In other parts of the world, you can own a car for 15 years and never know what fuel injector or fuel pump means. In Nigeria, it’s almost impossible to own a car for five years and not have a fuel system encounter.
Symptoms that typically drive the mechanic to “jump” to the above conclusion:
- No start or hard start
- Rough idle
- Hesitation and jerking
- Lack of power and engine misfire
It could simply be that your spark plugs or ignition coils need to be replaced.
A quick trip down memory lane for the over 40-year-olds:
Remember when we replaced our spark plugs at every service appointment (approx 4 months)? In newer model vehicles, your spark plugs can last for 5 years. We’ll skip the technological reasons why
(Hint: it’s due to carburetor vs. fuel injection).
The flip side of this is that we tend to forget that spark plugs still exist in the car and need to be replaced at some point. This makes it easier sometimes to associate engine misfirings with the fuel system and NOT the ignition system; of which spark plugs and ignition coils are a part.
Ok. If the problem is really due to my fuel system, how could I have prevented it?
Problems with fuel injectors and pumps are usually caused by contamination (water or other impurities mixed in fuel), constantly running on low fuel level, electronic failure (circuitry issue, blown fuse), mechanical failure (degradation with age), debris or particles in the injector orifice.
While some of the above are beyond our control, we can still take some simple actions to significantly reduce the probability of having issues:
- Don’t buy fuel from stations that are susceptible to flooding after rainfalls
- Buy petrol from reputable petrol stations. Er…ehm, please don’t ask us for recommendations
- Don’t let your fuel gauge go below quarter level before refilling
- Avoid using stored up petrol from jerry cans that could have been contaminated with water or dirt
As usual, we have your back
When in doubt, ask a good auto technician. Don’t worry, we have good mechanics on call and close to you.
STOP. DON’T let your mechanic jump to this conclusion. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org