Most people don’t consider how cars have advanced in the past 30 years, but when you sit down and take a look at the differences you might be quite surprised. A rather significant change in recent years has been the switch from carburetors to fuel injection.
The carburetor was invented by a German man named Karl Benz and was subsequently patented in 1886. Colloquially it is referred to as the “carb” or as the “carby” in Australia and its surrounding islands. The carburetor was a means of delivering fuel and air to the engine of a vehicle. Its chief purpose was the properly and evenly mix fuel with air. Following Bernoulli’s principle, the carburetor directs the air to move fast through it thus reducing its static pressure and increasing its dynamic pressure. The speed and flow of the air actually determines how much fuel passes through the carburetor, not the throttle as is commonly assumed by amateur car enthusiasts.
As complex as it sounds, the carburetor was not the best solution for vehicles. In fact, it did not always perform as expected, especially when the engine was cold. Cold engines made it difficult for the fuel to burn readily and also made it condense on the walls of the intake manifold. Consequently, the choke was added to carbureted engines to allow for a richer fuel/air mixture that would offset the cold. This solution worked, but was still annoying for the average driver.
In the modern day, vehicles are fuel injected. And as the name suggests, fuel is injected directly to the cylinders, allowing the air to enter elsewhere and eliminating the need for the conventional choke. Now the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) governs the fuel injection for a perfect mix of efficiency, power, and reliability. Isn’t technology great?