By on September 13, 2009

TTAC commentator greenblood has a question for the group:

Since our first child was born, we don’t have time for everything we used to do. So my wife has been taking her ’09 Escape to a Valvoline instant oil change location nearby. They have been pushing fuel injector cleaner every 3,000 miles. Although we aren’t dumb enough to pay the add’l labor charge to dump a 1/2 qt of cleaner in the fuel tank, I am wondering about the benefits of fuel injector cleaner in general and the need to use it periodically. Something tells me every 3k is ridiculous, but I would like to know what the Best & Brightest have would recommend.

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61 Comments on “Ask the Best and Brightest: Fuel Injector Cleaner?...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    My independent BMW mechanic recommends adding a can of BG44K to a full tank of gas twice a year. It’s about $20/can at local auto parts stores. From research I’ve found it’s one of the few gas additives and injector cleaners that actually works. Other BMW web sites and blogs seem to agree.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Save your money… you’ll never need it.

  • avatar
    pentek

    Are you having a problem?

    I have a Honda that occasionally (once/year or so) seems to miss a little. On the recommendation of my mechanic, I put in a bottle of the Chevron Techron additive. The missing goes away.

    If you are not having a problem, seems to be a waste.

  • avatar
    Terry

    BG44K works well, as does Chevron Techron.
    Our dealership uses BG products and I was skeptical about their induction service until I performed one on a Protege and compared before and after fuel trim readings. The service shortened injection duration 3%-6%, which translates to better fuel economy. The car’s owner verified the mileage increase, along with better throttle response.
    I’ve since done that service to my MPV, with the same results.
    As a tech, I generally dont like the idea of “mechanic-in-a-can”, but I can’t argue with the results.

  • avatar
    Vega

    I don’t think cleaner fluids help, however injector wear is one of the main factors which lead to deteriorating performance, fuel efficiency etc. in an engine’s life.
    I recently spent only €150 on my M20 BMW engine at a specialist who returned my injectors to as new performance using the so called ASNU system (http://www.asnu.com/): Improved idle, less fuel consumption and a smoother running engine were the results. Highly recommended.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I agree with Pentek, had a similar experience. Since it is not that expensive, I put in a bottle at each oil change, based on advice of my indi mechanic. I do it myself with a real chemical company product Chevron, Gunk etc. not a marketing company Lucas etc.
    Since this is a common issue in todays cars this should be part of a gasoline package, but I guess that is too much to ask for.

  • avatar

    Maybe 10 years from now if you don’t use a branded gasolines, ones that normally have more detergents (Techron) than what is normally required.

    Now I have heard that old cars are NOT happy with today’s E10 gasoline, and supposedly the fuel system needs an occasional cleaning. I’ve thrown a can of Seafoam every once and a while just to be on the safe side. True, or BS?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    My mechanic says most modern gasoline formulations contain sufficient detergents to render regular fuel injector cleaner treatment superfluous and a waste of money, though he is not adverse to occasional use to address a specific fuel related problem. He believes chemically it is mostly kerosene.

    The typical recommendation is one container of cleaner to a full tank of fuel. Excessive concentrations may damage rubber parts in the fuel system. It may also dissolve any dirt and muck in the tank and flush it into the fuel filter, clogging it. Some filters have a spring loaded bypass to maintain fuel flow, but the contaminated fuel may clog the injectors exasperating the problem you were trying to prevent.

    The mechanic says the source of many fuel related issues is the often overlooked fuel filter. He always asks the owner of an otherwise well maintained car if he has refueled at a non-brand station lately where the fuel storage tanks and pumping apparatus may not be in good condition or the fuel supply is suspect, stale fuel for example. And, contaminated fuel is a common cause of damaged fuel pumps.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Never used it.
    Never needed it.
    Never heard of anyone needing it.
    (and I’m a drive them into old age sort of guy)

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    It would seem a small amount of detergent( like you would get with name brand fuel) in 100% of your fuel would be better than a large dose occasionaly. Contaminated fuel= damaged fuel pump? maybe. The two bad fuel pumps I cut open had the brushes worn down to nothing. G.M. pumps, low bidder strikes again.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    Injection cleaners are not needed if you always use, 100% of the time, a Top Tier fuel. Here in the West Coast of Soviet Canuckistan that is Chevron and Shell. I have been using Chevron for years and I have never had an injector or catcon related problem, nor have I ever replaced a fuel pump or 02 sensor.

