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Do I need a MotorVac CarbonClean Service???

protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
edited March 25 in Mazda
My Mazda-Toyota service advisor recommends a MotorVac CarbonClean Service at 45,000 and 75,000 miles. I'm located in Lancaster, PA. and drive a mix of highway and city driving to the tune of 15,000 miles per year. I have both our families 2000 Mazda Protégé ES's serviced every 5,000 miles at this dealership. Their suggested service schedule is more aggressive/costly then my manufacture's recommended service schedule. However, I'm not against profit for the service department and have loyally adhered to their schedule. In return, they have handled several warranty issues quickly and with excellent workmanship. I also believe they were able to get couple of minor issues covered under warranty when perhaps they were pretty boderline. They have also repaired some minor things for no charge and treat me as a valued customer. I would rate this service department a 9 out of 10. Nonetheless, they claim the MotorVac system connects to your car's engine and circulates a mixture of MotorVac solution and fuel through all fuel system components. This cleaning solution removes carbon, gum and varnish from your engine-from intake to exhaust. A MotorVac CarbonClean Fuel System service:
*Restores "new car" performance
*Restores fuel economy and helps the environment by lowering your car's emission.

I don't know if it's worth the $75.00??? Sounds too much like a late night infomercial to me. What do the regulars at the Maintenance & Repair topics think? If it has some value to a good regular preventative maintenance program I'll consider it. What say ye....

Larry Kline


  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    i would have this done.price seems reasonable.this will prevent the deposits from forming in the injectors,fuel rail and on the intake valves.once the deposits really build up on the intake valves its hard to remove with chemicals.the deposits tend to lean out the fuel mixture causing all kinds of driveability problems.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I would bet they don't recommend anything until and unless a problem develops. I haven't had injector issues yet in two injectorized cars and 160,000 miles... my sister hasn't in her 60,000 miles... I just don't hear of many coworkers who have need for the service, either.

    I think it's another machine looking to clean owners' pockets of extra dirty money that accumulates when they don't spend it fast enough.

    there is a situation that develops on numerous cars with deposits on the throttle plate, where the carburetor used to be in the air intake stream. costs $40 or less to have a mechanic clean the throttle plate when and if your accelerator starts sticking. I may need to have that done before winter on mine, and that will be a first for me.

    save your money for something nice.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    No recommendation in the owners manual. I was thinking that the trend among car manufactures is to limit the cost of scheduled maintenance to present their vehicles as low cost to maintain. For instance 7,500 oil change intervals, etc.

     BTW, my service manager at Lancaster Toyota-Mazda asked me to initial a refusal endorsement on my last service report. Because I turned down their MotorVac CarbonClean service and their Enviro Engine LifeGuard Sludge-Out System service after my 45,000 mile service. Jeeze,....

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    If the manufacturer, in their "cover your butt" attitude doesn't say you need it, then you don't.

    Think about it - just like signing the form saying "I don't want an extended warranty" is a sales tactic, through intimidation and the "what if" fear, so is signing the declination about those services.

    Taking experience from the area of law I work in, it would benefit manufacturers to ADD to recommended maintenance, since if an owner didn't do the right thing, it would be easier to deny a warranty claim.

    It is simply a method for dealer profit - take it from a former service advisor/service manager.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Swschrad, Vidtech and Zueslewis your are very kind to take the time to respond to my maintenance question.

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I live in Lansdale, PA (just ENE of you) and see a lot of dealership service departments in my daily job travels. It amazes me how different service selling (and all the BS) is up here versus where I'm originally from (Texas).

    Back home, they usually don't try to pull this stuff on you.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    I hear you Zues and as I said before, I'm not against the service department making a profit. My service advisor has treated me well to this point and I was amazed when they started pushing the Sludge Out Service for $89.00 and the Fuel System Service for $79.00. What got me thinking about MotorVac CarbonClean Service was the brochure they give you. Pretty convincing, "The Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA) a Washington, D.C. - based trade association recommends a fuel cleaning service every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. For more information, visit us on the Internet at or ask your technician."
    -MotorVac Technologies, Inc.

