Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea?
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    1. #1

      Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea?

      I noticed that my dealer put fuel injector cleaner during the every 7500 mile came-with-the-car service intervals. I was wondering if I should do this. Would they spend the money if it wasn't helpful, or are they just trying to look good?

      I also notice that in the car's manual it recommends NOT adding fuel injector cleaner. And, I just scrapped a '91 Toyota with 277k miles and we are still driving a '95 Civic with 348k miles and I never, ever put any injector cleaner in, and I've always bought the absolute cheapest gas I could find, and neither of these engines ever required any cleaning or basic engine repairs.

      Any informed opinions about injector cleaner?

      Steve


    2. #2

      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (steve909)

      as far as im concerned, its in the same category as engine flush kind of products..

      not really necessary. engine oil alreayd has cleaning additives in it. same as petrol..


    3. #3
      Member MrTippy's Avatar
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (steve909)

      All the gasoline makers (bp, chevron, shell, etc) already put an additive package into their fuels to minimize valve stem and injector deposits. Chevron owns the patents on the best of these additives and most oil companies license and use that technology. Chances are the additive the dealer put in your tank is Techron by Chevron or the same chemistry under another label. You can buy the stuff any place fuel additives are sold for about $5-13 for enough to treat 12-10 gals; it often turns up on sale for less.

      Will it hurt the engine? No. Will it make a difference? Sometimes. It is probably not a bad idea to throw it into a couple successive tanks every 15K or so miles. Your car will not run any worse, may run better or may run the same.

      It used to be and may still be so that the major's premium gasolines had a more substantial additive package than their regular; filling up your car with it every 3rd or 4th tankful would do the trick. If you are running premium now, my bet is that you will notice essentially no difference in your car.

      On top of all this there is the "Top Tier" voluntary gasoline standard. You may already be buying gas from one of these refiners. These gasolines have a higher minimum additive standard than non- compliant fuels. They are better.

      The cheapest gasolines all have additives, too. The base gasoline is all the same regardless of brand for any given octane rating, the difference between the top and bottom of the market is the additives and some advertising (has anyone else noticed how the oil companies have cut their advertising lately; high prices and record profits have anything to do with that?)

      There should be enough additives in cheap gas to prevent substantial fouling, but your engine will run better with the better gasolines, especially after the first 100-200K miles. Fouling can lower gas mileage and acceleration. How much depends on how bad the fouling is.

      Your civic must have a lot of highway miles. So, if those miles really are highway, you will have burned much less gas, i.e. run less gallons through the engine, than a car with a lot of city miles. Less gas=less deposits for a given number of miles. With 300+K miles on it, $10-15 or less for a couple tankfuls of Techron additive wouldn't hurt your Civic. I'd put it in that car before I put it into the Volvo at this point.


      Modified by MrTippy at 5:58 PM 5-18-2008

      '04 V70 NA -- gone

    4. #4
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (steve909)

      Any body with PPC Needs a Very Good Fuel and Delivery system.

      I've found that Parts America has an Injector Cleaner that is Mixed
      with a -
      Jet Fuel as the Carrier . $ 2.19 Mixed with 91 ( Not 93 ) - Seem to
      Purr - just Find - for those having a - Hard Time finding Good Fuel .



      Modified by EngTech at 8:25 AM 5-19-2008


    5. #5
      im a mechanic. i try to sell fuel injector cleaners to customers alot.. usually its just for us to make money... wat it does do is clean carbon off your throttle body and prevents it from sticking. it will also clean any deposits in ur fuel system

      BUT...AND THIS IS BIG....YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO USE THROTTLE BODY SPRAY, CARB CLEANER OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT THAT U SPRAY INTO UR INTAKE BECAUSE IT WILL CAUSE DETONATION INSIDE YOUR TURBO AND U WILL BLOW UR TURBO

      but if u want to put fuel aditive you can. it helps a bit. ive fixed a few cars with fuel injector cleaner.

      theres a company called wynnes..there product is very very good. if u could get ur hands on that just pour the bottle in your gas tank and thats it.. it will cost u like 10 bucks...


    6. #6

      Re: (djinyourface)

      MrTippy & djinyourface:

      Thanks for the lengthy replies. I suppose I'll put some into my tank every now & then - maybe once each 5k oil (Mobil1) change. Maybe the Civic too.
      You did give some products to look for.

      Steve


    7. #7

      Re: (steve909)

      It's one of those things that people either swear by or call snake oil. From everything I have read, a while ago in my Honda days, most of the tests said that the Techron stuff worked the best and was safest on your engine parts.

      I have never used any fuel system\injector cleaner on my car and have never had an issue. But I have flirted with the idea after reading some things online that said its a good preventative measure to throw some in with each oil change. Never took the leap though.


