Fuel is vital for a car, but the fuel injector is arguably even more critical. The engine converts fuel into energy for the vehicle to move, and the fuel injector sends the appropriate amount of fuel to the engine. Without one, your car will be a pile of metal and parts, sitting and collecting dust. Continue reading to learn how to replace a fuel injector in your Toyota Tundra.
What Is a Fuel Injector?
To properly know how to replace your Toyota Tundra fuel injector, you should first know what exactly that piece of machinery does. Without understanding the intricacies of fuel injection, you’ll have difficulty diagnosing what is wrong with your fuel injector and how to fix it.
For your internal combustion engine to work in your truck, you need fuel, and you need that fuel to go into the engine in the appropriate amounts and at the correct times. Within the fuel injector, additional complicated systems ensure the different fuel components, gas and oil, get mixed carefully.
Fuel mixture formation is critical for different vehicles, and it happens in two ways: internal mixture formation and external mixture formation. The Toyota Tundra uses external mixture formation, also called manifold injection, more specifically, multi-port injections. Without the fuel injector taking on these different components, more cars would still rely on carburetors to mix air and fuel for their engines.
What’s the Difference Between Fuel Injectors and Carburetors?
If carburetors worked before, why did we move on? Well, carburetors mix air and fuel in an appropriate ratio for combustion so that the engine can move the car forward. However, issues arise when there’s no consistent way to control the amount of fuel moving into the engine. Carburetors operated on the principle that more fuel gets drawn in at higher speeds as the driver presses the pedal. It works in theory, but things quickly become complicated as there’s no way to regulate how much fuel gets drawn into the mixture.
Fuel injectors solve this by atomizing the fuel under high pressure with a small nozzle. Atomization is where the fluid gets broken up into different droplets, making it easier to spread it evenly over a surface area and avoid the fluid dynamics issue that carburetors suffer from.
Toyota Tundra Intricacies
As mentioned previously, the Toyota Tundra uses multi-port fuel injections, and that is because it runs with a multi-point injected engine. This engine has its own fuel injector for each cylinder. This means that the injectors put the fuel through the open intake valve into the cylinder. However, this is not a direct injection—instead, the multi-point injection system uses different tubes and poppet valves that a central injector will feed.
Why Do Injectors Fail?
The first step to knowing how to replace fuel injectors is knowing when and how they fail and what it looks like. Because fuel injectors deal with a lot of fluid and air entering the vehicle, they can easily rust and plug the nozzle. Even dirt and water can get caught, and sometimes the nozzle needle will get stuck. These issues can sometimes occur randomly, but often it’s because of the following:
- Contamination of your system
- Poor fuel quality
- Old equipment
These all cause corrosion and rust and can lead to other contaminants that damage the fuel injector system.
Prevent Failing Fuel Injectors
Thankfully, there are ways you can prevent fuel injectors from failing. It’s essential that you change your fuel filter regularly, about every 30,000 miles, and you should always use an OEM filter rather than an aftermarket one. You should also be careful about what you put into your gas tank. Be sure not to use a gas station as they’re getting a new fuel shipment because the fuel’s sediment gets agitated at this time and can easily get into your tank and fuel injector. Follow the same advice for filling your Toyota with portable fuel tanks. It’s convenient and sometimes necessary, but you should avoid it.
Replacing Fuel Injector
If you’re confident that you have a clogged or malfunctioning fuel injector, then it’s time to open up your Toyota Tundra and get to work. To start, you’ll need some specific tools, such as:
- Socket wrench
- Fuel injector kit
- Engine coolant
The first step to replacing your fuel injector is knowing what kind of fuel injector your specific make and model of Tundra needs. It depends on the model and year, so once you have that together, you can get the correct injector.
After you have all your equipment, you should alleviate the pressure buildup in your fuel system. You can do this by detaching the battery cable from the negative terminal with a socket wrench. Then, drain your coolant and take off the V-bank cover. Afterward, use your socket wrench to take the air cleaner assembly and intake manifold off your truck. You can then detach your fuel lines and put in a plug to keep them from leaking.
Next, you should detach the electrical connectors from your fuel injector with your socket wrench. Then, remove the six mounting bolts from the fuel rail. Keep the fuel injector attached and move the fuel rail away from the engine. Now you can remove the fuel injectors off the rule rail. You can throw away the old gaskets and O-rings.
After removing the old fuel injector, you can install your new one and put it in place with your new O-rings and gaskets. From that point on, you’ll slowly reverse what you did before. Move the fuel rail back, reattach the mounting bolts, and then put the electrical connectors back with your socket wrench. Then you can reattach the fuel lines and your air cleaner assembly, and you can then carefully replace the coolant and start your engine again. At this point, you should look for leaks to ensure everything went smoothly.
If you have a malfunctioning fuel injector, it’s critical that you know how to replace your Toyota Tundra fuel injector. Without a working fuel injector, you will experience issues immediately. If you’re looking for fuel injector parts for your Tundra, we have you covered here at Northwest Team Yota. We have all the OEM Toyota pickup parts you’ll need to get your Tundra up and running like new again!