Whether you car has a carburetor or fuel injection system both are very important. This article is a simple introduction to what the carburetor and fuel injection system are and what they do.
If your car has a carburetor it is likely your car was made in the year 1990 or before. The carburetor serves many purposes. First, it mixes fuel and air to create the proper ratio for combustion. Second, it maintains the proper ratio of fuel and air to keep the combustion needed at higher or lower speeds. Third, as a result of the first two functions it allows you to control the speed of your vehicle.
Although fuel injection technology has been around since the 1950’s it wasn’t until 1990 it made the carburetor all but obsolete. This is because fuel injectors were able to produce a more precise mix of fuel and air improving the overall combustion and therefore fuel economy of the vehicle. However, these precise measurements require several sensors to support the system and therefore the need for microchips, essentially minicomputers, was necessary to perform these tasks effectively.
Today the amount of sensors and computers necessary for engines to run smoothly is mind-numbing. With their ever-growing complexity is important to have the right mechanic looking after your vehicle. Not just any person can open up an auto shop in their backyard. They need to go through certain certifications and qualifications in order to ensure the work they’re doing meets or exceed industry standards.
Preliminary diagnosis of a faulty carburetor or fuel injection system is a rough idle usually followed by various misfires, unsteady acceleration, and power loss. Thanks to the various sensors in your car (for cars with fuel injection) the “check engine light”, more often than not, will illuminate letting you know it’s time to take your car in to get looked at.
Today, you can purchase an onboard diagnostic (OBD) at your local auto parts store that will give you codes that will tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car. These can range anywhere from just under $20 to over $500 depending on your vehicle and your needs.
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