What Causes Diesel Injectors To Fail?

Excess wear, abrasion, and deposits, according to Afton Chemical’s North American Marketing Manager David Cleaver, are three significant causes of injector failure linked to the qualities of the fuel itself.

How do you stop diesel injectors from failing?

Note from the editor: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on Why Fuel Injectors Fail, concentrating on the effects of low-grade fuel on your diesel fuel injectors…

Why do fuel injectors go bad?

We receive that question a lot here at Injectors Direct, so we’ll be writing about it as part of an occasional series to assist you safeguard your fuel injectors and identify some of the problems that cause them to fail.

There are a variety of reasons why diesel fuel injectors go faulty or fail, and it might vary depending on the truck or injector in question.

We specialize in replacing Chevy and GMC Duramax injectors from 2001 onwards, Dodge Cummins from 2003 onwards, and Ford Powerstroke injectors from 2003 onwards at Injectors Direct. However, for the sake of this article, we’ll concentrate on one of the most common causes of fuel injector failure: poor fuel quality.

Inspecting the hundreds of broken injectors we’ve received over the years, as well as conducting our own research and speaking with industry experts and knowledgeable customers, we’ve discovered that inadequate fuel in the system is the most common cause of injector failure.

“Low-grade fuel is the leading cause of fuel injector failure, according to Jon Milne, proprietor of Milne Auto Restoration in Atascadero, Calif. “That’s why many truck owners swear by premium fuel, because low-quality or contaminated fuels can corrode and rust the fuel system, causing severe difficulties down the road.”

When debris (water, dirt particles, etc.) or rust get into the system, they plug up the nozzle, the armature, or the nozzle needle gets stuck, and the fuel injectors fail.

We recommend doing everything you can to keep your fuel system clean to avoid debris entering into the system.

  • When a gas station receives a new cargo of fuel, don’t fill up since any contaminants in the fuel haven’t settled in the station’s tanks and could end up in your truck.
  • It’s also a good idea to avoid filling up from portable, job-site fuel tanks because trash is more likely to float in them.
  • When feasible, buy high-quality fuel from reputable stations that are known for providing premium fuel rather than just the lowest price.
  • Keep your gasoline system clean by changing your fuel filters on a regular basis and avoiding aftermarket parts that aren’t designed for your truck.
  • If you’re storing your truck for an extended period of time, especially during the winter, it’s a good idea to start it up every now and again to avoid corrosion of crucial fuel system components. Gasoline additives designed to stabilize the fuel in your system should also be considered.

“You can absolutely slow down the deterioration process by buying high-quality fuel and changing your filters on a regular basis to keep debris out of the system,” Milne added. “In high-mileage conditions, this will prevent the injectors from corroding or wearing out faster.”

How long do injectors last on a diesel?

The fuel injection system is an important part of any diesel engine. The fuel is pressurized and injected into compressed air in the combustion chamber via this system. Feeding fuel to the injectors, regulating the fuel supply, modifying the injection time, and atomizing the fuel are all operations of a fuel injection system.

The proper amount of fuel, at the right time, in the right condition for combustion, must be delivered.

Fuel injectors help enhance fuel efficiency, reduce the need for fuel system maintenance, and keep emissions cleaner. A diesel fuel injector has an average lifespan of 100,000 kilometers. The nozzle and the injector body are the two primary elements of a standard fuel injector. If either of these components becomes clogged or destroyed, the vehicle’s overall performance is jeopardized.

  • Uneven idling or difficulty starting the car. The engine cranks, but it won’t start unless you crank it hard enough. On idle, the engine uses a variety of rev levels.
  • Misfire. A full diagnostic of a vehicle that is misfiring on ignition entails determining which component of the combustion process is missing. This is caused by either a lack of fuel injection or a lack of combustion chamber heat in a diesel engine. One of the cylinders’ fuel charge fails to ignite, or the fuel supply to the ignition system is insufficient.
  • There’s a strong odor of gasoline. The scent of diesel within the cabin indicates that there is a leak. This could be caused by a malfunctioning injector that allows fuel to leak out while it isn’t in use.
  • Emissions are filthy. Filters that are clogged and deposits on injectors create an uneven or partial fuel burn, resulting in a polluted environment around the exhaust and the discharge of white smoke from the exhaust pipe.
  • Fuel consumption has increased, while miles per gallon has decreased. Faulty injectors waste more fuel and have a direct impact on the performance and efficiency of your vehicle.

Clean fuel injectors are essential for your diesel engine to run at its best. Any of the following signs could suggest an issue with your fuel injectors, which should not be overlooked. Injectors that are unclean, clogged, or leaky are examples of this. If you’ve driven your car for more than 100,000 miles without replacing the fuel injectors, it’s time to have them looked at by a specialist.

What happens if you run a diesel with a bad injector?

While most fuel injector issues are obvious, driving your car for an extended period of time with a clogged or defective fuel injector can be problematic. Fuel use has increased. The amount of tailpipe smoke and emissions has increased noticeably. Idle is rough, and acceleration is sluggish.

