Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Cataclean and idleing high

Someone told me that when I use Cataclean, I should rev engine at a high idle for about 5 minutes once it’s been in the system for a while. How high is high enough? At about 4000 RPM’s, my Ford Escape starts to go “Puhh, puhh, puhh puhh” and the car shakes. Is this what it takes, or is that too many RPM’s? Thanks!!!

I would just drive it under high load. This product doesn’t appear available outside the UK.

Edit: It is available …lots of places. Ooops

I wouldn’t use anything that on their web page claim “this is not a fuel additive” then go to the FAQ’s and the instructions say:
Follow these simple instructions:

  1. Make certain that you have ? of a tank of fuel in your tank (3-4 gallons)
  2. Allow vehicle to reach full temperature before introducing Cataclean.
  3. Pour entire contents (16.7 oz) of Cataclean into the fuel tank.
  4. Drive vehicle for 10 -15 miles Where can I buy Cataclean?

Hmm… not a fuel additive but you add it to your fuel?

So what is the reason for even using this product?

The engine stuttering is more than likely the engine hitting the rev limiter in neutral.

Few real problems can be solved with an additive - what problem are you trying to solve?

Mycheck engine light says my catalytic converter is dirty and may need to be replaced. This product comes highly recommended from a couple of sources, some whom I know and some I do not.

It won’t work. You don’t know me either. I could recommend lots of things that don’t work, if I could find a way to make money doing so.

A check engine light cannot tell you that a cat needs to be replaced. It most certainly cannot tell you that it is dirty.

What you probably have is a diagnostic trouble code indicating that you have some oxygen sensor readings that are out of spec. This may or may not be a problem with the cat.

You are correct. That actually is what the 2 different mechanics stated. But they both were of the opinion that that’s what it likely indicated. I also wonder if this can somehow be related to the fact that when my Escape wants to shift to another gear at about 42 -> 45 mph when on an incline, it hesitates and even sort of grumbles (fortunately not the kind of grumble that sounds like bolts in a metal can) a bit. But if I floor it, it bypasses the problem.

Auto mechanic in a can is no substitute for an auto mechanic with knowledge and tools. Are you up to speed with all maintenance suggested in the manual?

If you really have a dirty cat converter, you will have to replace it soon no matter what medicine you feed it. Since you have already sprung for Cataclean, use it up and then search the internet for a replacement cat. Never again waste your money on snake oil products.

I have used this product in a few vehicles. The proper way is to get the tank down to 1/4 put Cataclean in and then drive 10-15 minutes in a highway setting…not local start and stop. I do know that taking RPM’s up does not allow the product to work properly…it needs to be under load.

I bought mine from my mechanic…look mom…no tools

What your computer codes are actually telling you is that the downstream oxygen sensor is putting out a signoal not sufficiently changed from that of the upstream oxygens sensor. The computer interprets this as the cat converter not sufficiently changing the oxygen level in the exhaust, and it tells you the converter is inefficient.

However, it might actually be the oxygen sensor itself that’s not sending a correct signal rather than the converter being bad. The wy to truely tell is to put both signals on a scope and look at the outputs. Far too many shops do not do this. Far too many say “the ECU says your converter isn’t working efficiently. You need a new cat converter.”. Few actually look at teh signals.

If in fact it turns out that the converter is “dirty”, the only solution is to change it. “Dirty” would imply that the catalytic coating on the honeycomb substrate in the converter is coated and there’s no way to clwan it.

Now, to the stumbling. The converter is not causing that. But it is possible, and even likely, that whatever has coated the converter insides has also cooated the upstream oxygen sensor. That sensor signal “trims” the metering of your fuel, and if it cannnot read properly if will cause operating problems. Have you been burning oil? Have you had any other problems that migh indicate headgasket problems, like contaminated oil and/or coolant?