F.I. cleaners/additives: worthwhile or Snake Oil?

I'm famous-notorious for driving the oldest vehicles in the neighborhood (eg - 6 yrs ago, my daily driver was a 1967 Olds 88) so when I had to upgrade after the rear bumper fell off my 1979 Cutlass due to frame rot, I
decided to upgrade to something from the 21st Century. So I now own a just-off-lease Cavalier Z24 5-speed which is loaded, and also my first ever FWD car, but is actually kinda fun to drive. Miles of smiles so far. But I keep seeing ads for "fuel injector cleaners" and finally bought some today, thinking that these newer cars are more finicky and maintenance-needy than my old carbureted dinosaurs. Pop the seal on the STP bottle, and damned if it doesn't smell like old-fashioned Kerosene (only 100X the price).
Bottom line: are these additives beneficial in any way, or am I a victim of marketing hype? Any experience here?
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Total waste of money$$$$$$$

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quite the opposite in fact, as a general rule...
Unless you're getting very bad mileage or other hints at clogged injectors, really no need to clean them much...
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@aol.comroryg says...

Poppet valve injectors in late 90's GM trucks need to have a cleaner run through them now and then or the varnish left from the fuel starts making them stick. :-\
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shades of my old 82 Merc Marquis and its gawd-awful variable venturi carb. Hard a lot of trouble with fuel varnishing in that POS...
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Buy a good quality gas & you should be okay. Not sure if the additives really do any claening. I've never noticed any difference after adding a bottle od Gumout to the gas tank. My injectors are original & never been out for cleaning.
By the way, your car doesn' have a trans dipstick if you've been looking for it.
Good Luck
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE, 3800 V6 _~_~_~_~276,100 miles_~_~_ ~_~_
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I agree, I always use 94 octane in my grand-am & never had to have anything cleaned in the engine.
Dan 1900 Pontiac Grand-Am SE 5spd

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94 octane is NOOO cleaner than 87 octane. Does your grand am by anychance have a compression greater than 9.5:1?

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The only two I have found to REALLY work are Chevrons Techron Cleaner, and Seafoam. Mixed according to directions it works great to clean out the top end. As a matter of fact when I use it in my bike I actually have to change the oil due to the newfound crud. Same thing with Seafoam. Just for fun I used a scope to look inside the head on a bike before I used Techron once. It was a bit carboned up, some crud on the valve stems as well. It had a full tank of fuel, added the correct amount of Techron and ran it. Before I refilled the tank or anything else I looked inside again. Carbon was gone as was 99 percent of the crud I could see on the valve stems. Oil was REALLY black, Changed it and repeated the treatment, This time the engine was real clean and the oil was black again, changed it again, ran it for another 1000 miles and checked the oil. Better but still changed it again.
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carbuff wrote:

Basically, any additives that fuel injectors need to stay clean tend to already be in the gas you put in your tank. As long as you're putting decent gas in the tank (not the dirt cheap, no-name variety), you should be fine.
This isn't to say that the STP stuff *doesn't* have any cleaning properties: it does. I got duped and tried that stuff once. Guess what? It cleaned out my gas tank real nice, and all the gunk ended up in my gas filter. Had to replace it a couple weeks later.
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There's little need to use those kind of additives routinely. Gas already has deposit-prevention additives in it, and injectors on newer cars are more resistant to clogging. As well, if your injectors are clogged, most of those fuel-additive cleaners won't do much anyway, you'd need to use a cleaning system that feeds cleaning solution directly into the injectors. (Though, Chevron Techron additives are reported to do a fairly good job..)
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