The History of and Different Types of Fuel Injectors

If you do not live in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, or another metropolitan American city that provides area-wide public transportation, then the chances are you live in a region where you have no choice but to get around by foot or by car. Moreover, it is most likely that, of the two options, you need to make your way around town with a car.

A Brief History of Fuel Injectors and Their Integration into American Industry

Fuel injectors are relatively new in the realm of vehicular technologies and inventions, but their concept is a tale as old as time. Injection systems have been circulating around for over a century, with global commercial use inside diesel engines across various automobiles an incredibly popular move made in the 1920s by various manufacturers — and made most popular in the 1950s.

The earliest recorded uses of fuel injectors stem from 1902 when the French aviator Leon Levavasseur implemented a prototype version of an injection system into his Antoinette 8V airplane, which would incidentally end up being the first V8 engine system installed in any vehicle in history.

Twenty-three years later, in 1925, the Swedish engineer and inventor Jonas Hesselman would utilize an early form of direct gasoline injection on an early iteration of the Hesselman engine, in which gasoline is inserted in the last moment of the compression stroke, which then, in turn, starts a spark plug.

Fuel Injectors in Modern American History

World War II was instrumental in the widespread rise of fuel injection throughout the Western automobile industry. The 1980s witnessed the rapid increase of the electronic fuel injector, which spread almost universally across various European nations and automobile manufacturing businesses.

The United States sold its last car operated with a standard gasoline carburetor engine — the 1990 Subaru Justy — toward the end of that decade.

The 1991 Subaru Justy was manufactured and sold with a new fuel injector. In the 25 years since, every single car assembled, produced, and sold in the United States has been or is currently powered by a fuel injector mechanism.

Why Fuel Injectors?

Fuel injectors are undoubtedly one of the greatest technological inventions for the automobile of our time. Prior to their invention, the vast majority of automobiles operated through the use of standard gasoline engines, most of which were rather draining on people’s wallets and the engines’ fuel efficiency, and — as a result — their effect on the environment.

Knowing how to monitor one’s fuel injector requires a certain amount of knowledge and research. This includes such basics as how fuel injector systems work, how to diagnose problems with your fuel injector system, and even how the remanufacturing of a fuel injector — the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable of all methods of building an injector — can save you hundreds of dollars and countless hours of headaches.

Part of this research is recognizing and knowing the types of fuel injectors, and which kinds are best for your particular brand of vehicle.

The Various Types of Fuel Injector

While the highest quality fuel injection systems are — generally speaking — the best kind of gas powering system to have in the industry, not every kind is the best for your particular vehicular system.

There exist, in fact, several kinds of fuel injectors, and each one is specifically designed to suit various types of automobiles. Knowing which type of injector your vehicle comes equipped with — or which one is best for your particular car — is the key to keeping your rides as cost-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

  • Throttle Body Fuel Injectors. The throttle body fuel injection (TBI) method is one of the most commonplace and most well-known of the types of fuel injectors. In fact, it is the first type to begin commercially replacing the carburetor. These particular injectors only retain two primary versions: the throttle body and the fuel body.

The throttle body contains various ports that garner signals to convey to a pressure sensor within the system, and then to the part of the system that controls carbon emissions. The fuel body of the TBI simply keeps providing a steady stream of gasoline into the throttle body through a special valve that monitors and maintains the system’s airflow.

The automatically operated throttle body inserts gasoline into the same cylinders as the traditional carburetor, but is much simpler to maintain control of in opposition to the old manual systems that were just as difficult to keep in place and adjust according to momentary needs.

The old carburetors would release a great deal of excess fuel, which would cause the engine to stutter while the car was accelerating, thereby producing loads of waste fuel, pollution, and carbon emissions that would leave enormous imprints on the environment over long periods of time.

  • The Multi-Port Fuel Injector. This particular type of injector is what many experts refer to as “the next logical progression” in the stages of fuel injection. With this system, the injector is placed precisely where the intake valve meets the combustion chamber.

This allows the injector to equally distribute the fuel among as many as six cylinders within the vehicle’s engine system. The multi-port type of fuel injector keeps all injectors running simultaneously, while the gasoline itself remains on standby beyond the intake until it is needed.

This economical method of dispensing with gasoline vastly increases the engine’s efficiency, even while the engine is left to idle. The multi-port injector is yet another kind of injector that significantly improves environmental efficiency.

  • The Sequential Fuel Injector. The sequential fuel injector is located in the same way as the aforementioned multi-port fuel injector, but with even more highly advanced electronic controls for the engine.

The key difference between the sequential injector and the multi-port system is that while the multi-port mechanism pours the gasoline into all available injectors at once, the sequential system rhythmically sprays the fuel right before the opening of the intake valve for each individual cylinder in the system.

This is definitely a minor upgrade from the multi-port system, but it nevertheless provides a significant upgrade in efficiency performance from its predecessors.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a beginner only just starting to research different types of fuel injectors or a professional expert, a basic level of knowledge of the various kinds of fuel injectors is necessary for the proper maintenance and care of one’s automobile. Armed with the history and knowledge of the types of fuel injectors, you will be on your way to becoming an environmentally friendly, cost-effective driver in no time!

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