How do I know if my diesel injectors are bad?

To turn off the fuel, place the fuel feed block cap on the fuel line. If the gasoline line is disconnected for an extended period of time, the injector, which is now dry, will be ruined. Turn on the engine. You’ve located the problematic injector if it starts easier and the exhaust is cleaner. If the engine won’t start at all, the problem is most likely a poorly leaky fuel injector that’s causing low fuel pressure. If the engine starts, there is a problem with the injector. This must be done one by one for each cylinder.

Is it common for fuel injectors to fail?

There are various reasons why your engine may not operate as well as you would like. A damaged or worn-out fuel injector is one you may not have considered; it’s a very regular problem that we hear about from customers all the time. Fuel injectors are one of the most significant technological achievements in automobile history. They’re significantly more efficient than the previous carburetor system — so efficient, in fact, that most drivers don’t even notice them, despite the fact that they’re critical to your car’s daily operation.

When you experience engine troubles, it’s easy to overlook the possibility that your fuel injectors are to blame. However, fuel injection system issues are more common than you might believe, and they can have a significant impact on the performance of your engine. How can you tell if you have a problem with your fuel injectors? What causes them, and what can you do if they happen to you?

How long should fuel injectors last?

Fuel injectors are one of the vehicle’s most important components, as they spray a precise amount of pressurized fuel to start the engine. Bosch fuel injectors, for example, have a 1 billion cycle life. Theoretically, this means that your car’s fuel injectors should last its whole lifetime. In practice, this isn’t the case. Fuel injectors fail even before their lifetime due to driving circumstances, fuel composition, and other real-world difficulties.

Fuel injectors are rigorously evaluated in a laboratory setting, and their lifetime is usually calculated after taking into account real-world considerations. However, real-world conditions on the road can be vastly different from those in the lab. Everything influences the lifetime of the fuel injectors, including your driving style, road conditions, weather, gasoline quality, maintenance cycle, and others. Typically, the fuel injectors will perform adequately for 50,000 to 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

You may extend the life of your state-of-the-art Ford racing injectors by following some simple maintenance procedures. The first step in extending the life of your fuel injectors is to use high-quality fuel. While it is costly, it will assist you with maintaining engine performance and preventing degradation, so extending the life of your vehicle. Cheap gasoline lacks the necessary chemicals to avoid carbon and particle buildup.

Your vehicle should be chosen based on your driving patterns. More debris accumulates in the fuel injectors as a result of frequent stops and short drives. You can put off the need to replace the injectors by picking the proper model. The fuel filter prevents the majority of debris from entering the fuel injectors. It must be replaced on a regular basis to prevent dirt from circulating inside the high-performance injectors. Fuel filters should always be replaced according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

You can reduce the collection of junk by using a fuel injector cleaner on a regular basis. Without removing the fuel injectors from the automobile, the DIY cleaning kits can be utilized. Every 10,000 miles, these kits can be used to clean the fuel injectors at home. To avoid damaging the car engine, use the cleaner kit with extreme caution and carefully follow the instructions. To avoid having to replace your fuel injectors sooner, take your automobile in for a full and professional fuel injector cleaning every 30,000 miles.

If you’re having issues with your engine’s performance, power, or mileage, your mechanic may recommend that you replace the fuel injectors. It’s a costly task, and you might not be up to it. If you don’t follow the experts’ advise, you’ll end up causing irreversible damage to your car’s engine. To guarantee that your car’s engine is properly maintained, bad fuel injectors must be replaced as soon as possible. You will notice an immediate improvement in performance when you replace the worn out fuel injector in your car. The money spent on top-of-the-line Accel fuel injectors will be well spent.

How do I know if my fuel injectors need to be replaced?

Knowing how sophisticated your fuel injection system is, it’s easy to see how bad or dirty fuel injectors may cause havoc with your engine!

The Engine Misfires

Fuel injectors that are dirty can cause your vehicle’s engine to misfire. This condition causes the motor to splutter, causing vibrations throughout the vehicle. Misfires can occur when a faulty fuel injector disrupts the precise balance of fuel and air entering the engine.

Idling Gets Rough

When you’re stopped at a stop sign or stuck in traffic, does your car splutter and shake? It’s not like you’re riding a bucking bronco. It’s alerting you to the possibility of clogged gasoline injectors at work.

Even when your foot is off the pedal, “rough idling” is characterized by variable revolutions per minute (RPMs). Engine stalling – a sudden drop in RPMs and engine noise that feels like running out of gas on a hill — is frequently associated with rough idling.

Rough idling and engine stalling can be caused by a variety of issues, including dirty fuel injectors. Come in for a Complete Vehicle Inspection if you detect any of these problems in your vehicle. Our professional technicians will diagnose the issue and, if necessary, recommend a fuel system cleaning.

Your Gas Mileage Tanks

Fuel injectors that work well assist your car get the gas mileage that manufacturers advertise. While a variety of engine problems may force you to visit your local gas station more frequently, poor gas mileage could indicate a problem with your fuel injectors.

