Fuel injector maintenance is a requirement for keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Over time, fuel injectors can become clogged with deposits, affecting performance and causing engine problems.
Ultrasonic energy is an effective way to clean fuel injectors, removing deposits and restoring proper function. You’ll want to try and clean them before attempting a diesel injector rebuild. There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy:
1. Use High-quality Detergents
When it comes to cleaning fuel injectors, you want to use detergents that are designed specifically for ultrasonic cleaning. It will help to ensure that your injectors are cleaned thoroughly and efficiently.
Detergent selection plays a big role in the results you will have. As long as your detergent is for ultrasonic cleaning, your products should be safe during the process.
Alconox Powdered Precision Cleaner is one of the best options available and is used by many automotive manufacturers.
2. Don’t Overload the Tank
It’s important not to overload the tank when cleaning fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy. Overloading can cause damage to the injectors and affect the quality of the cleaning.
The number of fuel injectors you can clean at one time will depend on the tank size and the ultrasonic cleaner you decide to use. Aim for a 1:4 ratio of injectors to gallons of solution.
When loading the tank, place the injectors in a way that allows them even exposure to ultrasonic energy. Keep each one at least 2 inches apart from the others.
3. Use the Appropriate Frequency
When cleaning fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy, be mindful of using the appropriate frequency. The frequency will depend on the type of injector you are cleaning and the severity of the deposits.
The most common frequencies used for this application are 40kHz and 80kHz. Higher frequencies are generally more effective at removing deposits but may also damage delicate injector parts.
Lower frequencies are less likely to damage injectors, but they may not be as effective at removing deposits.
4. Don’t Over-clean The Injectors
It’s possible to over-clean fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy, which can damage the injectors. When using ultrasonic energy to clean fuel injectors, don’t forget to follow the recommended cleaning time.
During the cleaning process, you want to avoid stripping away the natural oils that lubricate the moving parts in the injector. Doing so will cause premature wear and tear.
5. Use the Correct Cycle Time
The cycle time is the amount of time you will apply the ultrasonic energy to the fuel injectors.
In most cases, 5-10 minutes of cleaning will be sufficient. If the deposits are severe, longer cleaning times may be necessary.
6. Inspect Injectors After Cleaning
After cleaning fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy, take the time to inspect them to ensure that they are free of deposits. In some cases, you may need to clean injectors more than once to completely remove all deposits.
If you have to clean them a second time, be sure to use a new solution and follow the same steps as before.
7. Use Protective Gear
When cleaning fuel injectors with ultrasonic energy, you should wear the appropriate protective gear. This gear includes gloves, goggles, and a face mask.
The chemicals used for cleaning can be harmful if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. Wearing protective gear will help to keep you safe while you’re working.
8. Use the Correct Power Level
The power level is the amount of ultrasonic energy that is applied to the fuel injectors. In most cases, a power level of 50-60% will be sufficient.
Metals such as aluminum and brass are more delicate and may require a lower power level to prevent damage. Steel and cast iron are more durable and can withstand a higher power level of ultrasonic energy.
9. Use the Correct Temperature
The temperature of the solution can also affect the quality of the cleaning. In most cases, a temperature of 60-70 degrees Celsius will be sufficient.
10. Practice Pre-cleaning and Post-cleaning Procedures
To get the best results, it’s important to use pre-cleaning and post-cleaning procedures. Pre-cleaning helps to remove any loose deposits from the injectors, and post-cleaning helps to remove any residual cleaner from the injectors.
You can carefully use a brush or an air gun for your pre-cleaning and post-cleaning procedures. Just be sure not to damage the injectors in the process.
11. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
When using ultrasonic energy to clean fuel injectors, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions will help you make sure you are using the right solution, the right power level, and the correct cycle time.
Use Ultrasonic Cleaning to Safely Clean Fuel Injectors
Fuel injector cleaning with ultrasonic energy is a safe and effective way to remove deposits from injectors. By following these tips, you can ensure that your injectors are cleaned properly and that they last for many years to come.
Luckily, professional ultrasonic injector cleaning is available. You can always use a service such as Thompson Diesel to have your injectors cleaned as well. They have the experience and the equipment to get the job done right.