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Need for Fuel Injector Service?

Car has ~52K, runs fine. Dealer recommends having fuel injection and throttle body service done soon at a cost of $250 plus shop supplies. Can’t find any guidance on this in the Owners Manual. I’m skeptical that we’ll see any performance difference or head off any near term problems by having this service done. Is there a standard service interval for having this service done? OR, are there definite performance indications that point to needing this service?

If it is not in the owner’s manual, skip it. Today’s gasolines have a great deal of detergent and other solvents to prevent this stuff. Our 18 year old Nissan has never had its fuel system serviced and runs just fine.

Dealer service departments have to make money and you are the source of that money, whether you need the service or not. Just Xerox the maintenance pages when you next go to the delaer, or better yet, don’t go to the dealer, but patronize a good private shop (NOT A CHAIN OR DEPARTMENT STORE).

The “standard service interval” for this is probably somewhere around 250,000 miles. If the car starts running rough it’s time to check the ignition system and the fuel system.

Absolutely not if your car is running fine, this is a dealer money injector, nothing more.

This is one of the more common types of “wallet flushes” performed by sketchy shops to fill the voids in their revenue stream in the rough economy. It is not necessary. If it were, it would be listed in the recommended maintenance schedule that came with your owners’ manual.

Gasolines today contain detergents sufficient to keep your fuel system sparkling clean as long as the vehicle is driven regularly. The gas itself is clean, and modern engines run far, far cleaner than ever, making carbon buildup in the throttle body (from the EGR system) not as pervasive a problem as it once was. At least untill the engine gets high mileage, and cleaning it now won’t prevent that.

Skip it. And skip anything else they suggest that isn’t either in your owner’s manual maintenance schedule or being recommended due to an operating problem.

Your instincts are good. If you’re not having a problem, you don’t need this at this time.

do not waste your money!

Being the odd man out as per the usual, I would agree that it may not be needed but there’s also a possibility that it could be beneficial.

Your vehicle is 5 years old with comparatively low miles. In regard to induction cleaning this type of use can often lead to deposits in the manifold, idle air passages, and the EGR passages. This problem may exist with no noticeable problems to you or computer codes.

The injector cleaning is a bit more iffy. Much depends on how they perform this process and whether it’s a can of overpriced cleaner into the fuel tank, an independent machine which flushes them on the car, or a machine that services the injectors off the car.

Sometimes a fully warmed up engine (and assuming everything is fine with the ignition and engine mechanicals) there may be a subtle vibration at idle that many people do not even notice. That can be caused by the injector spray pattern and so on. Proper cleaning may eliminate that subtle vibration.

The induction cleaning can be more critical than the injector cleaning. Whether your vehicle needs either or both of those I simply can’t say. The point about EGR passages is that many people do not notice a pre-ignition ping for whatever reason and chronic pinging can lead to engine damage. Much depends on how in tune, so to speak, the driver is with their vehicle.

I have a 2002 Town & Country with 100,000+ and have never had it done, Had a 92 Voyager with 170,000+ and never had it done. Did have to clean the throttle body throttle plate area on the 92 but used an old toothbrush, carb cleaner and rags.
If you do want it done as preventive maintenance (unnecessary in my book) go to a good independant shop with a Motorvac or similar machine and the price should be about half of that $250.

Look at many of the automotive trade rags that advertise these cleaning machines. They almost always lead with numerous bullets emphasizing “increased profits”, “turn solid profits”, “profit center”, etc.
That has to tell you something.

A++++ TO JOE… That is 100% correct !

The complaints of Idle Air Valve problems, pinging, sticky throttles, EGR faults and codes, and so on are often due to not doing the induction cleaning.

Injector cleaning can be a beneficial process depending on the process used. The best is removal of the injectors, backflushing and cleaning of the screens, and so on.

I’ve never had the injector (TBI) cleaned on my '88 Escort except for an occasional bottle of injector cleaner. It’s 24 years old has 518,600 miles, runs/idles smooth and still gets 40-45 MPG. Probably even a bottle of injector cleaner once every year or two is overkill if the car is driven daily. I use injector cleaner more in my '97 than I do in the '88, but it sits for long periods of time (often several months) between trips so sometimes when I’m going on a longer trip I pour some injector cleaner in it just in case the gas is starting to create varnish in the system it will clean it up.

I have never had it done either.

I cleaned the throttle body on my '88 Accord at ~180k miles only because the throttle was feeling sticky.
Luckily it never stuck open and failed to close.
To help keep the injectors clean I use a bottle of Chevron/Techron once a year.