EDITION 11 - October 2000
When Wipers Won't Wipe ..
Surviving A Canadian Winter
In Our House
Fuel injectors are the parts in your engine that take gasoline from your vehicle's fuel system and transfer it in precise amounts to the cylinders where the gas is burned.
Like miniature garden hose nozzles, which can be set to spray a specific pattern and amount of water. injectors spray fuel into the cylinders in an exactly shaped pattern and in an exact amount that gives your vehicle proper ignition and maximum power. The shape of the injector's spray pattern and its volume - the amount of fuel being sprayed at any given time - are absolutely critical to your engine's performance. Contamination can cause a slight change in the spray pattern or volume and that results in your engine losing power.
So, what causes ditty injectors? Well, in most cases deposits form over time in the chamber of the injector and on its tip. The additives in the gasoline you burn usually cause these deposits. Switching brands or to a higher octane rating won't help, all gasoline sold in this country have these additives.
What happens is the contaminants aren't burned up inside the cylinders? Instead, they begin to bake onto the first hot surface they encounter - your fuel injectors. As these deposits build up, they change the shape and volume of the injector's spray pattern.
Fuel injector deposits are a natural side effect of the combustion process and there's nothing you can do to avoid them.
Gasoline additives, although marketed as a means to clean your injectors actually are not terribly effective.
The ability of the solvents they contain to clean your injectors are greatly reduced when mixed with gasoline. Even
detergent-grade gasolines are no, Suspected by some
oil companies of actually contributing to fuel injector contamination.
Occasionally an injector can become seriously clogged or plugged. This can cause hesitation, stumble and a sudden and noticeable loss of power. These symptoms are most noticeable when your injectors have to work the hardest - during warm-up or when you accelerate. Hard starting and rough idling can also be indications that your injectors need cleaning, or in extreme contamination, replacement of one or two of the injectors.
To prevent major fuel injector problems, regular professional cleaning is recommended. A good rule of thumb is every 1,500 - 2,000 gallons of gas burned - every 50,000 kilometres or so. Cleaned regularly, fuel injectors should last for tens of thousands of Kilometres of driving.