CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2006 Subaru Fuel Injection Cleaning - Did I get ripped off?

Tell me if I got took. My trusted mechanic called me during my 60,000 mile check up to tell me it would be a good idea to have my fuel injectors cleaned. I told him I wanted to check into it before agreeing to the repair and could bring the car back next week. I’ve never had any fuel injector problems with the car. He told me since he was deep in the engine now it would be a better time to do it today and it would cost $100. He cleaned the injectors and once I read what Click and Clack think about fuel injector cleaning I told him what they said. He was instantly very defensive, said he didn’t agree with them and that cleaning the injectors was a very good idea. When I told him that rather than clean the injectors, Click & Clack recommend an annual fuel filter replacement. He told me it was very hard to get to my fuel filter, so that was a bad idea.



Did I get ripped off?

Yes

In fact, your fuel filter is supposed to be changed every 30,000 miles, so if your mechanic did not change the fuel filter at the 60k service, he did not perform one of Subaru’s required services, and he substituted a very questionable procedure.

Are you sure that you should trust this guy?

Sadly, my opinion is that you paid for an unnecessary service. I also question exactly what was done. Fuel injector service generally consists of running cleaner through the fuel and intake systems, and does not involve any major engine disassembly.

Yes, you got ripped off. Gasoline (ALL gasoline) has fuel system detergents in it by federal law, and no additional detergents or fuel system cleaners are necessary under normal circumstances.

Don’t feel too bad. I paid for one of these “services” before I knew better. The mechanic who sold it to me made it all sound very scientific and official, but it’s all a crock.

What scares me is your mechanic telling you he (or she) didn’t want to replace the fuel filter because it was “very hard to get at, so that was a bad idea.”

The fact that a filter is hard to reach does not mitigate the need for replacement.

I think you need to find a different mechanic. Whoever told you this is lazy, and driven more by profit than car care, or customer care.

I am a little verklempt, I mean I do not know what you meant by “deep in the engine” but cleaning the injectors for 100 bucks might not be a bad proactive thing to do, but wishing to clean the injectors and balking at a fuel filter throws up a red flag in my book, I mean a proper cleaning of the injectors in my mind is more extensive than replacing a fuel filter.
(Gotta type faster, I swear there were no replies when I started typing a response!)

Depends on the location of the fuel filter.

If it’s in the tank it will cost more than $100.

I don’t think injector cleaner does much good.

On a Subaru, the filter is not in the tank.

It is true that all gasolines must meet the MINIMUM standards set by the EPA. However, there some vehicle manufacturers who feel that the minimum standards don’t go far enough in preventing carbon deposits from forming on critical engine components, thereby causing poor engine performance and higher emissions. This why these manufaturers recommend that a Top Tier http://www.toptiergas.com/gasoline be used in thier engines.

Tester