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Injector Cleaner: Does anyone know about it?

JebusUDJebusUD Adventure!Candy IslandRegistered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I am going on a road trip soon and am trying to get the best gas mileage I can. So I thought I should run some in cleaner through the car.

So, What Fuel Injector cleaner is best to use? Does it make any difference? Should I just get the cheapest and dump it in the tank?

and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
but they're listening to every word I say
JebusUD on

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    wasted pixelswasted pixels Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I am going on a road trip soon and am trying to get the best gas mileage I can. So I thought I should run some in cleaner through the car.

    So, What Fuel Injector cleaner is best to use? Does it make any difference? Should I just get the cheapest and dump it in the tank?

    Injector cleaning isn't inherently evil, but it's best done sparingly. If you're noticing stalls or hesitation, sure, run a bottle through. Regular use, on the other hand, can be really hard on tubes, seals, gaskets, or pretty much anything made of rubber. Most fuel companies (Shell and BP for instance) already have detergents in their fuel blend, so there's really no point in using injection cleaners unless you think you have an injection problem. It's not a routine maintenance kind of thing.

    If your engine is running fine and you just want to optimize fuel economy during your trip, get a tune-up if you're due for one, get an oil change (make sure you use the right grade of oil! Using 10W-30 in an engine that wants 5W-30 can cut your fuel economy by as much as 2% or 3%), and be religious about keeping your tires properly inflated (another easy 3%). Most of all, drive conservatively. Better braking technique alone can improve your fuel economy TREMENDOUSLY (I've seen people's MPG jump by as much as 20% just from more conservative use of brakes), and unless you have a sports car, keep in mind that you get optimal fuel economy at 55 to 65 MPH -- you know, the speed limit. ;)

    wasted pixels on
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    wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    All of the ones i've seen on the market are really just ethyl alcohol. They'll show a tiny amount of difference while they're in the tank but won't actually clean the injectors. For better results just slow down your highway speed by 5-10mph. Sure it'll take longer but you'll definitely save gas.

    wmelon on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I've never put any in in the 6 years I have had the vehicle. I figure, it is probably somthing that I should do. I am also going to change the spark plugs, the connections to the spark plugs, and change the oil before I go. And make sure the tires are good. And make sure brake fluid is good...

    and maybe some other stuff too.

    I already drive quite nicely.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you use top-tier gasoline regularly, your fuel system is already as clean as it's going to be. You don't have to fill up every time with the top-tier stuff; every third or fourth tank is usually enough.

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

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm regular all the way baby.

    Top tier pft. I need that extra 10 cents!

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Isn't top tier gas snake oil, unless you're driving a sports car?

    Apogee on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    if you're feeling adventurous, try SeaFoam on your engine... the results are spectacular (at least as far as the gigantic cloud of smoke it causes :D )

    and at 6 years, your car could probably use a tuneup... oil change, new plugs (OEM only), wires, air filters (intake and cabin), fuel filter

    a transmission drain and fill (i'd avoid a flush, it tends to fuck things up), and a brake fluid replacement would be good as well

    all of this stuff can be done inexpensively in your driveway

    illig on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    Isn't top tier gas snake oil, unless you're driving a sports car?

    Yes. Engines with a higher compression ratio can exhibit knocking if non-premium gas is used (though in colder months it's probably fine to use mid grade). If your car doesn't require anything over 87, you don't gain anything by buying premium gas.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    NargorothRiPNargorothRiP Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Really the best way to find out what type of gas to use, is to check your user manual. I drive an rx8 and if i run anything less then 93 in it, the engine knocks. This is because the engine runs at a much higher compression ratio of 10 to 1 versus your standard engine running around 7 or 8 to 1.

    NargorothRiP on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Six wrote: »
    Apogee wrote: »
    Isn't top tier gas snake oil, unless you're driving a sports car?

    Yes. Engines with a higher compression ratio can exhibit knocking if non-premium gas is used (though in colder months it's probably fine to use mid grade). If your car doesn't require anything over 87, you don't gain anything by buying premium gas.

    Top tier gas has nothing to do with the octane rating. It has to do with how much detergent the gas contains. There is disagreement as to whether more detergent than the minimum standard is beneficial or not, but the list of auto companies that endorse top-tier gas is pretty compelling.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    illig wrote: »
    and at 6 years, your car could probably use a tuneup...

    I've had it for about six years. It is 15 years old.

    About seafoam... you supporting that brand or knocking it?

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    JobastionJobastion Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Six wrote: »
    Apogee wrote: »
    Isn't top tier gas snake oil, unless you're driving a sports car?

    Yes. Engines with a higher compression ratio can exhibit knocking if non-premium gas is used (though in colder months it's probably fine to use mid grade). If your car doesn't require anything over 87, you don't gain anything by buying premium gas.

    Top tier gas has nothing to do with the octane rating. It has to do with how much detergent the gas contains. There is disagreement as to whether more detergent than the minimum standard is beneficial or not, but the list of auto companies that endorse top-tier gas is pretty compelling.
    THIS.
    Per the website:
    Gasoline retailers must meet the high TOP TIER standards with all grades of gasoline to be approved by the automakers as providing TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.
    So that regular you put in to save 10-20 cents has at minimum more than enough detergent as the premium ultra plus if you're buying from a top tier retailer. Which is almost everyone except BP and Exxon... and god only knows what wally-world and other grocery stores use.

