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Symptoms of Bad Fuel Injectors

An crucial component of your car’s engine, fuel injectors deliver fuel at precisely the right time to ensure clean and effective combustion. Fuel injectors can malfunction or clog up without routine maintenance, so it’s important to understand how to identify them and fix them.

In this article, we cover all you need to know about car fuel injectors, including their functions, typical problems, and indications to watch out for. 

Close Up of Fuel Injectors

How Do Fuel Injectors Work?
Fuel injectors use electronically controlled valves that can open and close several times per second to spray fuel into an automobile’s engine. For the best combustion and efficiency, they have an atomizing nozzle that distributes the gasoline or diesel uniformly. Due to its ability to improve engine performance and lower emissions, injectors were developed to replace the outdated carburettor system.

Typically, there is one fuel injector per cylinder in a car. So if you drive a car with four cylinders, you can assume that it has four fuel injectors.

The Function of Fuel Injectors
By controlling the volume of gasoline delivered to the combustion chamber, fuel injectors make that the proper amount of fuel is injected at the proper moment. The method is:

1. Through the fuel lines and into the injectors, the fuel pump forces gasoline or diesel.
2. The ECU (engine control unit) determines when to activate the injectors and spray gasoline into the combustion chamber using sensors.
3. Pressurized fuel is injected into the combustion chamber through the nozzles when the ECU activates the injector. The fuel is atomized because of the tiny nozzles, which results in a more effective burn.

Symptoms and Signs of a Malfunctioning Fuel Injector
Fuel injectors occasionally can have issues that affect their functionality or result in failures. Fuel injectors can have mechanical and electrical problems in addition to becoming clogged with debris.

Here, we look at some of the typical warning signs and symptoms of a malfunctioning fuel injector.

Check Engine Warning Light
The dashboard-mounted check engine warning light is the most typical indicator of a malfunctioning fuel injector. This light will turn on as soon as an injector is acting improperly. (Or, whether it is adding too much or not enough.)

Although there are several distinct causes for a check engine light to activate, a fuel injector could be to blame. When the injector is supplying too much or too little fuel, the ECU turns on the warning light.

Engine Vibration or Misfiring
Does your automobile misfire a lot? Alternatively, perhaps there is a lag once you depress the accelerator? A malfunctioning fuel injector, most frequently due to a blockage or clog in the nozzle, can result in either of these symptoms.

The fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber will be incorrect if the injector can’t supply the amount of fuel required by the ECU. This might cause misfiring or a rapid decrease in acceleration. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain your vehicle’s fuel injectors clean and free from blockages.

Rusty Idle
The fuel injectors may not be delivering gasoline as they ought to if the idle noise and roughness of your car have changed. Similar to misfiring, this is typically caused by particulates clogging the injector nozzles, which prevent the fuel from being atomized and sprayed properly.

A rough idle can be caused by a number of issues, such as a faulty spark plug or a filthy air filter, but one of the most frequent causes is clogged injectors.

Engine Stalling
Does your engine occasionally cut out or stall without your intervention? This can be because the injectors aren’t supplying enough gasoline to the engine. The ECU will stall the engine if the combustion chamber is receiving insufficient fuel.

When an injector fails, the engine typically stalls because the nozzles are severely obstructed or there is a fuel leak where the injector attaches to the fuel lines.

Fuel Leak
If your automobile is exhibiting other symptoms from this list and you can smell fuel strongly while driving, you may have a fuel leak. Where the injector and injector meet, as well as on the injector itself if it’s old and hasn’t been properly maintained, are potential locations for fuel leaks.

If there has been a leak, you can detect it by looking at the fuel injector since fuel will either be on or near it. The fuel gauge may also show a decrease.

Low fuel efficiency
Fuel economy can suffer significantly from a malfunctioning fuel injector. This is because the combustion chamber is not receiving the additional fuel that the ECU is requesting from the injector. Your fuel economy will be lower the less fuel that reaches the engine.

When the injectors are clogged or leaking, you can have poor fuel economy.

Failed MOT due to Emissions
Drivers should take every precaution to decrease the amount of hazardous emissions their car is creating before their MOT because thousands of vehicles fail the MOT for emissions-related reasons. A key part of this is ensuring the fuel injectors are clean and well-maintained.

Close Up of a Car Engine

The fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber is hampered when an injector isn’t operating properly. Because of this, some gasoline does not burn completely, which causes more dangerous pollutants to be discharged to the exhaust system.

The fuel injectors need to be checked and cleaned if you want to try and lower your emissions before a MOT.

Maintenance of Fuel Injectors
The simplest approach to clean and maintain fuel injectors is by utilizing Redex fuel system cleansers. Our selection of specialized cleaning chemicals, which are available for both gasoline and diesel engines, clears debris from the fuel injectors that could be blocking them.

Our Advanced products and new specialized Emissions Reducers are worth a look if you wish to precisely lower your emissions, either before your MOT or just to benefit the environment. Learn more about how Redex can help keep the injectors in your automobile clear and clean by watching the video below.

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