Bad Fuel Injectors: Symptoms, Causes & Fixes

Bad Fuel Injectors

Since the 80, automobile producers began to make use of fuel injection engines as a replacement for carburetors. The fuel injector is a vital part of this component. Its job is spraying the combustion chamber with atomized fuel. 

Bad fuel injectors are the root cause of many problems in an automobile. Fuel injectors inject fuel into the cylinders of your block. It is imperative that the fuel needs to be injected very precisely for optimum combustion. Some serious symptoms you may experience are misfiring, engine stalls, and other signs of engine malfunction. Fuel injector cleaners are one of the options many people utilize frequently, but there might come a time when it might become full of dirt and eventually get damaged. It is why, in this article, we will discuss bad fuel injectors, their symptoms, causes, and fixes.

What is Fuel Injector?

Fuel injectors are components used in spraying fuel within a vehicle’s engine, using electrical valves that can close and open multiple times in split seconds. They are made with atomized needles that ensure that the fuel distribution in the engine is done uniformly for better combustion to take place. 

These fuel injectors came in place of the formerly used carburetors because they make engines run better on fuel and assists with emission reduction. Cars, in general, consist of one fuel injector to a cylinder. So those of you who utilize four-cylinder vehicles should know that your car consists of 4 fuel injectors. 

Why You Need a Fuel Injector?

Without mixing words, it plays a vital role in every automobile, and it is also one of the best technological achievements that the automobile industry has had. Before they came into existence, the use of a typical gasoline engine was common with every vehicle. 

However, the gasoline engines were costly to maintain, inefficient, and environmentally unfriendly. It is why the fuel injectors were introduced. You’ll need a fuel injector for your car because, unlike the typical gasoline engines that were formerly used, they ensure excellent fuel efficiency for your vehicle. 

How Does Fuel Injector Work?

Naturally, a fuel injector is a valve configured to be electronically controlled. Pressurized gas escapes from a narrow-ended nozzle due to the electromagnetic coil that moves the nozzle when the fuel injector is powered and the valve opens. 

The nozzle serves as an atomizer to zap the fuel and refine it for easy burning in the combustion chambers. Meanwhile, the fuel injector receives fuel supplied from the fuel pump and it’s designed to open and close as many times within a second for the fuel to go in.

The car engine receives a certain amount of fuel as released by the fuel injector and it is dependent on how many times the electronic valve stays open. The position of the injector in the intake manifold makes it easy for it to seamlessly send fuel directly into the intake valves. 

In turn, the injectors receive pressurized fuel through the fuel rail. The number of times the fuel injector stays open or closes is called the pulse width and this is under the control of the ECU.   

It is the work of the fuel injector to control the amount of fuel in the combustion chamber to make sure that every time, the correct amount is injected. Here’s how the process work:

Fuel flows through the fuel hose into the injectors. The engine control unit (ECU) utilizes sensors to make sure that injectors begin spraying fuel in the combustion chamber at the appropriate time

Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Injector

There are many signs to look for when your car’s fuel injector is getting bad. You will have to be vigilant so you don’t allow the condition to get worse before you attend to them. 

Here are some of the symptoms of a bad fuel injector:

  • Misfiring Engine

If you notice that your car misfires frequently and the accelerator pedal takes time to respond, these are potential symptoms of a bad fuel injector.

  • Engine Stall

If you’re experiencing a frequent cut-out or stall of your engine, then you should know that this might be a result of a minimal amount of fuel reaching the combustion chamber. When it happens like this, it is the job of the ECU to halt the engine. It is what leads to the engine stall.

  • Fuel Leakage

If you’re suspicious of any form of fuel leakage while you’re driving, it occurs when one injector meets another, and this is a sign of a bad fuel injector.

  • Engine Vibration

You will also notice that your car engine starts to vibrate when there is a problem with the fuel injector. This way, the corresponding cylinder will not be able to fire as it is supposed to. The engine will hiccup or vibrate as it attempts to end the cycle due to a lack of fuel.

Causes of Failing Fuel Injector

Fuel injector does not just get worse. There are a lot of things that could ignite damage to the component  

  • Debris in the injector is known to be one of the causes of failing fuel injectors. 
  • Failure of the injector solenoid also causes the fuel injector to fail. 
  • Damaged components like the seal O rings in the fuel injector might cause the fuel injector to fail if they wear out.

How to Fix Bad Fuel Injector & Cost

Although your car fuel injector cannot work forever, you should do everything to make it last its lifespan expires. So, you should prevent the component from getting clogged. In the event that the fuel injector gets bad, what you have to do is to clean it. 

Meanwhile, you should try to clean your car fuel injector every 30,000 miles you cover with your vehicle. Since debris in the injector leads to clogging. Cleaning will prevent clogging. Ensure the entire fuel injector system is removed from the car so that it can be professionally cleaned. Besides, you should also change the fuel filter when it has reached the limits of their service. On average, you’ll pay between $100-$1,120 to clean your fuel injector, with a good fuel injector cleaner taking between $10-15 of the total cost.

Final Thoughts

From reading this article, you now have an idea of what fuel injectors are all about. Fuel injectors are vital aspects of every automobile, and they are instrumental in your vehicle’s efficiency and the uniform distribution of fuel in your vehicle’s engine.