4 Best Practices for Servicing the Fuel Injection System After Auto Mechanic School

Once you’ve completed your training, you can expect to service many vehicles as an auto mechanic. Throughout auto mechanic school, you will learn a range of best practices for servicing various systems of vehicles, including the fuel injection system. This system is responsible for supplying fuel to the engine in regulated amounts. It is important to service this part of the vehicle since failures or malfunctions could lead to emission problems, significant loss of power, or poor fuel economy. Therefore, as a mechanic, it will be essential to know the best practices to ensure that the fuel injection system of a client’s vehicle is serviced correctly. 

Read on for four best practices to remember once you start your career.

1. Check the Injectors After Auto Mechanic School

Checking the fuel injectors to ensure they work is a fundamental aspect of servicing a vehicle’s fuel injection system. There are several ways to check the fuel injectors. The first method involves using a mechanic’s stethoscope to listen for clicking sounds from the fuel injectors. Clicking sounds indicate that the injectors are working as intended. There is also the test light method, which involves checking the connections of the fuel injectors to see if there is a problem. The process of diagnosing whether an injector is working properly will be covered during your mechanic courses, where you will learn to use the proper tools and methods in the classroom and through practical, hands-on training. 

Mechanic courses teach you how to inspect and clean fuel injectors properly.

2. Ensure Fuel Injectors Are Clean

There are two primary methods to clean a vehicle’s fuel injectors, which you may utilize after auto mechanic school. The first method involves using a fuel injector cleaner. This cleaner contains detergents which break up the carbon deposits and remove impurities from the fuel injectors. Pour the specified amount into the fuel tank of the client’s car, and the fuel injectors will clean themselves as the client drives. 

The second and more complicated way of cleaning fuel injectors involves ultrasonic cleaning. This method removes the carbon deposits and impurities by cavitation action. Cavitation action is the safe implosion of millions of tiny bubbles in an ultrasonic cleaning solution. The bubbles are produced by transducers, which vibrate at frequencies between 37 and 40 kHz. As small as they are, the bubbles can reach all the surfaces of the injectors to ensure they are clean. This is the most effective way of cleaning fuel injectors and one that’s commonly used, as you’ll learn during your training. You will be given fuel injectors to clean and taught how to set up the ultrasonic cleaners.

3. Clean the Throttle Body Thoroughly

Cleaning the throttle body is important when servicing a vehicle’s fuel injection system. The throttle body is a butterfly valve which regulates how much air goes into the engine based on how hard the driver pushes the accelerator. Taking off the throttle body will need to be done carefully. Thankfully, you’ll learn all about safely removing and cleaning the throttle body,  including being cautious around the wiring and terminals of the throttle body. Once you safely access the throttle body, you can spray throttle-body cleaner inside the air duct and brush away all the dirt and grime it dislodges. Repeat this process until the bare metal is visible, then be sure to clean up the throttle body and surrounding areas and reinstall the throttle body.

As taught in automotive mechanic school, a clean throttle body has significant benefits.

4. The Common Rail Pump Should Work as Intended

The role of the common rail pump is to pressurize fuel and then transfer it along the common rail. The pressure created should be regulated by an electronically controlled valve. This electronically controlled valve will ensure that the pressure is exactly what is needed by the vehicle’s ECU. Indicators that a common rail pump is not working as intended include problems such as power loss and rough idle. The best way to test for a malfunctioning common rail pump is to use a sealed rail kit. Throughout your training and career, you’ll be tasked with checking the pressure in pumps using this or similar kits. These kits will display the results of the pump pressure, and if they do not align with the specific pressure measurement outlined in the car manual, the pump has likely failed.

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