Author Topic: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not? (Read 7748 times)

FrugalZony

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Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« on: April 21, 2014, 06:27:12 PM »
A lot of folks on here do their own maintenance so I thought I'd ask for advice.

I had to bring in my car to get a recall fixed and at the same time had an inspection done.
Each time I bring my car into that shop, they try to talk me into something and whereas
I don't want to skimp on stuff that's safety releveant, some things just sound like a complete ripoff.

So the last two times they have been trying to talk me into fuel injector cleaning.
I have been refusing each time, but they tried again today with some story of how
it improves gas mileage etc.

What do you dyi maintenance folks think? Yay or nay?
And if it's necessary could I do it myself?
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paddedhat

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 06:56:03 PM »

A great resource for questions like this is cartalk.com If you enter the topic in their search box, there are multiple threads on the topic, most agreeing that it's typically bullshit.

Unfortunately, it seems were are at the point where the business model of most dealerships is to get you in the door for warranty work, then attempt to sell you any service they possibly can. In my case, I just took a 2013 CRV in for two warranty issues, both of which they failed to resolve. They did however find the time to hunt me down in the waiting area to attempt to "upsell" me with $270 worth of needless work, including replacing the engine and cabin air filters. At a cost of $40 PLUS labor. The parts cost me less than $15, and a blind monkey could install both of them in fifteen minutes, IF they needed to be changed, which in nine months of limited use, is ridiculous. The other charges were for "cleaning" the brakes and doing a 10K service, which is pretty much involves doing very little but visually inspecting a few items. Had I said yes, they would of easily made $200 for doing very little that was of actual value to me. IMHO, any time a service writer says, "we recommend that you do this", or "it would be a good idea to let us" your best bet is to say no.

FrugalZony

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 07:19:31 PM »
Thank you! You are pretty much confirming my gut feeling!!
Thanks for the link, I will bookmark that!


A great resource for questions like this is cartalk.com If you enter the topic in their search box, there are multiple threads on the topic, most agreeing that it's typically bullshit.

Unfortunately, it seems were are at the point where the business model of most dealerships is to get you in the door for warranty work, then attempt to sell you any service they possibly can. In my case, I just took a 2013 CRV in for two warranty issues, both of which they failed to resolve. They did however find the time to hunt me down in the waiting area to attempt to "upsell" me with $270 worth of needless work, including replacing the engine and cabin air filters. At a cost of $40 PLUS labor. The parts cost me less than $15, and a blind monkey could install both of them in fifteen minutes, IF they needed to be changed, which in nine months of limited use, is ridiculous. The other charges were for "cleaning" the brakes and doing a 10K service, which is pretty much involves doing very little but visually inspecting a few items. Had I said yes, they would of easily made $200 for doing very little that was of actual value to me. IMHO, any time a service writer says, "we recommend that you do this", or "it would be a good idea to let us" your best bet is to say no.
After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.
Mr. Spock


Trial FIRE blog: http://thefrugalhumanist.com

Save money on pet food: http://pennywisepaws.com

TomTX

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 07:28:13 PM »
They're just going to dump a $5 can of fuel injector cleaner into the gas tank. Get it yourself at AutoZone or whatever - or just buy gasoline at Costco, where they have high levels of detergents already in the gasoline to prevent buildup.
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thurston howell iv

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 07:07:07 AM »
I had dealerships try this on me many years ago. Besides telling them no, I stopped going to dealers and started doing my own work. All they ever want to do is rip people off. (at least the ones I've dealt with)

My injector solution:
I run a couple of cans of Seafoam in each of the cars about once a year.

1 can in the fuel tank to "clean the injectors"
1 can gets disseminated into the crankcase, and sucked via vacuum into the intake manifold
Run for a few miles, change oil and you're good to go. Cans cost about $9 at walmart.

It helps break down carbon build up and does seem to help a little in the power dept.

I thought it was hooey when I first read about it so, I tried it. Car smoked like it was on fire! Then after a few miles all the smoke cleared and the car "felt" like it was more peppy. I've also used it to clean the idle air control valves on my dd cars. (174k and 230k respectively)




ketchup

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 07:31:14 AM »
Yep, expensive BS. Dump a can of fuel system cleaner in your gas tank before filling it next time, won't cost more than maybe $8 at the most, and takes like 15 seconds. I've used Techron or Seafoam myself, about once a year.

zachd

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 10:45:20 AM »

One time, when I was much younger, they offered me this at Jiffy Lube. Since I'm not good with cars and to some degree neglected maintenance, I often took them up on these sorts of offers.

One time they brought my car around and it still had the cheap bottle of injector cleaner in the gas tank where my gas cap should have been. It wasn't even like a $5 type of cleaner it looked so generic like it might have cost $2. They lost my gas cap and told me to go buy one and come back and they would re-imburse me. What could I do.. say no?

So that's what you are paying $30 for with injector cleaning.

Find a super honest garage that doesn't do this sort of thing and let them do all your work. I've taken my car in to my garage for strange problems and in the end they say "You had a bad fuse, we replaced your good to go" - no charge. They always say exactly what's wrong with the car and nothing more and I completely trust them. You'll save money in the long run.



Spork

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 10:56:47 AM »
They're just going to dump a $5 can of fuel injector cleaner into the gas tank. Get it yourself at AutoZone or whatever - or just buy gasoline at Costco, where they have high levels of detergents already in the gasoline to prevent buildup.

Maybe. And if that's true, it's a ripoff.

But there are fuel injector cleaning machines (where you physically remove the injector and it forces solvent through it at high pressure). If you have a clogged injector, this is a better method. It's way cheaper than a new injector.
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RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 11:12:05 AM »
+1 to everything said

- Dumping a bottle of cheap fuel injector cleaner is exactly what they will do
- Seafoam is awesome
- Find another place to go if you are at all questioning what they are telling you. Not all shops try to up-sell and rip people off. I worked part time in garage during HS and college. I very rarely saw fuel injector on the bills (maybe a couple times over the course of years), and if I did it was the shelf cost of the bottle that we sold in the store. After moving away it took me 8 years to find another shop I trusted. Then I moved again and damn if leaving my mechanic wasn't one of the harder parts.

FrugalZony

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Re: Fuel Injector cleaning??? Ripoff or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2014, 11:45:11 AM »
Thank you all!!
After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.
Mr. Spock


Trial FIRE blog: http://thefrugalhumanist.com

Save money on pet food: http://pennywisepaws.com