Just about every automobile that was built since the late 80s and early 90s has been fitted with some sort of electric fuel injection pump system. Due to that, automobile shops have been known to have fuel injectors as part of their product line as well.
A high-pressure electric pump is something you'll need to have if you want to generate enough pressure to effectively spray fuel out of the fuel injectors whenever they open. While the amount of pressure the pump needs to generate might vary based on the application, you'll find that it's usually between about 35 to 80 psi.
Because a lot of electric fuel pumps can spin at well over 5,000 rpm, you must submerge your pump in gasoline. This submersion will reduce the noise it produces, and also ensure that the fuel can cool and effectively lubricate it as required.
A lot of original equipment and their electric fuel pumps are mounted from within the tank. If there’s no steady supply of fuel through the pump, cooling and lubrication can’t be achieved, and this means that the pump could just as well self-destruct much sooner than expected. The fuel pump itself is combined with the fuel level sending unit, and it's floated in the fuel pump module assembly - an assembly that can fit inside the tank through a hole at the top of the tank.
There are fasteners (also known as lock rings), which help to maintain the position of the fuel pump assembly, and the entire thing is sealed with an O-ring. If you'd like to replace the pump module, then you'll most likely need to drop the fuel tank. As for the fuel line connectors and wiring, you'll find them at the outer part of the tank. The wiring harness connection is prone to getting electrical issues due to excessive vibration and corrosion, and if left untreated, it could very well cause the pump to stop working. However, in this situation, there's no need to replace the pump, as the most significant problem is actually in the voltage supply.
The electric fuel pump could also stop working due to a blown fuse, a faulty fuel pump relay, a fault with the wiring, or an anti-theft issue. If you're installing a new fuel pump, you need to ensure that these issues are also factored in to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck. Still, if you find that a new fuel pump isn't working, then there's a much more significant probability that it was a problem with the electrical system.
You should also ensure that the inlet sock of the fuel pump and fuel filter should be changed whenever you install a new fuel pump. As for returnless EFI application, there’s no in-line fuel filter, as both the regulator and the filter have become part of the entire pump module assembly. You can also use electric fuel pumps for several other functions, such as moving fuel between tanks in pick-up trucks that have more than a single fuel tank. There are those purposes that already come with two pumps - one to take the fuel out of the fuel tank, while the other high-pressure pump helps to supply the fuel injectors.
It’s worth noting that you can also use universal low-pressure electric fuel pumps to act as alternatives for the mechanical ones on vehicles that are older. Mechanical fuel pumps are ideally driven off the camshaft, and they make use of a spring-loaded diaphragm, as well as a pair of valves to move fuel from the fuel line all the way to the carburetor. You can find pumps that operate at low pressures (between 2 and 7 psi). There’s a high probability that they experience leaks, while breakage and diaphragm failures are a distinct risk as well.
Solid-state electronic pumps don't have any bearings or electrical diaphragms and contacts that have a propensity to also fail or wear out. Essentially, that means that they’re stronger and more durable than other forms of electric pumps. All you need for installation is a voltage supply connection.
Some other parts that could be needed when installing or replacing a fuel pump include a fuel filter, a fuel hose, and a few clamps. It's also recommended that you get a fuel system cleaner to help ensure that the injectors and fuel pumps are free of any debris. You can always clean a dirty throttle body with a can of aerosol throttle body cleaner.
Fuel injection maintenance
When it comes to maintaining a fuel injection system, there are generally two ways of cleaning and maintaining a fuel injection system:
This method of cleaning fuel injection systems is usually faster and less intensive. It involves the demolition or removal of no parts whatsoever, and cleaners are just made to remove any contaminants that they find to be obstructing the effective operation of the system.
It’s usually split into two methods:
Method 1: Cleaners pour additives into the fuel tank directly. The additives can flow through the fuel system, and they reach the injectors where they work to take out any contaminants or impurities.
Method 2: You attach a pressurized canister of injector cleaner to the fuel rail of the vehicle. The engine is able to run off the cleaner, instead of the fuel supply, thus providing a more thorough cleaning to the injectors.
In this form of cleaning, the injectors are completely taken out of the vehicle and are cleaned with specialized ultrasonic equipment. Then, tests are run on the injectors to ensure that the spray pattern and flow rates are within acceptable ranges. The testing technicians will most likely run additional checks to look for any leaks before returning the injector to the vehicle.
Wear and tear on fuel injectors
Whenever a car is operated, it takes in a lot of contaminants and dirt from the environment. As time goes on, these contaminants find their way to the vehicle’s engine, and as they accumulate, they make their way into the fuel pump and injector, and this could lead to several issues with the vehicle itself. These vehicles include:
- Deceleration over time, or some other instance where more pressure on the gas pedal doesn't lead to acceleration.
- The vehicle becomes less fuel-efficient, using more gas than normal.
- You notice some idleness whenever you allow your engine to die.
These and much more are reasons why you need to effectively maintain your vehicle’s fuel injection system. Neglecting them will eventually cause complete damage in the engine, and fixing that will cost quite a lot of money.
Get a technician to help check your fuel injectors.
It goes without saying, but maintaining fuel injectors is definitely not a one-person job. An auto technician has the right skills, making use of the right tools to ensure that the entire fuel injection system can function optimally. It might seem like you don't need their help, but it's usually much better to be safe than sorry, especially when you're dealing with your car.
However, there are also some specific situations where you’ll need to get professional fuel inspection. These include:
- Your gas tank doesn’t have a fuel inspection cleaner.
- You notice that your vehicle is misfiring, and the auto technician hasn’t found any other reason why this is happening. (Some possible misfire causes include fuel system or electrical component faults or ignition issues.)
Of course, it’s worth noting that these tips won’t stop parts from malfunctioning. At the end of the day, there’s always the effect of time and age, and you’ll see deterioration over time. However, following these tips will help keep your car from falling apart sooner.
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