While you may never have a problem with your fuel injectors (especially if you regularly use a good fuel injector cleaner), sometimes they get dirty, clogged, or completely fail and need to be replaced.

The basic function of a fuel injector is to supply the engine with fuel. The injector sprays (injects) fuel into the cylinder of the engine through a nozzle so that the internal combustion process can begin. The fuel must be delivered at the right time, in the right amount, and at the correct pressure, angle, and spray pattern

If something were to go wrong with one or more of your fuel injectors, then your vehicle’s engine won’t be able to perform the way it’s supposed to.

A faulty fuel injector will either prevent fuel from being sprayed into the engine all together or it will mess up the intervals at which it is supposed to be sprayed. Either way, your vehicle won’t run the way it’s supposed to or even be undriveable.

Problems Starting the Engine

One of the most common symptoms of a clogged fuel injector is difficulty starting the engine, or the engine not starting at all. Fuel injectors control the amount of fuel that reaches the engine to make your car start, and a clogged injector might be stuck open or closed, delivering the incorrect amount of fuel, or even no fuel at all, when you try to start your car. Listen for your car sputtering when starting, or misfiring as you try to start it, if you believe you might have a clogged fuel injector.

Difficulty Accelerating

Because the fuel injector controls the amount of fuel reaching the engine when you accelerate or decelerate, you may feel differences in your car’s ability to speed up or slow down with a clogged fuel injector. Your engine might surge suddenly, then accelerate too slowly, which is a symptom of too much fuel being injected into the engine. For many drivers, this feels like an up-and-down motion within the car. Alternatively, if your fuel injector is sending too little fuel into the engine, you may experience misfiring. Misfiring generally feels like delayed acceleration, or choppy acceleration when you depress the gas pedal.

Poor Fuel Economy

Another symptom that may be more difficult to notice but is still a clear sign of a clogged fuel injector is a decrease in your fuel economy. As the fuel injectors become more erratic, fuel may be lost or leaking within your engine. Your fuel injectors might also be injecting too much fuel into your engine when it isn’t necessary, which wastes fuel. Pay attention to your gas gauge while driving long distances to pinpoint a possible lowering of fuel economy. If you start to see some of these signs and symptoms, then it is time for you to have your engine checked by one of our trained mechanics at Callahan Automotive. We want to get you back on the road again safely!