What brand fuel injector cleaner?

I can buy Walmart brand fuel injector cleaner for $1.50.... or Lucas for almost $5
Is it all the same stuff? Or does brand make a diff?
2000 Mazda Protege with 160k miles on it
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I currently use the wal-mart kind, works fine for me. I also like the one that says "Pyroil" on the bottle but I haven't seen that one for a while so I started buying the super-tech stuff from wally world.

It's all about the same, AFAIK what you are really buying is just a small bottle of kerosene, which is basically Jet-A, which is why some bottles claim that their cleaner is "made with JET FUEL" or something along those lines.
If you took 6-8 oz of kerosene and dumped that in your tank you would get the same results as that $1.50 bottle of cleaner you buy at the store. But who wants to keep a gallon of kerosene around, right? Easier to just spend the buck fifty and move on with your life.
Chris
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The Lucas stuff is not kerosene, it's soap. Whether that does any good or not, I don't know, but it's basically a big addition to your gasoline detergent package.
If I were worried about dirty injectors, I'd pull them and see what they looked like. --scott
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Actually, they vary widely in their contents and carbon removal properties (not to mention any ability they have to also take up any water in the fuel tank). The dollar-or-so stuff, I'd bet is mostly kerosene ("jet fuel" sure sounds better) or light petroleum distillates that amount to mineral spirits, aka paint thinner, or naptha, which the smoke 'em if you got 'em generation used as lighter fluid. There are also harsher, more complicated, more expensive ones (which probably still have mineral spirits or naptha, but can also have a cocktail of other chemicals).
The contents of each product are listed in the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), a publicly available document that in practice most vendors are pretty good about putting on the Web. They're allowed to be a bit coy about the actual proportions to protect their trade secrets, but they have to tell you basically what's in it. That's our much maligned government standing up for your health and safety, with a spinoff benefit in consumer-value assessment left up to your judgement.
Let me reiterate that the major purpose of the MSDS *is* industrial hygiene. The more toad-choker chemistry words among the ingredients, the better you should read and follow the precautions on the label -- in particular, avoid breathing it, and use safety glasses to keep aerosols from getting into your eyes. A lot of the stuff that really does a number on carbon and soot in an engine is not too good for you (well, sure!).
As a friend of mine put it to beginning machine shop classes, "You've already got the only eyeballs you'll ever be issued" (ditto for lungs, I might add), so when you find stuff that Really Works that's still on the consumer market, use it with all due respect.
Cheers, --Joe (Occasional in-tank user and more frequent underhood or bench user of Berryman B-12)
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Not *all* of them are kerosine. Some of the better cheapo's have detergent, and may help a little bit.

I dont waste my money on those, and when someone gives me some ( which happens often, I teach high school auto shop) I use it for small parts washing and such.
Techron has an additive that gets between the carbon and the metal and helps it slough off. It's not a detergent and doesnt dissolve hard carbon (neither do any of the detergents. All of them work OK on softcarbon).. It's poly proply somethingorother. The only other additive I use is the SeaFoam that someone else mentioned. HTH Ben I have used these both extensively with good results; Techron is magic on dirty injectors, SeaFoam is magic on throttle plates and intake manifolds
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On Dec 15, 3:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

You get what you pay for.. Our customers swear by Lucas or Seafoam.
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I'd suggest Chevron Techron Clean-Up (see http://www.max-boost.co.uk/max-boost/internet_articles/Chevron%20Lubricants%20-%20Automotive%20-%20Fuel%20Additives.htm ). Some people like the Seafoam and Lucas products, but I don't. In the past the Lucas product included the same active ingredient as Techron, but they degraded it, so now it is no better than STP Fuel Injection Cleaner. As far as I can tell Seafoam is just a marketing scam. There must be a huge profit margin on that stuff. I've had salesman button hole me in auto parts stores and try and convince me that it is good for everything under the sun. I tried it once, and found it to be ineffective.
But honestly, why do you think you need any fuel injection cleaner? All unleaded gas sold in the US is required to have an effective level of fuel system cleaner by the EPA (see http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/web-addt.htm ). Do you have a symptom you are trying to fix, or do you just want to spend a little money? The placebo effect can be pretty powerful. Send me the $5 and I'll say an incantation for your car.
Ed
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20Lubric

I have seen several problems fixed or made better with FI cleaner. Not all states have a good fuel standard and it shows. It is a very cheep easy thing to try first. KB
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I was wondering what the OP was trying to fix....or if there was anything to fix at all.
Fuel standards are set by the EPA. The actual type of gasoline sold in a region varies because of federal and state rules (for instance Minnesota mandates a certain percentage of ethanol) but the EPA sets the overall rules, especially for the fuel system cleaner. The EPA does not mandate a particular chemistry for the cleaner to be included in the fuel, but the fuel supplier does have to demonstrate that the cleaner included is effective.
Ed
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"C. E. White" wrote:

