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How Diesel Fuel Injector Works

The car engine is a complex piece of machinery that has seen numerous developments since its invention in the 20th century. The engine system is an important selling point for car manufacturers, and every brand wants to get it right. Majority of motor vehicles are powered by diesel or gasoline. Although the use of newer energy sources like ethanol, hydrogen and electrical energy is increasing, gasoline and diesel engines still hold the lion’s share of the automobile market. The diesel engine, in particular, has received the attention of many manufacturers and car owners. The engine is known for its efficiency and power. Diesel engines were mostly used in trucks, buses and SUVs. However, car manufacturers are currently releasing diesel versions of their small car models. This begs the question, what makes diesel engines so unique? The answer lies in the fuel injection system.

Diesel and petrol engines have similar designs. They are both run an internal combustion system that converts chemical energy into mechanical energy. Nevertheless, the difference lies in how the process is achieved. The injection process in a diesel engine differs from the gasoline engine. In the latter, the air is mixed with fuel and delivered to the combustion chamber. The pistons then compress the mixture before the spark plug ignites to set off an explosion.

On the other hand, a diesel engine relies on direct fuel injection. The fuel is injected into the combustion chamber after the air has already been compressed. Air compression raises the temperature of the chamber and forces valves in the fuel injector to open. The fuel is directly introduced into the chamber and spontaneously explodes. Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t have a spark plug.

However, the diesel engine fuel injector is complicated, and a lot of modifications have been made since its invention.

A typical diesel fuel injector has two parts which include, the nozzle and the body. The body consists of the pilot needle, a return spring, a fuel return line and a powerful connection. High-pressure fuel passes down the body of the injector into the nozzle settling in the chamber surrounding the needle valve. The valve only opens when the fuel pressure acting on it is enough to overcome the spring compression. Fuel then flows to the lower chamber, and it’s forced out through tiny holes that are designed to atomise fuel oil. The two main types of injector are mechanical and electronic injectors. Both injectors are held closed by a spring. However, the mechanical injector is opened by fuel pressure while an electromagnetic build opens the electronic injector. An electronic control unit in the electronic injector determines how long the valve remains open.

Several things can go wrong in a diesel injector, wear and tear of the components, the high-pressure ball seat may erode, causing high return flow and many more. The nozzle may also erode, leading to seepage that will result in poor fuel economy. Moreover, debris can build up in the injector, causing it to stick open. Since the system is delicate, frequent service checks are important, and any fault should be addressed immediately. The future of diesel injectors is bright. Technological advancements have already computerized some of the modern injectors, and the combustion of diesel is more efficient and cleaner.


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