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Fuel and Oil Additives

I didn't see a thread about fuel and oil additives (you know that huge shelf at the wal-mart with like 200 brands claiming to clean and stop leaks). Anyhow, to introduce myself, I have a 1994 Chevrolet Z71 extended cab with the 5.7 liter engine. I am experiencing some hesitation starting off in the 0 to 1000 RPM range and I was just wondering if anyone had any particular experience with some of the fuel injection cleaners like STP and the like.

Anyhow you are all welcome to post any pros and cons that you may have had with all those aftermarket additives.

Keep is rubber side down!!! :)
Swoosh Man
«13456726

Comments

  • to my gas tank every 3000 miles, but I'm not sure if it needs to be done so often. Does anyone know if fuel additives really keep intake valves and injectors clean?

    Is good quality gas enough?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    The same additives are already put in gasoline.

    The oil companies also say nothing more is needed.

    Some of those same companies also sell gasoline additives.

    Those pictures of cleaned up engines seem too good to be true.

    FTC sued companies for oil additives not living up to representations.

    Didn't sue any Gasoline Additive companies. Most made both oil and Gas Additives.

    Fuel injection repairs are expensive.

    Additives are cheap.

    I personally use them. I also do a 3 stage fuel injector cleaner every 15,000 miles. I had a car that needed premium until I got the big treatment. Now it uses regular.

    I like them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'm very dubious about over-the-counter additives you buy at 7-11. Personally, I only trust industrial grade additives that take off skin and paint and cause birds to drop out of trees when you open the top. They aren't easy to find and they are expensive, but they work.

    I think most off the shelf additives are harmless and just duplicate (if that) additives already in your fuel.
  • A local Texaco station sells 110 octane Union 76 racing gasoline. Of course it's for "off-road" use only.

    A friend told me that this gasoline gets its high octane rating from nitro-methane. Is that true?

    If a couple of gallons of this gasoline happen to get into my Chevy, will it clean the intake valves or will it damage the engine? It costs $3.50 a gallon. It sounds expensive, but it's alot less than $6.00 for a bottle of Techron concentrate, if it works.
  • mrdetailer,

    What is a 3 stage fuel injector cleaner and how does it work?

    Mr. Shifty,

    Who sells the industrial grade additives? Which brand do you use?
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Posts: 207
    Techron injector cleaner seems to make an improvement. I add a bottle at each oil change.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    This is done by professionals. I have had my mechanics to it for $100.00, and Jiffy Lube for about $40.00. They seem to perform about the same. This is done at the same time as the oil is changed.

    1. A cleaner is put into the oil.
    2. A large bottle is added to the fuel injection system through the vacuum hose while the engine is running.
    3. Another bottle is placed in the gas tank.

    Stage 2 is obviously some serious stuff. The workers use gloves safety glasses, and a fume mask when they put it in the bottle. As it runs into the vacuum hose it really stinks while it is cleaning out the carbon. I did 2 this year. One was bad and the bottle was almost gone before the carbon smell went away. The other smelled much better about half way through.

    On the car that was bad, I had to use premium gas for a smooth ride, even though I get a tuneup yearly. After the treatment it has been running great on regular.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    The higher the octane the slower the burn is in the cylinder. People using higher octane than needed are simply throwing their money away. I wish they could throw some my way. The only time you should use it is if your car is "knocking" And then you should get that looked at because your timing may be out of spec. High octane could in fact cause more carbon in your car and less power because it could burn after the optimum time for it to deliver it's max power. Oh well, the gas companies need the extra cash.
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    Get yourself one of these and quit foolin' around:


    http://www.allstates.com/injector.html

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    "iondustrial" Injector cleaner:

    I'll have to check the label...I buy it from my friend who runs a Porsche repair shop and he usually dumps it in for me because I don't even want to be near it (he doesn't either, but he's careful). But I had a bad injector acting up on my Benz diesel and it fixed the problem completely in about 25 miles.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    As has been said before, MOST of the cleaners a fuel system needs are already included in the gasoline. BUT, we all get a tank or two of bad gasoline once in a while so using a couple bottles of an injector cleaner each year isn't a bad idea. It's cheap insurance. Just be sure to use a good one.

    Chevron Techron is good but over-use of this stuff can foul your engine oil. Chevron recommends this stuff be used a couple weeks before your next oil change just to be safe.

