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Fuel injector cleaners

metrarailmetrarail Posts: 1
edited April 1 in Mercury
Has anyone used the BG44 fuel injector cleaner? This is supposedly the best stuff, however, pretty potent.
When I first got the car, there were certain gas stations to avoid b/c it burnt sulfer smelling exhaust. I found a good station that I've been using for two years. Recently, the smell has come back. I replaced the 02 sensors and the smell is still there. I was wondering if a strong fuel injection cleaner like the BG44 can eliminate the problem.
And where is it retailed? TIA
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Comments

  • I have a 97 Merc Mountaineer V8 with about 50K miles. I recently replaced the plugs and wires because I was experiencing a knocking when the engine was cold. Once the engine warmed, the knocking was minimal or not at all. I also tried premium gas. No difference. Could the fuel injectors need cleaning? Or what? Looking for suggestions.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    My own personal opinion is that most fuel injection cleaning products and procedures is automotive VOODOO....kind of like over the counter remedies for every malady conceived of by mankind.

    I don't think a malfunctioning injector has much chance of being cleaned by most products available, as this would require an extremely potent "juice"...and even so, perhaps you've only temporarily cured the symptom, but not the cause of the injector fouling.

    Also, bad injectors usually make for a rather badly running car, quite a noticeable deterioration of performance....while not impossible, I don't think pinging would be a primary result of dirty injectors (they could, I suppose, lean out the mixture, but that defeats your report about pinging on a cold engine , when the mixture is actually richer).

    I have cured bad running cars by replacing injectors, but I've rarely seen anything cured by attempting to clean them...now and then it works, don't get me wrong, but usually the problem is a bad idle, stumbling performance, etc. not smells or pinging.

    In my humble opinion, both of you have some other problem; moreoever, I don't think any cleaner you can buy as a consumer, in a chain store, is going to work.

    FAct is, most commercial fuel injection cleaners are "maintenance" cleaners, to prevent dirt build up---they can rarely dissolve it once it forms.

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  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    The Bg product is supposed to be good and sold only via car dealers that I can see. The Chevron Techron is also good. I have used a concentrate in my 92 Camry, about an ounce every other tank or so, with 130,000 miles and have yet to have any issues with the injectors. The Amsoil PI. Does it work, I honestly do not know if it does any good. Most cleaners and additives I concur are snake oil but for some reason I keep using this one!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    AS a maintenance product, I have no problem understanding the science behind them...I use such an additive on my Mercedes diesel EVERY tankful--but as a cleaner for a totally malfunctioning injector, I am very skeptical.

    My motto is: You can't fix a car out of a can.

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  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I would have to agree with you. But every car with injectors I have had always gets a minor bout with an injector. I have always been successful getting rid of the problem with any of the basic brands as long as it says "concentrated". Believe it or not the KMart brand seems to work. Perhaps I'm lucky.

    Later
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Maybe you are...or maybe you are very tuned into your car and you caught the problem early...but really, years of varnish and deposits are incredibly tough to clean off, even with very caustic cleaners and hard rubbing or boiling or whatever. I can't imagine that some fluid in a can for $1.99, whizzing past an injector at the speed of light, is going to dislodge major deposits. It just doesn't make sense, does it?

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  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I know what you are saying. I also believe most of the stuff on auto parts shelves are "feel good" remedies. I do take good care of my cars and am very picky and this may be part of it. But I can also tell you that I had an '88 Ford(there will never be another Ford in my driveway) where the symptoms were so obvious of a malfunctioning injector I thought the cleaner was a waste of time. As I recall I used well over the recommended concentration, and used it for several tankfulls. I also used a heavy throttle foot to get more thru the injector. It did work. I do however agree with your thoughts.

    Later
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Yeah, okay, that's for that anecdote....glad you got lucky with that. My recollection of my friend's problems with his Ford Explorer injectors was that the injector completely cut out, causing a "dead cylinder". We couldn't clean it any which way, even sonically (like a jeweler cleans stones) had to remove and replace it. That fixed the problem right away, of course.

