Fuel Injector

How to Rebuild a Fuel Injector

July 14, 2022 8:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There was a time when all vehicle motors ran on a carburetor system, which combined fuel and air in a specific formula and then sent that mixture through tiny jet nozzles into the engine. If more fuel and performance were needed, the jet nozzles were a larger diameter and the opposite for more fuel efficiency and less power. Those days are long gone as almost every modern vehicle engine today utilizes what is known as fuel injection.

What is a Fuel Injector?

Diesel fuel injectors pressurize fuel, aerosolize it, and then send that pressured mist into the combustion chamber of the engine. The amount, pressure and cycle timing are controlled by computer chips, keeping everything down to the fraction of a second in a consistent way. The only time things fail is when the working equipment begins to need maintenance or fails or the fuel and air mixture coming into the system is off.

Fuel injectors and their performance have revolutionized how engines work today as well as increased their fuel efficiency dramatically over the old carburetor system. That said, fuel injectors also clog up or wear down over time, either needing a cleaning or a rebuild periodically. Without that service, engine performance begins to drop off, at first slight, but eventually it builds and becomes a serious problem, most noticed in low speeds and idle running.

Common failure symptoms come in the form of less or falling engine power, inability to start the engine easily, heavy exhaust output, rough running at idle and low speeds, and a greater consumption of fuel than normal. Most times, the root cause involves dirty injectors, which have built-up residue from unburnt fuel. Alternatively, wear and tear cause cracking on the injectors as well.

How to Rebuild a Fuel Injector

If engaging in a do-it-yourself approach, a fuel injector rebuild kit specific to the diesel engine being worked on is going to be the way to go. Ideally, if working on a standard engine, the kit will include all the needed parts for rebuilding the current fuel injector, one kit per injector. The kits vary in the extent of the work being done, from simple cleaning to serious repairs. Kits are generally good for basic maintenance and cleaning, but serious injector problems should be looked at and handled at a professional repair shop as they likely require more parts, specialized tooling and experience in technical work applied.

What is a Fuel Injection Service?

A full-blown repair and rebuild fuel injector service involves the unit being disassembled, completely cleaned and consumable parts replaced, and inspected for any serious damage. Generally, aged parts are replaced after a certain life period from initial purchase and installation. The parts replaced can and usually do include the actuator parts, solenoid, valves, springs, hardware and stops. Injectors are also typically tested for any leak as well during this full-service inspection.

How to Clean Fuel Injectors Without Removing Them

While it is possible to clean fuel injectors without completely removing them, it takes a bit of automotive know-how and workspace. The fuel line to the injector has to be disconnected and instead the injector needs to be flushed with a solvent cleaner. This breaks down the residue that builds up over time, causing clogging in an injector if left unmaintained. Once flushed with compressed air, the solvent remainder then has to be pushed out of the injector and it needs to be reconnected to the fuel line for proper operation. The overall process is a mid-level experience type repair and beyond a basic, cleaning approach. Most times, fuel injector cleaning services are handled by trained technicians who do them on a regular basis and have a significant number of practice hours knowing each step of the cleaning thoroughly.

Fuel Injection Cleaning Service

Given the complexity that can ramp up very quickly on discovering a fuel injector problem, which usually doesn’t happen until the assembly is fully evaluated when removed from the engine, what might seem like a simple cleaning service can turn into a bigger repair, especially with older diesel engines that have been running a long time between maintenance sessions. Ideally, working with a professional repair shop provides all the tooling and expertise on the spot, so the downtime is minimized, and the truck is back on the road earning income as soon as possible. It’s for this reason repeatedly that fleet managers and truck owners end up relying on a fuel injection cleaning service on a regular basis versus trying to go at an injection cleaning on a down day. It just has the potential to snowball quickly, and that can put a truck out of service quickly otherwise. Instead, with a simple of online search for a fuel injector rebuild service near me, resources can be found quickly.

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