Cars, while hardy, can be finicky at times. When your engine is below a certain temperature, your works to add fuel to the air mixture to start the vehicle. Positioned on the intake manifold, the cold start injector helps refine the mixture in the engine’s cylinders for better burning. However, when your car starts having problems, the culprit is often this valve.
- What is it?
A cold starting problem occurs because an engine typically needs more fuel to start when cold than when hot. This condition is referred to as “cold start enrichment.” The problem can either be with starting the engine or the car running when it is cold – both tie back to the same cause. If the car doesn’t have the proper enrichment when it’s cold, then the problem will persist.
- What should I watch for?
Things like the engine flooding, smoking, starting and stopping, or the vehicle won’t start or is difficult to start are definite giveaways that something is wrong. If the engine is flooding, then there is a chance that the cold start injector is leaking, allowing too much fuel to flow to the cylinder. When the pressure in the injector is too low, it will cause a heavy fuel/air mix to smoke through the engine. Your engine starting and stopping is an indication that the pressure of the injector is too high. A vehicle that won’t start means that there is no fuel reaching the engine and your injector could be clogged. Starting your vehicle and being met with hesitation or cranking might be a sign that the injector needs to be reset and the thermometer start interval reduced.
- How do I fix it?
It is recommended that your fuel injector be cleaned regularly by a professional. By regularly, we mean every 36 months or 45,000 miles. If this isn’t done, there is a higher chance for your injector to become dirty or clogged which will cause problems like your vehicle’s difficulty cold starting or running. There are ways to clean cold start injectors, but it won’t be the thorough clean necessary to prevent issues. Cleaning your cold start injector should be done by professionals.