When the injector is energized, an electomagnet moves a plunger that opens the valve, allowing the pressurized fuel to squirt out through a tiny nozzle. The nozzle is designed to atomize the fuel -- to make as fine a mist as possible so that it can burn easily.
The amount of fuel supplied to the engine is determined by the amount of time the fuel injector stays open. This is called the pulse width, and it is controlled by the ECU.
Fuel injectors mounted in the intake manifold of the engine
The injectors are mounted in the intake manifold so that they spray fuel directly at the intake valves. A pipe called the fuel rail supplies pressurized fuel to all of the injectors.
In order to provide the right amount of fuel, the engine control unit is equipped with a whole lot of sensors. Let's take a look at some of them.The amount of fuel supplied to the engine is determined by the amount of time the fuel injector stays open. This is called the pulse width, and it is controlled by the ECU.
In order to meet stricter emissions requirements, catalytic converters were introduced. Very careful control of the air-to-fuel ratio was required for the catalytic converter to be effective. Oxygen sensors monitor the amount of oxygen in the exhaust, and the engine control unit (ECU) uses this information to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio in real-time. This is called closed loop control -- it was not feasible to achieve this control with carburetors. There was a brief period of electrically controlled carburetors before fuel injection systems took over, but these electrical carbs were even more complicated than the purely mechanical ones.
At first, carburetors were replaced with throttle body fuel injection systems (also known as single point or central fuel injection systems) that incorporated electrically controlled fuel-injector valves into the throttle body. These were almost a bolt-in replacement for the carburetor, so the automakers didn't have to make any drastic changes to their engine designs.
Gradually, as new engines were designed, throttle body fuel injection was replaced by multi-port fuel injection (also known as port, multi-point or sequential fuel injection). These systems have a fuel injector for each cylinder, usually located so that they spray right at the intake valve. These systems provide more accurate fuel metering and quicker response.