Driving With Bad Fuel Injector: Will It Cause Damage?

Driving with bad fuel injector might seem harmless, but it is actually one of the most important systems in your car. If you have a fuel injector, your car won’t run correctly, and you will deal with rough idling, stalling, or further damage.

What Will Happen If We Drive With Bad Fuel Injector

If you notice that your injector is bad, it’s best to visit a mechanic as soon as possible for your car to run properly. In this guide, we take a closer look at what happens if you drive with a defective injector and how you can check that the fuel injector is faulty.

Can You Drive With a Bad Fuel Injector?

Yes, you can drive with a bad fuel injector, but it is not advisable. While it’s possible to drive your car when the injector is faulty, you shouldn’t, as it would cause your car to stall or catch fire. Driving with a damaged injector will require more expensive repairs.


If your car has fuel injection problems, you should consider calling a mechanic to get it serviced as soon as possible. You might also be unsure because the signs of a bad fuel injector are similar to other faults in your car. In this case, the mechanic would inspect your car to find the problem.

A Couple Pieces of Fuel Injector In Hands Of A Mechanic

If you notice that your car struggles to start, this could be because the injector is faulty. Another sign is that your car would start but stall almost immediately after, showing you that the injector is damaged. With any of these issues, you should visit a mechanic.

If you suspect an injector, you can first look out for the engine light. If the light is on along with fuel leaks under your car, it is a sign that the injector is damaged, and you need to replace it as soon as possible.

Will a Bad Fuel Injector Damage Your Car?

Yes, a bad fuel injector will damage your car if you leave it for a long time. If you ignore a faulty injector for a long time, it can lead to damage to the engine, the emissions system, or the catalytic converter.

If you have a leaking fuel injector, the engine will run lean. There won’t be enough fuel in the cylinders, but too much air and this would lead to engine damage. A damaged injector would also make the engine misfire. So, it would increase your emissions and damage the converter.

If you keep on driving your car and pushing the faulty injector, you might end up having to replace your engine. The engine might become flooded with fuel, or it would keep on misfiring. That is why you should replace the injector as soon as possible.

What Are the Signs of a Faulty Fuel Injector?

The signs of a faulty fuel injector include loss of power, check engine light is on, misfires, fuel odor, rough idling, poor fuel economy, engine stalling or surging, and decreased car performance. If you notice these fuel injector symptoms, you should visit a mechanic for repair.

Check Engine Light Turn On Because of Faulty Fuel Injector

Engine Warning Light Is On

If your engine isn’t getting enough fuel or it is running lean due to a defective injector, the engine computer will activate the warning light on your dashboard. The light would either come on or flicker. If it is flickering, that means the situation is worse, and you should not drive. You should use a scan tool to check the code.

Smell of Fuel

You might also notice the smell of fuel when your engine is running, and that is a dangerous sign. If you can smell gas while driving, it would be because the injector is leaking. When an injector is not functioning properly, it can leak under pressure.

Filling the Car With Fuel Nozzle

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

If you notice that you’re using more fuel than usual, it would be because the injector has failed. The engine would be working too hard, and it would make you consume more fuel.

Fuel Gauge On Odometer

Engine Misfiring

If the injector is damaged, it will cause one or more engine cylinders to work the wrong way. It would cause the engine to misfire. If your engine is misfiring, it would feel like a shaking sensation when driving or idling. The engine would also make a rough sound while driving.

Rough Idling

Another sign of a bad injector is if it’s rough idling. If the engine is idling roughly, it shows that something is wrong with your car. Your engine should run smoothly so be careful if it has a rough idle.

Stalling Engine

You might notice that your engine is stalling or surging while driving, and that is because the injector is not supplying enough fuel to the engine. If your engine stalls in traffic, it can cause an accident, so you should replace it as soon as possible.

Driver Try to Repair Stalled Engine

What Are the Causes of a Faulty Fuel Injector?

The causes of a faulty fuel injector include deposits building up on the injectors, using low-quality oil or fuel, or if it is worn out and requires replacement. If your car is an older vehicle or you are using the wrong type of fuel, your injector will become faulty.

If your injector is covered with rust, it will cause them to fail. This is a common problem in vehicles that are driven in saltwater areas because the salt would cause the injectors to get rusted quickly. If your injector is corroded, it can eventually cause damage.

While driving, debris can also get into your system leading to a dirty fuel injector. If you don’t check this, it can lead to engine misfires, power loss, or engine damage.

How Can You Repair a Damaged Fuel Injector?

You can repair a damaged fuel injector by disassembling all the parts, cleaning them, and inspecting them for damage. If you find cracks or broken seals, it’s best to replace the injectors. You should contact a mechanic to repair or replace the injector if you are unsure.

