Carburetors VS. Fuel Injection Systems

When vehicles were equipped with carburetors, it was a very common practice to clean and adjust the carburetor regularly. In the 1980s manufacturer’s phased out most carburetors, and switched over to fuel injection systems for the fuel mixing and delivery system of the vehicle.  Even though the primary function is the same, the differences are that a carburetor used low pressure and the intake of air rushing thru to add fuel.  Fuel injection uses fuel injectors with a very small nozzle and higher pressure to atomize the fuel.

Over the years there have been different forms of fuel injection systems, single-point or the throttle body injected system, multipoint or central port injection, central sequential fuel injection, and now we are seeing a lot of cars with direct injection.  Which produces lower emissions, more power, and a better economy.

All fuel systems in cars do have a couple of things in common, they tend to build up carbon deposits and varnish in the injectors, on the valves, in the cylinder head.  Anywhere that is not getting doused directly with fuel.

How Do I Know I’m Getting Carbon and Varnish Build Up?

Symptoms of a vehicle that might have some carbon and varnish build-up is:

  •  Long cranking time or hard to start
  • Runs rough once started
  • Lack of power
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Check engine light

If you have these symptoms it would be a good idea to have your vehicle inspected by a professional who can determine what the cause is.

While fuel delivery and mixing systems have changed in vehicles over the years.  Byproducts of gasoline remain the same.   In fuel injection systems these small nozzles that are used to atomize the fuel DO need to be kept clean.

Types of Fuel Injection Cleaning Services

There are various types of fuel injection cleaning services and products on the market.  Some of them are “fluff” and are not really effective.  Many of these are the over the counter products such as fuel tank additives, where the dilution varies based on the amount of fuel in your tank.

Professional, effective fuel injection services will include:

  • An overall inspection of the fuel system including the ability of the fuel pump to produce the pressure specified to operate the injectors.
  • Cleaning of the throttle body and a method of “flushing or washing out” small particles and varnish that build-up or lodge in the injector.
  • This carbon clean service should clean the air intake, and fuel system clear through the exhaust.

Industrial equipment and cleaning products are critical for effective results of:

  • Repairing driveability problems such as hesitations, hard starts, rough idling or lack of power.
  • Reduce harmful emissions and smoke opacity.
  • Restore fuel economy.
  • Restore “New Car” performance.
  • Extend fuel system component life.

A professional fuel cleaning service is highly recommended at least every 20,000 to 30,000 miles on your vehicle.  This will help to optimize the longevity and performance of your vehicle’s fuel system.  Happy Motoring!

All About Automotive, 139 NW 2nd Street, Gresham, OR 97030

Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected]

Posted in

Return to Blog