If you own a car, you surely know that the car engine won’t work without fuel. It’s an essential element to ignite the combustion process, which allows the engine to generate enough energy to propel the car.
Hence, if your car’s fuel and fuel system are contaminated or clogged, your car engine will fail to function properly. In that case, you need to clean the whole system to achieve the optimum engine power. But do you know what is used to clean the fuel entering the engine?
Here we will tell you how to clean the fuel and overall fuel system of your vehicle. So, let’s jump right in.
Signs of A Contaminated Fuel System
There are no particular mileage limits that decide when you should consider cleaning the fuel system of your car. However, some signs indicate a contaminated system, and you should look out for them while driving. Below we have rounded up some of those indicators that suggest you need to fix a schedule for fuel system cleaning. Have a look.
- When your car engine fails to ignite immediately upon twisting the car key, the car starts rather harshly with a jerk.
- Although you’re not driving any extra mile, the fuel tank is emptying way faster than normal.
- Your car struggles to acquire extra velocity when you accelerate.
- The engine of your car doesn’t provide much power as it should when you go uphill.
- Your car engine gives a sluggish reaction upon pressing the gas pedal.
- If you can smell any distinct gasoline odor, it’s a sign of a defective fuel injector.
Things Used for Cleaning the Fuel System
Various types of cleaners are used for cleaning the fuel injectors, valve carbon, throttle, and other parts. Also, there are many fuel additives used to keep the fuel from going bad. Some most effective types of fuel cleaners and additives include-
Some fuels leave carbon deposits and other types of junk in different parts of the fuel system. This causes the contamination of the new fuel and eventually affects the engine’s performance. A dissolvent is probably the most frequently used cleaner to get rid of such residues.
This type of cleaner contains Polyetheramine for decomposing carbon composite. When you use contaminated gasoline, contaminants start to accumulate in your car’s combustion chamber and injector.
A dissolvent works for dissolving this build-up into small bits that are later expelled through the exhaust system. This way, the fuel you use for your car engine becomes free from contaminants.
This is a fuel additive used for protecting gasoline from contamination in and out of the car engine. Fuel stabilizers form a bond with gasoline to create a protective layer and prevent oxidation. The protective layer also repels water and prevents the formation of sticky resins and evaporation.
Hence, the fuel remains preserved and lasts for a long time. You can use the stabilizer in any seasonal equipment present in the internal combustion engine. Stabilizers are better for older and high-end engines with sensitivity toward fuel quality.
Since there’s a debate around whether this form of gasoline additive cleans the fuel and fuel system or not, detergent is still a less common fuel additive. A detergent will stimulate the chemicals present in the fuel system so that the carbon residue loosens to slither its way out.
In case the quality of the detergent is below the standard, it can leave deposits that jam up and prevent the engine from functioning properly. Therefore, detergent is mostly used with other types of fuel injector cleaners to get the best results.
Fuel Injector Cleaner
The fuel injector system of your car has a very intricate design that works by raising the gas pressure inside the fuel system. An injector nozzle is used to spray the gasoline on the piston head. When you use impure fuel, residues of the contaminants accumulate and jam up the injector nozzle.
To clean the fuel and dissolve carbon deposits from the fuel injector, the fuel injector cleaners contain Polyetheramine (PEA). PEA effectively eliminates all types of residues to improve heat transfer, increase combustion efficiency, and maximize fuel economy.
The purpose of a fuel system is to stock the fuel and supply it to the cylinder chamber allowing the engine to produce energy. Typically, a fuel system consists of a fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel rail, and fuel injector. A fuel tank is the starting point of the fuel system, and the fuel is stored inside this tank.
Since the distance between the engine and the fuel tank is pretty long, the car needs great pressure to deliver the fuel to the engine. This task is performed by the fuel pump that creates extreme pressure to provide the right amount of fuel.
The fuel rail measures the fuel pressure and releases just the right amount of fuel for the engine. After the fuel rail, the fuel meets the fuel injection that turns the gas or liquid into a spray form and injects it into the cylinders.
If the fuel is very volatile, it refers to the fact that it can be easily vaporized. The volatility of the fuel can affect how easily the car will start, warm up, and how well it will run. As you might know, there are two different grades of diesel fuel that vary in their volatility.
Automobiles and smaller vehicles use diesel with greater volatility as the fuel makes them more responsive. On the other hand, larger vehicles like trucks use lower-volatility diesel to ensure better safety and stability.
Luckily, it takes a lot of time for the deposits to accumulate and jam up the fuel injectors. Therefore, modern, low-mileage cars need cleaning less often in comparison to higher-mileage vehicles.
Typically, your fuel system will remain clean for one year, and it’s preferable if you can manage a fuel system cleaning each year.
In this article, we have covered the signs of a contaminated fuel system and what is used to clean fuel entering engines. Go through the owner’s manual of your car and choose the fuel cleaner most suitable for your vehicle.
Keep in mind that it’s not recommended to try cleaning the fuel system at home. Instead, you need to take your car to an expert to clean the fuel system properly.
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Ed Walker is an automotive cleaning expert with extensive automotive cleaning skills. I have been working in automotive cleaning plants with perfection for the past decade. In addition, I own my cleaning workshop, where we wash away firm dirt and grease out of vehicles and turn them into new ones. Sharing cleaning tips for automotive is my passion.