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Steps to Replace a Diesel Fuel Injector

steps to replace a diesel fuel injector

You will have to understand how your car’s injector system works before you know the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. Fuel injectors are needed for your car engine to work properly. As its name suggests, diesel fuel injectors contain the fuel that is then delivered to the cylinders of your engine. Tiny debris entering into the system causes the injectors to fail, thus the need for replacement. Though the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector are not completely easy, you can remove this component in less than 30 minutes and begin working on the replacement process. In this article, you will understand how the diesel fuel injector functions, the signs of its failure, and what you can do to fix it.

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First off, you must know that almost all newer cars use fuel injectors. There are four types of fuel injectors you can find inside modern vehicles. The simplest type is the single-point or throttle-body injection. This type of injector has better control in spraying fuel into the engine cylinders and it has paved the improvement of the fuel injectors that followed it. The throttle-body injection is also less expensive compared to the others.


The port or multipoint injection uses are more practical technology that ensures fuel is directly sprayed into the cylinders without waste. Another type of injector is the sequential fuel injection; known for its timed fuel emissions. Lastly, direct injection is one type that has been newly developed to improve combustion. No matter what type of fuel injector you find in your vehicle, replacement is the same. Before going through the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector, you must first detect the signs of a damaged injection. This way, you will know exactly what course to take. The next section will delve deeper into the signs your car has a bad diesel fuel injector.

What are the signs of injector failure?

The engine plays a huge role in the movement of any vehicle. Since the diesel fuel injector is a part of the engine system, you already have a hint where to focus your troubleshooting. Some of the functions of the fuel injection system are containing fuel in the injectors, adjusting the amount of fuel, fine-tuning the timing of the injection, and reducing fuel to a fine spray. Here are the most common signs of injector failure.


  1. You have dirty fuel injectors

Hydrocarbons and additives are normal components of fuel. However, when these components build up in your fuel injectors, they will restrict the emission of the atomized fuel spray. If this happens, driving will not be optimal. You don’t need to apply the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector if your injectors are only dirty. Fortunately, you can clean your fuel injectors manually and use quality injector cleaners.


  1. Your car won’t start or you experience uneven idling

There are a handful of reasons why your car won’t start. Still, you can’t close the possibility of the problem being caused by a leaking fuel injector. Aside from uneven idling, your engine may have trouble with maintaining speeds. Additionally, leaking injectors will lead to an increase in fuel consumption. You may also smell fuel odors inside or outside of your vehicle. The most important thing to remember is if you notice external injection leakage, you need to have it replaced immediately to avoid fire hazards.


  1. Your car’s cylinders fail to fire or are not responding

This symptom is one of the most common signs of a bad diesel fuel injector and is also the most tricky. Failing spark plugs and bad coils may also manifest the same symptoms as the inability to fire. Once you have determined that your spark plugs, wires, and cords are not the problem, you can point the problem to a clogged injector. Debris and gunk building up in the filter basket will stop the fuel from smoothly flowing past. Once you are sure that the injector is clogged, you may proceed to the next steps to replace a diesel fuel injector.

Those are just a few of the symptoms of a damaged diesel fuel injector. If you experience any of these signs, be sure to stop driving for a while and look into the problem. Engine issues easily escalate when the fuel injector is bad. Furthermore, you can prevent your car’s injector from damage by making sure that it is well maintained and cleaned. If you are still unsure whether your car is acting up because of a failing fuel injector, try inspecting it manually to get to the root of the problem. Cleaning, repair, and replacement are effective ways to resolve injector issues. If the problem cannot be remedied by the three and your car is old and ready to be replaced, you may also consider selling your car for a good price.

Can you replace fuel injectors yourself?

You may be wondering if you can do the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector by yourself without the help of a professional. The answer is a hundred percent “YES!” The most important prerequisite before you begin is to know that the fuel injector is the real problem. If that is the case, you can now take the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector.


  1. Be safe

In any repair process, you must always put your safety first. Wear eye safety equipment for protection.


  1. Learn about the injection system through the manual

Your owner’s manual contains very important pieces of information that will greatly help you when you are repairing your car on your own. You will also find in the manual where to locate the injection system.


  1. Disconnect the fuel rail

Be careful as you remove the fuel rail. It is best if you use an injector puller to not damage anything in the system. If you do not have an injector puller, you can disconnect the rail manually. You can use a typical wrench to remove the fuel rail since it is held by screws and bolts. Once you get the screws and bolts out of the way, you can easily pull the fuel lines and rails off.


