How often do you use fuel injector cleaner?

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,718
877
126
Usually I get about 280 miles on a tank (~11 gal) but recently it dropped below 250, that seems more than what cold weather does. I made sure to pump up my tires. So I figured I would try some fuel injector cleaner. I've heard some say that it's completely useless.
 

jagec

Lifer
Apr 30, 2004
24,442
6
81
Never. I just use decent gasoline. Injector cleaner CAN help sometimes, but it's no panacea.

It's not so much cold weather as winter formula gas...everyone's mileage drops.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
642
126
Store bought stuff is, for the most part completely useless. Put some in if it makes you feel better. Someone's going to jump in here and tell us about the wonderful things it's done for them. Bah.

I don't see how anyone can duplicate their mileage tank after tank.

It's not just cold weather another contributing factor is you're burning gasoline formulated for cold weather. Edit: jagec beat me to it.

Run a few more tankfuls through before getting concerned.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,377
126
Changing your fuel filter is more likely to show an improvement than using FI cleaner. That said, I see nothing with throwing down a decent bottle every 20k miles or so.

If you think your fuel system stays clean indefinitely, you've obviously never seen an old fuel tank opened up, or cut an old fuel filter in half. It's astonishing how much crud accumulates.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,377
126
I think it's common sense that at some point, there will be some build-up of deposits in the various stages of the fuel delivery system. A quick google search reveals that even Ford Motorcraft offers their own recommended fuel injector cleaning products.
 

nismotigerwvu

Golden Member
May 13, 2004
1,568
33
91
Not a FI cleaner per se...i seafoam my motor once a year...1/3rd in the tank, 1/3rd in the crank, 1/3 in the vac line....idle for 20 mins, change the oil and bam....carbon cleaning done right (or at least as right as you can for the time/money involved
 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,149
57
91
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Never. I'll get a fuel injector cleaning when the manufacturer recommends it.
Lots of them don't recommend them in their maintenance schedules at all.

They also don't tell you when to replace your brake pads, or how long it takes for your air filter to get dirty.

The fact of the matter is, injectors get dirty. If you've ever seen one out of a car with lots of mileage, or flow tested injectors and seen how much less old dirty ones flow than new ones, you'd know injectors need cleaning.
Now, will the car still run without cleaning injectors? Yep. It'll also run 80k miles on your factory oil if you choose not to change it. Seen that many times. I'm also sure that those engines were not running at peak efficiency, and hadn't been for quite some time. Same as an engine with dirty injectors.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
642
126
Originally posted by: Pacfanweb
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Never. I'll get a fuel injector cleaning when the manufacturer recommends it.
Lots of them don't recommend them in their maintenance schedules at all.

They also don't tell you when to replace your brake pads, or how long it takes for your air filter to get dirty.

The fact of the matter is, injectors get dirty. If you've ever seen one out of a car with lots of mileage, or flow tested injectors and seen how much less old dirty ones flow than new ones, you'd know injectors need cleaning.
Now, will the car still run without cleaning injectors? Yep. It'll also run 80k miles on your factory oil if you choose not to change it. Seen that many times. I'm also sure that those engines were not running at peak efficiency, and hadn't been for quite some time. Same as an engine with dirty injectors.

OK, you've made a case for dirty injectors. A good one, and I'll buy into it in it's entirety.

Now make a case for fuel injector cleaner that you can buy at an auto parts store, wally world or similar.

 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,149
57
91
Originally posted by: boomerang
Originally posted by: Pacfanweb
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Never. I'll get a fuel injector cleaning when the manufacturer recommends it.
Lots of them don't recommend them in their maintenance schedules at all.

They also don't tell you when to replace your brake pads, or how long it takes for your air filter to get dirty.

The fact of the matter is, injectors get dirty. If you've ever seen one out of a car with lots of mileage, or flow tested injectors and seen how much less old dirty ones flow than new ones, you'd know injectors need cleaning.
Now, will the car still run without cleaning injectors? Yep. It'll also run 80k miles on your factory oil if you choose not to change it. Seen that many times. I'm also sure that those engines were not running at peak efficiency, and hadn't been for quite some time. Same as an engine with dirty injectors.

