Fuel Injector Education

General Discussion

Fuel Injector and its purpose: 

The fuel injector is an electronically controlled valve that works with a car’s ECU (Engine Control Unit) system to supply the engine with fuel. The injector opens and closes many times per second, releasing pressurized fuel through a small nozzle at the tip of the injector. The fuel that is released should be that of a fine mist. When it is in such state it is known as atomization. The finer the mist the easier it burns. 

If you are having any of these issues it may be time to recondition/replace your injector:

Engine misfires     Poor gas mileage     Smell of gasoline     Fuel leakage     Check-engine light is on

Causes of a faulty fuel injector:

Some common issues that can occur with any injectors can include, injectors electrical resistance not being within specs, leaking or debris within the injector causing the valve to stick. Each of these issues can wreak havoc on your car’s engine causing any of the problems above.

Injectors that are leaking due to a cracked housing or those that cannot be brought up to factory specs, will never be able to function properly in a vehicle.  However, the majority of problems with fuel injectors pertains to years of gasoline components left behind on the injector creating a blockage of the nozzle.


Option 1:  Buy brand new injectors from the dealer. This option is the most expensive route each injector can cost upwards of $130.00 and I said EACH. If you have an 8 cylinder vehicle you are looking at a minimum of $1040.00! That is assuming they are still able to get an exact replacement. 

Option 2:  Purchase injectors from nearby parts store. These injectors will be aftermarket and will not be exact replacements. This option is not quite as costly as buying direct from dealer but can be just as expensive in this example I looked for injectors at AutoZone’s website. 1990 Toyota Pickup 4 cylinder…each injector is currently selling for $140.00 EACH that is $560.00 for a set! 

Option 3:  Buy reconditioned fuel injectors. Reconditioning is defined as the cleaning/testing and rebuilding, repairing and restoring of equipment to meet or exceed Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) performance specifications. Usually sold and serviced by third-parties. Reconditioned items carry a warranty different from the one provided by the OEM.  In this example a set of 6 injectors for a 1990 Toyota Pickup costs on average $140.00…for the set! That is only $23.34 per injector! 

Option 4:  Option 4 will not apply for everyone but some people may choose to try a fuel injector cleaner.  Said cleaners average about $7.99 a bottle and seem to be a quick fix… too good to be true. These cleaners are packed with chemicals that can and most likely will dry out the synthetic rubber seals found throughout your fuel system. Dried rubber seals can cause an engine fire…not good. Also the chemicals will loosen up dirt just as it is supposed to do but without a good way to flush out the debris it is very likely that it will simply lodge more dirt in the nozzle. 

Option 5:  Go junkyard diving! Price is cost of admission plus however much the junkyard charges for the pulled injectors.  The biggest problem with this is if you don’t have the proper equipment at home to clean, check and test the injectors you are gambling with a minute chance of winning.