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What Causes Fuel Injectors To Fail?

A fuel injector is one of the components of the engine that lies at the heart of an engine system. The function of the fuel injector, as the name implies, is to inject fuel into the engine cylinders. It is also responsible for adjusting the fuel quantity, adjusting injection timing, and atomizing the fuel. The fuel injector consists of a fuel injector pump, high-pressure pipe, injection nozzle, feed pump, and fuel filter, which enable a fuel injector to achieve its functions. But what could happen if the fuel injector fails to comply with its responsibilities? It will lead to engine stalls, vibrating engines, poor fuel economy, and rough idling.

Causes of a Failed Fuel Injector:

1- Clogged Fuel Injector:

One of the most common causes of a failed fuel injector is a clogged fuel injector. Since the fuel injector sprays fuel into the cylinder, it accumulates deposits that block the flow of fuel. There are two types of deposit build-ups; internal deposits and external deposits. The external deposits are also called coking deposits. They caused by the incomplete burning of fuel which eventually builds up around the injector holes. These holes do not despair a fuel injector but block the spray. A fuel injector cleaner can clean it and restore its efficiency to make it function again. The second type of deposit is internal deposits. Unlined coking deposits, which build up around the tips, internal build-up accumulates inside the nozzle body. They are potentially risky and may fail a fuel injector.

2- Mechanical Problems:

The fuel injectors may also fail out of mechanical problems. There are many moving components inside a fuel injector which by the time, wear out and fail. The type of mechanical problems vary and are of the following types:

If there is no injection at all, the mechanical problem can be loss of cylinder compression or a stuck needle or armature.

If there is too much injection, the culprits can be worn-out ball seats in the injector and overheated or cracked nozzle.

The improper fuel injection rate can cause due to poor nozzle needle lift, and wire brushed nozzles.

The improper injection timing and duration can cause the improperly assembled injectors, incorrect parts, and worn ball seat of the injector.

3- Internal or External Leakages:

Internal and external leakages are also the culprits behind a bad fuel injector. The failure of the O-ring, the place where the injector meets the fuel rail, is the reason behind internal and external leakage. When it breaks, it leads to fuel leakage, which is detrimental to the fuel injector.

4-  Abrasion:

Fuel contains small impurities which can cause wear and tear, which causes a failure of a fuel injector. The umpteen number of small and insoluble particles can abrade fuel injector by the time. In some cases, abrasion can alter the process of fuel spray, which ultimately slows down the performance of the engine. The main culprit behind the deposits, abrasion and wear and tear is using low-quality fuel. A bad quality fuel has more amounts of insoluble particles, which causes the failure of the fuel injector.

When should you Replace the Fuel Injector?

Most of the time, when fuel injectors do not work, people opt for replacing them. Before replacing the fuel injector and calling for a big expense, get them checked by a mechanic. See if the clogged filter is the culprit. If that is so, you can clean it. But if there is a massive problem with a fuel injector, then you must replace it.

Bottom Line:

The reasons behind a failed fuel injector are clogged fuel injector, mechanical problems, and leakages. You must get them checked by a mechanic and follow up.


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