Fuel injector cleaner - worthwhile or worthless?

Is there any advantage of using a fuel injector cleaner (poured into the gas tank)? I have a 99 3.2L engine LH car. Up unil this point
(50,000 miles) I've avoided any kind of fix-in-a-can. However I am wondering if fuel injector cleaner might be an exception. Are these helpful? Or do they cause problems with the throttle body, fuel system, emissions etc. The car has a slight shake at idle sometimes which I wonder if it could be helped with a cleaner.
If they are helpful, what is a good injector cleaner to use? Chevron Techron?
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All gasoline sold in the US is required to have detergents in it which under normal operation is all the cleaning you need.
If your car shakes at idle perhaps it's idling too low. Another possibility is a broken motor mount.
Ted
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Greg Houston wrote:

Greg - see my reply in the "300M almost stalling" thread about cleaning the throttle body - often is found to fix such problems on the LH cars.
To answer your questions, as Ted mentioned, gasolines these days have injector cleaning additives. Maybe some brands are better than others on that, but if you're using a name-brand, you should not need to add to the gas - but for the cost of a a can of Techron™ or Techroline™ or Marvel Mystery Oil, it certainly won't hurt a thing. (BTW - your fuel never touches the throttle body - the injectors are downstream of the TB).
Bottom line: I would try the TB cleaning for sure, fuel additive if you want, but the TB cleaning is probably the cure.
Also - check the condition of the PCV valve and hose - check the hose for clogging and/or soft/liquified rubber. That can also have an effect on idle.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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I'm thinking of trying Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant with Injector Cleaners and Fuel Conditioners. I never believed in a "mechanic in a can" but more and more people, neighbors and friends, are swearing by it. They say their car runs better, better mpg, etc..
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And they would really say anything different? "Yeah, I was a dumbass and wasted 5 bucks on crap-in-a-can that did nothing"
I have a test here for you. Once you dump your crap-in-a-can into your gastank, take the empty bottle of L.U.C.L.I.C.F.C and put straight gasoline in it. Yes, that's right, just straight gas. Then give it to one of your friends that hasn't tried this and tell him you bought an extra bottle of it so he could try it in his car. I will bet you that he comes back next week and says how much better his car is running!
Unless you have dyno results in a controlled environment, these testimonials are worthless.
Ted
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On 09/03/05 01:38 am Ted Mittelstaedt tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

Psychologists call the phenomenon "cognitive dissonance." It works for "Monster Cables" as well.
Perce
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Good question Greg. I use Techron in my cars about once or twice a year. So I decided to do a little research. What I found was there are real differences between gasoline's, and four automakers, BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota decided to ban together to decide just makes "good" gas. They came up with a new standard called "Top Tier". When you look at www.toptiergas.com some interesting new facts emerge.
"Since the minimum additive performance standards were first established by EPA in 1995, most gasoline marketers have actually reduced the concentration level of detergent additive in their gasoline by up to 50%. As a result, the ability of a vehicle to maintain stringent Tier 2 emission standards have been hampered, leading to engine deposits which can have a big impact on in-use emissions and driver satisfaction."
A good article worth reading is from Larry Webster writing in the August, 2005 issue of Car & Driver Magazine. http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id '&article_id—52&page_number=1
His source is Andrew Buczynsky; GM's fuel guru. Concerning additives, Buczynsky states "they should be used with caution. He said some work but most don't and declined to identify the ones that do." Basically, he concludes that if you buy cheap gas (Meijers was singled out in not so many words) then consider an additive. His recommendations are to "stick to Top Tier fuel. It's the only way to know you're getting the right amount and type of detergents to keep your engine clean."
The TOP TIER Gasoline Retailers currently are: QuikTrip Chevron Conoco Phillips 76 Shell Entec Stations MFA Oil Company Kwik Trip/Kwik Star The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
(So where is Mobile??)
Personally I trust Techron because it was developed by a major player and has always received good reviews. (And as it does not hurt anything, and may actually dissolve some gum or deposits, it's inexpensive insurance. About $5 at Wal Mart.)
Here is the Techron website: http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/fuels/techrongas /
Interesting that they claim that the big three automakers use Chevorn (contains Techron). According to the site, "Chevron doesn't market gasoline anywhere near the Michigan home of the Big Three automakers. They buy and use only Chevron gasoline with Techron, even though they must purchase it in Kentucky and pay to truck it all the way to the Detroit area."
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On 09/07/05 11:31 am Midwest Div tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id '&article_id—52&page_number=1
And where is BP/Amoco?

