We all know that your vehicle’s engine and overall performance is only as good as the fuel you choose at the bowser. If, however, your vehicle is being plagued with drivability issues, then it might be time to have your diesel fuel injectors looked at.
What is a fuel injector?
Diesel fuel injectors have come a long way over the past twenty years. Originally designed as a common rail injection system only for trucks, the technology quickly moved into the passenger vehicle market. Older-style mechanical injectors used far lower fuel pressures than their modern counterparts, with the fuel running through much larger passages. This in turn meant that the injectors had a far greater tolerance for general wear and tear, and were less susceptible to damage caused by contaminants and inferior fuel.
The advent of the common rail injection systems introduced a far superior level of vehicle performance and improved fuel economy. However, the newer systems are far more complicated than their predecessor, meaning they can often be more costly to repair. They may also have a shorter lifespan.
Signs of diesel fuel injector wear
Here is a list of some of the more common symptoms you may experience with your vehicle:
- Fluctuating power.
If your vehicle is revving inconsistently or your RPM gauge is up and down, this may be a sign your fuel injector needs a clean. A contaminated fuel injection system or worn fuel injector can often supply inconsistent amounts of fuel to the engine, resulting in poor performance.
Do you find your vehicle misfiring on ignition? Once again, this could be due to the fuel injector either needing a thorough clean in case it is clogged, or an intermittent failure to open.
- Fuel odours.
The smell of diesel fuel means you most likely have a leak. This may be due to a crack in an injector seal, or the result of a valve not closing correctly.
- Reduced fuel economy.
If you notice a sudden and ongoing decrease in your fuel economy, this could be due to worn injectors. Worn injectors burn more fuel to achieve the required performance output.
The lifespan of a diesel fuel injector
Diesel fuel injectors generally have a shorter lifespan than their predecessors, meaning they need to be replaced more frequently for optimal performance. The life expectancy of a good quality diesel fuel injector is around 150,000 kilometres. They should be checked out by a professional at around this time. The cost is variable, but is generally around the $300 to $500 mark.
Damage prevention for your diesel fuel injector
To prevent premature wear or damage, always ensure that any early warning signs (such as those listed above) are investigated. Only use high-quality fuel that is suitable for your vehicle, and ensure the engine is turned over periodically to prevent any internal corrosion issues. The addition of fuel additives and lubricants can also help to stabilise your engine.
For more information or advice about diesel fuel injectors, or to test your vehicle to ensure it is performing at optimal levels, contact one of the team in Perth today on 9259 3000.