The Dirty Truth About Fuel Systems



The dirty truth about fuel systems

Everyone knows you need fuel for your car to run. Over the years, the system your car uses to deliver that fuel to the engine has changed tremendously. It all started with the introduction of the carburetor and has evolved into direct fuel injection that is finding its way in to most modern vehicles.
The carburetor was used to spray fuel into the intake manifold where it would be mixed with air and delivered to all the cylinders at once. This caused 2 issues.

First, every cylinder getting fuel when only one is used at a time, is very inefficient and wasted fuel. Second, the cylinders closest to the carburetor would receive more fuel than the cylinders farther away. The carburetor was eventually replaced by a single fuel injector located in the same position as the carburetor but besides having a little better fuel management, the fuel delivery issues remained.

This led to the development of multi point fuel injection. Fuel would now be delivered to the firing cylinder only. Each cylinder had its own dedicated injector which was fired when that cylinder required fuel. The injector also moved the fuel introduction point from on top of the air intake manifold to the bottom of the manifold. Only the cylinder combusting would receive fuel and all cylinders would now receive the same amount. The fuel efficiency and performance of vehicles was greatly increased by this innovation. Problem solved, right?

Well there is always room for improvement and that leads us to direct injection fuel management. Direct injection bypasses the intake manifold completely and introduces fuel directly into the cylinder. The benefit of this process is the injectors can be programmed to increase and decrease the amount of fuel they deliver. This will increase fuel efficiency even more by lowering the amount of fuel used during idle and when at a cruise.

Unfortunately, there is a serious downside to direct injection. Direct injection will lead to excessive carbon build up on your intake valves, if you do not properly maintain the system. When fuel burns in your engine it will leave carbon behind. This carbon is left everywhere, the intake manifold, the valves and even on the pistons. When the fuel came through the intake manifold and valve it would help keep them clean. Direct injection will allow the carbon to build up on the valves and cause them not to close properly. The result is a rough running engine and most likely the check engine light will come on.

Fuel system cleaning has always been important to maintain efficiency and performance. With direct injection, it will now prevent a costly visit to your service provider. Direct injection vehicle owners are encouraged to have their fuel system cleaned every 15,000 miles by a professional service facility. Standard fuel injection vehicles should have their systems cleaned every 30,000 miles.

We also recommend using only top tier fuel stations when you fill up your car. These companies use additives in their fuels to help keep your system clean. You can learn more about top tier fuels by visiting Good fuel system preventive maintenance will lead to better economy and lower vehicle repair costs.


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