Fuel injectors


#1

The place where I get my oil changed offers a 90 dollar fuel injector cleaning. Can’t I get the same result with a bottle of STP gas treatment?


#2

Gasolines contain mandated levels of detergents, so unless you’ve been going to Mexico to get ultra cheap no-name crap gas, it’s probably unlikely that you even need specific injector cleaning. If there’s evidence that you do need it (poor fuel economy, poor performance, failed emissions test, smoke out the tailpipe,…) one bottle of STP or Gumout or whatever probably won’t do the job, but it won’t hurt to try it. If it seems to help, repeat until improvement stops. It won’t cost much and may help you avoid a $90 charge.

By the way, I’m suspicious of claims to run “stuff” through the injection system to clean it (and the injectors) out. The only sure-fire way to clean an injector is to pull it and mechanically clean it from the outside. That will cost a lot more than $90. If you tried the STP or Gumout or similar, and you want to try $90 on a cleaning at the quickie oil change place, be my guest. Just be aware that there’s no guarantee of success. Also keep in mind that these places (as well as dealers and garages) frequently “push” all sorts of not-really-necessary repairs and treatments. I always ask for evidence that the treatment is really necessary (e.g., show me one of my injectors and how it’s dirty). Of course, if I fail the emissions test and everything else appears to be shipshape, I’ll consent – it’s cheaper than tearing the engine apart and just might work.


#3

“Can’t I get the same result with a bottle of STP gas treatment?”

Yes, same results. And usually zero in both cases. Since there is no reason at all to suspect that your fuel injectors need cleaning, either treatment is a total waste of money. Of course, you lose less with the STP so buy a bottle today.


#4

Can’t I get the same result with a bottle of STP gas treatment?

Sure it is easy to get no reaction at all. What exactly are you expecting it to do? Fuel systems seldom need cleaning with today’s fuels.

Just skip it and remember that the next time they want to flush this or that, chances are it does not need it.


#5

Yes, you can get the same results (basically nothing) for much less than $90. There is no need to clean the fuel injectors. The gasoline you buy has fuel system detergents in it (some more than others), and under normal conditions that’s all you need.

See TopTierGas.com for information on which brands have the higher level of detergents.


#6

I don’t know about injectors, but my car “hiccoughs” especially in summer with the air conditioner running-my husband has me put in a bottle of Techron by Chevron fuel system cleaner about every 4 or 5 tanksful. It stops the hiccoughing. He also used a product called “Seafoam” put it through the air intake–the car smoked like crazy for about 15 min–then runs like a dream. It can also be put in the oil and as a gas additive, but the Techron works better as a gas additive. I now have almost 200,000 miles on my Subaru Forester and he has well over 200,00 on his Yukon.