The RPM Needle Starts to Dance

In most cases, you have control over what your car’s dash gauges do. The gas needle moves from “F” to “E” when you drive a lot. The speedometer changes from “0” to “60” as you accelerate.

What are the effects of unclean fuel injectors? They can cause the tachometer needle — the gauge that shows the vehicle’s RPM — to move in an unpredictable manner. When your car isn’t changing gears, the needle may move without warning, indicating changes in RPM.

Your Car Won’t Start

Fuel injectors are responsible for delivering gas to the correct cylinders. That is the first task. And if Job #1 isn’t completed, your engine won’t obtain the vital combination of oxygen and fuel it requires. When the air-to-fuel ratio in your engine is off, your engine may not be able to achieve the combustion it requires to run.

Fuel injector problems are uncommon, but they can cause engine failure and prevent your car from starting. It’s also possible that your car won’t start because you, well, neglected to fill it up with gas. (It occurs to everyone!) Unfortunately, running out of gas can also cause problems with the fuel injectors.

How much does it cost to replace diesel injectors?

The cost of replacing your fuel injectors ranges from $350 to $850 on average. The cost range is determined by a variety of things.

  • Smaller vehicles with fewer cylinders and hence less expensive parts will be at the low end of the price range.
  • You will have to pay more for the repair if there are other issues with your fuel system, such as problems with the fuel pump. You may wind up paying far more than the pricing range given above, depending on the specific difficulties.

What causes white smoke from a diesel engine?

On startup, a brand new diesel engine running at full load will experience some blow-by. Blow-by occurs when diesel fuel, air, or vapor is pushed past the rings and into the engine’s crankcase. In order for proper combustion to take place, the cylinder chamber must be kept at the right pressure. The rings in a new diesel engine need time to seat properly and form an airtight seal. The blow-by problem should go away after a few hours of break-in time under load. As a result, a properly operating diesel engine should emit no visible smoke from the exhaust system. If there is smoke coming from the exhaust, it could be a sign of a more serious engine problem. This article will assist you in determining the root causes of diesel engine smoke.

White, black, and blue are the three colors of diesel engine smoke. Smoke flowing from the exhaust pipe on a regular basis most likely signifies a more serious internal engine problem. Due to a lag before the turbocharger’s air flow can meet the increased volume of diesel fuel delivered into the cylinders, a little puff of smoke during rapid acceleration is normal with earlier diesel engines. Newer electronic diesel engines with common rail injectors synchronize the turbo’s speed to the metered flow of diesel fuel into the cylinder at the same time.

White Smoke:

The injectors are frequently the source of white smoke emanating from the exhaust system. White smoke usually indicates that the diesel fuel isn’t burning properly. Unburned diesel fuel will pass totally unnoticed through the exhaust system. White smoke should be avoided since it irritates the eyes and skin. When white smoke appears during a cold start and then disappears, it’s likely due to frozen deposits of soot that grew around the rings and then burned away as the engine warmed up. It is recommended that glow plugs be used during cold starts and/or that a flushing solution be used to eliminate engine muck.

Black Smoke:

In contrast to white smoke, black smoke has a high concentration of carbon exhaust particles. The lengthy chain of carbon molecules in diesel fuel is broken down into smaller and smaller molecular chains when it burns in the cylinders. The result of the exhaust leaving the engines is a mixture of carbon dioxide and water. If something goes wrong during combustion, the chemical reaction is not as strong, resulting in long tail hydrocarbons remaining intact and being ejected as smog or soot. When diesel fuel is partially burned, huge carbon dioxide particles and greenhouse gases are released, contributing to air pollution. The introduction of the Selective Catalytic Converter, Diesel Exhaust Fluid, and Diesel Particulate Filter all helped to regenerate exhaust back into the combustion chamber, allowing particulate matter to be broken down even more.

Black smoke is the most prevalent color of smoke produced by a diesel engine, and it indicates that something is wrong with the diesel fuel combustion process. The blend of air and fuel flow into the cylinders is the first place to investigate when diagnosing the problem. There could be too much gasoline, too enough fuel, too much air, or simply not enough air being delivered by the engine.

Blue Smoke:

Blue engine smoke is the most uncommon sort of smoke produced by a diesel engine. The presence of blue smoke indicates that oil is being burned. Blue smoke is not to be dismissed, although it is usual when starting a car in cold weather. When the oil is cold, it thins out, and some may escape into the cylinder and be burned. Due to deposits present around the rings or cylinders, cold temperatures can cause older, more worn rings to dislodge a little. Cylinder glaze, or the smooth deposits left behind as the piston rises and falls, can also accumulate and burn with time. After the initial break-in time, the seal between the combustion chamber and the crankcase should be entirely sealed. Using Lubriplate 105 or Molybdenum Disulfide during the engine rebuild will help the rings seat properly and burn off any carbon deposits upon restart.

Common Causes of Blue Smoke:

It is not something you should overlook, regardless of the color of the smoke. There should be no visible smoke from a properly operating and maintained diesel engine. If you notice significant smoke, make sure to turn off the engine right once, as any additional heat or load could badly harm the engine.