    Recently I rented a Chrysler 300 for a long road trip. When I got the car it hesitated and pinged like crazy. I assume it had off brand gas in it. I filled it with Shell 87 and it ran perfectly, no hesitation or ping. That was proof enough to me!

  • avatar
    niky

    Italian tune-up, anyone?

    I only use cleaner when there’s something obviously wrong… but I usually use higher octane gasoline, anyway (my car requires it), so my baby gets its RDA of detergents at the pump, already.

    There are some cleaners that apparently do work, and we’ve seen some… errh… interesting… results on the dyno… but at the end of the day, just buying the best stuff you can get at the pump every once in a while seems to do the job just fine.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    A 2009 Escape, or anything short of a Chinese scooter, won’t need fuel injection cleaner. Period.

    It’s a complete waste of money for folks who simply have way too much faith in the placebo effect. I’ve been in the auto remarketing business for over a decade and have yet to see any of my customers ever endorse the stuff. Even those who sell high end merchandise won’t touch it.

    If you’re that paranoid about fuel injectors you can just simply change your fuel filter every 30k. That’s what I did for 240k and the car ran just as good as new. Even then, I’m not sure if the fuel filter made that much of a difference but at least I wasn’t harming the seals and internals over the long run.

  • avatar

    My Chevy truck service garage is now pushing MOC Products Co injector cleaning. They hook their machine into the fuel system and run their stuff through the engine. Obviously it’s a high-profit item (can you spell u-n-d-e-r-c-o-a-t-i-n-g?)but I suspect it’s just another voodo deal.
    My SHO (sorry Robert, but I’ve got to say it)just turned 292,000 miles and never had a drop of fuel additive added. Runs like the day I bought it new 17 years ago.

  • avatar
    cnyguy

    BG products (they sell all kinds of mechanic-in-a-can stuff) are a complete ripoff- they sell their products through repair shops because the
    technician gets a kickback for everything he sells. The profit margin is obscene which keeps the parts department happy.
    The local Honda rep assured use he would deny any warranty claim where BG products had been used and directed the parts department not to even think about selling it (this was at a multiline dealership where BG was sold at other parts counters).

    • 0 avatar
      majbob02

      As a parts guy, that has sold BG and is now forced to sell MOC instead.  I can tell you 1. The parts department does not push the chemicals. 2.  We dont get the kickbacks.  3. Yes the techs, service advisors, and more than likely service managers get kickbacks from both companies.  4.  I am a believer in BG.  Their products do what they are supposed to.  5. I dont trust MOC.  I believe that their chemicals are a rip off.  I dont know how much other dealers are charging for a MOC brake flush.  But for just the fluid it costs the customer $57.00 (it is either 2 or 1 and a half liters).  I work for a high line dealership, and our brand fluid is 17.50 a liter. 

      Also, for what you would pay for a MOC Trans Flush (which is only their fluid and chemical), you could spend the same money and get a trans flush ,with our brand fluid, a new filter and new gasket.

      I will tell you that where I work we are now forced to sell MOC. We sold BG before we were bought out by a big corporation. MOC has bigger kickbacks than BG. That being said, the techs and those of us in parts, are firm believers in BG chemicals.

  • avatar
    slateslate

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Just use Top Tier Gasoline and you will have no problems.

    If you have an old vehicle, that uses carburation, than something like GM’s Cleens – Top Engine Cleaner is what you need.

