5 Common Fuel Injector Problems Symptoms + Solutions (2023)

Last updated on June 27th, 2023 at 01:46 pm

Hey, in this article, we will look at common symptoms and signs of bad fuel injectors and also offer solutions to them.

You would recall that vehicles made before 1980 had carburetors. But modern vehicles now have complex electronic fuel injection systems. How the fuel injector works is that it sprays fuel into the engine.

Therefore, if it develops any problems, this will affect the performance of the engine, and the car will become hard to drive.

To prevent any damage to your carand being stranded on the highway, it is important you detect fuel injectorproblem before it happens.

Or even be able to identify the problem when it eventually spontaneously occurs.

What does a fuel injector do?

It supplies the engine with fuel to assist the internal combusting process. It has nozzles that spray fuel into the engine’s cylinder. Also, the vehicle’s Engine Control Unit (ECU) watches over the injector’s functions and ensures the exact fuel quantity gets to the engine on time.

5 Common fuel injector problems symptoms + solutions to all signs of bad fuel injectors

Symptoms of Bad Fuel Injector

When the fuel injector is bad, that means the engine will not get enough fuel in it. This will affect the combustion process and cause the engine to misfire amid other problems that relate to the smooth performance of the vehicle. Some of the problems are stalling after you have pressed the accelerator, struggling to accelerate, and poor fuel economy.

Most of these problems occur due to inadequate air-to-fuel ratio. Also, any delay could lead to overheating, and the engine could stall.

What happens when fuel injectors go bad

Rough idling

This happens due to an inadequate supply of fuel in the engine, and you will notice the car’s revolution per minute (RMP) will fall below the best level when it is idling. This, in turn, causes the car to do convulsive or rough idling. And the engine could go off if the RMP falls more than necessary.

Engine vibration

It is the fuel that is sprayed into the engine from the injectors that it uses for combustion. When the engine is denied fuel because the injector is going bad on one side, the matching cylinder will not fire. And the result will be continuous interruption or vibration of the engine when you are driving the car.

Vibration is a fuel injector problemsymptom that corresponds to other engine problems that arise from othersources. So, you may need to run more checks to confirm that it is truly theinjector that is causing the vibration.

Fuel leak

Old age can cause the injector to have a fault or have a hole, or be damaged. When this occurs, oil will leak from the injector’s body. Oil could also leak if there is a damaged seal which will deteriorate as time goes on. When you examine the injector visually, you will see traces of fuel on the surface of the injector or the fuel rail.

Smell of fuel

Because fuel is leaking from the injector, you will perceive fuel odor due either to the leak in the seal or in the injector. This is occurring because fuel is not burning properly as the injector is malfunctioning. Another thing that could cause a fuel smell is a bad sensor or fuel line.

Failed emissions test

The fuel injector problem symptoms could occur when there is too much emission due to incomplete fuel burning or irregular fuel burning. This happens when the air-to-fuel ratio is tilted to one side, making it too rich that it could burn the catalytic converter.

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Solutions for bad fuel injector problems

Most fuel injector problems happen because they are not cleaned regularly. To prevent any form of blockage, clean it whenever you cover 30 000 miles. Also, you can get a bottle of fuel injector cleaner for less than $15. At the same time, a professional mechanic may charge you between $50 to $100 to clean a very dirty injector.

Furthermore, you should be happy to learn that cleaning is the cure for most bad fuel injector problems. Another thing you could do is to change the O-rings if it has developed a leak. And finally, the worst-case scenario is to replace the bad fuel injectors, which could cost you between the sums of $800 to $1,500, depending on the type of vehicle.

How long does it take to replace fuel injectors?

Each time you crank the ignition andrun your car, you use the fuel injector to provide the engine with the fuel itneeds to perform its work. So, the fuel injectors on your car will last forbetween 50,000 and 100,000 miles.

But, if you need to replace the oldfuel injector with a new one, on a do it yourself basis, with intermediateskills, it will take you between 1 to 2 hours.

