What Happened to Carburetors?

Remember when every vehicle had a carburetor? Now very few have them. What happened and where have all the carburetors gone? Nowadays engines are all fuel injected and the engine management computer is responsible for deciding how much fuel each cylinder gets. And that is a good thing.

Fuel injection has a long history. Aircraft in WWII were already using it for example. However, until the late 1980s or so the simplicity of carburetors meant that they were preferred. But as emissions requirements came on the scene and to get better power and fuel economy the carburetors started getting more and more complex. There arrived a point where the fuel injection systems were not much more complex than the carbs. When this point arrived, the switchover en masse began.

Fuel injection systems are generally more efficient that carb based ones. They can provide exactly the right air fuel ratio to each cylinder. The holy grail of combustion is to get exactly matching numbers of oxygen and fuel molecules into each cylinder, and fuel injection is the way to reach it.

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