    Jobastion on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Alright, I went to an auto parts store and they suggested seafoam. I am going to do the "dump it in the gas tank" method.

    I will let you guys know how it turns out.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    DjCalvinDjCalvin MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Its so worth it to put it in through a vacumn line.. Just for the smoke show...

    DjCalvin on
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    proXimityproXimity Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That Sea Foam stuff sounds cool. I'll have to try it out when I get back to my car in a couple months.

    proXimity on
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    Golden LegGolden Leg Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I recommend a can of BG 44K. It's not the cheapest, but anecdotal evidence suggests it's a damn good product. Chances are you'll have to go to a shop to have it added.

    Golden Leg on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    BG products are good. I have the stuff in my car after a transmission flush done for regular maintenance.

    Also, just a bottle of Chevron Techron would work as well, and it might be the cheapest thing to try. Just pour it into your tank when you have about a 1/4 tank of gas, and just get the rpms up high and go down the freeway for 5 miles, then fill up with gas.

    TexiKen on
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    ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    DONT run seafoam through the gas tank of a 15 year old car.

    All youre asking for is to have your car start burning oil, because itll clean the carbon buildup off the piston walls, weakening the seal of the rings and let oil seep into the combustion chamber.

    Run it through the vacuum hose if youre going to run it at all. Itll clean out the throttle body but leave the combustion chamber relatively untouched.

    DEFINATELY DO NOT run it in the crank case.

    If youre dead set on running it through the gas tank, burn that entire tank in a day and get the oil changed immediately after. But i would totally not do it. Its also really hard on seals and other rubber parts (like, you know, your fuel line).

    Id just buy some lucas injector cleaner or the STP stuff, and run that. It really does make a difference if you use it sparingly. Use it too much and youll again ruin the seals and lines on your engine.

    Changing the sparkplugs, wires and distributor cap are probably the best things you can do, maintenance wise, and those things have no way of causing any adverse affects to your car.

    Zeon on
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    clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I've ran Seafoam on all my cars and had no issues, no smoke. Using Arco gas (BP), I run a bottle whenever I change my oil.

    clsCorwin on
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    kazanmakazanma Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Zeon wrote: »
    DONT run seafoam through the gas tank of a 15 year old car.

    Run it through the vacuum hose if youre going to run it at all. Itll clean out the throttle body but leave the combustion chamber relatively untouched.

    Pulling in Seafoam through the vacuum line will make the Seafoam part of the intake charge and won't leave the combustion chamber untouched, no?

    Also, cars can have multiple vacuum lines, so it's possible to pick one that bypasses the throttle body completely (e.g. the brake booster vacuum line).

    kazanma on
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    ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you run it through the vacuum lines, if you do it properly (as in, slowly), it will have pretty much evaporated into a gas by the time it hits the combustion chamber, which does less damage than just dumping seafoam mixed with gasoline right into the combustion chamber, which isnt really going to do any good anyway (the only thing it goes by that it should be cleaning is the injectors). Go to any car forum that specializes in older cars and ask about seafoam, you will find 100000 first hand stories of someone running seafoam in the crank case or gas tank and the car starting to burn massive amounts of oil. Yeah its fine to run it in the crankcase or in the gas tank in a NEWER car, one that doesnt have "thick" carbon buildup basically sealing the combustion chamber from the crank case, but on an OLDER car all youre asking for is trouble.

    I mean look at it this way, you can either spend 10 dollars and do nothing but cause potential harm to your engine, costing you hundreds of more dollars in either engine repairs or replacement, or you can just go the regular normal route everyone else goes of sparkplugs, wires, distributor cap and oil change, and have your car keep on running fine.

    I run seafoam on all my old cars but ONLY through the vacuum lines and only every 100k KM or so. So its not like im saying its a crap product, it just has the potential to cause more harm than its worth when used in certain ways.

    And yeah im mistaken, by throttle body i meant intake manifold.

    Zeon on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It's already in the gas tank. No smoke, or terrible oil burning yet, and I just drove 80 miles on the freeway. It should be fine. Seems to be idling better (it idled alright to begin with though so it may just be in my head) but that may just be because it is acting like high end gas with detergents. I put it in with regular.

    Oil change later this week along with spark plugs. May have to take it in for plugs, because there are three that are only accessible by going underneath. Dunno if I want to do that.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    illig wrote: »
    and at 6 years, your car could probably use a tuneup...

    I've had it for about six years. It is 15 years old.

    About seafoam... you supporting that brand or knocking it?

    i support it... i'd use half a bottle in the gas tank, and the other half sucked into a vacuum line... but read up the proper directions online just to be safe

    illig on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you're looking to increase your performance and mileage, one easy thing to do is to replace the air intake filter. It's easy, just takes a few minutes and can make a big difference. My old car, a 1996 Beretta, had the filter replaced last summer and that alone increased the mileage by 1.5-2 miles per gallon and made a noticeable performance difference.

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    LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Just want to clarify what people are talking about...

    I don't think "top-tier" gasoline here refers to premium etc... but rather to the brand of gas and individual mixtures.

    Don't put premium in a car that takes only normal unleaded, as it will actually worsen your mileage and run less efficiently.

    LavaKnight on
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