    I've had great results with Redline SI-1. I gave a third of a bottle to my buddy whose throttle-body-injected 1981 VW Rabbit was getting a miserable 24mpg and in one tankful, he was back over 30mpg. Zoinks!

    Just beware of all the glitzy junk out there. Putting mediocre cleaners or cheap alcohols in a flashy bottle and charging $5-10 seems to be a fad these days. Don't buy into it!

    I also like to use a little isopropyl alcohol now and then to keep my fuel system moisture free. Just be sure to avoid anything with "methanol" in it. That stuff is so corrosive, it shouldn't even be on the shelves anymore!

    --- Bror Jace
  • ygriegaygriega Posts: 18
    For what it's worth: I've been using STP Concentrated fuel injector cleaner for the last 10 years at every oil change (3K miles) on new Ford cars and trucks and have not had any clogged injectors nor any fuel system problems. Maybe it works--maybe it doesn't, but it hasn't caused any problems at all.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Step #2 does nothing to clean your injectors. It is introduced to your engine through a vacuum source and only cleans the oooey gooey stuff from the crankcase that gets inside of the intake manifold via the PCV valve; it also cleans the combustion chambers, catalytic converter, and oxygen sensor. Fuel goes through injectors, not air, therefore the intake cleaner doesn't pass through the injectors at all. The stuff they add to the tank of gas is what is supposed to clean the injectors. How do I know this? I work at Jiffy Lube now, unfortunately.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I sort of agree. I'm not as religious as you. I use the stuff-concentrated-although not necessarily STP (who knows what concentrated means).
  • john319john319 Posts: 37
    If so can you tell me where the pcv valve is located on a 99 Lexus ES300
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    it should be on the valve cover closest to the firewall.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Not sure if (like any fuel additive) it works but the PI is a concentrate. On my Camry with 135,000 miles I squirt an ounce in at every tankful since car was new. So, I cannot say whether it has made any diff, no injector issues yet. Also do the same to two other cars and no injector issues as yet. But, to the cars I do not treat, or do once every few months there are no issues either. SO, I am probably wasting $$$ but.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    Octane usually depends on compression ratio more than anything else. A high-compression engine will develop more horsepower, but will also be prone to early detonation of fuel because the greater squeezing of the air/fuel mixture heats it up to the explosion point.

    The higher the octane, the more resistant it is to early detonation. There is no more energy in higher octane gas. You won't get any more power from racing fuel than whatever your car manual says to use. In any event, always go with the lowest octane gas you can use that doesn't ping your engine.
  • ekingaraekingara Posts: 1
    I own a '95 Chrysler, Cirrus Lxi. My power antennae broke; I bought one from the dealer, and tried to replace it myself to avoid picking the $70 tab. I accidentally opened the motor that operates the antennae, and not only did the antennae and radio stop working, but the central locking/alarm system went dead!

    The motor is making a soft whining noise, and I believe that someone who is good with motors can help me out; there are two small springs which I think I have replaced wrongly, inside two trough-like silver pieces that are on one side of the motor. The motor is whining slowly until I join the motor (plus supporting antennae) to the side supports, and it stops dead. I know that if I put back the small pieces of the motor back, I will avoid going to the dealer, this time for a $700 tab! Help, anyone?
  • john319john319 Posts: 37
    you're in the wrong topic.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    I dunno, may if he uses a little fuel additive, that just might fix it. Can't hurt to try. How about it, ekingara?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You should start a New Discussion, creating a new header that is something like "Power Antenna Problems" and then give all the details just as you did here...you could cut and paste your comments before you return to the discussion list page for this board (there's a TAB at the top of the discussion list page that you click to start a new discussion).

    To get to the discussion list page, click on the hot link "Maintenance and Repair" at the top of this page. Then look for the tab that says "Add Discussion"


    Mr.Shiftright
    Host
    Repair and Maintenance Message Board
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Just curious, any one ever use kerosene as an additive ? It is a less refined fuel than gas that I consider to be a pretty good solvent, I use it where you could use wd40 or liquid wrench type products..Seems like it would act like a slight octane increaser (with a solvent side effect as far as cleaning/lubing the fuel pump and injectors????
    Any ideas?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    in my Diesel pickup when the diesel fuel gelled. Like Diesel it doesn't burn as clean, and can leave sediments. In my view, definitely for for fuel injectors designed for gas.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I have a fairly new Echo which I purchased back in December and it now has about 12k miles on it. It currently doesn't have any loss of power problems or anything like that.