1. One would think that, if Chevron gas is so wonderful that the major auto manufacturers ship it into Michigan for their own vehicles, Chevron would want to have gas stations everywhere. The advertising advantage would be enormous. How big is Chevron? Can't they afford to buy or merge with some other company?
2. The article does seem to imply that it's referring to Meijer gas, but isn't the same likely to be true of any other store chain that sells gas? E.g., some Family Fare supermarkets (they are in W. Michigan, but I don't know how widespread) have an associated gas station, as do some Kro(e?)ger stores I saw in Ohio. What about gas from Costco and Sam's Club? The tankers I've seen delivering to our local Meijer gas stations have a name that rings no bells with me, but perhaps it's only a haulage company and the gas comes from whoever's giving them a good deal this week.
Talking of "good deal": Meijer tends to force down the price of its near neighbors' gas anyway. We have two Meijer gas stations in town, and the Speedway station next to one and the Mobil station next to the other usually sell their gas for no more than a penny more a gallon than Meijer. (But I acknowledge that neither Speedway nor Mobil is on the "Top Tier" list.)
3. Do better grades of gas from the same company keep the engine cleaner? I've seen suggestions that it's worth using a tank of Premium every now and again just to clean the engine out.
Perce
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Actually no. It's exactly the same gas as the lower octane fuel, just with more anti-knock. Ford Times magazine ran an article on gas in their last issue (several years ago). It all starts out from the same tank, and becomes different grades based only on the anti-knock. I remember that the article also talked about how it was NOT beneficial to use a higher grade than specified, as the anti-knock sensor would be receiving false info and give the PCM the wrong reading. Bottom line was, save your money, your not gaining anything.

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Dennis wrote:

So they concluded for sure that different additives aren't added along the path to becoming higher octane? How did they conclude that? If so, then the gasoline manufacturers are adding these cleaning agents to lower grades of gasoline for free (i.e., they don't avertise them for the lower grades). They don't do anything for free.
I'm willing to listen to an explanation of why a knock sensor picking up knocking is not a valid input for the PCM top respond to. Either it is knocking (and needs the timign retarded) or it isn't knocking (and can stay where it is or advance).
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Dennis wrote:

Well, the antiknock sensor CANNOT "receive false info and give the PCM the wrong reading," since it only detects the presence or absence of detonation. But the basic point is correct- there's NO benefit to using higher octane fuel than your engine requires. If the required octane eliminates detonation, then premium will also prevent detonation and therefore the PCM will set the engine parameters exactly the same as it would with premium fuel- the only difference being the premium fuel costs more to buy.
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Not totally correct. IF the engine has a knock sensor, it may be able to compensate for low octane fuel by retarding timing and other strategies - which decrease power and econmy but emiminate ping. A higher octane fuel would then allow the engine to run at more optimum settings, giving better power and economy - occaisionall more than enough to compensate for the higher cost od high octane fuel.
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As I stated, this was an official publication of Ford (not my opinion.) If I remember correctly, they stated that the engine was allowed to ping slightly, just enough for the sensor to read. If you don't agree, try contacting Ford and argue with them. (Personally I could care less, I'm only passing along what a major auto manufactured had to say about it.)

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Or you're not relating what they said accurately. If that is what they said, then part of reading what any manufacturer says is knowing when they are FOS.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Dennis wrote:

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Well Bill, I guess Ford doesn't know what they're talking about then.

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Dennis wrote:

If they *really* said in effect that the computer wouldn't know how to interpret knocking with "hi-test" but it would know how to interpret knocking with mid grade, then - yeah - I would say that they don't know what they're talking about. I suggested two possibilities - you only considered one. I'd have to see the actual quote.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Yea, I wish I still had it. It was in the last (or second to last) issue of the Ford Times (or Ford Life or one of the Ford magazines you got when you purchased a new Ford auto. Thought the name was Ford Times, could be mistaken.)
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Chevron merged with Texaco some time ago. Also, Conono has merged with Phillips.
I did not see Citigo or Sinclair on the list. Does Citigo come from Latin America?
-Kirk Matheson
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

That depends on whether or not the premium grade has more detergent additives or not. And even then, the antiknock additives found in premium grades may result in MORE deposit formation, especially if used in a low compression engine that doesn't burn them as completely as a high compression engine that they're designed for. In general, I would say "no" premium grades do not clean better than the same brand of regular, but there are probably exceptions.
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P.O. Box 3475 Tulsa, OK 74101 US Phone: 9188368551
Do you trust a website to give you the whole truth? How old is the info? Doesn't state. I would really like to know if they manufacturers have endorsed this website. But they didn't.
By the way Jim Denny is the VP for Quiktrip, the po box is a drop box for Quiktrip, and the number is customer service for quiktrip.
My cousin works for Mobil, they are certified for top tier status. And they have been for almost a year. So why are they not on the list. Notice it does not list Manufacturers of top tier. Only retailers!
Well just so you know. Somerset refinery is part of the Quiktrip corporation, so is MFA oil company, which is one of the transportation companies used to deliver there gasoline.
There is a big discussion about this website on the BMW boards also. Apparently Some have contacted Quiktrip about this website and refused to admit it is their website.

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