Replacing an injector is always the best option, but the problem is that purchasing the wrong one would simply damage your engine. That is why you should work with a mechanic to get the ideal fuel injector for your car. You can also ask the service to clean fuel injectors and service it if you cannot afford to replace all the damaged ones.

A Picture of Car Fuel Injectors

If you want to clean your bad fuel injectors by yourself, ensure you’re good with tools and mechanics. Consult the car’s user manual to find the location of your fuel injectors. Then, remove the injectors and disassemble them. Once their parts have been separated, you should clean them with an ultrasonic cleaner, brake parts cleaner or carburetor cleaner.

After fuel injector cleaning, you should then inspect them for damage and replace them if there are cracks or broken parts. If there is no damage, you should simply reassemble the fuel injectors and test if your car is working. Ensure that you install them properly, as any misalignment can cause the injector to get damaged.

How Can You Test if the Fuel Injector Is Faulty?

You can test if the fuel injector is faulty by using a multimeter. The multimeter is a tool that can be used to check the electrical resistance of the injector coil. If you have high resistance, it means that the injector is faulty, and you need to replace it.

You can easily purchase the multimeter and locate the injector in your car with the user manual. Then, test whether it is working and replace or repair it if it is damaged.

Mechanic While Testing The Diesel Fuel Injector

You can also use a noid light to test your fuel injectors. The tool that is attached to the fuel injector’s electrical connector will show you if it is working. You need to start up the car engine first and then connect the noid light to the injector. If it pulses, then the injector is still working. If not, then you need to replace it.

How Often Should You Replace Fuel Injectors?

You should replace fuel injectors as often as 100,000 miles, but this depends on how well you maintain them. If you don’t maintain your injector, you should replace it after 50,000 miles. Some fuel injectors can also last as long as the vehicle, which is 200,000 miles.

There are different factors that affect how often you should replace the fuel injector. These include fuel quality, driving conditions, and often you drive. For example, if you use poor-quality fuel, it would cause deposits to build up in the injector and cause it to fail. That is why you need to use good quality fuel and constantly service the injector.

Old Broken Injector Before Replacing

Also, if you live in conditions with a lot of dirt roads, rough roads, or salt water, the injector will not last long. On the other hand, if you live in a clean and dry area, it would last longer. You should consider these factors before replacing your injector.

If you want to replace your injector at a mechanic’s store, it would cost between $300 and $500, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If more than one injector is damaged, you might also spend over $1,000.

How Can You Prevent Damage in a Fuel Injector?

You can prevent damage to a fuel injector by having it regularly serviced. If you service your fuel injectors regularly, they will remain in good condition and will not fail too early. You should also use top-quality fuel and oil to prolong the life of your injector.

It is important to avoid running your engine lean if you want your injector to last longer. The engine might run lean because of a faulty oxygen sensor or a clogged air filter. You should clean your filter regularly and check the oxygen sensor when maintaining your car to avoid damage.

It is also important to use an injector cleaner for your fuel tank. If you are using these additives, it would prevent a buildup of deposits in your injector, increase your mileage, and also the performance of your car.

You should also clean your injector every 30,000 miles or more often, depending on how much stress you put on your engine. If you can clean the injector regularly, you can prevent a buildup of deposits that can cause your injector to get damaged.

Can Using Bad Gasoline Brands Damage My Fuel Injector?

Using the worst gasoline brands in the USA can potentially damage your fuel injector. Poor quality fuel often contains impurities and contaminants that can clog or harm your fuel injector, leading to reduced engine performance and potentially costly repairs. To ensure optimal fuel system health, it’s advisable to choose reputable gasoline brands known for their quality and consistency.

Can an oil fouled spark plug be caused by a bad fuel injector?

A bad fuel injector can indeed lead to an oil fouled spark plug. When fuel injectors malfunction, they can leak excess fuel into the combustion chamber, diluting the engine oil. Consequently, the spark plug becomes fouled with oil deposits, negatively affecting its performance. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of faulty injectors are vital oil fouled spark plug causes and solutions.


Now that you know the dangers of driving with bad fuel injector, you can look out for the signs of fault and repair or replace as soon as possible.

Check out a rundown of our guide:

  • Driving with a bad fuel injector is not advisable because it can lead to an accident or damage your car’s engine.
  • The signs of a faulty injector include the loss of power, reduced mileage, poor engine performance, engine misfiring, engine light, and the smell of fuel.
  • You can repair your injector by disassembling the parts, cleaning it, and then putting it back or replacing the injector.

You should regularly service your car and use high-quality fuel to keep your injectors working properly.


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