Fuel injectors are meant to work in extreme heat and pressure conditions. They are manufactured to perform optimally for several billion cycles. Ideally, the fuel injectors should last the lifetime of cars, but it is rarely the case. Fuel injectors fail because the vehicle is never driven in ideal conditions on the road. The fuel injectors atomize the fuel and send it as a steady and straight jet of fuel, to the engine to fire up. Any malfunctioning of the fuel injector will result in angled spray pattern, which is not useful to enhance engine performance.
#1 Unused fuel becomes baked
Improper fuel system maintenance will result in the creation of heatsink, which will heat up unburned fuel, causing it to bake. These participles will form a layer over the injector orifice and pintle, altering the spray pattern. The faulty cooling system will result in continuous overheating of the engine, reducing its performance. In the long run, the O2 sensor will get damaged and the engine will be over fueled to compensate for the loss of performance.
#2 Clogged injector filters
Any foreign particles in the fuel rail, fuel lines or fuel tanks will clog the injector filters or fuel filters. This will inhibit the fuel flow and affect the spray pattern. Routine maintenance will keep your vehicle in proper condition. In most of the circumstances, the foreign particles are rust, which affects the engine performance. The under fueling will make the engine sluggish and it could also result in overheating. In closed loop O2 systems, the engine is usually over fueled, to counter the effects of clogged filter.
#3 Injector winding problems
Regular use of fuel injectors could result in wear and tear. The coil windings of the injector may become overheated, due to cooling problems. When the windings lose their magnetic performance, it could result in broken or open windings. The internal parts of the injector may rust, when the engine is not operated regularly. Contaminated petrol with water particles or other adulterants can cause the cooling system to fail. When the pintle is not properly placed, it could result in fuel leaks.
#4 Mechanical and electrical defect in injectors
Sometimes, defective manufacturing will result in mechanical leaks in the injector. It could also result due to the improper handling of the injector, during the installation or removal process. Ignition system failure will be a direct result of a non-functioning injector. Mechanical problems could also result in overheating of injectors. In such cases, engine fuel fire is a common and dangerous consequence. There is also a huge potential for engine damage. The ECU is the electrical unit that controls the injectors. Improper electrical connectivity will result in misfiring or weak firing. This could happen during improper storage or careless vehicle maintenance.
Fuel injector problems will result in poor engine performance and poor fuel economy. Fuel leaks are far more dangerous and they should be addressed immediately. The best method to deal with fuel injector problems is a replacement and proper maintenance thereafter.