OK, you've made a case for dirty injectors. A good one, and I'll buy into it in it's entirety.

Now make a case for fuel injector cleaner that you can buy at an auto parts store, wally world or similar.
Sorry, can't do that, but I do recommend BG products. Lots of dealerships sell them, and I'd guess they are sold elsewhere, too.
BG 44K is a very good in-tank additive.
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
3,432
3
81
honestly i've used BG 44k from the dealership all the time. each and every tank. i would see 1-3 mpg diffrence but then again that can be any given thing. car idling a little longer, more traffic and etc.

car doesn't run any smoother then normal. But it makes me feel good that i'm putting it in there. Thinking i'm aleast trying.

I'm going to start another 4-6 month data log now with Lucas fuel stuff. Kinda hard to do winter with random snow, warm ups.

My car 98 maxima GLE auto i think is rated at 21/28. I've gotten 21-22 on average and then when i started to use 44k i would get 21-25mpg but like i said its argueable cause i did a lot of highway driving and pending on traffic i would take more highway then local. But this was completely thru-out the year. Now this year i ran nothing because no more dealership hook up. i've gotten 19-21 but i've cut down a lot on driving highway. I'll see with lucas if i can get back to a 25mpg. Because w.o it i've never seen or came close. If i hit 25 then i would say it MIGHT be worth it. $5 every extra fill up is about 1.3 gals of gas, 1.3 x 19mpg is 24.7 miles, it doesn't exactly make sense so to speak. either way i spend the same amount of $$$ but this way i feel as i make an attempt to clean stuff out...
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
3,432
3
81
i used to think so. At times my recpeits show no change and times it did. I keep track of my MPG no matter what that those are just numbers that i've seen. i fill up once a week and those are my numbers. Not what i think i'm getting but real numbers. Miles driven/ miles filled over the past 1.5 years.
 

woodie1

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2000
5,947
0
0
Maybe ten years back I would use some sort of injector cleaner occasionally but haven't in recent history.
 

Gamingphreek

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
11,679
0
81
BG 44K is the only thing I will put extra in my tank. My Uncle, an ex-Master-Mechanic of 18 years was the one who told me about it. The only downside, the stuff is about $20/can. But you only need to use it once a year or so.

-Kevin
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,393
1,025
126
marvel mystery oil works really well. we run a quart to 100 gallons of fuel ( full tanks) and a quart in the oil when the mileage gets down to around 8 in our box truck running a 7.3l v8 International. the gas mileage jumps right back up to 10.7 mpg. I also run half a pint in the oil and gas of my car every once in a while. seems to help keep the mileage up, run smoother. cant be bad, seeing as it does help the truck out so much.
 

zixxer

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2001
7,326
0
0
Even though almost all fuel cleaners are bogus I still swear by the chevron w/ techron stuff... I buy it at costco.

Also, seafoam through the brake booster vacuum lines works really well too - but it'll smoke for a min or so!
 

SVT Cobra

Lifer
Mar 29, 2005
13,264
2
0
ROFL I am surprised all of AT did not know this already.

ALL FI cleaners sold are BOGUS. All, even regular unleaded gasoline, have detergents in them that keep the fuel injector clean. That is the truth, anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is misinformed, or is working for STP.

Anyway OP it is the winter additives that are in the gas that is why you are getting worse mileage. That and colder denser air requires more fuel.


Anyway you can change your fuel filter and manually clean your FI at the required intervals...

As for the guy saying when he added the FI cleaner he got better gas mileage...thats because more FI cleaners have added octane in them.
 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,149
57
91
Originally posted by: SVT Cobra
ROFL I am surprised all of AT did not know this already.

ALL FI cleaners sold are BOGUS. All, even regular unleaded gasoline, have detergents in them that keep the fuel injector clean. That is the truth, anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is misinformed, or is working for STP.

Anyway OP it is the winter additives that are in the gas that is why you are getting worse mileage. That and colder denser air requires more fuel.