    The "STOP - Putting Clean Oil in Your Dirty Engine! Power-Flush your Engine Clean With The Envirolution Engine Life-Guard System" is only recommended by MotorWeek, lol!!!! I guess the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA) of Washington, D.C. has not approved the Envirolution Engine Life-Guard sludge out system yet!

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    really scares me.

    Question - once the gunk is cleaned off your engine's parts, where does the gunk go? Either to your oil pump screen, effectively slowing or shutting down oil flow, or into your filter, clogging it.

    Either condition can and will kill your motor - and a shop is pushing this stuff.

    I had a private warranty company adjuster jump all over my service director at the Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler store I worked at a couple of years ago.

    My director wanted to introduce BG engine flush and fuel flush services, for profit reasons.

    The warranty adjuster told us the fuel cleaner was OK, but unnecessary and he would NEVER COVER ANOTHER engine job at out store again if we used the engine sludge cleaner.
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    i like the fuel system service(maybe not that often)but i would stay clear of any engine or transmission "flush".
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there is a reason they put ethanol, detergents, and the like in gasoline, you know... to keep gunk from settling out as much as possible.

    you'll take care of the rest by regularly changing your fuel filter on or before scheduled mileages as detailed in your owners' manual.

    I just plain don't know anybody who has had a clogged injector. all sales pitch and no threat.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    fail or go intermittent (due to electrical reasons), but I've never seen one clogged.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    recommends a fuel cleaning service every 15,000 to 18,000 miles.
    I have a hard time believing any reputable organiztaion would recommend injection cleaning every 15,000-18,000 miles.
    For one, it is cost prohibitive. For another, it is absurd.
    Now, if they had said injection service at time of spark plug change, now we are being more realistic.

    It is amazing that some of these "organizations" make these recommendations. Most of these recommendations aren't even close to what the manufacturer's recommendations are. Seems to me that their recommendations may be financially tainted.

    I do believe in injection cleaning. That being said, if you are using a brand name, such as Chevron with Techron, you are running a detergent through your injectors continually.

    As for the engine flushes. I have pretty much made it clear where I stand on those.
    Can you say "save your money"?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Injectors usually fail from wearing out over time, not from clogging, unless perhaps it's a rare case of some bad bad fuel or something.

    Of course a "trade association" is going to recommend service products--they are hardly "disinterested" parties.

    I just can't think of what this service is trying to accomplish exactly. It seems to be aiming at a problem so statistically unlikely that it isn't worth doing for 99.9% of drivers. You can wear a helmet while typing and you may indeed fall out of your chair, but you know, what are the odds here?


  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    depends on the source... ;)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    while posting on Edmunds, so next to my chair sits my new HJC CJ-12 black full face helmet, just in case.....
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    what color is it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I've seen RUSTED injectors, and very old sticking injectors, but I can't recall ever seeing a clogged injector on a low mileage car. Electronic issues YES but not clogging.


  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    From Lancaster Toyota-Mazda Premier Value Service Brochure:

    Motorvac Service now $98.50
    "The fuel injectors spray fuel into the engine through a nozzle with tiny holes the size of a human hair. When the nozzle slowly build up deposits (apparently at 45,000 and 75,000 miles per the service manager at LTM) the holes become restricted and are no longer able to create the mist of fuel needed for proper combustion. This decrease in performance over time is so gradual that many owners are amazed how much better their vehicle runs after a complete engine decarboning and fuel injector cleaning. We use a highly specialized top engine cleaning procedure using the MotorVac machine that not only cleans the injectors, but also removes carbon from the intake and combustion chambers as well."

    If you clean up carbon what color is it? Perhaps, it appears GREEN$$$ to the service department?
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    If you are concerned about carbon, then here is a product that you can use yourself.
    GM Top Engine Cleaner. It is about $20 and if you follow the directions to the letter, it will do just as well as what they are talking about.
    There are also kits, like this one and uses this cleaner solution.
    For less than the cost of them doing the flush once, you can have the tool to do the flush any time.
This discussion has been closed.