Fuel injector cleaners

metrarailmetrarail Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 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


  • mclark13mclark13 Member Posts: 1
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • adc100adc100 Member 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.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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?
  • adc100adc100 Member 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.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • dweezildweezil Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • vernlewvernlew Member Posts: 87
    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).
  • loucirrus99loucirrus99 Member Posts: 5
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • div2div2 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Redline makes a good product. I use them a lot.
  • stealth1969stealth1969 Member Posts: 162
    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.
  • jukeboxcarl2jukeboxcarl2 Member Posts: 35
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 44
    for the reply. Sounds reasonable. :)
  • blujeepblujeep Member 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 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member 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 Member Posts: 20
    Thanks a lot for your responses, MrShiftRight and Bror Jace. This will definitely be a lot of help.
  • cbarnard83cbarnard83 Member Posts: 1
    My 1990 chevrolet Lumina stalls after the brakes are applied and the engine is warm. The car just shuts off after you apply the brakes when the engine is warm. I would appreciate it if someone could please help me with this problem. Other than the above problem, the car runs very good. It also passed the smog test
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    I know first hand what these are all about. The cooling system flush involves disconnecting your upper radiator hose and connecting the hose to a line that dumps the old coolant into a waste barrel. You also connect another hose to the radiator which fills the radiator with coolant. It works simply by gravity and the water pump, as the old coolant is being pumped out by the vehicle's water pump, the new coolant is being drawn in by gravity as the radiator empties. You use more coolant than the cooling system capacity to make sure that you get all of the old coolant out. I have never seen or heard of a machine that actually flushes the radiator. Yes, some have a pump on them that can reverse the flow of coolant, but why, when you get all of the coolant out anyways with a regular machine and a good "flush" additive that is added while you are doing the proceedure. Your Jeep is due for a "flush"(often misused term), it is not too early, you are *late* because you do not have extended life coolant (150,000 miles) in that vehicle. The general rule of thumb is 2 years/30,000 miles. Some jeeps, maybe yours, even recommend it at 24,000 miles. Check your owners manual for the severe service schedule. Some manufacturers say 45K the first time and 30K everytime after that. Either way, you are due. Most shops that advertise the "fuel injector cleaning" don't actually clean the injectors. Quicky lubes hook up a metered device with a strong detergent in it to the PCV line, brake booster hose, or other vaccum source and run the engine permitting the detergent to go through the upper and lower intake manifold and everywhere else that air goes after that (which doesn't include the injectors because air doesn't get mixed with fuel until the combustion chamber, after the fuel has gone through the injectors) Then they put an additive (similiar to what you buy at a gas station) in the gas tank which is *supposed* to clean the injectors.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Cbanard83, I don't think this is something that a little fuel injector cleaner will fix. I had a 1986 Escort GT which would stall every now and then for no reason but I never figured out why.

    --- Bror Jace
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Your problem could be a solenoid which locks in the torque converter on your auto trans. alcan, who posts here will probably answer this post.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    adc100 might have your diagnosis for you. Are these the symptoms?:
    - engine stalls when vehicle stopped after 5-15 minutes higher speed operation
    - engine will restart but stalls when shifted into gear
    - ok if vehicle sits for 5-10 minutes
    - may be intermittent

    These are the typical symptoms of a stuck torque converter clutch solenoid. More common with 3 speed transaxles. To diagnose, locate and disconnect the square electrical connector on the front of the transaxle. Retainer clip's usually on the bottom (naturally). Will have tan with black trace, purple, or both wires. If symptoms disappear, tcc solenoid is defective. About a $200-$250 repair job. Not recommended to leave tcc disconnected as internal transaxle damage may occur due to overheating.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    That certainly wasn't the problem with MY Ford. It would stall as I was going along and I suddenly stepped on the clutch and threw it into neutral.

    Obviously this was not a problem as I was moving ... I merely let the clutch out again and the car would run again ... although some times with a really LOUD backfire ... getting rid of the unspent fuel in the motor.

