Maybe a more general question not necessarily related to my RAV4, but with 45K miles on it, my mechanic (not Toyota) has been recommending a “fuel system service”, described as a cleaning of all the components to improve mileage and performance (quoted at $109.95). I had discounted this advice as there is nothing in the recommended maintenance manual suggesting this should be done. Then I got a promotional coupon from my Toyota dealer to have this same service done. My sense is that this “cleaning” does nothing to enhance the car’s mileage or performance, but is simply a revenue enhancer for the shops. Incidentally, my car runs just fine, gets the EPA mileage, and has no dashboard warning lights. I use 87 octane gas, always major brands. Am I off base in my thinking?
" Am I off base in my thinking? "
No, You nailed it !
Want A Shiny Clean Fuel System ?
Buy A Bottle Of Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner At An Auto Parts Store And Do It Yourself.
Follow The Directions On The Bottle, Remove The Gas Cap, Pour In Proper Amount, Replace Cap.
Now, take the extra 100 bucks and get yourself something nice.
Put that $100 towards motor oil, brake and trans fluid changes, maybe a thermostat every 5 years.
There are good cleaning kits out there, my favorite by 3m, but cleaning should be done as a diagnosis of need rather than a possibly useless pre-emptive out of pocket cost. If you have noticed a drop in fuel mileage It MIGHT need it, but try sea foam first, then go for the big bucks.
ONLY DO A FUEL SYSTEM CLEANING IF A PLUGGED/RESTRICTED INJECTOR IS DIAGNOSED.
TO BE EVEN MORE SPECIFIC, ONLY DO IT IF YOU HAVE A MISFIRE AND/OR LEAN CODES AND A RESTRICTED INJECTOR IS DIAGNOSED.
We drove a Nissan Sentra for 18 years and used the “fuel system cleaner” exactly 3 times, at about $9 per bottle. Not that it needed it, but just as a preventive measure.
If you read the containers, it will likely say to use it once a month or so; total overkill.
Today’s gasolines have plenty of cleaner in them already.
The fuel system cleaning being recommended by your dealer is designed to prevent deposits in your bank account. The dealer want your deposits in HIS bank account.
IF you should ever have a difficult operating problem that you suspect might be fuel related, THEN you can try a bottle of additive from the parts store. But with today’s detergent gasolines, you’re unlikely to even need THAT.