Common Symptoms of a Failing Diesel Fuel Injector

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Your vehicle’s performance depends on the type and quality of its fuel. But if you’re experiencing drivability issues and an overall lack of performance despite using high-quality fuel, the problem could lie with the fuel injectors. The injectors spray fuel into the intake manifold of a diesel engine. You can use the best fuel available, but if it isn’t delivered correctly, you won’t reap its benefits. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a failing fuel injector and what they might mean, so you can identify the problem and repair it.

Lack of Power

Having a hard time starting your vehicle? Tired of experiencing inconsistent revving or uneven idling? Notice a change in the RPM gauge that you can’t quite explain? Your fuel injectors might need cleaning. If the fuel injectors are contaminated or worn-down, they may start supplying inconsistent amounts of fuel to the engine. This results in a dramatically decreased performance and the development of drivability issues.

The Smell of Fuel

Another common symptom of a failing fuel injector is the smell of fuel. If you’re smelling the pungent odor of fuel inside of the cabin, something is leaking. This could be the result of a cracked injector seal or a valve not closing correctly. A leaking fuel injector can eventually lead to other, more serious problems, such as cylinder wash, so it’s important to have the leak inspected and repaired at your earliest convenience.

Reduced Fuel Economy

Do you feel like you’re wasting more fuel than usual and getting fewer miles per gallon? The cause of your reduced fuel economy could be faulty or worn-down fuel injectors. An old injector has to burn more fuel than a newer injector to achieve the required performance output. If your injectors are too old or damaged for repair, they’ll need replacing.


If your vehicle is misfiring on ignition, you should perform a thorough inspection of the fuel injectors. They could be clogged and require cleaning, or there might be a problem with one of the combustion process elements. A lack of fuel injection or low combustion chamber heat are the two most likely suspects. The fuel change in one of the cylinders is failing to ignite, or there isn’t enough fuel being pumped into the ignition. Either way, you should have your vehicle inspected by a licensed technician and, if necessary, have it repaired.

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