Howto Replace A Fuel Injector

This guide is for an Engine FuelSystem vehicle. Also, you will need to have an intermediate Skill Level tocarry out this routine. And, it will take about 1 to 2 hours to complete thisproject. Let us begin.

What You’ll Need

Steps on How to Replace A Fuel Injector

First step

You will see a metal rod over thefuel injector. It is called the fuel rail. Now, use the socket and ratchet toloosen the bolts and brackets holding the fuel rail in place. However,depending on the model, in some engines, you will have to disconnect the fuelline from the fuel rail to remove the rail.

Pro Tip: Following this step normally depressurizes the fuel system in multi-port fuel injector vehicles. However, it may be different for your engine, so check the Manufacturer’s manual to confirm.

Second Step

Ensure the engine is cold to the touch. Then you can disconnect the battery.

Third Step

Take off the plastic engine cover byusing the appropriate socket.

Fourth step

Now that the set cover is off, thenuse pliers to detach the electrical connector on each injector.

Fifth Step

Take away the fuel rail from the intake manifold, lifting the injectors with it. You will use a little pressure or a good amount of force here. The reason is that the injectors are joined to the rail, and the sprayer tips are a tight fit in the intake manifold. Take care not to bend the fuel rail, so don’t use too much force.

Sixth step

Inspect the injector. And, if yousee a small metal clip that looks like a staple pin, use a small flatheadscrewdriver to remove or depress the clip. Then, with your hand gloves on, gripthe injector and work it back and forth while pulling it to remove it from thefuel rail. The injector and rail will have drops of fuel, so use the shoptowels to clean the fuel.

Pro Tip: Before you fix the new fuel injectors, put the tip of the injector (using the sprayer end) into a small amount of engine oil. Doing this will wet the seals and prevent leaks. But, if the new injectors you bought did not come with seals, buy new injector seals separately instead of reusing the former ones.

Seventh step

Now, press the injector into the rail until it stops. Attach the metal clip if it has one.

Eight step

Next, reinstall the fuel rail. Note that this can be difficult. First, align all the injectors over their respective holes, then push each injector until they slide into place.

Ninth step

Tighten the Bolt of the fuel rail.And fix the fuel line into place. Also, don’t forget to plug in the fuelinjector’s electrical connections.

Tenth step

Finally, Reconnect the battery totheir right places.

Eleventh step

Now insert the key and turn it tothe ON position and wait 10 seconds before turning the engine to startposition. The slight delay is to allow the fuel pump to refill the lines andfuel rails before you crank the engine.

Twelfth step

Allow the engine to work a littleand when it drops to the regular idle RPM, turn the engine off. Finally,inspect the injectors with a flashlight for fuel leaks.

Cana Bad fuel injector Damage the Engine?

Yes, a bad fuel injector can damage your car engine so badly that the car cannot run again unless it is fixed. Normally before a bad fuel injector damages your car engine it would be given you so many signs and symptoms like the one we have discussed above.

So do take some time to observe all the signs so you know what is triggering a specific problem.

Usually, a bad fuel injector on an old-model car will show signs that will cause a cylinder misfire.

That is due to the newer fuel-injected structures; the injectors work in sequence, so if when the car engine misses a dose of fuel, it won’t run smoothly and may suffer damage over time.

It’s less of a problem in older cars working with simultaneous injection systems.

And that is because good fuel injectors can sometimes compensate for weaker injectors, allowing the engine to recover its sequence more quickly.

Conclusion on 5 Common fuel injector problems symptoms

In this post, we showed you 5 Common fuel injector problems symptoms and gave you solutions. Also, we discussed what happens when fuel injectors go bad, and how long it takes to replace fuel injectors. Finally, we showed you how to replace a fuel Injector. Hope this was

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Jeffery Ekweghi

Hi dear, my name is Jeffery Ekweghi, and I am a certified mechanic and autobody parts technician. I created this site to share my expertise and experience with car lovers looking to resolve their car-related issues. I am certified in private cars and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. I have worked as a mechanic since 2015 and have experience in vehicle brands like Subaru, Jeep, Toyota, TATA, BMW, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Kia, TVs, and Others; however, I primarily specialize in Toyota vehicles.

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