is periodic fuel injector cleaner really needed

ken_in_kcAugust 18, 2009

I typically never use fuel injector cleaner additives other than once every decade or so. Most of the gas around here is name brand, which should have some additives in it. I ask as an injector apparently went bad on my daughters car. But we're talkin' about a 17 year old car with 150K miles on it. So might be a case of age rather than gummed up injectors. Or maybe both?

So is it a good idea to dump in some cleaner ever X number of months or is it not needed unless a problem is suspected? I suspect there is no good answer, only opinions.

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Generally speaking, no. There shouldn't be much difference in gas you use either. They are required to have pretty much the same additives.

Now, having said that, I'll share an experience of mine. A few years ago our '98 Durango dropped a cylinder. It had a stuck injector. I dumped a bottle of techrolene in the tank at fill up and it ran fine. Next fill up, it dropped a cylinder again so I dumped in another. Cleared up again. Next fill up, dropped the cylinder again so I ordered an injector and dumped in another bottle of cleaner. Of coarse after I purchased the new injector, never installed it, it hasn't dropped a cylinder since. Got it in my tool box just in case, but it's been years now.

So, if you want to in the name of preventative maintainence, you can dump one in when you change oil, or once a year or whatever you want. If something comes up like on your daughters car, you can do what I did and see if the problem goes away. Don't be surprised if it doesn't though. There's no such thing as a mechanic in a can. If an injector is just sticking little, the additive could very well take care of it. If there's something wrong with it, it won't do anything. I was just lucky. Would have been luckier if the problem cleared up for good before I purchased the injector. jmo

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 12:35AM
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The better fuels have better cleaners in them, however all fuels are required to have some.

I use an injector cleaner at least once a year in each vehicle I own. Normal addition occurs when an opportunity to take an extended trip with that vehicle occurs, but that is not a requirement. My cleaner of choice is Chevron Techron.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 8:47AM
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Thanks guys. I've heard the Chevron Techron is a good choice. In this case, the car wouldn't start after sitting about 3 weeks. As they say - "long story short" - friend of a friend looked at the car and suggested a bad injector would cause a 4 cylinder engine not to start. I replaced one of the injectors and it started right up.

I think I'll dump in a bottle of injector cleaner every year just to help prevent problems.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:00AM
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