high-pressure fuel systems have internal electronic components that can easily break if the injectors are exposed to ultrasound. It’s hard to find a company that can clean these kinds of fuel injectors, and the service is extremely pricey. The other problem with these injectors is that they are very hard to unmount.
● Using special hardware like the AUTOOL C100, which allows for cleaning the fuel injectors while they are still mounted in the vehicle. This tool can clean all kinds of fuel injectors effectively, reducing the time and money required to do the job. With a tool like this, removing the fuel injectors from the vehicle is needed only on rare occasions or when one or more fuel injectors need to be replaced.
● Using a commercial injector cleaning additive. These products can be purchased in gas stations, spare part shops, and even in some supermarkets. There is a wide variety of these additives available from multiple brands. Products made by the top brands can be pretty expensive. These products have one thing in common: they can’t do much to fix heavily clogged injectors and, even worse; many of these products don’t seem to work, as they are just very well marketed mild detergents.
AUTOOL C100 Auto Fuel/Intake System Flushing Tool
This tool is the best choice to clean any petrol engine fuel injectors. It’s a great tool to be used by professionals and DIYers. This tool allows professional mechanics to do a great job without having to spend a lot of money on equipment. Besides, they can earn proportionally more than they would if they had to remove the injectors, saving precious time. The final result is great, and the bill will be a figure that will leave the customer happy. This tool is great even if the workshop has the tools to clean the fuel injectors outside of the car.
The AUTOOL C100 practically pays itself; the money can be recovered in two or three cleanings, depending on the price of the service, which varies from $50 to $80.
This tool is also great for DIYers because it’s practical, easy to use, and affordable. It’s a win-win in both cases.
The AUTOOL C100 comes with a set of connectors and hoses that connect to the fuel ramp of the car and to a reservoir that holds the cleaning fluid. A mixture of fuel and a strong detergent is poured into the tank, and the engine is started, powered by the fuel/detergent mix. The system needs to be connected to a compressor to give the fuel ramp proper pressure. The cleaning formula goes through the engine’s fuel system, cleaning the injectors and the fuel ramp. With this method, cleaning a set of fuel injectors is a matter of minutes.
Another interesting fact of this tool is that it also can clean air intake systems and TWCs (Three-Way Catalytic Converters).
The system comes with a wide variety of adapters and connectors, which allow users to work on a wide range of petrol vehicles. It can be used in all kinds of fuel injection systems. Even more, many people use it to clean carbureted vehicles as well.
It’s a good and common practice to clean the engine’s throttle body when the fuel injectors are cleaned. The AUTOOL C100 comes with all the necessary elements to perform a deep throttle body cleaning. It’s another very interesting feature if you take into account the problems that a dirty throttle body can cause to your engine, such as:
● Carbon build-up in the throttle body
● Carbon build-up in the intake manifold and intake valves
● Poor acceleration
● Rough idling
● High idling
● Increased fuel consumption
● Sluggish acceleration
● DTCs (triggering the “check engine” light)
The C100 comes with an accurate pressure gauge that makes the tool much more practical and easy to use. It also comes with a funnel to load the cleaner without spilling a single drop. All the components of the kit come inside a hard carry case that is very helpful to store or carry the tool with you. It’s very convenient to carry the tool, useful for mobile mechanics, and for final users who would like to go to help a friend.
Fuel injectors are the core of every fuel injection system. Keeping them clean will make the engine run smoothly, and it will bring the vehicle’s fuel economy back to its original values.
The AUTOOL C100 is the best way to do the job. It’s practical, affordable, and it comes with a set of extra features that will help to clean other vital components of an injection system as well. All these functions are achieved by just coupling some hoses or undoing some connections. The kit can solve all the problems described above at a low cost and the cleaning can be done by people with little mechanical knowledge. However, professional supervision is advised.