  • avatar
    Terry

    cnyguy :
    September 13th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    “BG products (they sell all kinds of mechanic-in-a-can stuff) are a complete ripoff- they sell their products through repair shops because the
    technician gets a kickback for everything he sells. The profit margin is obscene which keeps the parts department happy.
    The local Honda rep assured use he would deny any warranty claim where BG products had been used and directed the parts department not to even think about selling it (this was at a multiline dealership where BG was sold at other parts counters).”

    I wont get into the price/ripoff aspect of BG products as YOU stated, but in many cases their chemicals worked exactly as BG stated. And Ive used them in problem cars. Infact, the manufacturer recommended using them in specific cases for specific problems.
    As a tech, I do not push any of these products as a means of generating $$. But when I see an obvious benefit to the customer–and have used them in my own vehicles with good results, I would be negligent by not even considering them as another tool in the repair of a vehicle.

  • avatar
    AndyH

    slateslate writes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jbcCr2ll3c

    Interesting, but those are octane booster products, and not marketed as fuel injection system cleaners.

  • avatar
    dastanley

    Steven Lang :
    September 13th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    A 2009 Escape, or anything short of a Chinese scooter, won’t need fuel injection cleaner. Period.

    It’s a complete waste of money for folks who simply have way too much faith in the placebo effect. I’ve been in the auto remarketing business for over a decade and have yet to see any of my customers ever endorse the stuff. Even those who sell high end merchandise won’t touch it.

    If you’re that paranoid about fuel injectors you can just simply change your fuel filter every 30k. That’s what I did for 240k and the car ran just as good as new. Even then, I’m not sure if the fuel filter made that much of a difference but at least I wasn’t harming the seals and internals over the long run.

    I have read from various sources that Chevron’s Techron (and maybe some other brands) help fuel sending units that have gone bad work again. Here in the four corners of NM, CO, AZ, UT, the gasoline has a high sulfer content rendering many fuel sending units inop – meaning gas gauges will freeze and stop working. Chevron has recommended to owners of these vehicles to try a bottle or two of Techron first to see if that solves the problem before taking it to a shop and paying $90.00 per hour labor to pull the tank, open it up, replace the fuel pump and sending unit – usually one part – and put it all back together. An expensive job.

    As a side note, on all of my previous vehicles, I’ve had the fuel filter replaced every 30k or so, usually at Jiffy Lube and such. I took my ’06 Corolla to get that done and was told that the filter is inside of the tank, next to the fuel pump/sending unit. The filter cannot be replaced without pulling the tank, etc. Toyota’s recommendation is to keep driving the car until I have a “check engine” light caused by low fuel pressure and engine surging, then replace the fuel filter, along with the pump/sending unit. How comforting.

  • avatar
    micmig

    If you need it, Sea Foam Motor Treatment is the best.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I think it’s more important to make sure your fuel filter are swapped out at good, regular intervals. If you’ve ever dropped the tank of a car you’ll find a huge amount of sediment and garbage in there. The filter is extremely important to keep those particles out of the injectors/lines.

    Unfortunately many new cars are doing away with inline fuel filters and instead just put a “lifetime” filter in the tank near the fuel pickup. I personally think that is a horrible and short-sighted engineering decision.

    Also, try not to run your car to near/total empty since that’s the time that you’ll pick up more of that sediment. Fuel injectors also rely on the fly of gasoline through them to remain cool; if you run your car to empty then the injectors attempt to spray air – which could damage them even if it only lasts for a short duration of time.

  • avatar
    fisher72

    I am always humored with people who tout ‘Top Tier Gasoline’.

    Simply because all the gasoline in my region comes from one supplier. The terminal in Spartanburg SC, from the Colonial Pipeline which get’s most of it’s fuel from Alabama and Louisiana. All of that fuel meets federal standards and any additional ‘additives’ are added in the 3k gallon compartment of the truck tanker.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I agree with other posters regarding Techron. Add some periodically and everything smoothens out.