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  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    15,000 mile fuel injector cleaner that some quick lube places hook up to your car and run through the system with some sort of hose? More low cost/high profit/little benefit "maintenence" voodoo? or truly beneficial. Even my Chevy dealer did this---At the 10,ooo mile service [for 59.95]!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Sounds like dealer VOODOO, yes, but if the medicine works, I encourage people to take it, even if it is frogs legs and bat wings and magic pixie dust. I guess if your car is acting up, and nothing else has fixed it, you might as well throw away another $59 on a long bet it would cure it. Now and then I bet it does! Cheaper than 6 or 8 new injectors, is one way to look at it.

    You know, it could be just that one speck of dirt that is dislodged with hard acceleration and revving and that voodoo juice. I was more skeptical about a situation where all the injectors are really gummed up or even rusted, which can happen as well.

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  • I have tried many of the consumer "gas-treatments" and I will agree with our host, that most don't work very well.
    But, the BG products, such as 44k, which is a "concentrated" fuel system cleaner for "professional" use, is a very good product. They also make a less concentrated product which can be used more often. I immediately noticed a benefit ie smoother acceleration, after using this product in my BMW. These products are usually used by dealer mechanics for a "quick" injector cleaning. Though, not quite as effective as having the solution hooked up directly to the injector lines ie one of those expensive dealer recommended "injector cleaning" services. Some gasoline stations also sell these products, but you will probably have better luck locating them at the parts department of an auto dealer. I also use the Chevron Techron additive on a regular basis, as it is readily available (Wal-Mart).
    Vern
  • Hi,
    If using the Chevron Techron concentrate,how often would be acceptable or recommended by you folks to use this product without harming anything? I have a 99 model year vehicle and would like to use this as a maintenance feature. Thanks in advance.
    Lou
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    It would be interesting to know how many of these dealer "treatments" actually fix anything....I really don't know, but I suspect the odds of actually correcting a bad injector problem aren't very good...but as I've said, at $59 it may be worth a try even if the success rate is only 1 in 20. I just wouldn't put too much hope in it.

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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I certainly don't think it hurts to use a quality cleaner in the recommended dose immediately prior to an oil change. BG, Lubro Moly, STP, Redline and Techron all seem to offer good products. That said, if you consistently use fresh name brand fuel you will probably never have a problem. The only way to thoroughly clean injectors is to remove them and backflush them. Very few shops have this equipment available but it is the hot ticket if you want to verify that your injectors are clean and operating within specifications.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Yeah, I have watched some of these injection systems doing their thing, and I would certainly try it if I were having trouble. But over the years, I've used good gas, used an additive regularly, and religiously change fuel filters even before their maintenance time. The only injector problems I had was with an old Saab I bought, and I think I just inherited the other owner's neglect.

    That being said, I think I'd still hold to the view that no store-bought cleaner in a can is going to clean a really dirty injector....it simle isn't strong enough...you can use it for aftershave, it's soo harmless.

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  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I have a question for you concerning injectors. Should it be possible to twist injectors in their holes or are they supposed to be immoveable? Reason I ask is because I can twist the injectors on my 84 Rabbit GTI. They dont seem to be able to pull out by hand, they just twist. Keep in mind these are one of the first injection systems, not the sophisticated computer controlled ones that obviously are stuck tight in their holes. No gas is visibly leaking out of the holes, but I have recently been smelling stronger gas smells and was wondering if vapor was escaping out of the injector holes since they seem to be loose. Thanks for your insight.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    I think the GTI injectors are pull-outs with a special claw type of tool...they come out pretty easily. But really, I can't say if they should be able to rotate or not. I do recall they used to be subject to rusting.

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  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    The first Redline product I ever used was their SI-1 fuel injector cleaner.

    I used a bottle or two every year (along with a few bottles of isopropyl dry gas) as a injector-clog preventative and to keep my fuel system free of moisture. Basically, it's just insurance against the inevitable tank of bad gas we all get once in a while.

    My buddy's FI (throttle body) Rabbit was getting AWFUL mileage for a while and when he added just 1/3 of a bottle of this stuff, he gained something like 5mpg almost instantly. That showed me that at least the stuff is CAPABLE of actually doing something ... unlike some of these others which make you wonder.

    --- Bror Jace
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Redline makes a good product. I use them a lot.