    Is the time to start using fuel injector cleaners now when there are evidently no problems or do you wait until problems develop?

    How often should you use fuel injector cleaners? Do these type of products have a "best used by" shelf life or are they good until the end of time?

    I am looking at the concentrated fuel injector cleaner made by STP. It costs about five dollars per bottle normally, but I belong to a warehouse club and can get it in bulk (ie four bottles in a package) for about $2.50 a bottle.
  • its a good idea to start using fuel injector cleaners before problems start surfacing.

    i started using valvoline synpower in my '99 mazda protege at 10000km, but then later on switched to chevron complete fuel system cleaner (with techron concentrate) ...no particular reason for the switch, except that chevron is a more reputable brand and i know people who swear by it.
    whichever brand u end up using, just make sure u use it a tank prior to your oil change, as these things have a tendency to dilute the motor oil and deplete its additives. i just rec'd an email from chevron, confirming this fact.

    on the flip side, many auto manufacturers categorically state that fuel additives should NOT be used as they are not necessary (gasoline in north america contain additives to keep the fuel system clean).
    moreover, if the fuel system cleaner contains methanol (i know PROLONG does), it could mess up your cars fuel system. so thats one thing you want to be careful about.

    the reason i continue to use chevron is to insure against the odd bad tank of gas all of us get once in a while ...its much cheaper insurance compared to fuel injector repair bills.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I get my oil changed every 5k miles and I usually go 400 miles between fill ups so I guess I should add fuel injector cleaner when my odometer reads 14,600 and no later?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Yes, and make sure to run the tank almost to empty to get full benefits.

    I'm in favor of the mechanic's decarbonization procedure every 15,000 miles as well.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I was at the wholesale club picking up a cheesecake sampler and I looked at the fuel injector cleaner again because I wanted to hear people's opinions about this particular brand.

    The fuel injector cleaner I am thinking about using is STP Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner. Normally it is about $5.00 a bottle. The Wholesale Club sells it in a four pack for less than $8.00.

    Is this a good fuel injector cleaner? If I buy the four pack, will the last bottle still be good when I need to use it? I estimate that it might be about a year before I use the fourth bottle.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Well, on myxcompany cars I used to put in a bottle of Techron every 5000 miles or so. Don't know if it did any good or bad but never had a problem with it. Can no longer get at the Costco Wholesale place and I refuse to pay $5-6 a bottle now. On three cars I use Amsoil PI which is a concentrate fuel system cleaner, on my Toyota Camry I have used it at every tankful since 1000 miles (about an ounce at fill up) , now have 136,000 and so far no injector or fuel system problems. But who knows if it actually works.
    It amazes me sometimes how people who do absolutely nothing to their cars, don't even know if the oil level is okay but have 150,000 miles on them and are running fine. Wish I knew if I was wasting money or not?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    In fact they are mandated to be put into all gasoline by the Federal government. It will definitely not harm the engine if put in at the recommended intervals. It will clean some. The question is will it do enough. You should be fine since your vehicle is new and has fewer deposits to eliminate.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Major Thom-- Just bought an old Mercury Topaz for my youngest daughter. Checked out clean, however she immediately started complaining about surging. I drove it for about 40 miles and have only noticed a bit of problem, suspect it's mostly her driving technique. I have used Techron in the past but noticed that it said to put it in on an empty tank. I had just filled up. Found some STP complete fuel system cleaner at Wal-Mart for about the same price and that says to put it in a full tank. Think this is one click up in STP's hierarchy of crap to put in your fuel tank. Anyway, I'll see if it actually does some good. Have had pretty good results in the past with Techron and have used STP's low end stuff as insurance on other cars.

    Had an old Nova which was gunked up terribly by my mother in law and nursed it back to running good by putting a bit of Marvel Mystery Oil in at every fill up. Not sure whether the Marvel actually did any good or I was just knocking the cob-webs out. She only drove about 300 miles a year. About the time I got the engine cleaned out the transmission went on me, so what do I know?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I think what they mean is that you put the Techron in first and then fill the tank, that way the concentrate is disbursed around the tank and mixed with all fuel. I have always added before filling for this reason.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I have been using Techron in all my three cars range from model 86 to 98) for a few years every 4000 miles or so. I did notice the cars appeared to run a bit more powerful with Techron in the tank. I have never experienced any adverse effect. However the service manager of my dealership told me they wouldn't recommend using the Techron in their newer model cars (BMW) and implied it might damage the engine. Now I read on this thread that it should be used prior to the oil changes as it might dilute the oil and compromise the additives already in the oil. I wonder if this fact might be the BMW service manager's point. Can someone with more technical expertise explain to me why something in the gasoline would ultimately get into the oil? I can't seem to find the connection here and of course, I am not a mechanically inclined person who just likes to learn a bit more on the subject. Thanks for any enlightenment on the subject.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    It's going to take a lot of leakage past the rings to get any significant amount into the oil. I wouldn't worry about that.

