The fuel system of a vehicle’s internal combustion engine uses a number of parts, due to which the engine starts successfully and provides power. The fuel injector is one of the important parts in the fuel system of the engine, it injects fuel into the combustion chamber of the engine with the timing of the pistons.
Due to which the process of combustion of fuel in the engine is ignited. But sometimes the fuel injectors get clogged or damaged due to various reasons. Due to this, many types of symptoms start appearing when the fuel injectors are damaged or clogged. In this article, we will provide detailed information about the main symptoms of bad or clogged fuel injectors.
What Are Fuel Injectors?
Fuel injectors are critical components of any internal combustion engine that deliver fuel directly into the combustion chamber in precise quantities and at the correct timing. Present-day fuel injectors have replaced the traditional carburetor and provide a more efficient and controlled fuel delivery process.
The fuel injectors are electronically controlled and respond to signals from the engine control unit. The ECU calculates the required fuel quantity based on engine speed, load, temperature, and various sensors. Upon receiving a signal from the ECU, the injectors open and turn the fuel into a fine spray, allowing the fuel to mix completely with the incoming air for optimal combustion.
Fuel injectors Precise fuel delivery enhances engine performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions control. Over time, fuel injectors can become clogged, which affects their performance.
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Injectors
Symptoms of bad fuel injectors include rough idle, engine knocking, poor acceleration, reduced fuel efficiency, engine misfiring issues, engine vibration & jerks, exhaust smoke and decreased overall engine performance. Additionally, you may experience increased exhaust emissions, a strong fuel odor, or a check engine light indicating a possible problem.
1. Engine Won’t Start
If the fuel injectors of the engine are badly clogged or the fuel injectors are damaged. Then the engine will not start. Because in order to start the engine smoothly, the fuel injector has to inject a sufficient amount of fuel into the combustion chamber of the engine.
But when the fuel injectors are clogged or damaged, they do not inject fuel into the engine at all, due to which the engine does not start even after trying hard.
2. Engine Misfiring Issue
Bad or clogged fuel injectors can cause the fuel injectors to either not inject enough fuel into the engine or inject fuel with the wrong timing according to the position of the piston.
Due to which the engine starts. But the engine starts misfiring on acceleration or in idle position. However, there can be many other reasons for an engine misfiring. like an electrical and mechanical fault.
3. Engine Vibration & Jerks
Bad or clogged fuel injectors can cause the engine to vibrate at idle or during acceleration, or the engine can jerk. Due to a bad fuel injector, the fuel supply in the combustion chamber of the engine does not come in sufficient quantity.
Or the fuel supply starts coming at the wrong time according to the position of the pistons in the engine. Due to which the fuel combustion process in the engine starts getting interrupted.
4. Black Smoke From Exhaust
You may also see black smoke from the engine exhaust due to bad or clogged fuel injectors. Because fuel injectors are bad or clogged, they are unable to inject fuel into the engine in sufficient quantity and at the right timing according to the position of the piston.
Due to this, the fuel combustion process starts getting interrupted in the combustion chamber of the engine, and the fuel doesn’t ignite in sufficient quantity. That’s why black smoke can be seen from the exhaust of the engine due to unburned fuel. This problem gets worse when the engine is accelerated.
5. RPM Needle Unstable At Idle
The engine will not hold steady in the idle position if the fuel injectors are bad or clogged. Often, a bad fuel injector will cause the RPM gauge to drop below normal readings. Many times the engine shuts down due to excessively low RPM.
Due to a bad fuel injector, the fuel supply in the combustion chamber of the engine does not come in sufficient quantity, or the fuel supply starts coming at the wrong time according to the position of the pistons in the engine. Due to this, the fuel combustion process in the engine starts getting interrupted.
6. Acceleration Hesitation
Bad or clogged fuel injectors often cause the engine to hesitate during acceleration. When the accelerator pedal is pressed to accelerate the vehicle, the engine will hesitate, vibrate, and jerk during acceleration.
Due to this, the engine is not able to provide full acceleration. Because during acceleration the engine needs more fuel supply. But bad or clogged fuel injectors are unable to supply a sufficient amount of fuel.
7. Loss of Engine Power
Bad or clogged fuel injectors can cause a lack of engine power. Because to get more power from the engine, the engine needs more amount of fuel. But when the engine does not get sufficient amount of fuel as required, the power of the engine starts decreasing.
8. Engine Knocking
Often, fuel injectors start knocking when they are bad or clogged, because the mechanism of the fuel injector starts causing knocking problems when there is debris in the system or when the sensor of the injector is damaged.
The problem of injector knocking occurs when there is over-acceleration. And the problem of injectors knocking is mostly seen in diesel injectors.
Fuel Injectors Cleaning Cost
The fuel injector replacement cost depends on the vehicle model, fuel injector type, and mechanical labor costs.
Gasoline Fuel Injector Cleaning Cost
If you clean the fuel injector by yourself without opening the fuel injector cleaner, So fuel injector cleaning cost by cleaner can come between $10 to $20. But if you remove the fuel injector from the engine and clean it with a high-pressure machine in the auto service garage, Then you may have to pay between $70 and $120 for the fuel injector cleaning by machine at an auto service garage.
Diesel Fuel Injector Cleaning Cost
You may have to pay between $20 to $30 for diesel injector cleaner to clean it with diesel injector cleaner.
However, cleaning diesel fuel injectors can be a complicated process, because diesel fuel is of lower quality than gasoline fuel. Due to this, carbon accumulates in large quantities in the injector.
Fuel Injector Replacement Cost
On average, the cost of four fuel injector replacements can be expected to range between $480 and $1200. This estimated cost will be inclusive of the labor cost of the mechanic. Cars and fees are not included in this estimated cost. The fuel injector replacement cost depends on the vehicle model, fuel injector type, and mechanical labor cost.
The replacement cost per fuel injector can average between $120 and $300, including the labor cost of a mechanic. A fuel injector replacement cost range could vary depending on several other factors and the location of the mechanic.
However, the replacement cost of fuel injectors in diesel engines can be a more expensive process.Because the parts and mechanism system of diesel fuel injector is more complex. Due to which the replacement cost range of diesel fuel injectors can be high.
Q. How does a car act when the fuel injector is going out?
When the injectors in your vehicle’s engine are clogged or damaged. Then you start to see the symptoms, like misfiring of the vehicle engine, hesitation in acceleration, vibration, black smoke from the exhaust, a reduction in power performance, and an up-and-down RPM needle.
Q. Will a bad fuel injector throw a code?
Yes, a bad or clogged fuel injector can cause the check engine light in your vehicle’s cluster meter to illuminate, and on scanning with a digital scanner, you will get fault codes. These fault codes can range from engine misfire to a lean fuel mixture.
Q. What is the most common cause of injector failure?
The main reason for any fuel injector failure is fuel contamination. even if you are using a fuel filter. But due to a dirty fuel filter, fine particles of fuel contamination can get stuck in the fuel injectors even after being filtered.
Q. Can you drive with a failed fuel injector?
No, it is not recommended to drive the vehicle with bad fuel. But if the vehicle is driven for long distances with bad or clogged fuel injectors, then your vehicle can stop anywhere and anytime, and after that, the engine cannot be started. After this, you will be left with the option of towing the vehicle to the mechanic’s garage.
Banty is the owner of Autorepairszone.com & is also a vehicle mechanic by profession. We have almost 12 years of experience in the field of automotive repair, and we strive to provide you with accurate information about vehicle malfunctions and repairs based on our experience.