What Does Fuel Injection Mean?
Long ago, cars depended upon carburetors to transfer fuel to the engine. While there are still vehicles on the road that use carburetors, 1990 was the last year new models were sold with them. Since then, fuel injection systems have taken their place. To understand how they work and why they’re more efficient, let’s briefly review how a carburetor was (or, is) used.
Your car’s engine uses a vacuum to pull fuel and air into it. A carburetor regulated the amount of both that were available for the engine’s vacuum, thereby controlling the engine’s speed. At the time, it was a great system. However, it was never able to achieve the level of accuracy that fuel injectors could. Below, I’ll explain the basics of fuel injection, including the advantages it offers.
How Does It Work?
Even though we no longer use carburetors in modern vehicles, engines still work basically in the same manner. That is, a vacuum is created to “suck” in fuel and air. Injectors are now used to spray the precise amount of fuel required by the engine. Single port systems were used awhile back, but multi-port fuel injection (also referred to as MFI) is now much more common. An MFI employs an injector to spray fuel into each of your engine’s cylinders (one injector per cylinder). The fuel is delivered straight into the intake valve.
So, how does the system identify the right amount of fuel to inject? Remember that your engine’s vacuum sucks air as well as fuel. Injection systems were designed with sensors to measure the amount of air the engine is trying to suck in. It uses that measurement to calculate the amount of gas to spray.
What Are Its Advantages?
There are a number of benefits to driving cars with fuel injection systems. First, because the amount of gas that enters the engine is measured precisely, they’re more fuel-efficient. Second, drivers can expect their cars to be more responsive when accelerating, especially following gear switches. They also tend to emit less pollution, offer a smoother driving experience, and require less maintenance than old-style carburetors.
Into The Future
In retrospect, it was only a matter of time before the carburetor was replaced with a better option. As I mentioned, they were very effective in fulfilling their purpose and many cars still use them. However, as society has become more aggressive in pursuing clean air initiatives and more efficient vehicles, fuel injection was the next logical evolutionary step. In a future article, we’ll explore some of the problems that can occur and how to resolve them.
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