Anyway you can change your fuel filter and manually clean your FI at the required intervals...

As for the guy saying when he added the FI cleaner he got better gas mileage...thats because more FI cleaners have added octane in them.
Dude, your post is almost completely wrong. True, most of the crap you buy at Pep Boys or Autozone is no good.
And true, all gas has detergents.

But wrong, it does NOT keep the engine totally clean and carbon/deposit-free....otherwise, why do cars have a fuel filter? And the fuel filter doesn't catch everything.

Cleaner raises octane, which increases gas mileage? Talk about BOGUS. If that was the case, why shouldn't everyone use premium gas? Higher octane does NOT increase gas mileage.

I, and thousands of other mechanics, have seen firsthand the results of injector flow test both before and after cleanings. We have also seen factory bulletins over the years that INSTRUCT you to clean the injectors/decarbon the engine...for idle problems, mileage, power, starting, detonation, etc.

If gas was so great at keeping engines clean, why do they get carboned up? Why do injectors get dirty and cause problems? If you had ever worked on cars for a living, you would have torn down and seen torn down numerous engines that had lots of carbon on the valves in less than 30k miles, and yes, using today's detergent-enriched gas.

Damn, I thought you had more sense than this.

BG 44k is GREAT stuff. BG also makes the injector and air intake cleaning solutions that the majority of dealerships and shops around here use.
A can of 44K in the tank can absolutely make a difference in your overall performance, if your car is in need of a cleaning. It is best done with an injector cleaning, but it can be used separately.
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
3,432
3
81
everyone is going to have their own opinion on this. its the same with everything like which wax is better, ATI or nvivida, intel or amd. same with octane. I know certain people with FI/ high performance cars that need 93 octane but swear its the same as 87.


At the price of say $5 a bottle of stuff, give it a try its not like a $100 per bottle type thing. Its not going to cost you a fortune. Consider it as a lessoned learned if you want to continue to use it or not.

And if you was refering to me about the gain in my MPG, i stated that it could of been my driving and etc. I admit there is not telling what a bottle of that stuff does. Hell it might just give it 12oz of extra stuff to burn and give me .2 MPG off that alone...

 

SVT Cobra

Lifer
Mar 29, 2005
13,264
2
0
Originally posted by: Pacfanweb
Originally posted by: SVT Cobra
ROFL I am surprised all of AT did not know this already.

ALL FI cleaners sold are BOGUS. All, even regular unleaded gasoline, have detergents in them that keep the fuel injector clean. That is the truth, anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is misinformed, or is working for STP.

Anyway OP it is the winter additives that are in the gas that is why you are getting worse mileage. That and colder denser air requires more fuel.


Anyway you can change your fuel filter and manually clean your FI at the required intervals...

As for the guy saying when he added the FI cleaner he got better gas mileage...thats because more FI cleaners have added octane in them.
Dude, your post is almost completely wrong. True, most of the crap you buy at Pep Boys or Autozone is no good.
And true, all gas has detergents.

But wrong, it does NOT keep the engine totally clean and carbon/deposit-free....otherwise, why do cars have a fuel filter? And the fuel filter doesn't catch everything.

Cleaner raises octane, which increases gas mileage? Talk about BOGUS. If that was the case, why shouldn't everyone use premium gas? Higher octane does NOT increase gas mileage.

I, and thousands of other mechanics, have seen firsthand the results of injector flow test both before and after cleanings. We have also seen factory bulletins over the years that INSTRUCT you to clean the injectors/decarbon the engine...for idle problems, mileage, power, starting, detonation, etc.

If gas was so great at keeping engines clean, why do they get carboned up? Why do injectors get dirty and cause problems? If you had ever worked on cars for a living, you would have torn down and seen torn down numerous engines that had lots of carbon on the valves in less than 30k miles, and yes, using today's detergent-enriched gas.

Damn, I thought you had more sense than this.