  • avatar
    George B

    In my opinion gasoline additives are a waste of money and I keep my cars >10 years. My only concession toward fuel additives is to select QuickTrip gasoline over RaceTrac gasoline if they are the same price. http://gasbuddy.com/ QuickTrip is a relatively inexpensive gasoline retailer that meets the Top Tier gasoline standard. http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html As fisher72 pointed out, the gasoline is the same, but the detergent additives may be slightly better for Top Tier.

    I also usually keep my gas tank at least half full for emergency preparedness reasons. However, I’d be curious if 1/2 tank vs. 1/8 tank really makes much difference in sediment pickup as gasoline sloshes around in normal driving.

  • avatar
    carguy

    fisher72 +1: Gasoline companies share their distribution infrastructure such as pipelines and storage so there is no such thing as “Top Tier Gasoline” – only generic gasoline that meets specifications. What is more important is in what condition the tanks are in at your local gas station – specifically regarding water and rust.

    As for cleaning properties, while all gas has a government mandated amount of detergent in it, this does not answer the question if an additional product will not improve the cleaning properties. I could never see much of an improvement from any cleaning additives so, unless you are having problems, I would not pay for it as part of routine maintenance.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    I came to TTAC after hearing about it on BITOG. Additives and most other liquids are beaten into the ground over there. The deal with injector cleaners is easy. The active ingredient that is most effective is a detergent called poly-ether-amide, PEA for short. Of the various flavors of Gumout, look for Regane, 5$, it and Redline have the most PEA for the money. I dose the cars once a yr and they havent died yet. Eventually, I will send a set of injectors out for cleaning. They are easy to R+R on the 528es. Oh, and I use MMO in my lawnmower gas.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Someone once pointed out on this site that the fuel pump pickup is located in the bottom of a gas tank, emptiness short of fumes shouldn’t create problems.

    Driving a diesel, I use fuel addititve fairly regularly in the winter (every 2nd or 3rd tank while it’s actually cold out). I almost never use it in the summer. I have noticed a difference while it is in the tank, not necessarily on subsequent fills.

    In the past, taking care of gasoline engines, I’ve used cleaner additives (not octane booster), but only in conjunction with numerous other maintenance steps (fluid and filter changes, spark plugs, etc…). Of course it seems to work. I can’t imagine anyone else doing otherwise, so outside of a labratory result I find it hard to really credit anecdotal proof that these products do something worthwhile. This one really does need some homework, anyone have a good link?

  • avatar
    Mervich

    Most fuel/oil additives on the market are, simply put, garbage. In fact, many do more harm than anything else. There are a handful of products that do as they claim.

    First, let me cover this: a good percentage of you will claim there is no difference between gasoline and oil brands. Gasolines are indeed, basically, all the same. The difference is in the additive package. You local discount gasoline is the same gasoline, but there’s no additive package. The additive package is what is sometimes referred to as “detergent”. In a fuel injected engine, a superior additive package is an absolute necessity. Without it, you get “dirty” injectors and carbon build-up on the valves, among a host of other troublesome problems. Do you remember, back in the old days when you would have engine run-on after the key was off? That was caused by carbon build-up on the valves…the carbon gets red hot and continues to ignite the fuel even after the engine is shut off. The engineers designed knock sensors and computer programs to alleviate the problem…but the actually just mask the problem, they don’t fix it. The carbon build-up and dirty injectors simply rob your engine’s efficiency. If you’re using a Top Tier fuel, the problem is minimized…the additive package does its job. Chevron is the best and Shell is a close second. When it comes to oil, completely avoid discount brands and never ever use an oil with a paraffin additive (ie, Quaker State).

    Several years ago, I witnessed two engines being torn-down (disassembled) at the BMW corporate offices in Atlanta. Both engines had been run the same amount and in the same conditions. One was run on Amoco unleaded and Quaker State, while the other was run on Chevron fuel and Castrol oil. The difference was astounding. The Amoco/Quaker State engine was loaded with carbon and black gum while the Chevron/Castrol engine was clean and appeared nearly new!

