fuel injection, system in an internal-combustion engine that delivers fuel or a fuel-air mixture to the cylinders by means of pressure from a pump. It was originally used in diesel engines because of diesel fuel's greater viscosity and the need to overcome the high pressure of the compressed air in the cylinders. A diesel fuel injector sprays an intermittent, timed, metered quantity of fuel into a cylinder, distributing the fuel throughout the air within. Fuel injection is also now used in gasoline engines in place of a carburetor. In gasoline engines the fuel usually is injected into the intake manifold and mixed with air, and the resulting mixture is delivered to the cylinder. Modern fuel injection systems use computers to regulate the process. Fuel injection results in more efficient fuel combustion, improving fuel economy and engine performance and reducing polluting exhaust emissions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.