How to Clean Fuel Injectors

When was the last time you cleaned your vehicle's fuel injectors? Sure, we all change out the oil and air filters regularly enough, but the fuel injectors often get overlooked.

The fuel injectors are essential for delivering the correct fuel-to-air ratio to the engine, which ensures a clean burn and maximum power from your motor. Over time, the ethanol found in modern fuels creates varnish-like deposits within the spray tips of the fuel injectors. Tiny specs of dirt or other contaminants will also affect the spray tips' effectiveness, and thus the all-important fuel-to-air ratio.

Typical symptoms of fouled or dirty fuel injectors include: loss of top-end power, unexpected power surges under throttle, poor idling, and increased fuel consumption.

Tools and Parts Needed - Fuel Injector Cleaning

We'll be using a Motion Pro fuel injector cleaning kit in this guide. The tool cleans most types of fuel injectors, and Motion Pro offers different pigtail adapters to fit various injector styles, so you can use the cleaner kit on your sport bike, dirt bike, ATV or side-by-side. A fuel injector cleaner tool is an invaluable addition to your toolkit.

Motion Pro fuel injector cleaning tool

Preparing Fuel Injectors

Step 1. Remove the fuel injector(s) from your vehicle. Consult the service manual for the manufacturer's instructions on how to remove the injectors(s) from your vehicle's make and model.

Step 2. Test that the fuel injector cleaner tool is working by pressing the red button. If the red light doesn't illuminate, remove the plate from the cleaner tool and install a new 9-volt battery.

Step 3. Clean the outside of the fuel injector with brake/contact cleaner. You want the fuel injector to be as clean as possible, so there is no risk of dirt or contaminants getting into the injector.

Flushing Fuel Injectors

Step 1. Remove the two screws holding the retaining clamp onto the cleaner tool.

Motion Pro fuel injector cleaning tool

Step 2. Place the engine side of the fuel injector into PORT 2 of the cleaner tool, with the fuel injector's electrical connector facing outwards from the cleaner tool.

NOTE: Most fuel injectors will fit into PORT 2. However, some types of injector may have to use PORT 1 in this step.

Motion Pro fuel injector cleaning device

Step 3. Reinstall the clamp and two screws, and carefully tighten down the clamp so it lightly compresses the fuel injector's lower seal against the cleaner tool. Do NOT overtighten the clamp, and be careful not to damage the fuel injector and its O-rings.

Fuel injector cleaning

Fuel injector cleaning kit

Step 4. Connect the adapter end of the pigtail adapter to the fuel injector, and plug the electrical connector end of the pigtail into the cleaner tool.

Cleaning fuel injector kit

Step 5. Press the red button on the cleaner tool and listen for the click. The click is the solenoid within the fuel injector opening, which will allow cleaner fluid to pass through it.

Fuel injector cleaning tool test

Step 6. Loosen the red nob on the cleaner tool opposite the port that the fuel injector is housed in. In most cases, this will be PORT 2.

Fuel injector cleaning instrument

Step 7. Insert the tube from a can of contact cleaner fluid into the red nob, and gently re-tighten the nob to seal the tube within the cleaner tool.

Fuel injector cleaning flush

Fuel injector flush tool

Step 8. Press and hold the red button on the cleaner tool to activate the fuel injector, and spray the cleaner fluid into the fuel injector for a few seconds to flush out the fuel injector. Repeat this flushing process a couple of times.

Fuel injector cleaning contact cleaner

Fuel injection cleaning flush

NOTE: Because the cleaner fluid is passing through the fuel injector in the opposite direction to regular fuel flow, there will not be a spray pattern coming from the injector at this point.

Step 9. Remove the pigtail from the fuel injector and cleaner tool, then loosen the clamp and remove the injector from the tool.

how to clean a fuel injector

Cleaning Fuel Injectors

Step 1. Remove the fuel injector's lower seal so it won't get damaged. Place the fuel side of the fuel injector into PORT 1 of the cleaner tool, with the fuel injector's electrical connector facing outwards from the cleaner tool. It may be necessary to remove the O-ring from the fuel side of the fuel injector to allow the injector to seat into the cleaner tool.

Fuel injector seal removal

Cleaning fuel injector

NOTE: Most fuel injectors will fit into PORT 1, however some types of injector may have to use PORT 2 in this step.

Step 3. Reinstall the clamp and two screws, and carefully tighten down the clamp. Once again, do NOT overtighten the clamp, and be careful not to damage the injector.

Fuel injector cleaner Motion Pro

Step 4. Reconnect the adapter end of the pigtail to the fuel injector, and plug the electrical connector end of the pigtail into the cleaner tool. Press the red button on the cleaner tool and listen for the click from the fuel injector's solenoid.

Step 5. Loosen the red nob on the cleaner tool opposite the port that the fuel injector is housed in (in most cases PORT 1), then insert the tube from the fuel contact cleaner fluid into the red nob and gently re-tighten the nob.

Fuel injector cleaning kit

Step 6. Press and hold the red button on the cleaner tool, and spray the cleaner fluid into the fuel injector for a few seconds to clean it. Repeat this cleaning process a couple of times.

Fuel injector cleaning spray test

NOTE: The cleaner fluid is now passing through the fuel injector in the normal direction of fuel flow, and there should be a good spray pattern coming from the injector. Look for a consistent, even spray pattern. If the spray pattern isn't consistent, you'll need to go back and repeat the flushing process, and then run through the cleaning process once more.

Step 7. Remove the pigtail from the fuel injector and cleaner tool, then loosen the clamp and remove the injector from the tool. Reinstall the fuel injector's lower seal, and also reinstall the O-ring if you removed it in Step 1.

Fuel injector cleaning final step

Step 8. Reinstall the fuel injector(s) back into your vehicle and you're done!

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