What Happens When a Fuel Injector Goes Bad?

by Jason Medina

Poor Engine Performance

When an automotive fuel injector goes bad, automotive engine performance is negatively affected. The purpose of a fuel injector is to inject a predetermined amount of fuel into an engine cylinder to facilitate engine combustion. A bad or faulty fuel injector disrupts normal engine combustion by altering the amount of fuel that is injected into an engine cylinder. All it takes is for one fuel injector to go bad or to be dysfunctional to have a negative impact on engine performance.

Rough Engine Idle

For an engine to run smoothly, a car's fuel injectors need to function properly and inject precise amounts of fuel into the engine. A faulty fuel injector may cause a rough engine idle if it fails to deliver a steady, constant stream of flow to a vehicle's engine. A dysfunctional fuel injector may inject too much or too little fuel into an engine's cylinders. Both scenarios can cause a rough engine idle.

No-Start Condition

In rare cases, a faulty fuel injector (or injectors) will prevent a car's engine from starting. If no fuel reaches a car's engine, engine combustion (starting) cannot occur. If a faulty fuel injector fails to inject fuel into an engine cylinder, where the fuel gets combined with air and is ignited by a vehicle's spark plugs, a no-start condition will result.

Fuel Injector Leakage

If a fuel injector cracks or develops a split fuel-injector line, fuel can leak out onto the engine manifold of a car's engine. This type of situation can be very serious and lead to an engine fire if any of the leaked fuel is ignited by the heat of the surrounding engine parts. In addition, a leaky fuel injector will seriously impair engine performance by reducing the amount of fuel that reaches the engine.

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