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"Fuel System Cleaning" Service?

Hey All
I’ve got a 2006 Honda Civic Ex Coupe that I bought used about a year and a half ago. 75k, basically just been changing the oil per the maintenance minder and have had zero issues with the car so far. A local dealership is pushing a “Fuel System Cleaning Service”:

Using specialized equipment, our technician will clean the throttle body, intake valves and combustion chamber, removing carbon deposits, build-up, and debris. This can help to restore lost power & performance & reduce harmful exhaust emissions, improving fuel economy. A fuel injector cleaner is also installed into the fuel tank.

From what I’ve read on the forums/columns here, this is pretty much just a boat payment for the dealer, correct? Like I said the car runs fine - is it good practice to get this as preventative maintenance? Think they are charging around $100…

Keith in Boston

I have never paid for this service as a preventive measure. I do put in techron in my tank once per year ( $5-$7.50). Unless you have an accompanying idle or performance problem it is not needed.

Yep. Dealer’s boat payment. Nothing more needs be said.

Yes, this is something that you can do yourself with a bottle of Techron twice per year, for a net savings of…about $80.

That being said, I am a bit disturbed by the OP’s statement, “75k, basically just been changing the oil per the maintenance minder”. If oil changes are the only maintenance that you have done on this used car (with a possibly unknown maintenance history) over the past 1.5 years, then I predict that you are going to have some serious repair issues coming up in the near future.

I strongly suggest that you open your Owner’s Manual and see what services were supposed to have been performed at 60k miles. Most likely, the list includes changing every fluid and every filter, and failure to do these things is a fatal error.

Even if changing the trans fluid is not listed, that needs to be done every 3 yrs/30k miles, whichever comes first. Even if adjusting the valves is not listed, that should also be done by 60k miles, if you want to avoid very expensive engine problems in the future.

While you are looking at the maintenance list for the 60k service, do yourself a favor and take a look at the 90k service which will be coming up for you in…maybe a year or so. Don’t skip anything on that list either.

Timely maintenance is invariably cheaper than the repairs that result from lack of maintenance.

Hey VDCdriver
I guess I should clarify, when I bought the car with ~60k, almost all of the recommended 60k service items were performed. Since then I have had the transmission fluid flushed/replaced, and at my next oil change will do the same with the brake fluid. I’ll make sure I get the valves looked at as well. Thanks for your help!

How is it that all the responders who say 'always go by the mfgrs schedule ‘cause they designed and built the car’ also say ignore the mfgr’s advice but only regarding tranny fluid changes?

That’s not exactly what they’re saying. Fluid changes in excess of those recommended in the maintainence schedule are never harmful if done properly, and some here have concerns about the “lifetime nonservicable” tranny claims. Fluids lubricate, remove heat, and protect against corrosion, and fresh fluids are always better than old fluids. Changing recommended fluids before the schedule demands isn’t quite the same as not following the recommended schedule.

Personally, I have mixed emotions. I’ll always argue in favor of fresh fluids, but on the other hand I know that the overwhelming majority of people ignore their tranny servicing, and with the exception of certain trannys with known reliability problems few trannys actually fail. The car outlasts the tranny except in rare instances. I’m inclined to believe that a properly designed and manufactured tranny is capable of lasting the life of the car unless abused. I know this will generate divergent opinions, but that’s just my own belief.

I’d like to clarify my earlier comment…but cannot seem to get the “edit” button to work.

Anyway, I do not mean to suggest that if an owner’s recommended schedule says to get the tranny serviced he/she should ignore it. I’m only suggesting that I tend to have confidence that the “lifetime” trannys will really survive without servicing.