With its spacious cargo capacity, versatility, and powerful durability, it’s no wonder why Sprinter vans have gained increasing popularity as a globally-recognized vehicle. But to maintain its durability and avoid potential issues, like fuel injector failure, routine maintenance and care are absolutely vital.
Take note of even the slightest indicators that your vehicle might need an injector repair. The longer you wait to get your vehicle fixed, the more likely additional issues will arise, including driveability problems, electrical malfunctions, and fuel problems, costing you even more money for repairs in the long run.
Pay Attention to the Signs
If your Sprinter has not been performing like it used to, here are some tips to help you identify if fuel injector failure might be the culprit:
- Fuel consumption increase: If the engine is not getting the fuel it needs to perform properly, it will place a heavier demand on the injector for the additional fuel. This results in decreased fuel economy due to overconsumption, causing your van to run out of fuel more quickly than it should.
- Rough engine performance or stalling: If your vehicle is not getting enough fuel, the RPM drops below optimal level while idling, causing a rough idle. If the RPM drops too low, your Sprinter will stall.
- Fuel leak: If the fuel injector in your van is cracked or broken due to damage or age, gas will begin to leak out of it. This prevents the fuel from reaching the nozzle. You might see gasoline on the exterior. Typically, the leak comes from the fuel injector seal, which will deteriorate over time.
- Check engine light turns on: This is probably the most obvious sign. If you see the check engine light turn on, your engine will need to be checked. While this could be an indicator of a lot of things, a failed fuel injector might be the problem. When the injector delivers less fuel than needed, the engine’s efficiency is lowered, which can trigger the check engine light to turn on.
- Failed emissions test: Because a leaking or cracked fuel injector can cause uneven fuel burn, increased emissions can come as a result. A fuel injector leak can even cause catalytic converter burn-out if the air/fuel mixture becomes rich enough.
- Unpredictable accelerations: If too much fuel is being sprayed into the engine cylinder, it can create a surge, causing acceleration to slow down. When you’re driving, you may notice the engine RPM changing significantly rather than remaining at a constant.
Common Causes of Fuel Injector Failure
While fuel injectors can last for several thousand miles, typically, they tend to fail after the 80,000 mile mark. There are a number of reasons that fuel injector failure can occur, including:
- They become dirty or clogged. When you turn off your engine, the injector soaks up the heat. This causes the fuel left in the injector to evaporate and leaves behind hard deposits inside. Eventually, this causes a blockage, leading to injector failure.
- Internal or external leakage. One of the most common causes of a leaky injector is O-ring failure where the injector and the fuel rail meet. The O-ring can harden and become brittle from the heat of the engine and if it breaks, then the fuel can leak over the engine. Another way the injector can leak is if the injector nozzle or body cracks.
- Mechanical failure. Fuel injectors are an extremely important moving part to the complexity of the Sprinter van’s fuel management system. Over time, due to age and wear-and-tear, or even lack of maintenance, they do tend to fail. This is why maintaining your Sprinter is so vital in keeping it running smoothly at its optimal efficiency.
How to Prevent Issues Before They Occur
Fuel injectors are typically hard-wearing, and with proper maintenance, they can last the lifespan of your Sprinter’s engine. To prolong the lifespan of your van’s fuel injector, be sure to follow up with scheduled routine maintenance and injector cleanings to prevent blockages, leaks, and failures. This includes regular engine servicing, oil and filter changes to prevent extra pressure to the engine, and regularly changing the fuel filter to maintain proper fuel flow.
It is not wise to drive with a fuel injector problem, as issues with the injector can cause your Sprinter van to stall and accelerate unpredictably, which is a hazard to yourself and others on the road. It can also cost you a substantial amount of money as it can cause additional problems with your vehicle if left unrepaired.
Reach Out to Us Today
At Hayes European, we are committed to providing top-quality services and repairs for Sprinter drivers all over the Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, and Capitola areas. When you bring in your vehicle for repairs, we can ensure the best service and value possible from our team of certified, experienced mechanics.
For more information about how to identify injector issues in your Sprinter van, or to set up an appointment for service, call us at Hayes European today 831-269-5858.