All modern cars sold in the United States run using fuel injection systems rather than carburetors. In fact, the last time a new vehicle with a carburetor was sold was in 1990 (the Subaru Justy). After that, the carburetor was slowly phased out and replaced by the fuel injection system, which provides more accurate fuel metering and faster response times. “Newer vehicles have dual overhead cams and variable intake manifolds, and some even have direct injection systems that inject fuel right into the car’s cylinders,” explains Bret Pentecost, co-owner of Wayne & Son’s Automotive Repair in Santa Rosa. “That upgrade means the fuel has more compression, which creates more power, improves fuel economy and results in a smoother-running car.”
Likewise, the air intake filter that was featured in older cars has been replaced by more efficient filters that are in a new location. “Filters are now located at the front of the car so colder air can get to the engine,” explains Mr. Pentecost. “The colder the intake air, the more dense it is, which means more oxygen for the engine and more power to help your car run smoother and further reduce emissions.” Mr. Pentecost says this operational upgrade originally came from a push to decrease emissions and increase power, as well as improve upon the general design of auto engines.
While some auto enthusiasts maintain that carburetors are the way to go, the convenience and performance of fuel injection systems have made them increasingly popular since their debut more than 20 years ago. The fuel injection system’s ability to consistently tune the air and fuel intake for each cylinder makes cars run better, and it can also decrease auto vibrations, increase fuel efficiency, and dramatically lower auto emissions.