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Fuel Injector cleaning service from Toyota dealer

I have a 2006 Toyota Sequoia with 70k miles. I use regular gas mostly for the Valero station around corner of my house. The dealer recommends a cleaning service for about $200.-- is it worth it. Some come comments on the web say yes, others say just use a concentrate bottle of cleaner from the auto parts store. Any technical advice what the dealer is cleaning for this kind of money?

No, unless you’re having a problem (rough idle, etc). Are you? Dealers often recommend this to add to their bottom line, at your expense. And if you want, put in a bottle of Techron, save $190+.

It is only worth it if the SUV is not running well. This is a money maker for Toyota, and a wallet flush for you.

The car runs fine, this would be purely preventative maintenance. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll go with the bottle of Techron just for good measure.

You don’t need this service. If there were a problem with any of the fuel injectors, the Check Engine light would be on if not flashing.


There’s a simple way of determining if an injector actually needs to be cleaned or there are deposits built up around the intake valve head.
With the engine fully warmed up (and assuming ignition components and engine mechanicals are good) just pay close attention to the engine while it’s idling and note if there is any stumble or roughness at all. This stumble or roughness may be so subtle as to nearly be non-existent but if there is any then the injectors or valve stem deposits could be the cause of it and a cleaning may be warranted.

That being said, forget the 200 dollar flush (both the injectors and the bank account) and add a quality cleaner to the gas tank or intake manifold if you must.

Don’t bother using the Techron. Gasoline is expensive enough without unneeded additives.

“this would be purely preventative maintenance”

If you really want to do PM for real, get the maintenance recommended in your Owner’s Manual, plus:

Change the transmission fluid every 30k miles.
Change the brake fluid every 3 years.
Drain and refill the power steering reservoir every 2 years (easy DIY job).
Use fluid types recommended by Toyota, not “universal” stuff, for all the above.

I put a bottle of Techron in my Toyota once a year (and a Honda before that).
I’ve witnessed it smoothing out the idle on an engine in a short time.

Never never never…always a rip-off…no, no and triple no.

I suspect the dealer was offering to clean out your induction system. The induction system is that path through which the air is drawn into the engine. It includes the air filter, the mass airflow sensor, the throttle body assembly, and an orafice that alows a wee bit of expended exhaust gas to be drawn into the engine with the air instream and processed back through the cylinders. It’s part of what’s known as the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.

The theory here is that the carbon contained in exhaust can build up in the mechanical portion of the throttle body (it is still an old fashioned mechanical valvebody), or in the tube or orafice through which the exhaust gas flows.

It’s a ripoff. The dealer’s real goal is to prevent you from collecting any deposits in your bank account. If you should happen to develop any carbon deposits, they’ll be easy to clean out at that time. \

If it IS the injectors he’s suggesting, that too is a scam as everyone else has indicated. Modern gasolines all contain detergents sufficient to keep your injectors clean and shiny inside. A seperate injector cleaning is unnecessary.

Not all gasolines have the proper level of detergents.


Sorry, but I disregard clamis made in commercials.

I don’t see a commercial. I see a test result!


I don’t see a test. I see an advertisement.

Toyota actually will do that service for you. They’ll also do a throttle body cleaning, and several other things. Few are worth it, and they’re all individually priced - and recommended at certain intervals. There are only a few not listed in your maintenance manual I would either do (and I have) or have someone do for me: throttle body clean, power steering fluid exchange (they call it a flush). I’m sure there are a couple others though they’re not coming to mind at the moment. They will also do a transmission “flush” which is a fluid exchange. They will insist it’s a flush…it’s not. I watched them do it.

Define the parameters of the test. They say it’s “low additive content gasoline.” Fine. Who’s gasoline is it? Is it sold in the US? Is it even sold anywhere, or was it specially formulated for Shell’s test? (hey Lou, make me a batch of crap gas so we can show what crap gas would do to a valve). Until they give me specifics on exactly where they sourced their gasoline, and can prove to me that they did not then adulterate that gasoline, I’m not going to worry too much about their claims.

When gasoline is loaded into a tanker truck from a refinery or terminal for a gas station, the blend of gasoline, ethanol, and detergents are added while the tanker is being filled. So one station may order gas that’s rated as a Top Tier gasoline and those levels of detergents are added. Where the other gas station doesn’t care to pay the extra money to meet the the Top Tier certification to keep a wider margin.