Possible Causes of Fuel Injector Problems and Failure

Fuel injector is an essential part in a vehicles’ fuel injection system. A properly functioning fuel injector sprays right amount of pressurized fuel, in an appropriate spray pattern, into the engine – this is highly essential for efficient combustion. However, due to its location and the extra-ordinary duty demand, fuel injectors are prone to failures. In this article, let us see the possible causes for fuel injector failure.

Clogged fuel injector filters
Foreign particles like rust, dirt, etc., enter the fuel tank when low quality fuel is used or when there is rusting in the fuel tank. These particles get collected in the fuel injector filters and reduce the fuel flow to the injector. They can enter the fuel injector and alter the fuel distribution or spraying pattern when the filters are worn out or if the particle size is very small. Clogged fuel filters or injectors lead to issues like vehicle’s starting trouble. The engine may also get over heated due to lack of power.

Unburned fuel additives
Unburned fuel additives get collected on the injector’s pintle (a small opening that allows the injector to spray the fuel) and get baked due to higher temperatures. These baked additives jam the injector’s pintle.

A blocked pintle, thus, affects the fuel transmission. It either prevents the injector to open up completely or prevents it from shutting down. While the first condition reduces the fuel output, the second results in loss of pressure inside the injector which further leads to fuel leakage into the engine. When this happens, you will see reduced fuel economy, leaky fuel injector, oxygen sensor damage, etc.

Detergents/additives in gasoline
To reduce costs on deposit-control additives, some gasoline suppliers add cheap additives/detergents to the fuel that are less effective. Over time they build-up on intake valves and block the fuel intake. Blocked values reduce the fuel intake and result in engine misfires and hesitation.

Over-heated injector windings
When the cooling system in the vehicle fails, the injector coil windings that support the cycling of injectors get over-heated and lose their magnetic performance. This affects the cycling process of the fuel injectors. This condition again results in either over-fueling or under fueling the engine and you will see poor engine performance, engine damage and poor fuel economy.

Corroded/broken external electrical connectors
Due to wrong installation or water/moisture in the injector plug connector, the external electrical connectors of the fuel injector may break or even get corroded. This leads to poor engine performance, engine overheating, engine damage and low mileage.

Besides all the above mentioned problems, bad maintenance of the fuel injectors often leads to serious issues. As mentioned earlier, the fuel injector gets dirty quite quickly and thus requires periodic maintenance without which it gets damaged. Thus, regular maintenance of fuel injector and the related components is quite essential for proper health and functioning of the fuel injector and engine.