There's something wrong with your diesel engine—you can feel it (or maybe see or smell it)—but you can't quite figure out what it is.
There's a chance you might have a problem with your fuel injectors.
While there are other failures that can lead to similar symptoms, you shouldn't rule out the possibility that your injectors are failing. In this post, we're going through some common signs of failure, as well as possible causes of diesel injector failure.
Fuel injectors play a big role in the overall performance of your engine. When functioning properly, you can have great fuel economy, high engine power, and a smooth ride.
If there's a failure happening, though, you might experience a decrease in the quality of engine performance, which could happen gradually or suddenly.
If you think you might be having trouble with your injectors, here are some signs to watch for:
Loss of Engine Power
Rough Idle or Rough Engine Performance
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
Excessive Exhaust Smoke
A lot of these issues have to do with the amount of fuel being delivered to your engine.
If the pressure or timing is affected even slightly, you'll notice a decrease in the quality of your overall engine performance. Sometimes, the problem can be solved simply by cleaning your injectors or replacing some injector seals.
Other times, though, the failure is so extensive that you'll have to replace your injectors, and possibly other components of your fuel system.
It's not enough just to know the signs that there's something wrong in your engine. To fix the problem, you need to know exactly what might be going wrong.
Here are some things that might cause your injectors to fail:
Sometimes you don't really notice the decrease in fuel economy right away. Or, it may not be obvious that your engine isn't as powerful as it used to be.
This could be because the problems come on gradually, due to the steady wear on your injectors as part of normal engine usage. Because so much fuel goes through the injectors at such a high pressure, it causes your injectors to wear over time.
Combustion is a delicate process, and if the timing is off even a little bit, you can lose engine efficiency and power.
Poor injector timing affects when fuel is injected into the cylinders. This can involve more parts than just the injector itself, depending on what type of fuel system your engine has.
It's possible for an injector to blow a tip. This is most frequently caused by air or water contaminating the fuel and affecting the pressure buildup.
Some injectors are more sensitive to contamination than others, namely the common rail injectors, so it's important to not only diagnose the blown tip, but the contamination cause as well.
Otherwise, you'll continue to have issues with your injectors, even after you replace them.
Buildups of old fuel, carbon, and other debris can cause blocked or clogged fuel injectors. These clogs do not let any fuel through them, leading to power loss in your engine.
And, if the block isn't taken care of right away, the engine can misfire.
The clogs could also be caused by poorly functioning fuel filters. Professional cleaning might solve the issue, but it also might require complete injector replacement to fix.
Again, make sure you also troubleshoot why your injectors clogged in the first place to help prevent the issues from immediately happening again.
Fuel injectors can leak from quite a few place, including o-rings and seals, the top or bottom, or from the body due to excessive corrosion.
In some cases, it is possible to repair the damage just by replacing the leaking o-rings or seals. A corroded or heavily damaged injector, though, will likely need to be replaced entirely.
A leaking injector doesn't allow for proper fuel pressure to be maintained, which affects the injection and combustion processes. If left unaddressed, the leak can cause costly damage to other engine components, as fuel will be able to contaminate other areas of your engine.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time for new fuel injectors. Be sure to take a look at all our fuel system components to find the right parts for your engine.
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