Could the fuel injector cleaner be yet another over-rated product you are most likely to come across at your local auto-parts store? Not indeed.
Read on to understand what they are, how they work, their benefits and recommended usage.
What is a Fuel Injector Cleaner?
A fuel injector cleaner is a fuel additive used to clean and improve an engine’s fuel efficiency by eliminating non-combustible impurities that build up in an engine’s fuel system.
The impurities are caused by the oxidization and emulsification of alcohol from fuel over time and result in hard starts, poor engine performance, reduced fuel efficiency, higher carbon emissions, and high maintenance costs.
How Does a Fuel Injector Cleaner Work?
In understanding the mode of action of the injector cleaner, let’s briefly consider how carbon deposits accumulate in the engine. Regardless of our driving habits, carbon deposits will always form.
In fact, the question is how fast they will form. The three factors leading to the formation of carbon deposits are:
a. The constant change of fuel temperature from ambient to operating, and back to ambient temperature, over an extended period.
b. The re-circulation of exhaust gas from the engine’s combustion.
c. The quality of gasoline. The lower the quality, the higher the risk.
Mode of OperationIn addition to other solvents in the fuel injector cleaner, there is an active ingredient known as polyether amine or PEA, which functions as follows:
a. The chemical dissolves the carbon deposits to a readily combustible form when mixed with gasoline and allows the impurities to be efficiently expelled from the system.
b. The chemical prevents the future buildup of carbon due to its surface-active nature.
c. Unlike traditional cleaners, PEA ensures that all the loose carbon particles are not big enough to clog exhaust valves and injectors on their way out.
The standard usage for a car driven in relatively warm climatic conditions is one bottle yearly. But for those who live in cold conditions or those who have to stop and start the engine frequently, a change every 3,000 miles is recommended by the manufacturer.
Benefits of Fuel Injector Cleaners
The advantages are numerous and include:
a. Increased fuel efficiency due to better fuel combustion
b. Better engine carbon emission because of complete combustion
c. Improved engine performance
d. Longer engine life
e. Fewer maintenance costs.
Even with fuel injector cleaners, for best results, drivers should never neglect routine engine maintenance procedures such as regularly replacing air filters, oil, and spark plugs.
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