    I wonder if the worry is that there is something in Techron that is corrosive to some seals or metals that BMW uses in the fuel system. I sure hope not, as Chevron with Techron has been my gas of choice since 1998 in my 328i. So far, so good anyhow.

    Might ask your service advisor exactly what the concern ins next time. I'd be curious to know..
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    I had heard the same recommendation about Techron ... from someone who (supposedly) contacted Chevron directly.

    The recommendation goes that the best way to use Techron is to add it to your fuel tank about 2 weeks before your next oil change. They are concerned that the Techron additive will leak past the rings and contaminate the crankcase oil. After two weeks of driving, they figure you will have completely gone through that tank of 'spiked' fuel, changed your oil to get rid of any possible contamination and you're all set.

    So, what happens if this stuff gets into the motor oil?

    Perhaps it attacks the anti-wear compounds in oil? Perhaps it breaks down the oil itself? I honestly have no idea.

    --- Bror Jace
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    The owner's manual specifically recommends against using them in my '01 Protege, 2.0L so I'm not sure what I'll do. Don't need to worry about it for awhile. Anyway on my last car I used to put a bottle in twice a year and then only when I knew I'd be burning a full tank of gas that day. i.e. highway trip. My theory is that the cleaning effect should be better at cruising revs and it wouldn't be sitting in the fuel system for days at a time. My concern here was for the various seals, gaskets etc. Given the extent to which I'm mechanically challenged I may be out in left field on this but on the face of it it seems to make sense. Anyone more knowledgeable care to critique the above? I'd welcome it.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    This question was touched upon briefly, but what do people think is the best method of adding the fuel injector cleaner. Should I fill my tank with gas and then add the additive or should I add the additive and then fill my tank? STP merely says to use the stuff with 10 gallons of gas. Says nothing about which to put in the tank first - the gas or the additive.
  • in it's gas. Granted, I don't think it is as concentrated. But if they only recommend using it 2 weeks before an oil change does that mean they would only recommend using their gas 2 weeks before you change the oil? Don't think Chevron would recommend that. Is it only because of the added concentration or is it Techron itself? If it is Techron, then is the BMW dealer saying to stay away from Chevron? Doesn't compute to me.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I'll check with the service manager for details next time I am in for service. The interesting thing is that Techron was initially suggested by the BMW service when I bought my first car from them. After a couple years, the service manager mentioned in passing not to use it any more as BMW recommended against it. I didn't hail his "warning" and have continued to use Techron with all later models without experiencing any ill effect whatsoever. I brought this question up when I noticed postings on this thread saying Techron was only to be used prior to the oil change. My use has never coincided with service but I do adhere to the 4000 miles. Work fine all these years. Will post when I get specifics.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    First, it makes more sense to add it before filling up to dispurse the additive. Adding it later, although probably not making any difference, could permit a huge influx of the stuff into the pump and injectors if not mixed with enough fuel.

    Anyway, I have used an additicve in every tankful of a few cars (Amsoil PI) and also Techron in several more and I have never seen any indication of a problem with my oil analysis. I never did it before changing the oil either.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Since Techron is the same density as gasoline and fuel is added at top of tank and electric fuel pumps suck from bottom of tank it takes a couple of hours for the pump to circulate enough gasoline to make a homogeneous mixture of 12 oz in 20 gallons. Driving around will slosh the fuel around speeding up the blending..........much the same way fuel additive are poured into top of tanker trucks to make Name Brands from the generic bulk facilities by the time it gets to the first station GUNKO SUPREMO becomes Texaco/Chevron/BP..... lots of magic in little cans.
  • this is the response i rec'd from chevron re. techron and its ability to dilute motor oil.

    Thanks for using our product. A small amount of the product can pass by the
    rings of an engine, diluting the oil, however that will be of no serious
    concern. It is little different from the fuel and blow-by products which
    also can effect the oil, in the same manner.