    The fuel and oil you use makes a huge difference.

    One of the very few fuel/oil additive brand names I can recommend is Krex. The Krex Fuel helps keep your fuel system clean as well as helping prevent carbon build-up on your valves. Krex Oil is a graphite oil additive that helps cut friction within your engine, thereby improving engine efficiency, fuel economy while reducing wear. Krex is expensive, but worth it.

    Techron is another fuel additive that is very beneficial.

    Finally, the key with any good additive is use in moderation!

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    VW Golf, 95, 220,000 miles. never used these cleaners, car runs like its new.

  • avatar
    RayH

    Chevron Techron or Sea Foam (sp?). I wouldn’t worry about adding either until it hits 50-100k miles.

  • avatar
    Mervich

    carguy :
    September 13th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    fisher72 +1: Gasoline companies share their distribution infrastructure such as pipelines and storage so there is no such thing as “Top Tier Gasoline” – only generic gasoline that meets specifications.

    It is true that the gasoline companies share their distribution infrastructure such as pipelines and storage, BUT, at the distribution level, the brand specific additive package is blended in. Therefore, there is a difference. The additive package is what determines the “Top Tier” rating.

    RayH :
    September 13th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Chevron Techron or Sea Foam (sp?). I wouldn’t worry about adding either until it hits 50-100k miles.

    I can’t attest to Sea Foam (?) but Techron is the main ingredient (and patented for years) in Chevron’s additive package (and, as I understand, also Texaco, now). Using additional Techron isn’t really necessary if you’re using the premium (it has the most additive). If you use a lesser grade or another brand, adding a shot of Techron to your fuel every oil change is a good idea.

    Don’t over use it though! It ain’t no silver bullet!

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    ps, i use the cheapest no-name gas i can find. just replaced the gas filter last month. my mechanic said it was the original.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    jerseydevil – you can also plug 15 extension cords into a no-name splitter and put some grenades next to the plugs too… but it hardly seems like a beneficial idea to recommend that as a good practice.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The world is full of automotive products whose only function is to separate people from their money. If anyone can prove that fuel injector cleaner does not belong in the same category as magnetic gas-saving devices and $50 wax, I’d like to see it.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Picking through the comments,I spy a few jewels.
    #1 Carefull where you buy your gas.
    #2 CHANGE your fiter! on a regular basis.
    #3 Injector cleaner sort’a works….use with discretion,if it makes you feel good. Personally I never use the stuff.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I’m just begging for this not to become a death spiral. So I’ll give it one last shot.

    Quaker State is not a paraffin oil and has not been for quite a long time. Even when it was, their were no harmful effects of it being that way.

    So long as an engine oil is API certified, it should do it’s job for 5000 miles. If you want the harmful particles to be suspended for a longer period of time so that they may be filtered, you can get synthetic. But most cars of the last 20 years will last north of 200k with regular oil changes of API certified motor oil (the current designations is SM) along with a WIX filter.

    I’ll cover the rest if there’s ever a need to discuss it in detail. To be honest, your driving style and the quality of used parts you get will have a far greater impact than your oil/filter combination.

  • avatar

    First check spark plugs for gaps, loose caps, inferior brand etc. Most engines that have drivability problems are those that simply arent driven enough to get hot, are constantly driven in-city, stop and go, or have never seen anything but the 87Octane.

    First thing I tell esp. women is to “beat” these things a bit. And youll usually get out of them they buy the cheapest stuff they can find. Next, would be the occasional full to partial 92Octane fillup followed by a solid 100-mile road-trip…the Italian tune-up. Only if those fail would I possibly recommend a fuel additive.