    --- Bror Jace
  • ken126ken126 Member Posts: 39
    I used STP injector cleaner in a rough idling 96 intrpeid and believe it or not, it cured the rough idling after about 200 miles......
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I recently had a car that was running rough even though it was tuned a month ago. It ran smoother on premius gasoline. I went to Jiffy Lube and had them do a multi-step fuel injector cleaner. They:

    1. Put a cleaner in the oil
    2. Put a bottle of cleaner through the vacuum hose directly into the engine, and
    3. Put a follow up bottle in the tank.

    When they did Step 2 it really stunk when it started, but was much reduced by the end of the bottle.

    I ran the tank completely empty witht he followup bootle. (Yes I had to push it to a station) and filled up with regular. It has been running smoothly since then, and passed emissions with flying colors.

    It seems good, but could I have saved a lot of money with Techron, or Syntech?
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Mr Detailer, it's hard to tell. Actually you'll never know for sure because it's impossible to set up that EXACT same condition with your car again.

    Basically, I recommend people try the easier/cheper things first. If your car begins to run rough again, I'd try the $5-10 solution first and see if that does the trick.

    --- Bror Jace
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    At least the large 15,000 ones.

    I now have proof. A few thousand miles ago I did the fancy 3 step de-carbonization procedure. I had a state emssions test. Never do it just before inspection. Let at least 3 tank fulls go by before inspection.

    My high speed CO2 was 0.00, the Idle CO2 was 0.04. The the Ultra clean California Standard is 0.05. The hydrocarbon level was 21 at 50 MPH, and 62 at idle. The inspector said that most NEW cars aren't that clean.

    I never had readings so good on this 10 year car. I compared it with last years and they were 3 times that.

    The car runs smoother and unknowingly I struck a blow for clean air.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hmm...I'm wondering if you refreshed your 02 sensor by doing all that (cleaned it up). Usually if you can't pass smog on a old car, replacing the 02 sensor will help.

    An injector will screw up smog big time if it is spitting out irregularlly, and you know, sometimes you get lucky with these treatments if you can stop the injector from dribbling or spritzing.
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Member Posts: 183
    If it was cleaned that would certainly help. But I haven't replaced it.

    I've never failed our stringent emissions tests, and fortunately have never had to go to the expensive EPA stattion. It was just that this car has never gotten such good readings.
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Member Posts: 183
    THE FTC has filed a number of suits against oil additive companies, Slick50, Prolong, Valvoline, Motorup, Duralube, and now ZMax.

    Fuel injector companies have demonstrations showing dramatic differences with both valves and pistons. Extremely dirty pistons and encrusted valves look very clean after treatment. Is this reality or garbage like most oil additives have proven to be? Does their stuff work, or is this an exaggeration?

    Buy the way I don't buy the oil companies claims that everything needed is in the gas. I did a fuel injector treatment and was able to get away from premium gasoline to the recommended regular. I generally tune this car once a year, so other factors were generally eliminated.

    IS the FTC just too busy, or is there some truth to their claims?
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    There are four main types of injectors, depending upon the gasoline you buy [different types/levels of detergents] and if you drive the dreaded 15 miles at 55mph then an hour hot soak then the same cycle again you can have severe problems with injectors [pintle type mostly].

    A 5% difference in flow from injector to injector will show up as a varying idle especially on 4 cylinder engines, 6 better, V8 best [smoothest].

    Some gasoline [Chevron] seems better at washing the baked on additives off the pintle but may be worse on build up of valve stem material.

    If the idle is not perfectly as new [assuming adequate intake/throttle cleanliness and periodic EGR valve cleaning [so it doesn't stick open a little at idle] your first area of focus is injector cleaning, however most retail products are just a concentrated form of the additives in gasoline [they are generally to weak to do much good].

    Professional pour in tank products [BG 44k] are 10 times more effective when used every 5,000 to 15,000 miles but even they cannot dissolve all the buildup from trash in gasoline which gets through fuel filter and is deposited on the individual injector filter screens. For this you must get a high pressure fuel rail treatment...running the car on a pressurized bottle of special concentrated cleaners which dissolve the varnish and allow it to pass into the injectors where it gets burned in the engine...this may tend to add build up on piston sand spark plugs so the plugs get changed and the engine gets [needs] a 15 minute high rpm stress drive.


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