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  • I used the Amsoil PI in a 80 Pontiac Sunbird with the 2.5l Iron Duke. Beforre I used it, the inside of the carb looked brownish. After using it for a few thousand miles, the inside of the carb were the gas touched was nice bright and clean. Don't lnow how it would work today or with injectors.
  • Every new car I have had in the past 10 years says in the owners manual not to use any additives in the oil or gas. It's not needed with the tech of todays gas and oils.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I still use the Amsoil PI in three cars at every tankful. All fuel injected, one a twin turbo. Highest mileage is a Toyota V6 with 132,000 starting using the PI at 1,000 miles, other a 4 cyl Ford Mystique with 58,000 miles. . So far never had an injection problem. Other two were used when purchased but seem to run fine, even the twin turbo. Does it work, I don't know but to date it has not injured anything? I guess I should stop using it on one and see if I get lower mpg or something else.

    I have used Techron on my other cars once in a while but not sure if that works either. Not had an injection problem on about 7 cars in 10 years so who knows.
  • blujeepblujeep Posts: 44
    in my '99 Grand Cherokee. After the initial dose, how often should I add the P.I. as a maintenance item? The website description says "periodically", but every tankful seems a little excessive.
    Any advice would be welcomed. :-) Thanks.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Jukeboxcarl2, what you say would be true IF there was no such thing as a bad tank of gas ... and we know THAT isn't true! >;^)

    blujeep, I would think 3-4 times per year for any decent injector cleaner would be plenty. I add about 2 ounces of Redline SI-1 once each month along with a little isopropyl drygas to keep thing clean and moisture-free.

    --- Bror Jace
  • blujeepblujeep Posts: 44
    for the reply. Sounds reasonable. :)
  • blujeepblujeep Posts: 44
    I put in the initial dose of 12 oz. (6 oz. per 10 gals.) I had a hard time getting it in tho - the neck of the bottle wouldn't open the little shut-off valve, I spilled some of it. :\

    I think in the beginning I'll add the 2 oz mtce amt every other week (about 3-4 fillups). Then I'll cut it back to once a month, then starting in Sept I'll cut it down to every 3rd month. You think that's over-kill?
  • bikybiky Posts: 20
    Hi all, I have a 1997 Jeep GC. Today I had some repairs done at the local dealership. The Service Manager suggested that it needs a Fuel Injector cleanup and Cooling System flush, each of which would cost me $80. I denied the service saying that I will get it done next time when I get it in for oil change.

    I have always been using premium grade fuel (92 octane) but the last time I had the fuel injector cleaned was at 31k when I bought the Jeep (Aug 99) and now it has 48k. From all the discussion here, it looks like I have ignored this matter for a long time. My question was... Is it required to spend $80 for the fuel injector cleanup, or can I do it with regular use of the cans which will cost me much less. I dont want to ignore or compromise, if it is required to be cleaned by the dealership. Another question, do any of the repair shops like Firestone or PepBoys do this work; if they do, they might be somewhat cheaper than the dealership.

    Final question, what does cooling system flush involve? If it is just draining the antifreeze/coolant and filling up fresh, I would prefer doing it myself and saving some bucks.

    Any suggestion regarding these would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Seems to me that if the Jeep is running fine and you're using good gas with cleaning additives, you don't need to bother cleaning the injectors.

    A cooling flush isn't a bad idea, but if your Jeep isn't high mileage or up there in age perhaps just a replacement of the coolant would be fine. You need to find a safe way to dispose of it, however. As you probably know, it is harmful to pets and the environment. I'd save frequent coolant flushes for alloy block engines or engines under severe use.

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  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Bluejeep - I think going through about 3 bottles per year using a decent cleaner is not excessive. I average just a little less than that. >:^)

    biky, I think the dealer pushes these services because they are a big money-maker. As Nigel said, most fuels don't need any additives. Pour-in injector cleaners are just insurance for the times you get old, poor-quality or contaminated fuel. Depending on where you live and which stations you frequent, this should be rare. If you're worried, try one of the better bottle cleaners out there on the market once in a while avoiding the ones with methyl alcohol (methanol) in them as they can damage your fuel system. I like Redline SI-1 myself and Chevron Techron has a good reputation but there are probably other good ones as well.

    As for the cooling system, I think your vehicle is too new for you to be worried. As long as you don't neglect your coolant to the point where it's a rusty-color, a simple coolant change (without abrasive cleansers) should be fine. If your coolant is discolored and has bits of things floating in it, CONSIDER a flush.

    --- Bror Jace
  • bikybiky Posts: 20
    Thanks a lot for your responses, MrShiftRight and Bror Jace. This will definitely be a lot of help.
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