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Carburetor vs. Electronic Fuel Injection

August 1, 2017 6808 Views No comments

These days carburetors have mostly been banished from newly produced vehicles due to electronic fuel injection, but there a ton of people who still love and enjoy them. These people will defend carburetors to the death and say when they’re taken care of; they perform better than anything else out there.

To most people, through general use, they probably won’t notice the difference between the two; however there are differences, and they may impact your buying decisions. Just beware of fearing the unknown though, both can be easily maintained, so don’t let your inexperience with one keep you from trying something new. Without further ado, here are the differences.

Carburetors

Carburetors are pretty quirky devices that regulate the amount of air and fuel flowing into the internal combustion engine. Depending on the air-fuel setting, they can either run too rich or too lean. On the rich side you can see things like poor fuel economy, sluggish acceleration, sooty or black spark plugs and a strong smell of gas. On the lean side you can see backfires, lurching acceleration, white/grey spark plugs and needing to use a lot of choke to get your vehicle started.

Carburetors are relatively simple devices and are easily adjusted by people who take the time and learn how to squeeze the best out of them. They’re great for the “Do it Yourselfer”, who enjoys pulling things apart and finding the answer to the problem.

Carburetor using vehicles, especially ATVs and bikes are considerably cheaper than their EFI counterparts because of the general adoption of Electronic Fuel Injection systems.

For a more in-depth explanation about carburetors take a look at our blog article, “Carburetors: What’s the Huff About?”

Electronic Fuel Injection

Electronic Fuel Injection, otherwise known as EFI is taking the world by storm because the system uses computers to monitor and adjust the amount of fuel squirting into the engine, but you kind of lose some of the heart and soul of the vehicle when using them because there’s not as much tinkering to do with them, which might put off some folks. Despite our warm feelings towards carburetors, there are a number of benefits to paying the extra money and investing in an EFI vehicle.

Vehicle manufacturers have flocked to these systems because they can consistently reach the increasing regulations handed out by various governments. A computer that can adjust to the elements and to the elevation is also huge advantage, not just because of fuel economy, but because it doesn’t require the rider to change the jets out or adjust them to keep their desired power going. Simply put, carbs can’t adapt like an EFI system can.

The majority of those in favour of EFIs love them for a few distinct reasons. People love how they start without much hassle in cold weather. Carburetors have to be adjusted, rejetted and choked into working like stated before, but EFIs will almost always just start up when they’re warm. EFIs also have extended periods of time without needing maintenance.

EFIs do have some problems, if the computer starts having glitches or if your modding it to the point of the vehicle using too much air or fuel beyond its ability to adjust, then you’ll begin to see your vehicle performing poorly. Modding can be solved by remapping your EFI’s computer or by buying a piggyback system to modify how much fuel and air the computer sends out. The major computer problems on the other hand are difficult to diagnose by yourself and can be costly to fix.

EFIs have replaced carbs in almost every newly released vehicle and carbs are getting rarer every day, but there’s still a lot of good left in them. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which one you want. Let us know in the comments which one is your favourite and why.

Sources:

  1. Carburetor Vs. Fuel Injection Understanding the Pros and Cons: http://www.carsdirect.com/used-car-buying/carburet...
  2. EFI the Next Generation of Fuel Injection: http://dirtwheelsmag.com/home-page/efi-the-next-ge...
  3. How Electronic Fuel Injection Works: http://jalopnik.com/how-electronic-fuel-injection-...
  4. Injection Inspection What You Need to live in a Fuel Injected World: http://dirtwheelsmag.com/home-page/injection-inspe...

What Different Colors of Exhaust Smoke Mean for Your Vehicle

May 1, 2017 4665 Views No comments

When your vehicle is running properly there shouldn't be any signs of smoke when driving. If there's blue, white or black clouds spewing out of your exhaust, then you know there is a problem. The different colours have very different causes and we’ll talk about what this means for your vehicle in this blog below.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke is most often produced when oil leaks into the engine’s cylinders and burns as part of the combustion process. There are a number of reasons for this happening: worn piston rings, worn valve guides and valve seals. Any of these could be letting oil through when they should be lubricating the moving part causing the coloured smoke.

There are some other potential causes too. Fuel additives like Seafoam can also cause coloured smoke because the liquid is eating away at the built up carbon in your engine leading to blue tinted smoke. If this is the case, it’s not a permanent problem and after the Seafoam runs its course the blue smoke should disappear.

If you’re not sure blue smoke is coming out of the exhaust, a telltale sign is compression loss in the cylinder because it’s being worn down. Also you can watch your oil consumption by checking your dipstick and if you’re running through oil pretty quickly, you have yourself a leak.

White Smoke

White smoke typically has two causes:

1. There’s coolant spilling out of a broken or warped head gasket into the cylinder, causing the engine to overheat and spit out thick white smoke.

2. The other cause is condensation. Condensation happens, you can’t avoid it, but don’t worry it’s just liquid escaping your cold engine as it warms up and you’ll know it if you see a thin puff of smoke or steam that looks closer to a vapour. If the smoke is still there after the engine is warmed up then it’s probably coolant. Make sure if it’s coolant you get it fixed right away, if you keep using it in that condition there will be a lot more costly problems down the road.

Black Smoke

Black smoke is often accompanied by poor fuel economy, bad starting, loss of power in your vehicle and your spark plug will be caked with black soot.

Black smoke is clearly visible in light backgrounds and is made of soot particles escaping the engine as a result of it failing to properly combust. The engine is failing because there’s too much fuel being shot into the engine or what’s often referred to as “running rich”. Running rich has to do with the air-fuel balance in the carburetor and there are lots of factors that can change the amount of fuel/air your engine needs. Things like adding or taking off performance mods or buying jets too wide for your carburetor can cause too much fuel to come out.

It might sound silly, but the colour of your smoke really does matters when it comes to diagnosing problems with your vehicle. Do you have any experience with these different coloured smokes? Share your stories in the comments.

Sources:

  1. What Does the Smoke From my Exhaust Mean: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/04/what-do...
  2. Engine Smokes What to Do: http://atomium.eu/home/engine-smokes-what-to-do/
  3. What is Seafoam and What Does it Do: http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/15653...