The science and importance of fuel injectors
In an ideal world, we’d all be living within walking distance to work. But in the cities we all live in now, that’s not always the case.
A majority of the human population commute to work, either by public transportation or driving vehicles, be it a car, van or bike. If you’re not living in a city, chances are you’d have to get around on foot or by car to get to where you want to go. Chances are, it’s a lot easier to get a car than any other mode of personal transportation, which is why it’s important to learn a little bit about cars, how they work, certain components that may provide useful for everyday use, as well as how to maintain a car.
This article is about fuel injectors – their history, the different types of injectors and how to select one for the type of vehicle you have. Fuel injectors form a very important component in modern vehicles. Identifying your fuel injector in your engine system and knowing how to check and get a replacement are all part of the maintenance of an optimal vehicle.
What’s a fuel injector?
As the name suggests, a fuel injector does the job of injecting fuel into your vehicle’s engine at the right time, so your vehicle performs at optimal efficiency. Fuel injectors replaced carburetors in the 1990s, and today, it has evolved tremendously to be one of the highly efficient systems of modern-day automobiles.
Engines with fuel injectors have a better power output than carbureted engines.
A quick look into the history of fuel injectors
In the field of vehicular inventions and technologies, fuel injectors are still new, but its concept goes way back. Fuel injections have been around for over a century, especially with the rise of global commercial use of diesel engines across various automobile uses. The earliest known use of fuel injectors was recorded back in 1902 when Leon Levavasseur created a prototype of an injection system into his Antoinette 8V airplane. This unknowingly led to the V8 engine system becoming the first-ever in history to have an injection system.
Fast forward 23 years later, Swedish inventor and engineer Jonas Hesselman would use one of the earliest forms of direct gasoline injection. He used it on one of his earlier formats of the Hesselman engine where gasoline was used in the last moments during the compression stroke, starting the spark plug.
Fuel injectors in modern American history
The break of World War II would be a catalyst for many inventions in the modern world, one of it being the widespread use of fuel injection systems, especially in the Western world’s automotive industry. Back in the 1980s, the automotive industry would see a rapid rise of electronic fuel injectors, which became even more popularly used in European countries and various European manufacturing businesses.
In 1990 in America, the Subaru Jutsy would become the last car that was sold, which operated using the gasoline carburetor engine, signifying the end of an era for one and a beginning for another. In 1991, the same Subaru Jutsy was revamped and remanufactured to include the new fuel injector. It has been more than 25 years since, and every car produced, assembled, and sold in the US and various other countries are now powered by a fuel injector mechanism.
The importance of fuel injectors
Without a doubt, fuel injectors are extremely important for vehicles, and it’s one of the greatest tech innovations in the automotive industry. Before the invention of these things, vehicles performed using standard gasoline engines. These weren’t only fuel-inefficient and expensive, but they were also bad for the environment.
However, monitoring a fuel injector does need some amount of knowledge. Installing the right one also requires some research, just like anything else you invest money in. Understanding how fuel injector systems operate, knowing how to diagnose any problems that may occur, and knowing the inner remanufacturing of a fuel injector can save you hundreds of dollars and, yes, fewer headaches and less time going to the mechanic. You can also do your part in reducing your carbon footprint by understanding the most environmentally sustainable method of building or using an injector.
The different types of fuel injectors
Part of your ongoing research and knowledge about vehicles and fuel injection system is also knowing and recognising the various types of fuel injectors, and knowing which is the best brand or type for your vehicle.
A little bit of basic engine understanding is all you need for a healthy and well-performing vehicle. The fuel injection types used in newer cars include four basic types:
Single-point or throttle body injection
Multipoint fuel injection
Sequential fuel injection
Single-point or throttle body injection
This type of fuel injection is the simplest and earliest system. This single-point system replaces the carburetor with one or two fuel-injector nozzles in the throttle body. The single-point injection was, for many automotive manufacturers, a stepping stone to the more complex multipoint system. The drawback of this injection system is that it’s not as precise as the other systems that follow. However, it’s less expensive, and it’s by far the easiest to service.
Port or multipoint fuel injection
This system uses a separate injector nozzle for each cylinder that’s located right outside its intake port. This is also another reason why this system is called port injection. The primary advantage of MPFI meters is that it fuels more precisely than TBI designs. It also has the ability to achieve a better air-fuel ratio, thus improving all related engine aspects. Another good thing about this type of fuel injection is that it reduces the possibility of any fuel condensation or even cause a build-up in the intake manifold. For TBI and carburetors, on the other hand, the intake manifold must be designed to process the engine’s heat. For engines with MPFI, the intake manifold can be created using lighter-weight material such as plastic. Through this system, MPFI engines have the metal intake manifolds located in a more optimised and creative position, enabling engineers’ design flexibility.
Sequential fuel injection
Also known as SPFI or timed injection, this type of system is a multi-port injection type. With sequential fuel injection, this system triggers each injector nozzle independently, unlike the MPFI system that sprays fuel all at the same time. SPFI sprays fuel immediately prior to or during the intake valve openings. This seems like a pretty minor step, but the performance, efficiency, and emission improvements are tremendous.
The direct injection system takes the concept of fuel injection as forward as it can go, because this system injects fuel directly into the combustion chambers, passing the valves. This type of system is commonly used in diesel engines. However, you can now find them being used in gasoline engine designs. The common term used for these types of injections are Direct-Injection Gasoline, or DIG for short.
Through this system, fuel metering is much more precise than the other injection systems mentioned here. It provides engineers another variable to measure, influence and manipulate how combustions should take place in the cylinders. The science of engine designs looks at how air-fuel mixtures swirl around the cylinders and how they travel from the ignition point.
Can you save money on a fuel injector?
The first thing to know about a fuel injector is the exact part number suitable for your vehicle. Places such as https://goldfarbinc.com/collections/fuel-injectors have various types of fuel injectors, whether it’s for passenger car/automotive, light-duty pick-up truck, heavy-duty, commercial, industrial, agricultural or marine vehicle. Getting the right one installed will mean you have better performance on your engine. If you know enough about fuel injectors, you can save money by installing it on your own.
When deciding on whether or not you need to change your fuel injectors, just open up the hood of your vehicle, use a flashlight and observe the fuel spray pattern of your existing injectors. If you find that the spray pattern isn’t uniformed or not in a conical spray pattern, this is a big indication that you need to clean your injectors or change them. If you do see unvapourised liquid fuel in the spray, this is also another indicator that your injectors are clogged.
At the end of the day, it’s recommended that you clean and check your fuel injector every 25,000 to 30,000 miles, and make it one of the basic engine checks you do. Checking it regularly, especially before a long drive, ensures that your vehicle runs at its optimal efficiency. Not only that, but you’ll also save a lot of money by preventing further damage to your vehicle as a result of a failing fuel injector.
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