The fuel injector is what makes your car run efficiently. But at one point, wear and tear gets the best of the machine, causing it to malfunction. Most of the time, you can have a professional fix the problem. In severe cases, however, you will have to replace the mechanism altogether.
So, how can you tell if it’s time to replace the fuel injector? The answer lies in these signs:
Balance Test Failure
A balance test tells you which injector malfunctions in the engine, which lets you clean the fuel injector properly. Your vehicle, however, could be in deeper trouble than you think if it keeps failing this balance test. The repeated failure of a balance test tell you that something else is wrong with the mechanism in your vehicle. In such a case, you have to take the car to a professional to find the root cause of the problem.
Heat soak happens whenever you shut off your car engine. A non-running engine causes the fuel to evaporate in the injector nozzles, which leaves behind the waxy alkene olefin. Large amounts of olefins build up and clog the nozzles over time, as there is no cool airflow coming from the engine. These residues are a sign that your car might be a candidate for fuel injector replacement.
Longer Crank Times
The time it takes for the injector to build pressure in your engine can tell you if you need to replace the mechanism. The normal crank time for most diesel common-rail injections is somewhere between three to five seconds. When your car takes longer than this, there’s probably a leak in the injector that needs fixing.
Turbochargers don’t mix with dirty injectors. This is because a clogged, dirty injector may cause a detonation inside the engine. Remember how the turbo boosts your engine’s performance? The increase in performance requires an increase in the fuel supply. If there’s a clog in the injectors, the mechanism won’t deliver the necessary amount to the turbocharger. In effect, this increases the exhaust temperatures of your car and could possibly cause your turbo to fail.
When you notice any of these signs, it’s time to head to a mechanic. There are cases where minor repairs could do the trick, but if you’ve used your fuel injector for quite some time now, a replacement might be necessary.