If you own a boat with an outboard motor, you know that proper maintenance is key to keeping your engine up and running. Part of that maintenance includes regularly cleaning your fuel injectors. Over time, fuel injectors can become clogged with dirt and debris, which can cause problems with your engine’s performance.

Fortunately, you can do a few things to clean your fuel injectors and keep them functioning well so you can avoid rebuilding fuel injectors.

In this article, we’ll share some marine fuel injector cleaning tips that will keep your engine in top condition.

Marine Fuel Injector Cleaning

Use High-quality Fuel

One of the best ways to prevent clogged injectors is to use high-quality fuel. If you use lower-quality fuel, it can contain impurities that will eventually clog your injectors. Low-quality fuel can also cause corrosion and other problems.

To be sure you’re using high-quality fuel, check the octane rating. Marine engines typically require fuel with an octane rating of 89 or higher. You should also use a marine-specific fuel, as it can resist corrosion and phase separation.

Play it safe and use marine-grade fuel designed for use in outboard motors.

Add a Fuel Additive

Fuel additives can help to remove impurities from the fuel, which will keep your injectors clean. Many marine-grade fuel additives also contain lubricants that can help to protect your injectors from wear.

Choose an additive by checking the description on the bottle. Some additives are designed for all types of fuel, while others are specifically for ethanol-blended fuels or diesel engines.

To use an additive, add it to your fuel tank according to the instructions on the bottle. You can add an additive at each fill-up or add it to your fuel tank when you notice that your injectors are starting to get clogged.

Run the Engine Regularly

Whether or not you use your boat often, its vital to run the engine regularly. This engine run will help prevent the fuel from stagnating and your injectors working correctly.

Running the engine is as simple as taking your boat for a short ride around the lake or river. You don’t need to go far, but you should run the engine long enough to get it up to operating temperature.

If you can’t take your boat out often, you can also use a fuel stabilizer to help keep the fuel fresh. A stabilizer will help to prevent corrosion on your injectors.

Use a Fuel Filter

A fuel filter can help to remove impurities from the fuel before it reaches the injectors. Be sure to check your fuel filter regularly and replace it when necessary. You will need to replace the filter if it becomes clogged – which is usually about every few months.

Simply remove the filter from the fuel line and inspect it. If the filter is clogged, you can clean it with a wire brush or replace it with a new one.

You can replace the filter on your own or take it to a qualified marine mechanic.

Use a Cleaning Kit


If your injectors become clogged, you can clean them with a specialized injector cleaning kit. These kits usually come with a can of cleaner and a clear set of instructions.

Cleaning your injectors is a fairly straightforward process, but you must follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging the injectors. Steps may include adding the cleaner to the fuel tank and running the engine for some time. Or you may have to connect the cleaner directly to the injectors and run the engine.

You can purchase a cleaning kit from most marine supply stores. Be sure to choose one designed for use with your type of engine.

Do Regular Service

You should service your fuel system annually, or every 100 hours, whichever comes first. Normal service will help prevent issues before they occur. It will be easier to clean the injectors if you remove them and soak them in a cleaning solution overnight.

A marine fuel injector cleaning service such as Thompson Diesel can clean the fuel injectors and replace the fuel filter. During service, the mechanic will inspect the fuel system for leaks or damage.

Clean Your Injectors Regularly

It will be easier to clean your injectors if you don’t wait until they become clogged. You can clean them regularly with a specialized injector cleaning kit.

A regular schedule should be every month or two, depending on how often you use your boat.

Watch Out for Water

Water can damage your injectors and cause them to fail. Be sure to check the fuel for water before adding it to your tank. You can do this by using a water-finding paste.

If you notice water in the fuel, drain the tank and have it professionally cleaned. Water can also enter the fuel tank through cracks or leaks. Be sure to inspect the tank regularly for any damage.

In conclusion, keeping your fuel injectors clean will prevent problems with your engine’s performance. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help to extend the life of your outboard motor and keep it running smoothly for years to come.