  1. Pull off the fuel injectors

You’ll need your screwdriver again in this process. Usually, the fuel injectors are held in place by wires. Remove the wires using the screwdriver. Make sure not to misplace the wires that you pulled off. Now that the space in your engine is clearer, you have more access to the fuel injectors. Be extra careful as you pull off the fuel injector from its place. Once you’ve pulled the fuel injector out, you can replace it with a new one.


These are the simple steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. Sure, you don’t have to spend a lot on the replacement. However, car maintenance is still the best way to keep your car free from engine issues.

What happens if you don’t code your injector?

Coding is also something you must not miss doing since we are already talking about the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. If you do not code the injector, the aftermath could be problems with the common rail system. This common rail system is usually found in modern diesel engines. Its key role in the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector is that it serves as a pathway for the supply of fuel at a given pressure.


Moreover, coding is the first thing you must do before you proceed to the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. It is guaranteed that coding will save you from future issues with your vehicle’s mobility since it improves engine performance and allows your car to emit less smoke. Simply speaking, coding your injector is your ticket to a more efficient and higher technology which is the common rail fuel system. Although this system is still new when it comes to its connection with the ECU or Engine Control Unit, it is showing quite potential. You might just miss out on the added efficiency to your car if you do not code your injector and skip to the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. Given that you already know how important coding your injector is, here are a few simple steps to get you started:


  1. Reduce your injector’s calibration codes

This is usually done in older vehicle models. You should find the screen where you can decrease the calibration code of your vehicle in the solenoid. This is situated in between the engine and the ignition module of the automobile. Be sure to keep track of the cylinder you will fit the injector to.


  1. Input the injector’s calibration codes into their respective cylinders

The new calibration codes that you set are crucial to making the adjustments for your fuel injector. If you are wondering where you can find those codes, you can easily identify them at the side of your injector. This also conforms to the procedure before moving forward to the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. You can adjust the calibration code of the injector using a scan diagnostic tool. This also lets you pair the coded injectors with their cylinder,


  1. Make sure that the codes you input are correct before pressing enter

Last but not least, be sure to review the codes for your injector. Be careful when you check because a single number can cause an error with the coding. Press enter once you are sure that the input is correct.

Can I drive with a bad fuel injector?

Yes. Simply speaking, you can still drive your vehicle with a bad fuel injector. A bad fuel injector will surely show warning signs before it finally breaks down. However, this is not an excuse to still drive even when you are fully aware that you have a bad fuel injector. One of the most common effects of a damaged fuel injector is a misfire in the engine. You can automatically identify the injector as the cause of the sudden vibrations of your car and the faltering of your motor. You must carry out the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector as soon as you discover the problem with your fuel injector.


You can make use of the information provided in this guide on the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. It would also help if you have more knowledge about what can cause damage to your injector. This way, you can eliminate the problem with your injector before it even takes root. You can refer to the list of the causes of fuel injector failures below:


  1. Your injector is clogged due to carbon build-up

Carbon build-up is one of the primary causes of injector failure. Carbon is a contaminant that can create a barrier within the injector which makes it difficult to seal the injector. This creates problems over time such as a misfire in the dispersion of the fuel. This can be dangerous especially when air gets into the system that holds the fuel. Steps to replace a diesel fuel injector must be done as soon as the early signs of carbon build-up.


  1. Your fuel injector is dirty

A dirty fuel injector is also susceptible to clogging since dirt is also some form of contaminant for your fuel injector. There is a tendency that you will lose fuel due to the dirt build-up. Make sure to address the problem by doing the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector once you detect that the injector is not functioning properly.


  1. Your fuel injector is leaking

A hard-to-start engine is a product of a leaky fuel injector. This can be prevented if the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector are implemented as soon as possible. You must also refrain from hitting the road as long as the problem with the injector is not yet solved.

How much does it cost to replace diesel injectors?

Replacing your diesel injectors is not as expensive as other car parts replacements. You can expect to pay at least 350 dollars and 850 dollars at most. The total still depends on the size of the parts as well as the steps to replace a diesel fuel injector. The more complex the problem to be fixed, the more expensive the cost of labor is.


Who would not want their car performing at its optimal condition? Of course, taking care of your car demands effort on your part as well as attention to detail. Diesel fuel injectors may seem like small and almost insignificant parts of the automobile. However, they must not be ignored or neglected because they can affect the condition of your car in several ways. This guide has tackled all you need to know about your fuel injector and how to make it work for your car and you.


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