Most vehicles on the road today are equipped with fuel injection engines. Since the early 80’s, fuel injection systems have gained popularity as an alternative to carburetors.
In order for your vehicle to run smoothly and efficiently, the engine needs to be fed the right mixture of fuel and air. For a long time, auto design always relied on a carburetor to supply fuel to the engine. Most newer vehicles are now equipped with fuel injection systems.
Fuel injection systems deliver fuel in precise bursts, and are typically more powerful and efficient than carburetor systems. Fuel injection is also more economical and produces less emission pollution.
While fuel injector systems offer many advantages, they do experience issues such as a clogged or dirty fuel injector. Periodic maintenance should include proper cleaning of fuel injectors to address issues before they become serious and costly.
The following are some signs that your fuel injection system needs service attention:
Check Engine Light Turns On
Perhaps the most obvious sign of trouble is seeing the “Check Engine” light glow on your dashboard. This light can signal several problems including a bad fuel injector. Any time an injector delivers too much or too little fuel, the engines efficiency is lowered, which can trigger service light illumination.
Stalling and Rough Idling
If your car is not getting adequate fuel or an inconsistent supply of fuel, the idling RPM drops below the optimal level causing the idle to feel aggressive or rough. If the RPM falls too low, the car will eventually stall.
A compromised fuel injector will cause the corresponding cylinder to not be able to fire. This in turn will cause the engine to vibrate as it tries to finish each cycle without adequate fuel.
When the engine does not get sufficient fuel due to a clogged injector, the engine can misfire as you drive. This can be felt as a struggle to accelerate or a hesitation after you step on the gas pedal. This problem should be address right away or the engine will be susceptible to overheating or other problems.
It is possible for a fuel injector to become broken or cracked from damage or old age. This will result in fuel leaks and inability of fuel to reach the nozzle. Inspection of the fuel injector may reveal gasoline on the exterior or on the nearby fuel rail. In many cases the leak comes from the fuel injector seal, which deteriorates over time.
For optimal vehicle performance, be sure to have your fuel injection system cleaned and inspected as part of your regular maintenance routine.