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I have a bad fuel pressure regulator. Our car (usually) starts, though occasionally it's a little grumpy about it or it takes a bit of cranking.

Changing the regulator takes a while for a Chevy Suburban. I'm a bit worried about the possibility of the fuel injectors going out at some point in the future as well, which would be super annoying to have to pay twice. Of course the difference between the regulator by itself and the spider injector is about $250-$300.

So aside from possibly using more/less gas than I should, what am I risking if I hold off changing the regulator until (if) the fuel injector goes out so I can just save up and then replace the whole kit & caboodle?

  • What year is you 'Burban? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 4 '17 at 23:01
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    1997 (need 11 chars) – Wayne Werner Jan 5 '17 at 0:39
  • I'd suggest having the injectors cleaned rather than replacing them, if you can afford the additional time/effort. There are places you can mail them to, and there's probably a place near you that does it too. They'll give them a good cleaning and visually confirm that the spray pattern and flow rate is to spec. The advantage is you'll KNOW the injectors are working properly and for a drastically lower cost. – atraudes Jan 6 '17 at 0:26
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There are two different scenarios which could be happening with a bad Fuel Pressure Regulator (FPR).

The first is it's allowing too much pressure. If you are getting too much pressure, this means it's dumping too much fuel. Besides the extra use of fuel, you also run the risk of killing your catalytic converters due to hydrocarbon saturation. The other thing which would be happening here is the fuel pump would be working overtime pushing the excess fuel pressure. This may wear your fuel pump out faster than would normally happen due to heat. I believe from your description the overpressure scenario is the most likely.

The second is it's not allow enough pressure. This means the engine would be in a continual lean state. If it were in a lean state, this could cause excess pinging/detonation which could cause internal engine damage (mainly pistons). Of the two, this would be far worse as it would entail a complete rebuild to fix the engine.

In either scenario, you run the risk of causing damage which is going to cost money over and above getting the FPR replaced.

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