The fuel injector’s purpose is easy to figure out by its name – it injects fuel to the combustion chamber.
If they turn bad, multiple symptoms may occur which in many cases calls for a replacement.
In this article, we will go through everything about fuel injectors, including when they should be replaced and potentially cheaper fixes if things go south.
An exact price for a fuel injector replacement is tough as many factors must be considered. To give a rough estimate, a fuel injector replacement can cost anywhere from $600 to $2000.
Sometimes, all that is needed is a flush which is considerably cheaper, but more about that further down in this guide.
Let’s get started with the basics first!
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What Are Fuel Injectors?
Before we get to how much it costs to replace fuel injectors, it is beneficial to know exactly what fuel injectors are and how they work.
Generally, every cylinder has a fuel injector. Most cars use direct fuel injection which means that the fuel is directly injected into the combustion chamber.
The fuel injectors are the final part of the fuel system and work in a controlled and precise manner.
For combustion to take place effectively, the fuel is split into very small particles, in a process called atomization, which is especially important for diesel engines.
Sometimes, the atomization will be insufficient, other times the amount of fuel may be deficient and will cause noticeable problems when driving.
Just like any other automotive part these days, there is an electronic component that may be faulty, potentially causing a variety of signs and symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Bad Fuel Injectors
A bad fuel injector means that the fuel system does not work effectively, therefore many symptoms and signs will be related to the engine combustion.
This means that you may expect symptoms such as:
- Rough engine idle
- Increased fuel consumption
- Loss of performance
- Illuminated check engine light
Unfortunately, none of these symptoms or signs are specific to fuel injectors. Alternative causes for these symptoms may be due to spark plugs, clogged filters, faulty sensors, and more.
The best way to diagnose the issue is either to have a good overview of all the different parts and a maintenance protocol.
If you do not know the last time you changed your filters, spark plugs, and so on, it may be tougher to diagnose the problem.
In those cases, it is very helpful to use an OBD-II scan tool to get a better picture of what is going on.
Replacing Fuel Injectors
If the cause of the problems points to the fuel injectors, you are left with two options – either replace them or flush them.
In most cases, a replacement is the way to go, however, there are some instances where a flush is sufficient.
Many times, when fuel injectors become bad, they do so because they get clogged due to impurities in the fuel.
Flushing the fuel injectors may be a good diagnostic step but may turn into a solution for the trouble if it turns out that the problem was debris in the fuel injectors.
If this is the case, it is good news as a fuel injector flush is much cheaper than a replacement of fuel injectors.
The cost of replacing fuel injectors depends on multiple things, mainly the number of cylinders, car model, and engine.
When changing the fuel injectors, it is advisable to change them all at once. It will save you a bit of labor but also it will prevent the engine from running rough.
For most cars, the price of one fuel injector will set you back approximately $100 to $300.
Multiply that by the number of cylinders and you will have a rough approximation of how much it will cost for your car.
The total cost can easily reach over $2000 depending on the car model and the engine size.
The labor rate itself varies a lot depending on where you take your car, but also where you live. In general, a fuel injector replacement should take 1-2 hours.
This is also the reason why flushing the injectors is a good option. A flush can cost as little as $10 if you do it yourself, or $50 – $70 if you let a professional do it.
The purpose of fuel injectors is to introduce fuel into the combustion chamber in a controlled and synchronized manner.
A faulty fuel injector may either stop providing fuel or inject too much or too little fuel. Whatever the case may be you will in most instances notice a few signs and symptoms.
Many of the signs and symptoms are similar to other problems such as bad air/fuel filters, spark plugs, and more. This makes it a bit harder to diagnose the cause.
Symptoms include a rough engine idle, loss of power, increased fuel consumption, and more.
As fuel injectors are expensive, a replacement is usually costly, a much cheaper fuel injector flush could solve the problem if the injectors are clogged but not broken.
One fuel injector cost on average $200, as they should all be replaced at the same time, you should multiply the number of cylinders by the price of the injector.
For example, if a car has four cylinders (and hence four fuel injectors) the average cost would be $200 x 4 = $800 in parts alone. Changing them takes around 1-2 hours.
On the other hand, a fuel injector flush will set you back $50 if you take it to a professional, but keep in mind that this will only solve the problem in very specific circumstances.