In order to better understand what a store-bought fuel system cleaner does, you might want to refresh your memory on the relative components in your vehicle’s fuel system.
Let’s start with the gas tank. Your gas tank is the main reservoir for fuel. It holds either diesel fuel or gasoline, depending on the make and model of your car or truck. Next we have the fuel lines, which are basically just small hoses that act as a transit system for fuel, carrying it from the tank to the engine.
Now, in order to keep those fuel lines clean and free of dirt and debris, your vehicle has fuel filters. These pick out all the grit and particles that can clog up the injectors. To get the fuel to the fuel injectors, your vehicle has a fuel pump. It pumps the fuel through the filters and then through the injectors.
We are getting very close! Fuel injectors have little nozzles that then spray a tiny amount of fuel into your engine’s cylinders. Here’s the fun part everyone likes: the spark plugs then come in and ignite that tiny spray of fuel in the cylinders, and POW! The crankshaft is powered up and your car’s in motion.
Fuel System Operation
Now that you’ve caught yourself up on a standard fuel system and how it operates, you can understand the importance of the fine spray of fuel that comes out of the injectors. You want this mist to be fine and delicate, much like spraying an aerosol can. The mist has to be thin, even, and just fine enough so that it can be perfectly ignited by the spark plugs. If the little fuel injector nozzles clog up, even in the slightest way, the spray becomes thick and streaky, making it much more difficult to fully-ignite. Not only does this result in reduced power and torque, it can quickly and dramatically increase fuel consumption.
Preventing Clogged Fuel Injectors
A store-bought fuel system cleaner is a great way to reduce the likelihood of clogged fuel injectors. Simply add the cleaner to your gas tank and then run the engine. Once the engine is quite warm, add another bottle of cleaner to remove additional grit and further eliminate heavy carbons deposits from the combustion chambers. Last, take your vehicle into a licensed automotive repair shop to have your air intake manually cleaned.