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Old 02-10-2005, 08:48 PM   #1
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Question Fact or fiction- fuel injector cleaners

Hi to all,

I have a question to ask. I have always used the highest-octane gas available (without going nuts like aircraft fuel) and on a regular basis that is on every other fill up I would add a fuel additive (fuel injector cleaner).

While having some maintenance done at a local garage I explained to the mechanic that my gas pedal would stick especially on cold days. He explained that the throttle body over time gets clogged with a gummy like substance.
Sure enough, when the throttle body was opened using a mirror and light I saw this black like tar substance around the edges of where a butterfly type valve opened and closed.

After having cleaned it my gas pedal felt normal and felt a lot smoother. Now this is where it gets interesting. Upon asking him how I can avoid the build up of gum in the throttle body he told me the following.

"Get a liter of dextron III transmission fluid a put it into a full tank of gas, do not refill the tank until it is totally empty". He told me to do this every three months. My face was like after which he said he was just as surprised when he heard it from a mechanic of 15 years at the Toyota dealership where he worked previously.

He added that all of the fuel injector cleaners were made with nothing more than diesel and detergents. Effectively saying that I have been wasting my money for god knows how long. Has anyone else heard about this before?

Any and all advice is welcome.

Eric.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:14 PM   #2
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How much fuel is in your throttle body? Zero. Nada. Zip. Only air and fumes from the PCV system go through there. Its the PVC stuff that gums it up and ATF will do nothing for you there.
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:02 PM   #3
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SeaFoam....or BG44K.....will do nicely
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:53 AM   #4
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I second the BG process... I thought it would make a negligible difference in the car, but after 100k miles on the heads and a BG treatment, I was quite nicely suprised.


Brian

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Old 02-11-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
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[quote=North Ursalia]I second the BG process... I thought it would make a negligible difference in the car, but after 100k miles on the heads and a BG treatment, I was quite nicely suprised.


Brian
QUOTE]
Can someone explain the process? I'm clueless, sorry.

T.Vo
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:47 AM   #6
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Dumping a whole bottle of FI cleaner every other fill-up is a bit excessive. A bottle every 15K miles should do you fine. Chevron w/ Techron and Redline SP-1 are two products that I have experience with and recommend. Redline has a treatment regimnet where 1 oz. of SP-1 is added for every 10 gallons of fuel during each fill-up. Certainly not a whole bottle every other fill-up.

For all you Sea Foam addicts... Sea Foam is basically transmission fluid. It is a light oil with a detergent package. The detergent pack is very similar to trans fluid, though a bit more concentrated. I have heard some great stories about the stuff so I don't discount it's effectivness when dumped in straight in to the intake, but I wouldn't dump a bottle in my fuel tank (nor would I dump trans fluid into my fuel tank). I have used the BG and it also works, though I still recommend GM's Top Engine Cleaner through the intake, followed up with a bottle of Redline SP-1 in the fuel. GM Top Engine Cleaner is a very wicked product (100% VOC) and I don't recommend it be used on a regular basis... maybe every 30K miles.

A whole host of companies make throttle body or throttle plate cleaner. I like the 3M stuff because the can is able to be sprayed upside down and it is safe for coated throttle blades (many Ford's and Mazda's use coated throttle bodies). Spray down the throttle blade and throttle bore with the cleaner, let sit for a minute, and using a towel, wipe off all the varnish and carbon build-up. It's as easy as that.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Can someone explain the process? I'm clueless, sorry
The BG process is a three step cleaning procedure. A detergent is run solely though the injectors via a pressurized fuel injection cleaning device. This is to clean the injectors. Then, a detergent is poured (or sprayed, depending on if you have the apparatus to do so) directly into the intake to clean up carbon deposits in the upper intake and combustion chamber. Finally, a fuel injection cleaner is added to the fuel tank and the customer is sent on their way.

There are quite a few different way to do the BG process. Some shops only use one of the products, others do more than I have listed here. This is the process we used back when I was a tech at the Pontiac-GMC store.

Last edited by MrHorspwer; 02-11-2005 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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Smile

Heys guys!

Thank you for all the replies. I will take serious consideration of what I have read so far.

