How Much Does a Fuel Injector Replacement Cost?

The fuel injector is one of the most important parts of a modern engine. It allows for precise control over fuel mixture and pushing modern vehicles to new heights of performance, emissions, and fuel economy. Modern electronic fuel injection has allowed vehicle manufacturers to push the limits of what is possible with internal combustion engines.

Because of how different the fuel injector systems are from each other, they have varying levels of difficulty in maintenance and repair. Port injection is often cheaper to repair but can come with longer diagnosis because it does not have the computer monitoring of direct injection systems.

Fuel injector vector

What Does It Cost To Repair a Fuel Injection System?

Because fuel injection is a complex system, the costs associated with a repair can vary fairly widely. We will go through a few examples of the fuel injector replacement cost in order to get a better understanding of what is involved in a repair (using an average shop rate of $80 per hour as a baseline).

 1. A 2014 Dodge Journey 3.6L has a check engine light and a misfire. The technician gets code P0304 for a cylinder 4 misfire. After diagnosing, they find that the cylinder 4 injector wiring is open.

  • Diagnosis – 1.0hr at $80/hr, $80
  • Wiring repair – 0.5hrs at $80/hr, $40
  • Total cost of repair – $120

 2. A 2012 Ford Focus 2.0L has a check engine light and a misfire. The technician pulls codes and diagnoses an open in the cylinder 2 fuel injector.

  • Diagnosis – 1.0hr at $80/hr, $80
  • Remove and replace direct injector – 1.1hrs at $80/hr, $88
  • Fuel injector – approx. $85
  • Total cost of repair – $253

 3. A 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt 2.2L has an intermittent rough idle with a check engine light. The technician diagnoses injectors sticking and recommends an injector cleaning.

  • Diagnosis – 1.0hr at $80/hr, $80
  • Injector cleaning – 0.9hrs at $80/hr, $72
  • Injector cleaner – approx. $50 
  • Total cost of repair – $202

 4. A 2015 Audi A4 2.0L runs rough and lacks power. The technician diagnoses the high-pressure fuel pump as failed.

  • Diagnosis – 1.0hr at $80/hr, $80
  • Remove and replace pump – 0.9hrs at $80/hr, $72
  • Fuel pump – approx. $310
  • Total cost of repair – $452

 5. A 2010 Toyota Camry 3.5L has an intermittent misfire. The technician inspects the fuel injector and notices rust in the fuel rail from poor quality fuel in the system. The injectors are contaminated and must be replaced and the fuel tank is removed to clean it out.

  • Diagnosis – 1.0hr at $80/hr, $80
  • Remove and replace injectors – 2.9hrs at $80/hr, $232
  • Remove and clean fuel tank – 2.1hrs at $80/hr, $168
  • Clean fuel line and rail – 0.8hrs at $80/hr, $64
  • Injectors – $50 x 6, $300
  • Total cost of repair – $844

As we see, the cost to replace fuel injectors can vary fairly widely depending on what type of repair is needed which can be anywhere from $10 to $150 for a simple electrical repair and up to $1,000 with fuel system contamination and complete replacement.

How Does a Fuel Injector Work?

There are multiple types of electronic fuel injection systems used in today’s vehicles, but they all operate on the same basic principles. The fuel injector is supplied with fuel pressure from the rail and the ECM (electronic control module) controls the electrical signal to the injector; opening it for a specific amount of time and injecting the proper amount of fuel into the cylinder.

The type of fuel injection system varies on the kind of engine used in a vehicle; with the two main modern types being port injection (sometimes marketed as SPI or MPI) and direct injection. Port injection has the injectors mounted in ports in the intake manifold and spraying onto the valves which is more cost-effective and easier to control. However, it does not provide the control of a direct injection system.

Direct injection has the injectors mounted in the head and spraying directly into the cylinder which allows the vehicle to have complete control over the fueling requirements on a cylinder by cylinder basis. However, it is a more complex and expensive system to implement.

What Can Go Wrong With Fuel Injection Systems?

Fuel injection systems can fail in two main ways – either a mechanical or electrical failure. Mechanical failures are often due to issues outside of the injection system, whereas electrical failures can be from outside influences or by a failure in one of the components themselves.

Mechanical failures of the injection system differ depending on the type of system in the vehicle. For port injection, it can include leaking or sticking injectors, fuel pressure regulators, leaks, as well as clogged ports. For direct injection, it includes faulty injectors, high-pressure fuel pumps, leaks or internal engine damage.

Electrical failures share similarities between both systems as the electronics mostly operate the same between them. They can be caused by failed injectors, bad wiring or a bad ECM.

close up shot of car engine

How Can You Avoid Fuel Injection Repairs?

The biggest contributing factor to fuel injection system longevity is the quality of the fuel being run through the injectors. Fuel only has a certain shelf life (for gas about 1-1.5 years and for diesel, about 2-2.5 years) and must be used before then or else, it can leave a residue on fuel system components.

Fuel must also be stored properly to avoid contamination. Only use an approved fuel storage container such as a jerry can or a fuel storage tank.

If using a metal storage tank, it should be inspected for signs of rust every couple of months so that the fuel does not carry the rust into the fuel tank where it can plug fuel pumps or filters and cause injectors to stick.

Fuel can also be mixed with ethanol in order to lower the cost and make the fuel more sustainable which is fine for regular fuel systems as long as the ethanol content is below a certain amount – usually 10% to 15%.

Make sure you only put into your fuel system the fuel that it is rated to handle. This also includes never using diesel in a gasoline engine as it can cause running issues and long term fuel system problems, or gasoline in a diesel which will cause immediate fuel injection failure and lead to extremely costly repairs.

Author Bio

Benjamin E Jerew

Benjamin graduated with an Associate’s in Applied Sciences (AAS) degree in Automotive Technology and has worked as an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician.
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