Before we talk about injector coding, let’s first take a quick peek into what fuel injectors are.
Fuel injection in automobiles means injecting injectors to put fuel inside an internal combustion engine. Its widespread use started in the 1950s. Then, fuel injectors replaced carburetor-powered vehicles in the early 1990s in gasoline and diesel engines. Eventually, this became the preferred car system today due to its lesser emission footprint, better fuel economy, and additional power and performance.
How modern fuel injectors work is that it atomises fuel at high pressure. Then, it mixes this fuel with clean air as it enters the inlet manifold and into each cylinder’s combustion chamber. The ECM controls this process using the data from the oxygen sensors, fuel pumps, injectors, and pressure regulators.
With all this development, the only downside is when the fuel injection system malfunctions. Fixing and replacing components can be more expensive and complicated than carburetors.
Yet, with the introduction of more advanced tools, repairing or replacing your fuel injection system has been made easier – this includes changing fuel injectors.
What is injector coding?
Replacing fuel injectors is not as easy as removing the old ones and fitting in a new one. Aside from carefully removing injector pipes, back linkages, and any electrical connections, it would be best if you also did injector coding. This process is basically “teaching” your Engine Control Module (ECM), your engine’s computer/brain, to accept the new injectors.
If you don’t do injector coding, what would happen?
The ECM’s primary purpose is to direct the functions of all engine components and have them perform as optimally as possible. The problem may come if you introduce a new engine part (e.g., a fuel injector) without coding. The ECM will not recognise that a new injector has been added and will not make the necessary adjustments to the entire system.
Without injector coding, your new injector may not function with the system. Or worse, you may cause a malfunction on your ECM or engine.
Why would you need a new injector?
The main reason to install new injectors is when there is a malfunction with the system, and you’ve diagnosed that the injectors are causing this. Also, checking on these components regularly and changing them as part of your maintenance is a good practice. Your vehicle will have scheduled maintenance for injectors, so check the service manual or schedule.
If you don’t know, all diesel vehicles today have fuel-injected engines. And the combination of power, performance, fuel economy and lesser emissions has made diesel vehicles gain tremendous popularity in many countries over the last few decades.
With this in mind, governments have already put more stringent laws to curb the rising amount of diesel emissions in the air. In Australia, vehicle emission standards have been in place for more than 40 years. And the government constantly updates these to be at par with global norms, which were developed mainly by the United Nations.
The stricter standards mean that vehicle components should be updated to fit them, including injectors and pumps. Failure to install these parts, and you run the risk of failing emission tests. And you don’t want to render your vehicle ineligible for road use.
Injector coding scan tools and how to do the coding
When doing injector coding, whether you own a petrol or diesel vehicle, you should have handy a scan tool that allows you to do such a task. This tool does the “communicating” with ECM to tell it that you are installing a new injector and that it should adjust the system accordingly. You will need to check with us or whoever you buy the scan tool from if the year and model of your vehicle are covered by the tool for injector coding.
When doing injector coding, here are the steps you should follow:
- Write down or take a photo of the calibration code on each injector. Note which cylinder you will install each of the injectors as well.
- Enter the calibration code of each injector on your diagnostic scan tool. f the ECM does not accept the coding, ensure you entered the correct vehicle details, ECM manufacturer, and/or calibration code.
- For convenience, do the coding of the injector before installing it on the engine. Make sure you disconnect the battery before doing the injection fitment.
- Some newer models need an injection pilot relearn. o this AFTER the coding and injector fitment on the engine. You’ll need a diagnostic scan tool to do this as well (so make sure your tool can do both).
Our Final Word
Injection coding can be daunting, especially if you don’t have the proper orientation and tools. Here, we have already given you a brief guide on its purpose and how you can do it.
The next thing to do is consult your trusted mechanic. Or, if you are to DIY this task, get a quality professional scan tool from a trusted source to start you off – one that offers the latest technology in car tools at affordable prices with fellow Aussies’ needs in mind.