  • avatar
    Hank

    RxP

  • avatar
    cnyguy

    @terry
    “I wont get into the price/ripoff aspect of BG products as YOU stated,”

    OK, I will. BG puts a proof-of-use device, usually a plastic disc, in their cans of mouse-milk. The tech collects these discs and trades them in to the BG rep for cash. Back in the day, each disc was worth one dollar.
    BG’s products are nothing new and nothing that you can’t buy cheaper at Pep-Boys. Ask your BG guy for an MSDS sheet- he will be very reluctant to give you one. He doesn’t want you to know that the only difference between his stuff and the Pep-Boys stuff is the price tag.

    “As a tech, I do not push any of these products as a means of generating $$.”

    Bullshit. Dealership service departments are all about making money. Selling high margin cleaners and magic oil additives makes a lot of money. Little secret for the Best and Brightest: many dealerships (and chain repair centers) track the dollar amount of parts each tech sells. Some shops pay their guys bonus, others steer high-profit (“gravy”) work to the most productive wrenches. If you don’t push a lot of parts, you will be stuck doing a lot of oil changes and tire rotations.

  • avatar
    Terry

    “Bullshit. Dealership service departments are all about making money. Selling high margin cleaners and magic oil additives makes a lot of money. Little secret for the Best and Brightest: many dealerships (and chain repair centers) track the dollar amount of parts each tech sells. Some shops pay their guys bonus, others steer high-profit (”gravy”) work to the most productive wrenches. If you don’t push a lot of parts, you will be stuck doing a lot of oil changes and tire rotations.”

    1st of all, the tech got .25 for that greasy disc. 2nd of all, you either didnt read what I posted, or didnt comprehend what you read.
    I have used their products in specific cases for specific problems. Nowhere in my post did I suggest using them on a regular basis, or to generate $$$.
    What the shop or dealership does for a profit is not my area of concern. Diagnosis and repair of the customer’s car is.
    You speak of “back in the day”, while I live in the here and now.
    Before you call bullshit on ANYTHING anybody else posts, you might consider the personal experience from where the original statements originate.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Someone once pointed out on this site that the fuel pump pickup is located in the bottom of a gas tank, emptiness short of fumes shouldn’t create problems…

    I agree. I really don’t know where this don’t let the tank run down stuff came from. I had a Reliant once with a tiny thirteen gallon tank and I was driving almost 30K a year. I jammed that puppy full and ran it down to one gallon or less. I could predict the fuel pump shutoff -/+ quarter gallon. That fuel pump lasted 190K, the car 254K…Well maintained, regular grad gas, no injector cleaner. However, that car had a TBI setup; the injector was located in a much less hostile environment than a modern multipoint setup.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ Terry….Diagnosis and repair of the customer’s car is your area of concern? Its comforting to know that great tech’s like yourself still exist.

    Please move to Canada and take a job at my local Chev dealer.

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    The suggestion to “change the fuel filter” is one that I, an owner of an E46 BMW purchased in the Peoples Republic of New York, does not have the option of doing unless I wish to replace the gas tank and all of the associated piping as well. Us lucky NYers (also those who purchased their whips in the PRs of Cali, VT and MA are in the same boat) are saving Mother Earth from petro fumes for the rest of you. This pertains to automatics only. Sealed fuel systems for Gaia. What a crock.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Chevron Fuels Include Techron!

    T-E-C-H-R-O-N!

    GOOD STUFF!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The suggestion to “change the fuel filter” is one that I, an owner of an E46 BMW purchased in the Peoples Republic of New York, does not have the option of doing unless I wish to replace the gas tank and all of the associated piping as well. Us lucky NYers (also those who purchased their whips in the PRs of Cali, VT and MA are in the same boat) are saving Mother Earth from petro fumes for the rest of you. This pertains to automatics only. Sealed fuel systems for Gaia. What a crock.…

    I assume you are referring to evaporative emission control? Isn’t this the same requirement in all 50 states? I don’t buy that your non-replaceable fuel filter is due to emission regs…I’ll bet that the beancounters, after they were finished with your window regulators, went after the fuel system…If there is really an emission reason for this, wouldn’t all cars in states with enhanced emission controls have to do away with external filters?

