Does Fuel Injector Cleaner Work ?

By Jeff Williams

I can't tell you how many times I have been asked this question by consumers out there trying to figure out if they have been scammed or not .


Well I am going to tell you the short version first then for those of you out there that like details, I will go into the long version.

First of all for most of you there it is either the fix in a can cleaner or the $ 120 to $150 dollar shop  cleaning.

So, does it work ?

Well the answer is ... the proverbial yes and no .

Fuel injection services are growing in popularity for the following reasons. The following are place in the order in which they are the most popular with service shops.

* Increases service center’s profit’s
* It’s an easy sell with today’s gas price’s
* Poor gas quality
* Poor vehicle maintenance


Notice that “It’s required” did not make the list. That’s because fuel injection services are not required the majority of the time. In short, if your fuel efficiency is fine don’t bother with a fuel injection service—Save Your Money!

However, injector services are at times beneficial, even necessary.

What do they do?
Depending on the product, injection services clean naturally forming carbon deposits from the fuel injectors and fuel rails—some will even clean the fuel tank, and valve carbon deposits.

Do they work?
In short, yes. Provided it’s a premium product and the service is performed correctly. Fuel injection services can do amazing things. They can improve fuel efficiency, increase horse power, and repair some performance concerns, although this last benefit is rare.

I have even seen fuel injection services quiet carbon knocks–a knocking noise from the engine due to excessive carbon build-up coming in contact with internal engine components.

Are they worth it?
Maybe. It really depends on the condition of the vehicle. If the service achieves any of the advertised claims, it may be worth it. In truth, most cars don’t need it. The consistent use of quality fuel, and proper vehicle maintenance should be all that is necessary to keep a car running properly.

However, consistent use of cheap gas and poor auto maintenance , as well as certain driving styles can significantly increase the accumulation of carbon deposits. Thus the possibility of poor fuel efficiency, decreased horsepower, and performance issues increases–all of which could be helped by injector maintenance.

The other factor to consider is the expense. How much fuel savings justifies the cost of the fuel injection service, and how long is the pay off. Some injector cleaners claim that their product will pay for itself in a year’s time. However, remember that the condition of the vehicle is a big variable!

How often should it be done?
It depends on the product, but generally between 15,000 to 30,000-miles is the average.

Are they necessary?
It depends: See the discussion under Are they worth it?

Can a fuel injection service do any damage to my engine or car?
Not if done correctly. Done incorrectly, anything goes. A technician could conceivably hydro-lock your engine, or blow a hole in the piston—although both scenarios are rare.

If anything does go wrong, there is usually an underlying problem, which gets exacerbated by the fuel injector auto maintenance.

Why doesn’t my manufacturer recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance?
No manufacturer recommends fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance under normal operating conditions. From a manufacturer’s viewpoint: take care of your car right (i.e., as the manufacturer dictates) and you’ll be fine.

However, depending on the problem, some manufacturers will recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance as the cure—especially carbon knock. With the variety of fuel qualities available, manufacturers may reconsider fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance.

How much does fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance cost?
Prices vary depending on the service center and the actual procedure performed, and product used. The procedure you want should clean the entire fuel system including the tank and should not cost more than $150.

Finally, make sure the service is actually performed. Fuel injector maintenance is a common scam across the industry so be careful.

Fuel injection maintenance is also presented in such a way as if it is the magical cure for all your car’s quirks–it not!

When in doubt, please don’t do it.

Well that’s about it so I hope this has shed some light on the subject of fuel injection and the cleaning of them, but if you have any more questions or if you would like to leave a comment then hit the contact tab and leave a message.

Until next time this is Jeff Williams say ” Thanks for stopping by “ and if this post has been helpful to you then please click on the coffee cup icon below and help us keep this web site running. Thanks. Jeff



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