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

Do I actually need to clean my fuel system?

I have a 2008 Dodge Caravan and recently took it to get its oil changed. These guys are usually very good about not trying to sell all those little extra money-makers, but this time they said that when they took off the air filter cover they found grease in the throttle body, and suggested a $90.00 fuel system cleaner. Well, I’m no expert, but I don’t think the throttle body is under the air filter cover, so I put them off. My question - do I really need to clean my fuel system regularly? If so, is it something I can do myself?

Fuel systems rarely if ever need cleaning. I think they were just fishing for a boat payment.

I have always used a fuel system or fuel injector cleaner–the $3 to $5 per bottle stuff at any auto parts store–with each oil change and never had a fuel system problem. Whether these products do anything is debatable but it makes me feel better. I refused a “throttle body cleaning” at the dealer about 50,000 miles ago and have never experienced a problem. many on this board call these procedures a “wallet flush”.

That was my thought as well. I’ve never had a problem with this sort of thing in 35+ years of driving all sorts of cars (except for needing DryGas in the old days in my Beetle). But, I thought I’d ask. The car only has 26000 miles on it.

In addition, even if there was ‘grease in the throttle body’, I bet your Dodge’s fuel injectors are near the heads, not the throttle body, so a ‘fuel system cleaner’ would do nothing to clean the throttle body. Unless you are having a problem, it’s not needed. And I wouldn’t take the oil change guy’s word for it, anyway.