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Fuel Injection Vs. Carburetors

author By Anna Finger
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The main difference in fuel injection and a carburetor in an engine is fuel economy. In an automobile with a computer controlled fuel and firing system, the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder at just the right time. This atomized system helps in combustion by giving a more efficient and complete burn. Though carburetors have been around for a long period of time, being improved over the years, there is only so much that can be done with the design.

The carburetor has an intricate design of reservoirs, passages, jets, diaphragms and gaskets. The float and needle regulate how much fuel is held in the reservoir. The air flowing through the throat into the intake creates a vacuum that draws the fuel from the reservoir, through jets, into the air, flowing into the intake manifold. The rush of air flowing through passages in the intake helps the fuel mist to mix with the air before it flows into any available cylinder. It all sounds good, and it is, but one cylinder gets a little more fuel and less air than another.

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The fuel injection system, on the other hand, is actually quite simple. Fuel is forced under pressure, through a fuel supply line to the injectors. The computer tells each injector when to open, and the fuel is then released into the cylinder. The fuel injector is made to atomize the fuel as it passes through, and the fuel that's under pressure helps the atomization. Each cylinder virtually receives the same amount of fuel, which means the fuel is burned more completely.

In addition to the injectors, the computer control system also consists of several sensors that are strategically placed on the engine, that help the computer determine how much fuel to release into the cylinders. For example, the oxygen sensor, which is placed in the exhaust, tells the computer how much oxygen, as well as other gases, is in the exhaust, and it adjusts the fuel injected into the cylinder to produce the correct balance of exhaust gases. Overall, the carburetor or the fuel injection system will work sufficiently to power the vehicle. The fuel injection system will generally do it more efficiently.