  • avatar
    holydonut

    About the near empty bit… if you run a car to the point that it won’t turn any RPMs due to lack of fuel, you’ll still find about 1/2 of a gallon of gasoline in the tank. That’s because the little intake bit hooked to the fuel pump doesn’t touch the very bottom of the tank.

    If you look in a used car (one of decent use over several years), you’ll find this slurry of of sandy/dirt/crap at the bottom of a tank. If you run out of gas – or go 50 miles with the bright fuel-light staring at you, you’re picking up an inordinate amount of particulates in the fuel.

    There’s a reason automakers force the “get gas you dummmy” light on when there is still 3+ gallons of gas left. It’s because running a car to an out-of-fuel-condition causes some severely high warranty claims on fuel systems. It’s better to have customers scared into adding gas due to a light that comes on many miles too early.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Fuel injector cleaner is a gimmick; don’t use it.

    I just replace the injectors at 100k miles.

  • avatar
    cnyguy

    @Terry
    “What the shop or dealership does for a profit is not my area of concern. Diagnosis and repair of the customer’s car is.”

    Tell your dealer principal that Monday morning. Have a truck ready to haul out your tool box.

    • 0 avatar
      majbob02

      @cnyguy

      I dont know of a single dealer that doesn’t promote some sort of company that deals is addatives.  To tell Terry that he should leave his place of employment is ridiculous.  You are basically telling him to find a new line of work.  Do you really want a bunch of oil changers to be working on you car, or a skilled technician?  Because that is what you will get.

  • avatar
    obbop

    http://www.toptiergas.com/deposit_control.html

    “The base fuel shall have the following specific properties after the addition of ethanol:

    1. Contain enough denatured ethanol such that the actual ethanol content is no less than 8.0 and no more than 10.0 volume percent. “

  • avatar
    Terry

    cnyguy :
    September 14th, 2009 at 12:31 am

    @Terry
    “What the shop or dealership does for a profit is not my area of concern. Diagnosis and repair of the customer’s car is.”

    Tell your dealer principal that Monday morning. Have a truck ready to haul out your tool box.

    I have–and he knows. If I see brake fluid that is absolutely black, I recommend a flush.If I see ATF that is also black, it too gets a recommendation for a flush.If the coolant is low in protection,is contaminated, or shows a voltage to ground,I recommend a flush.If the cooling system requires a water pump or radiator replacement, I recommend a flush.
    If the fluids show good, I report that as well.
    If I am told to do a flush regardless of condition–I FOLLOW ORDERS. But my notes on the back of the repair order and customer report card remain.
    My dealership owner/principal, general manager, and service manager all know my my mode of operation, hence my position at the shop.
    And yes, we are all employed to make money for the dealership and ourselves. But I do it by legitimate repair and maintenance, by keeping up with modern technology, equipment, and repair procedures. I dont steal by suggesting needless repairs and procedures–I DO MY JOB.
    I am speaking for myself and my dealership. What happens in other shops is of no concern to me.
    Now down to specific cases:
    1) New ’99 NB model Miata, back in ’99. 600 miles on the car, owner experienced severe hesitation cold. I personally verified the symptom. I checked all mechanical, ignition, and fuel operation, all was OK. A quick call to techline revealed that there were 4 other cases of the same symptom–2 Miatas, 2 Millenias. They determined that the use of premium fuel was leaving carbon deposits on the back of the intake valves. 2 cans of BG44K administered through the PCV hose totally eliminated the hesitation, and the owner was advised to use 87 octane fuel as specified in the owner’s manual.
    2) ’05-’06 Mazda6, crunching noise while depressing the brake pedal. Mazda determined that the fluid in the system had a friction characteristic that caused the seals in the master cylinder to chatter. Mazda suggested changing the fluid. BG supplies our brake fluid, and it is stored in their flushing machine. A simple flush cured the symptom.
    3) My personal ’92 Mazda MPV– hydraulic lifter noise at times, caused by passages in the rocker arm shafts and lifters being undersized , causing cavitation. Countermeasure shafts established as a repair–but out of warranty the cost is $1000 if you replace the lifters as well. BG recommended their 109 engine cleaner followed by their MOA additive in a set procedure. Performed and the noise was eliminated. It’s one of my daily drivers.
    To help the customer should be the main goal, as it most certainly benefits the dealership. But to benefit the dealership with no gain for the customer at his expense helps nobody, and hurts everybody.

