Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Pour-in fuel system cleaners

Which ones actually work ?

STP ? Valvoline ? etc…

Which ones could potentially do harm ? Any ?

They are all unnecessary. Gasoline has fuel system detergents added by federal law, and the products you are asking about won’t do any better than pump gas at cleaning your fuel system.

I used to purchase, and add to my fuel tank, a container of Techron once a year, but I don’t bother anymore. There’s really no point.

I try to buy Top Tier gasoline whenever possible, but I don’t use pour-in fuel system cleaners anymore.

They all work if there’s a residue condition that needs tending to. However gas straight from the pump contains detergent additives that will keep a properly running fuel system clean on an ongoing basis without any additional additives. In short, they won’t make a bit of difference.

I’ve found, however, that in small engines not regularly used, like my snowblower, they really do make a difference.

None will do any harm that I’m aware of.

Can’t hurt. However I wouldn’t look for a grand improvement unless you have an older car and it in fact does have partially plugged injectors so the spray isn’t a mist of fuel. all the newer cars have injectors designed to not plug or build up residue. I’m not sure what year they started, but everything 5 years or newer won’t have that problem. I know my 1995 ford 3.8 CI engine has injectors that won’t allow deposits, so it’d be wasting my money to try to clean them. I don’t think one brand of cleaner is better than another, just read the directions on the bottle and you can’t go wrong.

I have used Sea Foam, but if you need to clean your injectors 3m has a wonderful kit.

I put in a bottle of Chevron Techron once or twice a year on my cars.

Ed B.

On my cars, I remove the injectors and bring them to someone with a special flow bench for cleaning injectors.

Every time I do this, I’m amazed at how much better each engine runs. Even on cars which are supposedly well-maintained, this will make a noticeable difference.

Most people don’t want to go to this type of expense or effort, but to me it is worth every penny.

This is the type of thing you only do once every 7-10 years.

I don’t believe that a fuel injector cleaner is nearly as effective. The only way it could hurt is if it loosens gunk from elsewhere in the system and that gunk gets stuck in the fuel injector.

Unless you have a specific problem that you think may be related to an injector, save your money.

However, and just my opinion here, the best treatment at the cheapest price is Berryman B-12 or SeaFoam. These 2 products seem to have a much better cutting action than many others. I first heard Tester mention SeaFoam on ths board some years ago but it was not distributed in this area. A few years ago it became available here and for the price, you can’t beat it.

Keep in mind that an additive is only good for cases of water contamination in the fuel tank or for clearing out gum and varnish deposits. They will do nothing to help a faulty injector, a clogged injector, or an injector that has a bad spray pattern due to a worn or distorted pintle.

Just because they sell a product does not mean you need it. I would guess 90% of the fuel cleaners sold are not needed and provide no benefit other than increased profit to the manufacturer.

Back in the 50’s they were needed far more than today. The fuels available varied a lot and not all had cleaners in it. Today that is all changed.

Poor Man’s Fuel Injector Tester:

As stated by ok4450 above, IF the problem you have can be cured by adding an injector cleaner to your fuel, give it a try. SeaFoam is my low priced choice. Miracle in a can, so to speak. I have put a can in a quarter tank of gas, and had the situation cleared up within the next ten miles.

Another good product is BG Products BG-44K. It not only cleans injectors, but carbon deposits and assorted other gunk from inside your engine. Good, but pricey. It’s only sold by shops (at about $20 a can) and at the factory (which happens to be local for me, for about half price.)

Most do NOTHING but they can’t hurt… BG 44K works, (available at NAPA stores and online) and Chevron Techron works pretty good too. They all work best when added to a tank 1/4 full or less to maintain a high concentration of cleaner.

+1 for Seafoam. I’ve good experiences with it. I used it on the old Bronco, introducing it via a vacuum line. The resulting smoke show was most impressive. It also idled a bit smoother and fuel mileage picked up by a small (but measaurable) amount. I got my $5’s worth.

TY for all the responses.

UR welcome…