Diesel fuel injection is a finely tuned system that enables your truck to operate as efficiently as possible. Diesel engines have been honed over the years to deliver the exact amount of fuel needed at just the right time. They have also been designed to endure tough driving conditions.
However, your diesel truck’s fuel injection system can go bad, which will greatly affect your vehicle’s performance. Like any fine-tuned system, if something is just a little off, it can affect the entire machine.
What Causes Fuel Injectors to Fail?
Many things can interfere with the performance of your diesel fuel injection system. They generally fall into two categories: debris in the system and damage to internal parts.
Debris in the Injection System
The fuel filter typically catches large debris in the fuel system to prevent it from getting into the injectors. However, diesel fuel does contain particulates that can get into the injection system and build up over time. Fuel injectors convert the fuel into a partially atomized mist they spray into the pistons. If the injectors get clogged, they cannot deliver the right amount of fuel, and your vehicle’s performance will suffer.
Damage to Injection Parts
Over time, the internal parts in each fuel injector can get worn or damaged. Anything from the injector solenoid to the nozzles could either wear over time or get damaged during maintenance.
How to Test Fuel Injectors
Testing fuel injectors yourself can be dangerous, so make sure you wear proper safety gear like protective eyewear. You can test your fuel injectors by:
- Placing a metal rod like a long screwdriver next to each fuel injector while the engine is running and putting your ear next to the other end of the rod to listen for injector function
- Connecting a test light to each injector to see if it is getting power
- Removing each injector to check for clogging or damage
- Asking a mechanic who knows how to test fuel injectors to avoid damaging them yourself
What Happens When Fuel Injectors Go Bad?
You will likely notice problems with your diesel truck if there are problems with the fuel injectors. The symptoms of bad injectors include:
Poor Engine Performance
Your truck will not run like it normally does when fuel injectors go bad. The RPMs will be lower or inconsistent, and you will likely notice a drop in power and acceleration. Your truck will also have worse emissions with clogged or bad injectors.
Worse Fuel Efficiency
You will also notice lower fuel economy when the injectors have issues. Your engine has to work harder to run, and the reduction in engine performance will affect fuel efficiency.
Rough Start or Failure to Start
The first serious indication of bad fuel injectors will likely happen when you start your truck. With problem injectors, your truck will have a hard time starting and may not even start at all if the problem is bad enough.
How to Keep Your Fuel Injectors Healthy
Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your fuel injectors working as they should. You can add a fuel injection cleaner specifically designed for diesel engines every few times you fill up your tank.
You can give your injection a more thorough cleaning by adding fuel injection cleaner directly to the fuel filter and letting it run through the engine to break down buildup. You can also take your truck to your mechanic for a look at the injectors every 30,000 miles or so.
Most of all, know your vehicle well so you can spot the first signs of any issues with the fuel injectors. Combined with quality fuel injectors from Dieselogic, you can help prevent serious problems from arising.