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Why a Leaking Fuel Injector is So Dangerous

If you suspect that your vehicle has a leaking fuel injector it is important that you address the problem as soon as possible. Leaking fuel injectors are a fire hazard that also can cause extensive—and expensive—engine damage.

It is important that you know the symptoms of a leaking fuel injector so that you can recognize them as soon as possible. These symptoms include:

  • Fuel odor
  • Hard starting
  • Hydro-lock
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Oil thinning
  • Poor emissions
  • Uneven idling

If you suspect that your fuel injector is leaking, it needs to be tested. This is not something you want to do yourself. Instead, you need it to be performed by a car or truck parts professional who is experienced with fuel injection systems.

There are two fuel injection systems: manifold and direct. The manifold system is made up of a fuel pump, pressure regulator, fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel rail, fuel injectors and engine management system. Manifold fuel injection systems operate at approximately 45 Psi, or pounds per second and use side or top feed fuel injectors. Direct fuel injection systems operate similarly to manifold fuel injection systems except that fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber instead of the intake manifold. Direct fuel injection systems operate at fuel pressures from 500 Psi at idle to 3000 Psi at wide open throttle.

When you start your engine, the fuel rail is pressurized by the fuel pump through the operating pressure of the fuel injection system. The operating pressure is maintained while the engine is on. External fuel injector leaks can cause an engine fire. When the engine is shut down, fuel pressure should remain at operating pressure for a period of time.

Fuel injector pintle, ball or disc seat leaks as well as the bottom O-ring leak on a side feed injector cause fuel to escape into the intake manifold and fuel will run down to the intake valves. If an intake valve is open, fuel will enter the cylinder, past the rings and eventually mix with engine oil. This can lead to severe engine oil thinning which can result in engine bearing damage, scorched cylinder side walls and even internal engine explosions.

A leaking fuel injector or injectors are normally the cause for difficult or hard to start engines especially when they are warm. This is because the fuel rail pressure has dropped and fuel has leaked into the manifold and floods the spark plugs.

Top and side fuel injectors make use of O-rings to seal the fuel injector and fuel rail. Over time, these rings can harden and become brittle, causing internal and external leaks. Never drive a vehicle if there is a visible fuel leak from any fuel injection components as leaking fuel injectors can be extremely dangerous.

Posted By: ACE RADIATORS

Posted on: 06/30/2018
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