That is correct. But it doesn't mean anything even remotely close to what you think it does. The EPA mandate is for what is considered the absolute minimum level. Studies have shown that since 1997 when the EPA mandates for detergent additives were first implemented the actual amount of detergents being added to gasoline has gone down by 50% on average nation-wide. So if there was ever a need to add additional injector cleaners to the fuel the need is greater now than it was before the EPA mandates.
-jim
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Maybe, maybe not. My assumption is that the amount of fuel injection cleaner currently added is probably good enough for most drivers. I haven't added anything in years to my cars, including my Frontier with 70k miles. I monitor gas mileage, and nothing has changed yet. If I see a problem, then I'll considering spending the money on one of the Chevron Techron additives. But until I see a problem, why assume there is one? Excessive use of some of the cleaners can be worse than not using them at all.
Ed
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Today's gasoline is not necessarily what it was months or years ago. It may meet EPA standards, but may not be chemically the same.
If you are going to add injector cleaners or carburetor cleaners, they are NOT all the same...It would be easy to think that they are, since most of the packaged material on the FLAPS shelves indicate they contain petroleum distillates, or some such.
In fact, the chemistries, as Ed says, may be quite different, and the effects may vary widely. "Petroleum distillates" are, in general, not the kind of materials that give threshhold cleaning.
I just had to have my intake system cleaned. The problem was that the vehicle would not idle, and mileage had dropped off. Optical fiber device showed heavy deposits in the manifold, plenum, on the backside of the valves. I have always been suspicious of this cleaning as a ploy of the garages who have invested in such equipment.
In this case, the results were spectacular and resolved all the problems.
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That's interesting. I had the intake plenum off of my wife's 93 Chrysler 3.5 a couple of times during its 260,000 mile life (once for injector O-rings, another for a lower plenum gasket, maybe another I'm forgetting) and I always found the dirt deposits fascinating. The upper cross-ram style plenum on that car would get impressively dirty from the fact that it carried both EGR and PCV vapors without any fuel yet added, but the passages were very large and the deposits only a thin surface coating, so the only problem it ever actually suffered was an occasional need for cleaning the throttle bodies and the AIS motor. The lower plenum always showed a perfectly cleaned fan pattern of sparkling white aluminum downstream of each injector, and the valves stems always looked brand new. The injectors themselves were also always spotless, and from that engine I too concluded that any form of injector cleaner or manifold cleaning was an utter and complete waste. I'm surprised to hear that you have a counter-example, and I now wonder if I went and pulled that manifold off now after several years of running on the "new" ethanol blends, I'd find the same thing you saw. The last time I had the manifold apart was probably 4-5 years ago, and I that the ethanol blends were just starting to show up in our area then. Maybe ethanol isn't so good at controlling intake deposits after all. Just speculation.
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Fuel injector clearer would not have helped "clean" any of those items except possibly the back sides of the valves. For that application the Chevron Techron Clean-Up product would have been my choice.
The biggest problem I see in intake is the back wash from the PCV system. It deposits sticky goo on the back side of the throttle plate and in the idle air control circuit. Fuel injection cleaner won't help with this, but a clean rag and WD-40 will. My more recent vehicle have had less problems with this goo than prior vehicles. Not sure why, I suppose manufacturers are learning.
Ed
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"C. E. White" wrote:

Changing oil more frequently does help prevent that.
-Jim
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That would be hard to prove by me. My problems were much worse 6 or 7 years ago when I was still in the 3000 mile oil change club. I am trying to break that stupid addiction. Now that I am changing oil between 4k and 5k miles, I actually have had fewer problems. Maybe the oil is better, or the cars are better. Not sure which, but I don't think it was how often I changed my oil in the past, or even the type of oil.
Ed
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"C. E. White" wrote:

Well no claim was made that it cures cancer or solves any other problem. I was only referring to the elimination of sticky goo inside the PVC tubing and intake.
-Jim
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jim wrote:

Uhm... No.
The amount of PCV vapor produced by the engine depends on the amount of blow-by past the piston rings, not on the condition of the oil. While REALLY neglecting the oil will cause the rings to wear faster and thus produce more blow-by, its not at all true that fresh oil in the crankcase produces less PCV vapor than old oil.
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Steve wrote:

Another nice arm chair theory but reality tells a different story. And no, the stuff that settles in your PCV system is not entirely from products produced in the combustion chamber. In particular the goo is not. Consider what is happening to the oil as it gets continually pummeled and propelled thru the air by piston, rod and crank. You don't think that any of it ever forms aerosols? But if you want to believe the goo in the PCV system is inevitable and can't be eliminated by more frequent oil changes go ahead and believe it. And I don't mean just one oil change - I mean over the whole life of the vehicle.
-Jim
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jim wrote:

OF course aerosols and oil vapor are part of the goo. A small part. But do you think old oil somehow releases more vapors than new? Quite the opposite, in fact.
And I did say that NEGLECTFUL oil change practices over the life of the engine do contribute to excessive blow-by.
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