You don’t have to be an expert on internal-combustion engines to understand the importance of supplying the right amount of fuel and air to the engine cylinders for combustion. If the cylinders don’t receive enough fuel, the engine will run lean and it could lead to serious engine damage. For over a century, the carburetor was the most commonly used device for fuel delivery. However, by the 1990’s, these simplistic mechanisms were made almost completely obsolete by the more fuel efficient, powerful fuel injectors.
Are you having problems with your engine? It could be due to a faulty fuel injector. This article provides a maintenance guide for diagnosing injection problems to help you determine whether the components need to be replaced or repaired, and whether it is necessary to use fuel additives or fuel injector cleaners.
What is a fuel injector? How does it work?
Modern fuel injectors are electronic valve mechanisms which spray pressurised liquid fuel into an internal-combustion engine. The atomised nozzle ensures that the fuel is evenly distributed and the valves are timed to achieve the optimal air-fuel mixture and engine consistency. The precision of this process is a key factor for engine performance. The ideal air-fuel ratio is 14.7:1, known as the stoichiometric mixture.
Fuel injectors are supplied by the fuel rail as the fuel is pumped through the rail and into the injector. The fuel passes through a tiny filter and is held in the component’s reserve. The electromagnetic coil then moves the plunger which opens up the pintle injector and triggers the spray nozzle. The timing of this is controlled by the car’s computer system.
Types of fuel injector systems
Different types of engines require different types of injectors depending on the needs of the car and fuel type. For example, they vary in terms of location, injection sequence, and operation.Most modern cars use one of the following electronic injection systems:
If these components stop functioning properly, it could lead to irreversible engine damage and the engine could eventually stop working altogether. Diagnosing and responding to fuel injector problems quickly can help you to extend the service life of your engine.Here are 5 common problems that drivers encounter: