Fuel injectors, or unit injectors, play a key role in a vehicle. They control the amount and length of time the fuel enters the combustion chamber during operation, thus ensuring optimal combustion and efficiency. However, without proper maintenance, fuel injectors can cause some problems, such as:
- Developing mechanical problems
- Developing electrical problems (failures when receiving commands from the ECU - Electronic Control Unit or Computer),
- Clogging or blocking problems - due to build-up of dirt and / or debris (* usually the most common injector problem)
It is extremely important to look out for signs of bad injectors so that you can act immediately if and when they do occur. Below are the most common symptoms of faulty fuel injectors.
The Check Engine light is on steadily or is flashing
One engine problem that can cause an engine light to illuminate or flash is a dirty or malfunctioning fuel injector. This indicator lamp may indicate a problem with the fuel injection system or the GDI system. When a fuel injector fails, it usually causes too much or too little fuel to the engine (sometimes no fuel at all). The engine control unit (ECU) can detect any fluctuation in the fuel being injected into the engine and may cause the engine check lamp to illuminate as a consequence.
Rough idling / annoying idling noise
Typically, the car will make a subtle rumble when idling. If you notice that the sound has gone from low to a rough and unpleasant noise, it could be a sign of bad fuel injectors. This happens when particles accumulate on the nozzles of the injectors, thus affecting the amount of atomized and atomized fuel. While rough noise can also be attributed to dirty air filters and / or bad spark plugs and other components, it can also indicate problems with faulty fuel injectors.
If you've experienced a misfire or a delayed response after depressing the accelerator pedal, this could also be a sign of problems with the fuel injectors. As with rough idling, misfiring can also be caused by clogged fuel injector nozzles.
The ECU works to monitor and control the fuel injected into the engine, and if the injector cannot deliver the correct amount at the right time, there will be problems with the fuel-air mixture in the engine's combustion chamber. As a result, the engine stops ignition or you get a delayed acceleration response. Misfire codes such as P0300 (random cylinders, misfire), P0301 (cylinder number 1 misfire), P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305, P0306, P0307, P0308 may also indicate problems with the fuel injectors.
If there is a sharp and pungent smell of fuel in the cabin while driving, and the vehicle has one or two of the signs listed above, chances are that fuel has leaked. Fuel injectors can leak when worn or poorly maintained.
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