    Perhaps it would be possible to use Techron on the same cycle as your oil
    changes. An oil change each 5,000 km and a bottle of Techron at the same
    time.

    > -----Original Message-----
    > Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2001 8:51 PM
    > To: [email protected]
    > Subject: Techron Fuel System and Motor Oil
    > Importance: High
    >
    > Hi
    >
    > I regularly use Chevron Complete Fuel System Cleaner (with Techron
    > Concentrate) every 5,000kms in my 1999 Mazda Protege LX.
    > Since Chevron does not have a presence where I live (Toronto, Canada), I
    > use your product to keep my fuel system clean
    >
    > I came across some discussions in a Bulletin Board which stated that Fuel
    > system Cleaners should be used only prior to an oil change, since they
    > have an adverse effect on the additives contained in Motor Oil. An article
    > specifically stated that "Even Chevron recommends using the fuel system
    > cleaner prior to an oil change, since they deplete the additives in motor
    > oil".
    >
    > Is this true, since I use the Techron Fuel System Cleaner based on mileage
    > accumulated, and totally independent of when I get my oil changed.
    >
    > Thanks very much for your help !
    >
  • on their website, chevron says that using their concentrated techron cleaner wont do any good if one is a REGULAR user of chevron gas (regular/supreme ..doesnt matter, althouh supreme has a higher concentration of techron).

    according to chevron, usage of the concentrated techron cleaner is an insurance for people who occassionally get that bad tank of gas once in a while.
    IMO this mainly applies to people who:

    a) do not regularly fillup with chevron, or
    b) do a lot of long distance road trips, passing through areas where chevron does not have a presence (north of kentucky for example).

    under normal circumstances the limited dosage of techron contained in their gasoline does not cause any harm to motor oil, but its just because the dosage of techron in their fuel system cleaner is 10 times more powerful, thats where this problem of oil additive dilution becomes an issue.

    another good product i've heard a lot of about is Redline's Fuel System Cleaner (SI-1 / SI-2). BMW recommends it and even has a part number specifically for it in their parts catalogue.
    this is the response i rec'd from Redline regarding the same question that I'd put forward to chevron.

    >Some fuel system cleaners can only be used >occasionally and will
    >build up damaging concentrations in the oil. This >>is not the case
    >with the Red Line SI-1 or SI-2 Complete Fuel >System Cleaner, they can
    >be used continuously and this is the most >effective use of the
    >product.

    >What is the recommended frequency of using Redline's Fuel System Cleaner?

    >I would use it continuously, about 1.5 ounces to >10 gallons of fuel
    >after the initial full bottle.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Let me mention what happenned to me to hopefully settle claims that Gasoline has all the additives you need.

    For the past year I have had intermittent rough running on my 88 Dodge Aires. Did a Tuneup, replaced spark plug wires, rotor, coil, alternator and belt, alternator tensioner pully, and at least 2 vacuum hoses. All in response to this rough running. It would skip driving even at constant speeds. It would also die when stopping, or starting again at lights. There were times when I floored the gas and it wouldn't accelerate very fast.

    My Mazda mechanic recommended a true decarbonization. I took it in yesterday. They hooked it up on a machine that ran a special fluid that connected to the fuel line. It ran for over an hour and cost about $130.00. Nothing went into the tank or oil. When I drove the car I immediately noticed the increase in power. No missing so far.

    Bottom line, Gas alone doesn't always keep the fuel injectors clean.
  • surprisingly, mazda doesnt recommend adding fuel additives.
    of late, i've been adding a bottle of chevron techron concentrate before each oil change.
    i dont know whether its doing any good, but it hasnt done any harm either
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    The only one I would use would be the one made by 3M, that plugs into the fuel rail, you disconnect the fuel pump, and the engine runs basically off the bottle for about 20 minutes. One of your local shops probably has the system....


    Most of the rest of the OTC stuff is junk.


    http://www.heffsauto.com/product/3mpromo.htm


    http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/product2650.html

  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Dilution ratio's on the in-tank stuff are so high, that I don't think they do much.

    Maybe use some Chevron Techron, but the highly concentrated fuel-rail type 3m stuff undoubtedly works a heck of alot better for removing deposits from injectors and backs of intake valves
  • I had my fuel injectors 3-step cleaned at Jiffy Lube a few days ago.
    Yesterday I noticed that the coolant is now diiirty. When I bought the car a few weeks ago the liquid was clean and clear. Did they do something not right?
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