Fuel Injectors Cleaning - Worth it?

I have a 2005 Ford Taurus, 6 cylinder with 43K miles on it. At my last oil change yesterday, the service department recomended the fuel injectors be cleaned for around $90. I told them I’d think about it for the next oil change. Does anybody have opinions on whether this is worth it or not ? My wife is the primary driver of this car and she’s been mentioning that the acceleration isn’t as smooth as it was when it was new. But I’ve never had this done in any car I’ve owned before.

Does the car idle smooth? If it does, then the injectors do not need anything.
If it idles slightly rough, then it could be injectors or any one of a dozen other things.

You can do this yourself.

Purchase a can of SeaFoam engine tuneup, and on the next fill of the tank, add the can of SeaFoam to the tank. If there’s a problem with dirty injectors, this should show an improvement in performance.


Save your $90. Cleaning is a $5 bottle of fluid with $85 profit typically.

Like others have said, you can get your own fuel injector cleaner from any auto store for $7 - $8. But if the car is running well and not sucking down gas then don’t even bother. 43k is pretty low mileage to have to be worrying about this. Presumably you’re servicing your car at the dealership and they always try to upsell customers on useless stuff like that. You should find an independent mechanic to work on your car either that or just turn them down on that stupidity.

In shop fuel injection service is also called a “3-step” because many shops use the same system.
A special kit is used and that is where about half of the purchase price for the service goes.
The kit has three containers in it. One is added to the tank, and the engine is started and allowed to idle for a while. The contents of this container clean out the fuel pump, fuel tank, lines, and do some preliminary cleaning of the injectors.
While the engine is idling, the tech prepares the second step. The second container from the kit is a superconcentrated fuel injector cleaner mixed with an equivalent of gasoline. This is poured into a special flushing cylinder. Shop air is hooked up to this cylinder which pressurizes the contents. The tech stops the motor, disables the fuel pump, and removes the prime from the fuel system. Then the tech hooks up the flushing cylinder to the fuel injection system either by way of the test port or by unhooking the fuel lines and hooking the cylinder in there. Then the tech starts to motor. The mixture in the flush cylinder is capable of running the engine. This cleans the injectors.

Finally, after the flushing chemical cylinder runs empty, the fuel system is hooked back up, and the fuel pump is turned back on. Then the air induction system (the ductwork from the air source/air box/filter to the throttle body) is removed and cleaned with the spray in the third container. Then the throttle body is cleaned out with the same spray. This is the third step.

Everything’s put back together and the car is shipped (given to the customer.)

I beleive we charge more than $90 for this service where I work.

Unless your engine is idling rough, misfiring, or lacking power, I would decline the service. When you come in for your oil change, most service departments will check the entire car over (fluids, filters, brakes, tires, exhaust, suspension, check engine light, etc.). A good mechanic can do a full inspection with a LOF (lube, oil, and filter) that will turn up any work the vehicle needs in 30 minutes or less. This is standard practice and it’s a combination of looking for work (money to be made) and CYA, which is short for cover your @$$.

As I said, unless you are having problems, decline the serivce. This service was most likely suggested to you because the tech found nothing else, or because the maintenance schedule the service department has access to told them to suggest it. So, unless the vehicle is under some sort of warranty you wish to maintain that requires you do this scheduled service, you likely don’t need it at 43K miles.


Chance are you don’t need anything at all. If most people needed it, you would find it listed in the maintenance listed in the Owner’s manual.

If you really feel you should do something to fix what you can’t measure, then the SeaFoam route is a good way to go. It will also save you about $85.00

How many miles on it and have the plugs and air filter been replaced?

When my wife’s Nissan was in for service, I specifically asked my mechanic, who builds dragsters and restores old cars, if the car needed anything done to the injectors. He said no, and they have had cars in with 250,000 miles running smoothly without ever having had anything done to the injectors.

The sea foam works well with 8 gallion of gas in tank when adding it. The best cleaner i have ever used. an only $7.00

Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Perform all of the items listed there and don’t let anyone talk you into additional services that are not necessary.

The way they want to do it is environmentally unfriendly and used to be highly toxic to people if not done outside. I don’t recommend it. Sea foam has been recommended here and might be the bomb.