EFI for small engines News & Opinion

The Advantages Of EFI For Small Engines

Electronic fuel injection has become more and more common on smaller engines, and that’s probably a good thing. Rather than using a carburetor, which mixes fuel and air through a system of valves, a venturi tube, and suction, EFI injects fuel directly into either the engine manifold or the cylinder. EFI has become the automotive industry standard over the last 30 years, and now, even turf management manufactures have begun to see the benefits of using EFI for small engines as well.

But, what are those benefits? We recently talked to Jim Cross at Briggs & Stratton about all of the positives revolving around using EFI for small engines. He tells us that EFI has six major advantages over a carburetor.


The Advantages of EFI for Small Engines

Increased Fuel Economy

Fuel costs have started to inch upwards again, and I probably don’t need to tell you commercial lawn guys out there, but the rising costs of gas will cut into your profits. After labor costs, fuel presents the second biggest expense in the commercial turf market. That’s why fuel economy is so important.

EFI runs more efficiently than carbed motors. In fact, Briggs & Stratton has even developed a closed-loop EFI system that delivers up to 25% better fuel economy than an engine using a carburetor.

Improved Startup

Sometimes, it’s imperative that you get your engine cranked as quickly as possible. EFI not only provides easy, chokeless startup, but it also makes both hot and cold restarts a whole lot easier. On the jobsite, when time is money, getting things moving quickly can dramatically improve your efficiency.

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Altitude Compensation

Since combustion relies on a mixture of fuel and oxygen, carburetors can struggle a bit in altitudes where the air becomes thinner. One of the advantages of EFI is that the system automatically compensates for environmental conditions that occur at different altitudes. EFI for small engines makes a lot of sense for lawncare Pros that find themselves working at higher altitudes.

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Improved Load Governance

Between altitude variations, throttle settings, and any of the other number of variables, carburetors can struggle with supplying a consistent amount of power. EFI systems use an Engine Control Unit (ECU) to monitor engine speeds and load conditions. The ECU will adjust the fuel delivery accordingly, ultimately maintaining consistent power and improving fuel economy.

Stale Fuel Resistance

As opposed to carburetors, the fuel delivery system for EFI atomizes the gas into a spray. This results in less residual fuel being left behind in the system to turn gummy. The real benefit here is that using EFI for small engines results in less time and money rebuilding old, gummed-up carburetors.

Improved Horsepower

EFI systems consistently deliver higher levels of gross horsepower than carburetors. Again, carburetor performance relies on so many different variables, from throttle position to air concentration, that the performance can be erratic.  Upgrading to EFI for small engines evens out performance issues and provides more power.

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The Bottom Line

The fact that the automotive industry has moved exclusively from carburetors to EFI is pretty telling. It’s also true that there’s a greater cost involved with EFI systems, at least initially. However, the benefits of using EFI for small engines all make a pretty compelling argument for upgrading. Improved fuel efficiency, reliability, power, and consistency should offset the initial cost. Plus, the added benefit of not having to rebuild a carburetor should go a long way into saving money in the long run.



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