12/1/2017 6:00:00 AM
Decades ago, a revolution driven by rising gas prices and stricter clean-air standards swept through the automobile industry. Carburetors were out. Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) was in. Snow blowers are now experiencing that same changeover with EFI engines increasing power and reliability and decreasing fuel consumption and emissions.
The carburetor had its day when it sent the correct amount of fuel into the cylinders. Today, that job belongs to the engine control unit (ECU), the brain of the EFI system. The ECU is a computer chip that interprets input from sensors throughout the system to keep the engine running at optimal level, while it logs data for use in diagnosing problems quickly and accurately when service is needed.
Let's look at some of the ways in which an EFI-equipped engine is superior to a carbureted engine.
EFI-equipped engines provide higher power and torque than a carbureted version of the same engine. They optimize air/fuel ratios and ignition timing while compensating for other factors to maintain continuous optimum performance.
Lower Fuel Consumption and Emissions
The ECU constantly monitors and adjusts air/fuel ratio to maintain optimal combustion conditions and determines the precise amount of fuel that the injector needs to deliver. Fuel consumption varies from engine to engine, but fine tuning the delivery reduces fuel consumption compared to a carbureted engine.
EFI systems maintain optimum air/fuel ratios, eliminating random engine stoppages, oiled spark plugs and other problems associated with sub-optimal ratios. Carburetors tend to need frequent adjustments; EFI engines eliminate the need for repeated modifications. This increases reliability and reduces the time and expense of maintenance.
Less Maintenance, Less Downtime
One of the most important things about an EFI engine is that there is no carburetor to be maintained or replaced. That's a big time and cost savings. Another example is that the EFI system is sealed, and the gasoline never comes in contact with the oxygen that makes it go bad. The absence of contaminated gas goes far in cutting down on the times you're going to take the engine in for servicing.
A major benefit of EFI systems is the greatly improved cold and hot starting performance due to its ability to calculate the optimum air/fuel mixture for starting compared to a carbureted system. Any piece of equipment is useless if the engine doesn't start under a wide range of conditions: from searingly hot to bitter cold, from sea level to high altitude.
A really important aspect and long-term benefit of EFI-equipped engines is how much they reduce our carbon footprint!
Ryan Martin is the regional marketing representative of LawnStarter St. Louis, an online and mobile platform that connects homeowners with lawn care professionals for care-free and efficient services!