You may have seen them on the shelves of your local auto parts store: fuel injection cleaners. Products from companies like Techron, sTp, Lucas, and Seafoam all claim to clean out the fuel system, reduce the carbon deposits, and improve your vehicle’s mpg and horsepower. These are bold claims for a product that usually costs between $5 and $15 dollars at the store – is it too good to be true?
We’ve pooled all the independent research we could find on the topic of fuel injection cleaners, and found some interesting results. The video below shows one of the in-depth reviews we watched.
In the video, “ChrisFix” takes a small camera into the combustion chambers to see if the fuel additive actually reduces the carbon buildup. Looking at the before and after comparison on this, and similar videos, we can only come to one conclusion: fuel-cleaners sort-of work.
What we mean
Yes, the fuel additives reduce the carbon buildup in the engine, but the effect is negligible at best. It removes the lighter carbon buildup, but the heavy stuff stays put. You would have to run these additives through your engine a dozen times to see any real changes in gas mileage or horsepower, and by then you’d be spending a lot of money.
Still, there are some improvements, and we can see where these fuel additives may be useful.
New Car Maintenance
The best way to keep your engine clean, is to take care of it from day one. As we saw in the video, the fuel cleaners are best for cleaning off the lighter carbon buildup, which on a new engine is the only carbon buildup you should have. Therefore, using the fuel cleaner regularly (1-2 time per oil change) should keep the light gunk from building up and turning into those hard-to-shake carbon deposits.
Fuel injection cleaners are good new-car maintenance additives, but you can’t rely on them as a quick-fix for old engines. Use them early to keep buildup at bay, or don’t use them at all.
If you have an old engine that needs some TLC, don’t hesitate to bring it by the Audi Cary maintenance center. Our experts have methods proven to clean the engine that you can’t get from simply pouring a bottle into your gas tank. Come see us today.