You are probably on this page because you have experienced low gas mileage, loss of engine power, and fuel injectors-related problems. These components are responsible for the efficient running of your vehicle and should be kept in the best state.
But how long does it take to replace fuel injectors? It depends on several factors, such as your experience and the necessary tools. Typically, it takes an experienced auto mechanic about 30 minutes to replace fuel injectors.
Let’s dive in for detailed information about fuel injectors, including when they should be replaced and the time needed. We will also explore related questions to help you understand what fuel injectors are and their functions.
How Long Does It Take to Replace Fuel Injectors
As mentioned, the time it takes to replace fuel injectors depends on the experience and equipment available. However, the vehicle design also significantly affects the process.
Holding all other factors constant, an experienced auto mechanic or DIYer can take about 30 minutes. But again, don’t try to set a record at the expense of work quality. Better take your time and get it right the first time!
What Are Fuel Injectors, and What Do They Do?
As the name implies, fuel injectors deliver a measured amount of fuel to the engine block for combustion. Older vehicles used carburetors to time this process. But in modern cars, everything is handled by the engine control unit, which is the most advanced fuel injection system.
An ECU is a computer that uses multiple inputs from various sensors to determine the amount of fuel that injectors should deliver to the engine. It also uses the same information for proper timing, a vital factor for better mileage and engine efficiency.
That said, let’s briefly discuss different types of fuel injectors to better understand these components.
Types of fuel injectors
- Direct Injection Fuel Injectors: These injectors are designed to inject fuel directly into the combustion chambers past the valves. It is the most common type in diesel engines.
- Port Fuel Injectors: These injectors devote a separate injector nozzle to each cylinder. The nozzles are located right outside the intake port. They shoot fuel vapor close to the intake port, ensuring all are drawn to the combustion cylinder during intake.
- Sequential Fuel Injectors: The most commonly used type of injectors. They are designed to spray fuel into the combustion cylinder during the intake phase following the engine’s firing sequence.
Symptoms of Bad Fuel Injectors
How do you know it’s time to replace fuel injectors? You can know when your fuel injectors have reached their service life and should be replaced for efficient working of the fuel injection system. That is because it will be associated with the following symptoms:
- Rough idle or frequent engine stalls
- Excess engine vibrations
- Frequent misfiring
- Check engine light appears on the dashboard
- Visible fuel leak and fuel odor
- Sudden engine power loss or occasional surges
- Reduced fuel economy
- Failed emission test
- Trouble starting the engine
How To Replace Fuel Injectors
Sometimes just cleaning fuel injectors can help solve the listed problems. These components get clogged by carbon deposits over time, which compromises their functionality. Cleaning them can help remove the carbon deposits and restore them.
However, if they are worn out, the only solution is to replace them. So, how can you accomplish that? The method varies from one car to the next. But generally, the procedure should remain relatively the same.
Before you embark on removing fuel injectors from your car, note the following:
- Start with a cold car to avoid burns
- Remove all nuts and clips holding the fuel rail
- Buy replacement fuel injectors designed for your car
- Contact a professional mechanic if you are not an experienced DIYer
With all necessary tools, use the following steps to replace your fuel injector:
Step 1: Removing the old fuel injectors
- Let the car cool and disconnect the battery
- Locate the fuel injectors on the intake manifold and remove the fuel injector connectors on the fuel rail
- Use a socket wrench to unlock the fuel rail
- Wiggle the injectors gently until they come out
Step 2: Installing the new fuel injectors
- Deep the tips of the new fuel injectors into the gasoline
- Slide the new fuel injectors into the slots on the fuel rail where you removed the old ones
- Aline the fuel injectors into the corresponding holes in the engine
- Reinstall all the connectors and clips to hold the fuel rail in place
- Restart the engine and observe how it runs. You may need a professional to help you inspect it if you suspect something is wrong.
Cost of Replacing Fuel Injectors
You can solve it by cleaning the fuel injector and replacing the O-rings to stop leakages. But if the fuel injectors are damaged, replacement is unavoidable, which will dig deeper into your pocket.
If you are a DIYer, you can expect to spend about $600-$1200 to buy replacement parts. This depends on the make and model of your car. Some can be as high as $2,000 for the fuel injector set.
Most professional mechanics will charge you about $200-$250 for labor if you choose their services. And our advice is to always call a professional if you are unsure about replacing fuel injectors by yourself.
Are all fuel injectors replaced at once?
Yes. It is highly recommended to replace all fuel injectors if they have reached the end of their service life. A fault in one is a sign that the remaining injectors are also about to break down.
Is it better to clean or replace fuel injectors?
Cleaning fuel injectors to remove carbon deposits is the best option if they are not damaged. It saves you money, but you should never reuse O-rings. These must be replaced whenever you clean fuel injectors.
But if the fuel injectors are visibly damaged, consider replacing them, as just cleaning will not help.
How often should you replace diesel fuel injectors?
Diesel fuel injectors should be replaced every 100,000-150,000 miles. This is the typical lifespan, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Why does it take long to replace fuel injectors?
Replacing fuel injectors is a delicate process, and everything must be procedural. It takes time to unscrew the nuts and clips holding the fuel rail in place and individually remove the fuel injectors from their sockets.
Can a bad fuel injector damage your car?
Yes. Many professionals have argued that bad fuel injectors cause a reduction in fuel delivery. This results in poor lubrication of vital engine components, such as pistons, bearings, and cylinder walls.
Is it safe to drive with bad fuel injectors?
No. It is unsafe if your car has bad fuel injectors, especially on the highway. The engine can stall unexpectedly, which can be tragic. While the vehicle can still move, replace bad fuel injectors as soon as you possibly can.
Do aftermarket fuel injectors increase performance?
Yes. Performance fuel injectors deliver more fuel into the combustion chamber. As a result, you can get more power. However, not all aftermarket fuel injectors can increase your car’s performance.
It usually takes less than 30 minutes to replace fuel injectors. That is true if you have the experience and necessary tools. But if you are unskilled, it is better to contact a professional mechanic to do it at a fee. Whichever direction you choose, your car should be ready in about 30 minutes.
Replacing fuel injectors can be expensive in some car models. That is why you should only do it when necessary. In some cases, you can clean the carbon deposit and replace the O-ring to solve the problems of reduced fuel economy and other associated symptoms.