BG 44k is GREAT stuff. BG also makes the injector and air intake cleaning solutions that the majority of dealerships and shops around here use.
A can of 44K in the tank can absolutely make a difference in your overall performance, if your car is in need of a cleaning. It is best done with an injector cleaning, but it can be used separately.

Except for...hmmm let me see here, the thousands of websites out there that agtee with me...go to SVTPerformance or corvette forums and they'll laugh at you.
 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,149
57
91
Originally posted by: SVT Cobra
Originally posted by: Pacfanweb
Originally posted by: SVT Cobra
ROFL I am surprised all of AT did not know this already.

ALL FI cleaners sold are BOGUS. All, even regular unleaded gasoline, have detergents in them that keep the fuel injector clean. That is the truth, anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is misinformed, or is working for STP.

Anyway OP it is the winter additives that are in the gas that is why you are getting worse mileage. That and colder denser air requires more fuel.


Anyway you can change your fuel filter and manually clean your FI at the required intervals...

As for the guy saying when he added the FI cleaner he got better gas mileage...thats because more FI cleaners have added octane in them.
Dude, your post is almost completely wrong. True, most of the crap you buy at Pep Boys or Autozone is no good.
And true, all gas has detergents.

But wrong, it does NOT keep the engine totally clean and carbon/deposit-free....otherwise, why do cars have a fuel filter? And the fuel filter doesn't catch everything.

Cleaner raises octane, which increases gas mileage? Talk about BOGUS. If that was the case, why shouldn't everyone use premium gas? Higher octane does NOT increase gas mileage.

I, and thousands of other mechanics, have seen firsthand the results of injector flow test both before and after cleanings. We have also seen factory bulletins over the years that INSTRUCT you to clean the injectors/decarbon the engine...for idle problems, mileage, power, starting, detonation, etc.

If gas was so great at keeping engines clean, why do they get carboned up? Why do injectors get dirty and cause problems? If you had ever worked on cars for a living, you would have torn down and seen torn down numerous engines that had lots of carbon on the valves in less than 30k miles, and yes, using today's detergent-enriched gas.

Damn, I thought you had more sense than this.

BG 44k is GREAT stuff. BG also makes the injector and air intake cleaning solutions that the majority of dealerships and shops around here use.
A can of 44K in the tank can absolutely make a difference in your overall performance, if your car is in need of a cleaning. It is best done with an injector cleaning, but it can be used separately.

Except for...hmmm let me see here, the thousands of websites out there that agtee with me...go to SVTPerformance or corvette forums and they'll laugh at you.
I prefer to fall back on my Ford, ASE and CC certifications and degree that tell me otherwise.
And there are not "thousands" of websites that agree with you....and even if there was, there'd be the same number that don't agree with you....so that's a wash.

Ford makes injector cleaner. I wonder why, since SVT and Corvette forums say there's no reason to do it....surely they know more than any engineer at Ford, GM, or any other manufacturer knows, right?
I'm sure the Car and Driver reading, "I change my own oil and belong to the SVT forum, so I know more about cars than anyone who actually repairs them for a living" types are much more knowledgeable about these things than a professional tech or engineers. "But...but...but....I can quote you the 0-60 times of every Vette made since 1957!!" Yeah, right. "But I installed my own K&N air filter....it really made a difference in power...I can FEEL it!!" Uh huh.

I'll reiterate....the crap you buy at the parts stores...almost all useless. The stuff you get at more serious auto places, like dealerships or repair shops...such as BG products and Chevron.....good stuff that definitely helps. Again...I am not pushing or recommending the over the counter crap at Advance Auto parts.

But to say that the detergents in gas clean all there is to be cleaned.....that is a complete load of B.S. Anyone who says that is simply showing their ignorance and inexperience about this subject. They've obviously never torn down a engine and seen carbon build-up firsthand, or actually performed and injector flow test and seen the difference a cleaning makes.

Edit:
Ha ha....I actually just did a Google search for "injector clean not necessary" to see if there really were that many idiots that didn't know what they were talking about, and the whole first page was nothing but why you SHOULD clean them, and how to test them.
So much for your "thousands" of sites.