Emission tune up?

I was told by the Toyota service people I need this when doing my oil changes every 20 to 25,000 miles to keep my mileage up . . They clean out the carbon so the gas sprays vs. spurts out . . Is this really necessary ??? cost for this is $200 sales person I bought it from never mentioned this necessity. Own an '09 Level 3 Prius. Bought new. Your input would be very helpful for dealing with this expense . . Is this a must ??

It is not a ‘must’. Unless you have drivability problems, it is a waste of money. Most gasoline sold has plenty of detergents to keep the injectors clean.

The Toyota dealer needs you to do this (they want to make money). You do not need to do it.

Looking at the math, at $4/gallon, $200 will buy you 50 gallons of gas. If your Prius averages 40 mpg, it means you’ll use 500 gallons every 20K miles.

Your mileage would need to increase by 50/500 (eg: 10%) in order for this dealer-boat-payment to pay for itself.

As BustedKnuckles noted, only consider it if you are experiencing a driveability problem.

An “emissions tune-up” is one of the newer “upsells” that many dealership service departments resort to in order to make more money for themselves. As was said, this service is only necessary if the engine begins to run badly and/or there is a drop-off in gas mileage. If your car is running normally, you can ignore this recommendation.

However, if you want to give yourself a little bit more confidence in regard to the cleanliness of your fuel system, just add a bottle of Chevron’s Techron fuel system cleaner to the gas tank once or twice a year. For ~$5, this product will do the same thing that the dealership’s $200 service would do.

Scam. Save your money.

I thought the gas engine in Prius rarely ran? Why does it need a tuneup?

The gas engine in a Prius, and all ‘regular’ (not plug in) hybrids, runs the great majority of the time the car is moving.

Many thanks foryourinput . . this is what I was thinking - but they treat women differently than guys . . Will follow your advice !!

Don’t feel bad, they try and sell me the same stuff!

They may treat women somewhat differently, but nowadays dealerships almost always attempt to “upsell” everyone with services that are, in many cases…let’s just say…questionable.

Knowing enough about cars in order to resist the upsell is very important, so now the OP is armed with some valuable information.

@Sherye - as they say, ‘the best defense is a good offense’. Before each visit to the dealer review the factory service manual and make a list of the work you want done. Have them do only that work, even though they’ll try to sell you other stuff that sounds reasonable.

Just to clarify something, are you saying that any services are being recommended at 20-25k mile intervals with oil changes being more frequent or that you’re waiting 20-25k miles to even change the oil?

I hadn’t even considered that possibility, but–based on the odd way that the OP expressed herself in her beginning question–that is indeed a possibility.

Let’s hope that she is not going 20-25k miles between oil changes.
If she is doing that, in a few months, we will be explaining how & why her engine was destroyed by deposits of oil sludge.

I’m starting to really wonder about the Toyota dealer shops based on many of the comments here. The last time I needed injectors cleaned was in 1987 on my 86 Buick when they had only been on the market a few years. Once the fuels were adjusted, never had a problem since.

Dealers treat men and women the same, they hope all are all stupid. The attempt to up-sell these questionable services (great profit for dealer) isn’t a male or female thing. They try it on everyone. If statistics were available my guess is that men and woman are equal as far as who goes ahead with these services and who say’s no.

While women might not know as much about cars, they use intuition to sniff out a scam.

“Emissions Tune Up” is a term that means NOTHING…If you want to twist their crank a little, ask them EXACTLY what services they will perform for your $200. Chances are, they pour a can of injector cleaner in your gas tank…This product costs them no more than $15…

Today’s gasoline contains additives designed to keep your injectors clean…Even “No-Name” gasoline. Save your money…

My last time at the Toyota dealership, for a warranty recall they told me my manual transmission oil was dirty.
When I pointed out I changed it 2200 miles earlier the service writer said I didn’t do it right, it needs to be “power flushed”.
When I said no thanks he said my power steering needs to be flushed.
He sure hated to see me walk out of there without spending a dime.

Nope, the OP didn’t say 25,000 miles was her oil change interval. We shouldn’t try to figure out if 5,000 miles is the oil change schedule and to get the wallet tune up every fifth time. The Gecko might think it’s uncalled for.

I love it when VIP tries to sell me additives for Castrol Edge when I let them do oil changes at 3,000 miles on the pickup. The interval was 3,000 miles which would mean about every six months on that no-longer owned vehicle. Like I want to waste even more money.

Dealers and service centers often refer to this treatment as “fuel system and injector cleaner”. It should be more appropriately named “wallet cleaner”. I would never pay for such a treatment unless I had a clear cut issue with dirt or crud in my fuel system. In such a case you can buy excellent treatments such as Chevron Techron at your local auto store for a fraction of the cost of what the mechanic wants to charge.

As a pro, I must tell you that pouring a can of injector cleaner into the tank is NOT the same as hooking up a can of cleaner directly to the fuel rail.

That being said, I do believe these injector cleanings should only be done if there are driveability issues. At the shop, there was a GMC Jimmy with a dead miss. With my fuel pressure gauge and the injector balance tool, I verified a plugged injector. Hooked the cleaner up to the “rail” and that sucker was purring like a kitten! Over 2 years later, all is still well.

For those of you wondering what the difference is . . .

The can of stuff that’s poured into the tank is not full strength.

The cleaner which is hooked up to the rail is stronger. You have to disable the pump so that the engine is running only off of the solution. You have to adjust the pressure so that the solution does NOT find its way back to the tank via the return line. The stuff is pretty potent.

This is the tool I use for cleaning. Only if it’s needed.