4 Signs Your Boat's Engine Might Have a Clogged Fuel Injector

Posted on: 3 March 2017

If fuel droplets are allowed to settle within the fuel injector once your boat's engine has been turned off, those deposits can eventually clog the injectors. Though rarer, it's also possible for fuel injectors to become clogged thanks to grit and dirt that works its way into the system

In either case, a clogged fuel injector won't be able to deliver fuel as effectively to your boat's engine, and running the motor while a fuel injector is clogged can have serious long-term consequences.

Here are just four signs that your boat's fuel injector might have become clogged and it's time for boat servicing.

1. Unpleasant Emissions

If your fuel injector isn't able to function properly, the fuel-air ratio will be compromised. It could be that too little fuel enters the engine, resulting in excess oxygen production. Alternatively, it could be that too much fuel suddenly pours through, in which case that fuel will be burnt within the exhaust as opposed to within the engine. If this happens, you should start to notice smoke coming from the engine, as well as an unpleasant aroma of burning.

2. Poor Power and Efficiency

As you might imagine, any clogging of the fuel injectors is going to have a negative effect on performance. You're apt to find the motor hard to start; even when the motor does start, it won't produce the speeds that you're used to, and it will probably start running a lot hotter. You might even hear choking as the motor struggles to get enough fuel. Efficiency will also be affected; you'll find yourself burning a lot more than you normally would.

3. Difficulties Getting on a Plane

One of the more specific performance issues commonly caused by a clogged fuel injector is an inability to get up on a plane. You will either find that the motor has plenty of power at the lower RPM range and yet struggles at a higher range, or the exact opposite. In any case, it's a clear sign that you need to have your boat's engine inspected by a professional.

4. Rough Idling

If a fuel injector is clogged, you'll find that the boat feels rough while idling, not just when you're trying to zoom across the water. Rough idling is actually one of the most common signs of a clogged injector. There are other reasons for rough idling. However, it's likely to be the fuel injector that's to blame if you find that the boat performs fine while accelerating. This simply means that the injector has not yet become completely clogged.