Fuel injectors play a very important role in automotive engineering. They deliver petrol to the car’s engine and make cars more fuel-efficient and less polluting. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy to identify the problems with fuel injection, though. While you can always rely on your mechanic for a diagnosis, understanding the way your car works is important too. There are a few common fuel injection signs and symptoms that you might be able to diagnose yourself. Not all of them are easy to correct, but it helps to know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Here are some of our most common fuel injection issues.
Clogged Fuel Injectors
This is a problem because it stops the petrol from reaching the intake manifold. Usually, it’s the build-up of rust that causes a clogged fuel injection. This typically happens due to a source upstream in the petrol supply, for example, the fuel supply line or fuel rail. If you leave your car sitting idle without servicing for a long time, you might get clogged fuel injectors.
Dirty Fuel Injection
The rapid and repetitive movements of fuel injectors cause a friction that makes them very hot. In turn, when fuel additives aren’t sprayed into the intake manifold, they can leave a residue on the injectors that burns and becomes crusty. The consequence of this is a weak spray and uneven pattern.
Unable to Open Injector
There are a few reasons why the fuel injector may be stuck closed, including faulty windings or rust. If the fuel injector does not open, it will be unable to do its job of delivering petrol through the nozzle.
Unable to Close the Injection
Again, if there is a faulty spring or a build-up of rust or fuel additives, this may cause the injector to be unable to close, which will cause a petrol leak.
Leaking Fuel Injection
Fuel system leaks can lead to poor performance, high fuel consumption and hard starting. In some cases, this may be very dangerous. Any external fuel leak could lead to a fire.
Possible Identifying Symptoms
If you think your car may have one of the common problems with the fuel injection above, there are a few signs and symptoms that might be able to tell you what the problem is. For example:
If there isn’t enough fuel supply when you turn the ignition, your engine might misfire. This could mean that you have either a clogged or dirty fuel injector, or an injector that won’t open.
Uneven Power in the Engine
A dirty fuel injector could cause an inconsistent fuel supply, which would make the engine rev high and low.
Diminished Fuel Economy
When the fuel injector does not close or starts to leak, you might notice that your car isn’t making sufficient use of petrol because it is delivering drops of petrol instead of a mist.
Strong Fuel Scent
Similarly, if the injector doesn’t close or is leaking, you might notice a strong smell of petrol.
Inconsistent Engine Idling
If you notice an uneven engine while you’re idling, the problem could very well be a dirty fuel injector.