my dealer said the fuel injectors needed cleaning on my 04 toyoto prius (77000mi). this service is not in my maintance schedule. Is it a come on ($55) or a good prevention item? Thank you.
Do not waste your money. If you car is running fine you do not need to do anything. If you really want to do something get a can of Seafoam or Techron and put it in the gas tank. Once a year is enough.
If your fuel injectors needed cleaning you’d know it…the car would be running ruff and gas mileage would be dropping along with poor performance.
Gasoline has fuel system detergents in it by federal law. The injectors are cleaned as you drive.
If you want to just make sure, go to Walmart and buy a bottle of Techron. Wouldn’t hurt at 7 years.
In order to clean the injectors, first they have to be dirty…It’s impossible to clean a clean injector…
How do I know if I have a dirty injector? The engine will not idle or accelerate smoothly. VERY similar to an ignition misfire…
Not at all a bad idea. The manufacture has a vested interest in keeping the level of maintenance listed in the owners manual at a minimun, it is in Technical Service Bulletins that you will find any reference by the manufacture about fuel injector cleaning.$55.00 is not too awful bad of of price (I have seen double that). The industry that recommends these extra services can make a good case for why the service is needed, it is in the pricing of the service that all “proper thinking” gets lost.
One of the first tests we did with fuel injectors when they were suspect in a poor running car is to place them in a test jig and check the spray pattern. Fuel that sprays like a water hose as opposed to a cone shaped mist will cause drivability problems.
The idea that if the service is not mentioned in the owners manual then it is a rippoff should be discarded in favor of a process that analyzes the sympton,if no sympton is involved then the preventative aspect of the service and the cost of the service should be analyzed. Don’t let the cost of the service be the deciding factor as to if the service is needed.
I second this. The dealer’s service is pure bunk meant to generate profit. If you have dirty injectors, you can tell by how the engine runs. If you want to do it as maintenance, just pour a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank.
Here’s another vote for a bottle of Chevron Techron in the gas tank once a year.
Don’t blow $55 if it runs OK.
At most repair shops, “Fuel Injection Service” means they dump a can of BG-44K in your gas tank and charge you $55…A FEW shops MIGHT pump it directly into the fuel rail, but they are likely to charge more than $55…
Techron is a lot cheaper, works almost as good, and you can do it yourself…
I agree with Oldschool that injector spray pattern is important, as is reliable injector operation, but I cannot agree that this “preventative” cleaning is needed. Gasolines today all contain detergents designed to keep injectors clean, to clean them as you drive. Should an injector get gummed up, you’ll know it via the CEL and/or rough idling or operation. If it’s going to fail even with detergents (in the gas) being constantly pumped through it, I’m not sure the preventative maintenace you’ve described would have made a difference.
Injectors can be an item where you are not 100% sure if they are causing the problem. There are electrical tests for checking both the amps pulled by an injector and the ohm reading of an injector but you cannot see the spray pattern until you pull the injector. Now you have the problem before you just how many injectors you will try and sell as you are only going to get paid once to put them in.
My wife’s 1994 Nissan has 130,000 miles on it, runs smoothly on its original injectors, and has NEVER had a $55 injector cleaning. It does get a bottle of the standard stuff ($10) put through it once a year, just in case.
My mechanic tells me that’s just right, and he does not recommend any flushes unless the car runs rough. The Nissan manual does not have any recommendations either.
At 77,000 miles, cleaning the fuel injectors would be a repair, not preventive maintenance. Replacing the fuel filter, on the other hand, should help prevent the fuel injectors from getting clogged in the first place.
The fuel injectors will not get plugged from a dirty fuel filter.
Cleaning fuel injectors can only be done by disassembling them. No additive or process will clean varnish from an injector w/o disassembly. Generally, it’s cheaper to replace the injector than it is to send them out to be cleaned.