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Why Your Diesel Fuel Injector May Be Failing

October 21, 2014
By Jeffery White

If you depend on a diesel engine that was made after the mid-90s, it’s probably what’s referred to as “common-rail.” This improvement in diesel engines means you’re using about twice the pressure to ignite the fuel as models that came before it. However, this also means your fuel injector could be experiencing issues.

A common rail injector, though an improvement over past versions, is more likely to suffer from failure because it fires two to three times more often. While this is generally an advantage, it also means two to three times the wear and tear.

Specifically, though, there are five signs your injector may not be performing well.

  • Difficulty Starting the Engine
  • Your engine may simply be misfiring. If you notice a crank time taking more than five seconds, that’s an early warning sign too.
  • Low Common Rail Pressure Codes
  • Given that common rail engines should be supplying such greater amounts of pressure, if you catch yours slumping, this should raise an eyebrow.
  • Lacking Injection Indicators

If your fuel injector isn’t working correctly, your truck’s computer may think that the solution is to add more and more fuel to the cylinder. Doing so will spike your balance rates.

Excessive Injection

On the other hand, you may be receiving indicators that tell you too much fuel is being injected. If you get excessive smoke coming out your exhaust pipes while you’re sitting idle, this is also a warning sign that your fuel injectors aren’t working correctly.

Poor Running

Diesel engines that start, but don’t run without putting up a fight, are probably dealing with poor injection. Issues with the nozzles are most likely to blame, though it could be because one is just plugged or that their balance is off.

Unfortunately, sometimes issues with your fuel injector result in one-off problems that can be tough for most drivers in Calgary to diagnose. Other issues are just less-apparent. For example, if your fuel injector is cracked, it could be leaking gas back into your tank when the engine is off. Unless you happen to notice that your oil levels are actually climbing up the dipstick, though, how would you know this is even happening?

This is why it’s so important to take any issues with your engine as seriously as possible. Fuel injection is obviously an essential component to getting your diesel to work in the first place, but even if it’s running, it might be suffering in a number of other ways if the injectors are impaired. So be sure a mechanic in Calgary looks it over immediately if you suspect something is wrong.

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it and is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual professional advice. If you’d like to establish a relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official.