How to Clean Fuel Injectors at Home

As we talked about in our previous blog, diesel injectors can be prone to failure due to contaminated fuel. When well maintained, today’s injectors are expected to last between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. On the other hand, dirty or clogged injectors can hinder your vehicle’s performance, decreasing its power and mileage. If you’re not dealing with a failed injector but are noticing that it’s time to do some maintenance on your injectors, you’ve come to the right place. 

What You Need:

  • Tire Valve or Plastic Tube/Straw
  • Solvent Spray (e.g. carburetor or brake parts cleaner) 
  • Injector core removal tool 
  • 9V to 12V battery
  • Alligator clips and wires
  • Degreaser
  • Brush


#1 Remove O-Rings and Pintle Caps

If you’re looking to clean your fuel injectors at home, start by removing any o-rings and pintle caps from the injector. If you plan on reusing the o-ring or pintle cap, be careful not to damage it when removing though we recommended replacing it with a new one. 

#2 Use a Tire Valve or Straw

To make the cleaning process easier, we recommend using a tire valve stem (a small plastic hose can also work). Next, remove the core with a core removal tool. Removing the core is not necessary though recommended for the best results. 


 #3 Use a Solvent for Interior

To clean the injector you’ll need a solvent which can be purchased at your local hardware or repair store. We recommend using a brake parts cleaner or carburetor cleaner. Our favorite cleaner is the Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer which can be purchased at most hardware stores or through Amazon. Any solutions that contain polyetheramine (PEA) are preferred as they are most effective when dissolving thick carbon residue. 

Once the core has been removed, wrap the straw for the solvent in electrical tape until it fits snug in the tire valve stem. Next put the injector into the valve stem. After, put the straw back in the solvent can. 

#4 Battery

You will need to activate the fuel injector in order to spray a solution. In order to do so, you will need a battery such as a standard 9V or 12V. Grab a few alligator clips and attach them to the leads on the battery. Now attach the other ends of the leads to the ports on the side of the fuel injector. This will automatically turn the injector on. 

#5 Clean 

Once the straw is connected into the opening of the fuel injector, it’s time to start spraying your solution inside. Hold the spray down and repeatedly tap one of the battery ports for about 60 seconds. Doing this will flush the fuel injector out and remove all of the residue stuck inside. 

When finished take the alligator clips off of the injector, peel off the electrical clip and remove the straw. Let the injector air dry.  

#6 Use a Degreaser and Brush for Exterior 

Lastly, spray the outside of the fuel injector with a degreaser and gently scrub the exterior with a brush to remove any surface grime. If you’re using the same o-rings you can dip them in gasoline to keep them from corroding. 

If needed, repeat this process for all of your injectors. 


And just like that, your injectors are ready to be installed again! We recommended cleaning your fuel injectors about once a year. View our selection of diesel injectors.