TBH I think I will be booking an appointment at the local dealership for an engine cleanup procedure or BG as the case may be. I found that the car idles a little on the rough side and takes a few cranks to turn over in the morning. I have a feeling that the previous owner of my car may have been a little negligent in his choice of fuel.

Eric.
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Old 02-11-2005, 04:56 PM   #9
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As a note, all Subaru's have a coarseness to their idle. They tend to shake a bit at idle.

If you suspect some neglict, go ahead and have the service done. Don't expect your Subaru opposed 4-cylinder to idle like a BMW though. You'll be trying to cure that idle problem for a long time.

Just trying to save you some cash.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:26 PM   #10
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Thanks MrHorspwer, I learned something today

T.Vo
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHorspwer
GM Top Engine Cleaner is a very wicked product (100% VOC) and I don't recommend it be used on a regular basis... maybe every 30K miles.
Yes! This stuff saved my engine. I was burning about 1 quart of oil every 1k miles and was looking to rebuild soon. I took my car to a guy I know who is the service manager at a saturn dealer and he put the cleaner on the pistons. 2 hours later I drove out with white smoke coming out of the exhaust and doubt in my mind. Only time would tell how wicked this stuff really was. After topping off the oil and waiting 1k miles, the time had come. I had burned less than a 1/4 of a quart. 15k miles later it has been getting progressively worse and now I'm up to 1/2 quart every 1k miles. I'll get this done again pretty soon.

On the downside, one bottle of this engine cleaner is $35 from the dealer. I'd say it's well worth the money though.
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:49 AM   #12
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oil catch can might prevent this from happening in the future.
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:47 AM   #13
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Lightbulb GM Top Engine Cleaner!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHorspwer
Dumping a whole bottle of FI cleaner every other fill-up is a bit excessive. A bottle every 15K miles should do you fine. Chevron w/ Techron and Redline SP-1 are two products that I have experience with and recommend. Redline has a treatment regimnet where 1 oz. of SP-1 is added for every 10 gallons of fuel during each fill-up. Certainly not a whole bottle every other fill-up.

For all you Sea Foam addicts... Sea Foam is basically transmission fluid. It is a light oil with a detergent package. The detergent pack is very similar to trans fluid, though a bit more concentrated. I have heard some great stories about the stuff so I don't discount it's effectivness when dumped in straight in to the intake, but I wouldn't dump a bottle in my fuel tank (nor would I dump trans fluid into my fuel tank). I have used the BG and it also works, though I still recommend GM's Top Engine Cleaner through the intake, followed up with a bottle of Redline SP-1 in the fuel. GM Top Engine Cleaner is a very wicked product (100% VOC) and I don't recommend it be used on a regular basis... maybe every 30K miles.

A whole host of companies make throttle body or throttle plate cleaner. I like the 3M stuff because the can is able to be sprayed upside down and it is safe for coated throttle blades (many Ford's and Mazda's use coated throttle bodies). Spray down the throttle blade and throttle bore with the cleaner, let sit for a minute, and using a towel, wipe off all the varnish and carbon build-up. It's as easy as that.
I used GM Top Engine Cleaner on myt 90k sunfire. It BILLOWED smoke for five minutes straight. Then I changed plugs. Idle cleaned up and fuel mileage was amazing. You will not believe how great this stuff works. I do agree, don't use it all the time, it's viscious.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:53 AM   #14
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Where can I get this GM Top Engine Cleaner?

Would it be helpful on a Subaru that has 145K miles?

I have no earthly clue if this car has never had any type of cleaning..

I did spray the intake throttle body down to clean it but thats it.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:09 PM   #15
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I use Syntec or something fuel system cleaner everytime I change my oil(4-5k) Then once a year get a pro job. But think Im gonna go the SeaFoam route this time.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:58 PM   #16
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....just a note to everyone....you should always use your fuel system cleaner BEFORE an oil change....NOT AFTER.....it can dilute and break down your oil and that is bad juju.

If you read the instructions( Who ME...read instructions????) on the Techron bottle, it says to use it right before an oil change at least it used to, anyway...
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:33 AM   #17
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Hmm dont remember that, just use it in the fuel everytime you change the oil. They have a COMPLETE system cleaner you use once a year then a regular injector typ thing your supposed to use every oil change inbetween. SO COMPLETE once a year and regular 3 other times.
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