Fuel Injection Systems

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Electronic Fuel Injection
Electronic Fuel Injection

Fuel injection is a system used for injecting fuel into the engine. The fuel injection system has almost completely replaced the carburetor, due to its many benefits and efficient operation methods. There are many variations of the fuel injection system that all have their own benefits, but all these variations have a similar basic function.

A fuel injected system makes engine response smoother, and more dependable during quick throttle transitions. There is also no need to use a choke on a fuel injected system, like on a carbureted engine. This helps the vehicle start up smoothly in cold weather. Since fuel injection is a very precise system, the cylinder to cylinder distribution of fuel is better, which helps produce the same power output, with less fuel. Another advantage of a fuel injected system is that it can control the amount of fuel injected, to match the engines needs such as changing engine load, ambient air temperature, engine temperature, fuel octane level, and atmospheric pressure.

The fuel injection system consists of a fuel pump, a fuel pressure regulator, fuel lines, a fuel rail, that the injectors connect to, and the fuel injector. The fuel injection system works by spraying fuel through the intake valve, and into the combustion chamber. This fuel is moved through fuel lines using a fuel pump, where it is then sent to the rail and out through the injectors.

On an electronic fuel injection system, the amount of fuel sprayed through the injector is controlled by the engine control unit,which gets this valuable information such as how much air flow the engine has,by using sensors. The first sensor used in the fuel injection system is the mass airflow sensor which senses how much air is going into the engine. The next component in the fuel injection system is the throttle body, which has a throttle position sensor on it. This sensor is typically positioned on the butterfly valve, in the throttle body and is used to report the position of the throttle butterfly valve, to the engine control unit. This information that is sent to the engine control unit is used to determine the load upon the engine. There is also a coolant temperature sensor, which sends the temperature of the engine to the engine control unit. This temperature helps the engine determine the exact fuel ratio needed. A camshaft sensor is also used to determine which fuel injector to fire. The final component on the standard fuel injection system is the oxygen sensor which once warmed up, will perform fine tuning of the film trim. With all the sensors working properly, this electronic system is the most efficient.

On mechanical fuel ignition systems, the fuel does not get released using sensors, but instead uses mechanical means only. Many mechanical ignition systems used gasoline fuel pumps, which provides fuel to an injector pump,which provides high pressure fuel into the combustion chamber. This system was commonly found on many early diesel engines. Mechanical fuel pumps were used in some vehicles, but were replaced by electronic fuel injection in the early 1980’s.

Fuel injection systems can inject the fuel in many different ways. The most common way to inject the fuel is multi-point fuel injection. This method injects fuel into the intake ports, which is above each cylinder's intake valve. Multi-point fuel injection can be sequential, which means that each cylinder will have a different timed injection depending on the intake stroke. It can also be batched which means that the cylinders get there injection in groups with no synchronization to the position of the cylinder. This system can also have all the points inject the fuel simultaneously at the same time.

Some fuel injection systems also use a single port injection. This system works by spraying gas into the center intake, where it is sucked into the engine at once. Single port injection is a mix of a carburetor and the fuel injection system,because it never directly sprayed fuel into the cylinder. This setup was widely used on some American made vehicles, but was never widely accepted by foreign companies.

Fuel injection systems use an external pump to push fuel through the injectors. This is unlike a carbureted system, which uses the engines vacuum to suck in more fuel. Using a pump allows for a more precise and consistent injection, which allows the engine to run more efficiently. Since the fuel injected system is mainly ran using sensors and the engine control unit, a technician can diagnose problems easier ,without the need to tear everything apart to get to the main cause of the problem. Although a fuel injected system uses many more parts than a carburetor, it rarely requires maintenance, unlike the carburetor which needs altitude adjustments and seasonal maintenance.

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