Fuel injectors are a crucial component of an automobile’s engine, providing fuel optimally to guarantee efficient and clean combustion.
Gasoline injectors squirt fuel into an automobile’s engine using computer-controlled valves that may open and close many times per second. They are equipped with an atomizing nozzle that uniformly distributes gasoline or diesel for optimal combustion and economy.
Injectors were developed as a substitute for the carburetor system because they allow engines to operate more efficiently and minimize pollution. Generally speaking, an automobile has one injector for each cylinder. Therefore, if you drive a vehicle with four cylinders, it will probably have four fuel injectors.
However, without routine maintenance, fuel injectors can develop faults or get blocked; therefore, you must be able to recognize the symptoms of a faulty fuel injector and repair it. One of the most frequent issues with gasoline injectors is that they become jammed open. But why do open fuel injector symptoms exist?
A jammed-open or partially blocked injector will release a stench of unburned fuel within the engine bay. A non-functioning injector will allow the engine to start and run while it is cold but not when warm.
1. Rough Engine Idling
Does your car stutters and shake when stopped at a stoplight or in traffic? It indicates that there could be damaged fuel injectors.
Generally, “rough idling” is typified by variable revolutions per minute (RPMs) even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed. Frequently, harsh idling is followed by engine stalling, which manifests as an abrupt drop in RPMs and engine noise, similar to running out of gas on a hill.
Dirty injectors are just one of a number of engine issues that can cause rough idle and engine stalls. If you observe these faults in your vehicle, you should have a professional technician do a thorough examination.
2. Engine Misfires
If the fuel injectors become clogged, the engine will receive little or no fuel. This will be seen by the engine’s regular misfires and weakened acceleration. The fuel injector could be the cause if you experience a delay after pushing the gas pedal.
The ECU monitors and controls the gasoline pumped into the motor. If the injector cannot deliver the correct amount of fuel at the proper moment, there may be issues with the fuel-air mixture within the combustor. As a result, the engine misfires, or the acceleration response is delayed. You will get codes such as P0301 (Cylinder 1 Misfire), P0302, P0300 (Random Cylinder Misfire), P0308, and P0305 which can indicate a problem with the injectors.
A change in the fuel-air mixture could cause a variety of engine problems, in addition to the very obvious overheating problem, if it is not addressed in a timely manner.
3. Check Engine Light
If the engine light comes on, it might be due to a number of issues, including the fuel injector. Some of these issues may be fairly straightforward, while others may be serious. Consequently, you must resolve any issues immediately.
The light is connected to the vehicle’s onboard computer. Its objective is to alert you of potentially severe problems, some of which may be so severe that they prevent you from reaching the technician. When you reach a specialist, they will utilize an OBD2 scanner to detect the fault from the computer and then detail the issue.
A gasoline injector might be one of several potential issues. Fortunately, it is not among the most severe.
4. Fuel Leaks
Aged and defective fuel injectors are susceptible to cracking and breaking. This will lead to a gas leak, and fuel will be unable to reach the valve or reach it in diminished quantities. Instead of the desired result, the engine may leak fluid.
Fuel will be visible on the exterior near the fuel rail. Frequently, the fuel injector seal will be the source of the leak, resulting in cause further degradation. There may be gasoline pooling on the ground beneath your vehicle.
5. Fuel Smells
The odor of gasoline inside a car is never a good indicator. It indicates a fuel leak, and if the odor permeates the vehicle’s interior, you may have other problems. When a malfunctioning or stuck-open injector prevents fuel from combusting, the odor of gasoline will intensify.
Fuel odor is a significant safety concern that must be remedied immediately. The issue can be exacerbated by a faulty ECU, which can result in the injection of more gasoline.
6. Poor Fuel Economy
If your car’s injectors are leaky, you may observe a considerable loss in fuel economy. This happens because of leaking excess fuel in the engine, which is being burned up by the engine.
If the issue is serious, you may have excessive black smoke. If the fuel injectors are blocked and the engine is straining too hard to create power, this will also affect fuel efficiency.
7. Motor Vibrations
A lack of reaction whenever the accelerator is depressed, is an indication of a faulty fuel injector. This may potentially show as a misfire because the affected cylinder is not receiving sufficient gasoline. Once the engine is deprived of the necessary gasoline, it will vibrate in a hiccup-like manner.
This is not technically a problem with fuel injection. It may indicate other engine difficulties. However, it is likely a defective injector.
8. “Dancing RPM Needle”
Typically, you have control over your vehicle’s dashboard gauges. When driving often, the gas gauge needle travels from “F” to “E.” The odometer changes from “0” to “60” as you speed. What do block injectors do?
They might make the tachometer needle, which indicates the vehicle’s RPM, moves unpredictably. You may observe the needle moving unintentionally, suggesting RPM changes while your vehicle is not shifting gears.
9. Failed Emissions Test
Vehicle emissions will increase when a leaky or faulty fuel injector causes partial or uneven fuel combustion. These have severe environmental effects, and you may fail your vehicle’s smog check.
In some situations, the mixture of fuel and air might become so rich as to harm the catalytic converter. The cat converter is far more expensive to change than the fuel injector; therefore, neglecting the issue might have greater financial consequences.
How to Clean a Clogged Fuel Injector
The injector must be thoroughly cleaned to rectify the issue whenever they are blocked. This may be performed by a qualified professional, or you can do it yourself if you are familiar with the interior of an engine. Invest in a fuel injector cleaning kit to get started. Ensure that it is suitable for your car and has all the necessary components.
Then, to clean an injector, perform the seven procedures below:
- Remove the fuel injection system and unplug the fuel pump from the injectors.
- Unplug the pressure regulator suction line if you have one.
- Attach the cleanup kit to the gasoline port in accordance with the product’s instructions.
- Remove the gasoline tank cover to avoid the buildup of pressure.
- Start your car and allow it to run till the cleaning fluid has been injected into the injectors. This may take around 10 minutes.
- Remove the cleaning package, reconnect the fuel pump and injectors, and replace the fuel cap.
- Please switch on your automobile to test whether it works correctly. Call your technician immediately if you hear any “new” or odd sounds. If the engine appears to be operating OK, take it for a brief test drive to confirm that it is functioning properly.
In certain circumstances, clearing a clogged injector may not repair it. Whenever it’s time to change the injectors, a mechanic should be able to present you with replacement choices and determine which injectors are functioning well and the ones that need to be changed.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.