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Diesel engines use highly sophisticated fuel injectors that must inject the pressurized fuel directly into the combustion chamber as a fine mist. The injectors must fire once per rotation and typically repeat the process thousands of times in the span of a second. The injectors use pressurized oil to initiate the firing process. Fuel and oil circulate through the injectors continuously while the engine is running, but these fluids can carry particulate matter, including carbon, soot, and ash, that will eventually clog the injectors. If the injectors fail to fire, your fuel efficiency will start to decrease. The injectors may even fail to fire altogether, which means the engine won’t be able to start.
So, How Can You Keep Your Diesel Fuel Injectors Clean?
Use a diesel injector cleaner to break up particulate matter that can slow your engine down. You can also use diesel fuel cleaner to keep the fuel free of soot and ash. If these products don’t work, you may have to physically remove the injectors and clean them by hand until all the matter has been removed. It’s also important to replace your diesel fuel injectors as they age.
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What Is Diesel Injector Cleaner?
Diesel fuel injector cleaner is a product made especially for diesel engines that use the direct fuel injection system. The cleaner is deposited directly into the fuel tank where it mixes with the fuel. Experts recommend emptying an entire bottle into the fuel system every 3,000 miles. The formula is designed to break up the particulate matter that forms inside the injector, so the fuel can move through it unencumbered. The product should be able to clean the inside of the injector within about 50 miles. You are sure to notice the difference right away. The cleaner will improve acceleration and idling by ensuring the fuel gets where it needs to go.
What Are the Best Diesel Injector Cleaners?
There are dozens of diesel injector cleaners to choose from, but some have a better reputation than others. Some formulas are only compatible with certain makes/models, so check your owner’s manual or the instructions on the bottle before dumping it in the fuel tank.
STP High Mileage Cleaner
This is a trusted brand that’s known for making superior diesel care products, and their high-mileage cleaner is no exception. It’s designed specifically for engines past the 75,000-mile mark. The diesel fuel injectors tend to clog up more often as the years go by, so consider switching to a high-mileage injector cleaner late in the game to keep your injectors running as long as possible.
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Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner
The Lucas cleaner is actually two products in one. It manages to unclog the injector system to make sure the fuel can pass through while also lubricating the various mechanical components of the injector, including the injector head and the rail line. It should also help protect the injectors from future wear and tear by coating them with a protective layer. It works with both gasoline and diesel fuel injectors, so you can use it on the rest of your fleet. Lucas says it also neutralizes the effects of low-sulfur fuel, which tends to be full of particulate matter. You can also find it in bulk to save on shipping.
Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner
The Royal Purple bottle is another dual-use injector cleaner that offers the most bang for your buck. It will break up clogs and lubricate the system for improved acceleration and increased horsepower. The manufacturer recommends using a little bit every time you fuel up your truck instead of using a whole bottle after you’ve reached 3,000 miles. Using the cleaner regularly will help you prevent carbon buildup, so the injectors won’t lose steam over time. A little bit can go a long way to help you increase your fuel efficiency.
Using a diesel fuel injector cleaner is an essential part of maintaining your diesel engine. You should have a bottle on hand in case your injectors clog up faster than expected. Don’t wait for your injectors to fail to replace them. Shop for new diesel truck parts online to get back to peak acceleration.