Recently, my friend asked me why his car still seemed sluggish even though he had his spark plugs replaced according to owners manual. I began to explain the benefits of performing a fuel induction service and soon began to notice his eyes glossing over and darting to numerous distractions around the room. "I've never had to clean my fuel system, why should I have to now?" was his response. To which I countered "Did you forget the days of rebuilding and cleaning carburetors in my dad's garage?" The days of adjusting valves and thoroughly cleaning the fuel delivery system may be gone, but proper fuel system cleaning is still necessary.
Cleaning the fuel induction system on a newer style fuel injection system is a three step process. The first step is to remove the air intake and clean the throttle plate. This allows the throttle plate to close and open properly so as to properly manage air intake in to the upper plenum. After that a foaming kerosene based product should be introduced into the vacuum system which will be pulled into the intake and will clean the micro tolerances of the injectors. This process is better done on a cold engine offering increased flow through the catalytic converter. After that a fuel injector cleaner should be introduced into a full tank of fuel to offer a long term cleaning process that will push the carbon deposits through the system and out the tail pipe.
Any type of carbon build up in the system will cause misfires and poor fuel mileage. If an Injector sticks open, raw fuel can be pulled in to the exhaust stroke and end up in the converter system. If the injector sticks shut it will cause the cylinder to misfire and the other cylinders will have to work even harder to propel the vehicle. If the throttle body begins to coke up it will limit the air coming into the upper plenum. Less air means more fuel, causing excessive fuel usage. A properly performed fuel induction service can increase fuel mileage by 10% or more and keep your vehicle running at top performance levels that it was designed for.
The benefits of properly maintaining your car are endless. Watch for the many tell tale signs such as check engine lights, misfires and hesitations.
I pointed out to my friend, in the old days we had a carburetor, the equivalent to a toilet. The bowl fills, the needle valves control the fuel and the venturi mixes the air and gasoline. Now it's all done with fuel injectors controlled by the onboard engine controller and a very expensive catalytic converter.
Protect your investment by keeping it clean, after all, you would never think of going hunting with your favorite gun and sending a box of shells through it with out cleaning it, now would you?