    8. #8
      has anyone ever put microlon into their engine? my friend put it in his GTI and swears by, really wondering if it makes any difference or just another marketing ploy. http://www.microlon.com

    9. #9
      Member MrTippy's Avatar
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      Re: (dannyman1035)

      Quote, originally posted by dannyman1035 »
      has anyone ever put microlon into their engine? my friend put it in his GTI and swears by, really wondering if it makes any difference or just another marketing ploy. http://www.microlon.com

      Do you really want to open this pandora's box?

      '04 V70 NA -- gone

    10. #10
      please please dont use microlon...imo its not made for engines...even though it may say it is...

      and no prob for the reply..any questions feel free to ask...if i dont kno i kno many mechanics who would


    11. #11

      Re: (MrTippy)

      thank you for the incredibly useful, not to mention smug, response.

      Quote, originally posted by MrTippy »

      Do you really want to open this pandora's box?


    12. #12
      i'd like to point out that my friend, as well as myself, were pointed in the direction of microlon buy a man who builds race engines. oh yeah, it made our project engine (sleeved single cylinder) run like a charm. I was looking for someone who has had experience with it to share some knowledge.

    13. #13

      Re: (dannyman1035)

      Quote, originally posted by dannyman1035 »
      I was looking for someone who has had experience with it to share some knowledge.

      Since "microlon" is just another form of soluble PTFE (aka Teflon), I'm sure many people have tried it.

      Go to your local autoparts store and you'll find numerous products (e.g., Slick 50) with PTFE listed as their main ingredient. The problem is, PTFE has been proven ineffective in car engines since it tends to bond to non-moving parts, instead of moving parts.

      Nothing to see here, move along folks...


    14. #14
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (steve909)

      Quote, originally posted by steve909 »
      I noticed that my dealer put fuel injector cleaner during the every 7500 mile came-with-the-car service intervals. I was wondering if I should do this. Would they spend the money if it wasn't helpful, or are they just trying to look good?

      Do they charge you for it? If so, look no further. If they don't, make sure it isn't just alcohol.

      My opinion of fuel injector cleaner is that it's worthwhile, if it's good. I swear by Techron ("Stoddard solvent"), and I use it once or twice per year in an older car. In my Honda it makes a huge difference in maintaining smooth running. In my V50 I'm just getting to the point where I'd use it.

      I use it to keep the injectors spraying accurately. It's extremely important and even a tiny bit of deposit makes them emit drops or spray unevenly. Yes, good gas helps but the results from Techron are immediate and dramatic, if you have the problem.

      Injector cleaner DOES NOT clean the throttle assembly in our cars. Early fuel injection setups with injectors in the air tract (not the manifold) are helped buy this, but not ours. Don't buy into that snake oil - our "throttle body" handles only air.

      I get Techron at Walmart, btw. It's expensive everywhere else. It comes in two sizes, for 12 gallon and 20 gallon tanks. Get the smaller one, add it to an empty tank at the station just before filling (to ensure good dissolution), and drive the tank to empty. Repeat once or twice per year.

      Tom.

      2005 V50 T5 AWD 6MT w/Heico tune, Heico exhaust, Bell intercooler, IPD TCV, Viva CBV, Elevate rear swaybar, Snabb shift kit, etc.
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD
      1956 PV444 complete, running
      1956 PV444 very original, very rough

    15. #15
      Member MrTippy's Avatar
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (tmtalpey)

      Tom,

      Stoddard Solvent is the carrier solvent (blend) for the active ingredient(s) in Techron. It does have some cleaning properties but the active ingredient is the polyetheramine and small amounts of some other stuff. By itself, Stoddard solvent is relatively inexpensive, no need to buy it for these prices. (See my prior post in this thread.)

      You can see from this page, Techron MSDS, that Chevron has retail and bulk packaging of Techron, for the consumer and gasoline retailer markets, respectively.

      '04 V70 NA -- gone

    16. #16
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (MrTippy)

      Interesting info, thanks. It's my understanding that the Techron mix rates in pump Chevron are much less than the mix you get from a bottle. Chevron is a very inconvenient brand around here anyway - Mobil is my usual choice.

      Tom.

      2005 V50 T5 AWD 6MT w/Heico tune, Heico exhaust, Bell intercooler, IPD TCV, Viva CBV, Elevate rear swaybar, Snabb shift kit, etc.
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD
      1956 PV444 complete, running
      1956 PV444 very original, very rough

    17. #17
      Member MrTippy's Avatar
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      Re: (lamarguy)

      Quote, originally posted by lamarguy »
      Since "microlon" is just another form of soluble PTFE (aka Teflon), I'm sure many people have tried it.

      Go to your local autoparts store and you'll find numerous products (e.g., Slick 50) with PTFE listed as their main ingredient. The problem is, PTFE has been proven ineffective in car engines since it tends to bond to non-moving parts, instead of moving parts.

      Nothing to see here, move along folks...

