Tips When Looking for a Durable Fuel Injector O-ring
The fuel injection system contains fuel injectors that "atomize" fuel under high pressure. If that's difficult to understand, just imagine fuel sprayed into a very fine mist, now that's easier for the engine to burn, right? Since a fuel injector works under constant pressure, this is where a fuel injector o-ring comes in. As small as a dime, this o-ring does more than its size; it keeps the entire fuel injector intact.
Here are some tips to consider when looking for a replacement fuel injector o-ring.
The common types of fuel injector o-ring material
Made mostly from rubber, an o-ring can also be manufactured with plastic or metal to withstand different temperatures and chemicals. With various types of o-rings out there, you might wonder which one is the best for your fuel injector? Here are some suitable types you can choose from:
Also referred to as Urethane or HPU, this is a high performance material that can resist temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A polyurethane o-ring is oil-, fuel-, and gas-resistant. It is plastic-like with a shiny surface, and is difficult to stretch.
- Nitrile Rubber
Commonly referred to as the most popular o-ring material, Nitrile Rubber or NBR is an elastomer used to seal pressure for hydraulic or pneumatic applications. It has a good compression-set resistance and high tensile strength. This type is oil-, fuel-, and gas-resistant like the Polyurethane. Nitrile rubber usually has a matte finish; but sometimes it has a shiny surface.
- Fluoroelastomer Viton
Excellent in high temperature applications, this type is a very good hydraulic or pneumatic seal. Fluoroelastomer Viton or VIT is also preferred for its extreme chemical resistance. A VIT o-ring looks heavier than a NBR with its non-glossy finish.
The various o-ring codes from different countries
Since o-rings are manufactured all over the world, different o-ring country codes were created. In the U.S., "dash numbers" like -012 or -213 were assigned by the Aerospace Standard for the size and tolerance of an o-ring. British Standard (BS) has a different style. ""BS518"" is an example of a British code; while the Japanese code looks like "JIS B 2401."" It is advisable to check the o-ring codes so you know where an o-ring was made.
Some useful tips before installing an o-ring to your fuel injector
- If you already see a worn out o-ring, replace them immediately. This would only cost $10-$20 from trusted brands, and it comes with a 12-month or 15,000-mile warranty.
- Before you head out and buy a replacement, make sure you know the size (inch or metric) and the temperature range of the application.
Fuel Injector O-ring DIY Installation
Fuel injector O-rings are rubber rings that seal off your fuel injectors from the fuel rail and the engine. Located around the end of your fuel injectors, O-rings prevent fuel leakage from the fuel line or the combustion chamber. Damaged O-rings cause fuel injector leaks, idling, and low fuel pressure; that's why they should be replaced immediately. If your car has exceeded 100,000 miles, you should replace not just a faulty O-ring but other O-rings as well because these parts will eventually fail because of age. To replace a fuel injector O-ring, just follow the steps below:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- New fuel injector O-rings
- Socket set
- Socket wrench
- Brake parts cleaner
- Small screwdriver
- Motor oil
- Soft cloth
- Replacement fuel injectors (if necessary)
Step 1: Decrease your car's fuel pressure by disconnecting the fuel safety cut-off switch and starting your engine. To confirm that fuel pressure is reduced, start your engine three times. If your car doesn't have a fuel safety cut-off switch, expose a fuel line to let fuel ooze out. Typically, a fuel line can be accessed at the fuel filter. Be sure to replace any severed fuel lines once fuel pressure is lessened.
Step 2: Take out the rail from the fuel injector by disengaging the fuel line rail from the engine. Refer to your owner's manual about this because access to fuel rails and retaining bolts differ depending on car manufacturer, model, and engine.
Step 3: Disconnect the electrical connection from the fuel injector. Then, put aside the plug and wire so that you can access the fuel injector.
Step 4: Rock the fuel rail's connection point so that you can easily remove the fuel injector.
Step 5: Clean any fuel leak from the fuel rail.
Step 6: Check the top of the fuel injector and see if the O-ring is stuck in the fuel rail. If it is, use a small screwdriver to remove it.
Step 7: Using your hand, wrench the fuel injector from the engine. Rock the fuel injector to remove it from the injector hole. After this, check if its bottom O-ring is present. If the O-ring is missing, pull it out from the injector hole.
Step 8: Take out and dispose of any leftover O-rings from the bottom and top of the fuel injector. If you want to use a tool to remove the O-ring, be careful with the injector O-ring seat. It's advisable that you have replacement fuel injectors on hand to replace damaged ones.
Step 9: Using a soft cloth and brake parts cleaner, clean the O-ring seat.
Step 10: Lubricate the new O-rings by spreading a light coating of motor oil on the surface of the O-rings with your finger.
Step 11: Install the O-rings—both top and bottom—at the fuel injector's end. Then, push the fuel injector, nozzle first, down into the fuel injector hole.
Step 12: Install the fuel line onto the injector top by pressing it, and reconnect any fuel safety cut-off switches. Then, turn your ignition key to the “electronics only” mode. Repeat this process twice, making sure to turn the ignition off before every attempt.
Step 13: Repair any leaks in the fuel line connections at the area where they link to the fuel injectors. Then, start your engine.