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    Golden2husky, the automatic 325i E46 sold in NY, CA, VT and MA (I think that is the complete list) has a SULEV M56 engine. The fuel filter is part of the emissions system and is not a serviceable item. If the filter clogs up it is supposedly covered under the fed emissions warranty but who really believes that?

    My window regs have been fine; in fact the car has been bulletproof over 70k miles (I bet I just jinxed it).

  • avatar
    colin42

    I used injector clean once a year in my diesel to reduce the black smoke and get it through the MOT (annual test in the UK). Normally I’ll swap the fuel filter (and often air filter as well). This (along with driving 60 mph in 3rd gear for a couple of miles) would dramatically reduce the black smoke.

    So I’d say it works for diesels, however for Port injection gasoline I’m not so sure- There is ample time for the fuel to vaporize so if the injectors are slightly blocked- who cares. The fuel quantity is regulated by the feed back control of the Oxygen sensor in the exhaust.

    I can see a case for direct injection needing it as fuel atomisation is key and the high pressure fine spray is required

  • avatar
    ott

    @Terry
    “What the shop or dealership does for a profit is not my area of concern. Diagnosis and repair of the customer’s car is.”

    Good on ya, Terry. It’s tough to find a good trustworthy tech, but they do exist. I am sure your dealership’s repeat business from happy clientele more than compensates for any gouging practices performed by other garages, who are pretty much guaranteed not to see those customers again.

    What goes around…

  • avatar
    gibbleth

    Ahem, not necessarily the best or the brightest here, but I’ve always been partial to Berryman Chemtool. I believe it is B-12. I’ve had several vehicles that have sat for a while, both carbureted and injected, that B-12 has cleaned right up. Of course, it generally takes two applications. Read the instructions on the bottle, only add it to a full tank of gas, and, please, run it at high RPMs for a bit. You can achieve this by locking it in a lower gear, ie, run second gear at forty or so. Speaking for GMs, every transmission I’ve ever used in a GM won’t let you over-rev the engine and will shift on you if you run the RPMs too high. Try to avoid that. It is unpleasant.

    I tell everyone who asks to periodically run their car hard, to generate enough flow of the various fluids and enough heat to hopefully clean up some of the deposits. I generally recommend at least a tank of mid grade every so often, as the cheap stuff often doesn’t have enough, or any, detergent in it.

    That being said, my dad runs the cheapest fuel he can find in all of his cars and has no trouble…

  • avatar
    pwahl3

    My XJ with 150k on it was having trouble starting.  It would start if I gave it some gas while turning it over.  Ran a full fuel system cleaner and a few bottles of fuel injector cleaner through it over a couple of gas tanks and the problem is gone.  Haven’t had any trouble since.  That was about 10k miles ago.

  • avatar
    GP Dave

    Will MEK work as an injector cleaner?

  • avatar
    syllinx

    People that think fuel cleaners are useless are wrong. They are usually the ones that you see with their hood up on the side of the road. The cleaner helps remove water that can be in the tank and carbon buildup etc. Not worth using one every single tank but the 3,000 miles is good use. I could just be lucky but i have a dodge dakota with 173,000 miles and it has only been in the shop to have the rear axle rebuilt.

  • avatar
    rikki0212

    This is a good article, and all great posts! Thanks for sharing! Knowing and understanding a little bit more about fuel injection services is very important! Thanks again for posting!


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