      These products have a well established history and are widely documented on the web.

      Microlon first and foremost is a ZDDP, zinc dialkyl phospate containing product. This the well know high pressure anti-wear lube additive that has been used for years. 10-15 years ago the API, at the urging of the motor car manufacturers (who have to meet EPA clean air requirements), started lowering the phosphorus content specification for 0W, 5W, 10W weight multi-vis passenger car motor oils. The reason being that it is a (noble metal) catalyst inhibitor which leads to accelerated catalytic converter aging and deactivation.

      From its description, Microlon, probably also contains a fluoropolymer (or a modified fluoropolymer, of which Teflon is one) dispersion. These again are nothing new and have been shown to be largely insignificant. You may recall that the purveyors of Slick 50 paid a large fine for false advertising claims about these products.

      So, what about the claims for ZDDP? Most all true; it is a proven additive. Is it necessary? This is the Pandora's box. There is good reason to lower the phosphorus content of motor oils (vide supra), however, some claim that you can't make a good motor oil without it. Synthetic oil, other additives and improved metallurgy make up for the lost phosphorus. The debate is fueled mostly by the additive manufacturers, the old & vintage car community (and they are justified, so let them buy things like microlon) and the uninformed who buy and swear by products like Slick 50.

      Something to think about: Fact, phosporus compounds will shorten the life of your catalytic converter. The question is how fast. Yes, you may not own the car after 80K, 100K miles, but if you do and have to replace a converter consider what has happened to the price of the active metals in that catalytic converter over the last 2 to 3 years. They have skyrocketed, tripling the cost of a catalytic converter. Just ask your dealer how much a replacement is.

      The answer is simple, follow Volvo's recommendations if your car is 10-13 (or so) years old or newer and use an appropriate synthetic oil from one of the major lube companies.

      '04 V70 NA -- gone

    18. #18
      Member MrTippy's Avatar
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      Re: Is Fuel Injector Cleaner a good Idea? (tmtalpey)

      Quote, originally posted by tmtalpey »
      Interesting info, thanks. It's my understanding that the Techron mix rates in pump Chevron are much less than the mix you get from a bottle. Chevron is a very inconvenient brand around here anyway - Mobil is my usual choice.Tom.

      That could be true. It certainly was true when I was in the industry in the 90's. After VW's battle with the gasoline companies over fouling (remember that one?), the additives were improved and increased in all fuels.

      From current advertising, I suspect that premium gas still has more anti-fouling additives than regular--and I'd be willing to bet the farm that any of the majors, and definitely the Top Tier vendors, have better additive packages than the independent retailers.

      Chevron had the patents on the best additives (their Techron chemistry), I thought that they were licensing it to some (all?) of the others. If not or no longer, any major oil company would have their own functionally equivalent products.

      All gas, additives aside, is essentially the same--at any given octane level. Since the independents have to buy their gasoline from the majors (the refiners) and pay their markup, they have less money left over for the additive package if they want to be competitive (and profitable) at the pump.

      You're ok buying fuel from any of the majors and probably any fuel from a company that has its own refining capacity. I'd stay away from any gas station that has the words discount or budget in their name...

      '04 V70 NA -- gone

    19. #19

      Re: (MrTippy)

      Quote, originally posted by MrTippy »
      These products have a well established history and are widely documented on the web.

      Agreed.

      Quote, originally posted by MrTippy »
      Microlon first and foremost is a ZDDP, zinc dialkyl phospate containing product.

      I disagree. According to sources I've read, it's primarily a PTFE product.

      Quote »
      While some of these products may contain other additives in addition to PTFE, all seem to rely on the PTFE as their primary active ingredient and all, without exception, do not list what other ingredients they may contain.

      http://www.naaaccc.ca/oil_additives_.htm


    20. #20
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      Re: (lamarguy)

      Quote, originally posted by lamarguy »

      I disagree. According to sources I've read, it's primarily a PTFE product.

      I looked again, we're both right. Check the c-90 MSDS for example. Additional tipoff is flouropolymers are not reactive except for some modified versions, the statements that Microlon reacts with the metal is right out of the alkyl zinc phoshate handbook.

      IIRC, there were some pretty good studies done that showed that teflon additives don't do much. Again, I refer to the FTC case against slick 50.

      And, as far as Microlon goes, it is anybody's guess what was put into the additives that were tested.

      Quote, originally posted by lamarguy »
      http://www.naaaccc.ca/oil_additives_.htm

      That's a mouthful. After a quick scan, I think I agree: aftermarket additives benefit the seller the most.

      I have friend that left Pennzoil. One of the reasons was that the company is now run by entirely by marketers. The know that slick 50 has no redeeming properties except for its juicy profit margin.

      As long as a product doesn't kill an engine, they'll be someone to sell it.


      Modified by MrTippy at 6:17 PM 5-20-2008

      '04 V70 NA -- gone