View Full Version : Fuel system cleaning F150

Dave Lehnert
08-04-2008, 10:07 PM
My repair shop offers a fuel system cleaning service that clean fuel injectors, intake manifold ports, intake valves and combustion chamber. $99
My question is how do they do this and is it $99 better than dumping in a fuel system cleaner from the auto store?

Greg Cuetara
08-04-2008, 10:10 PM
I can't really answer your question but I do know I paid a dealer $50 once to clean out my fuel injectors and all they did was put in a $2.99 bottle of fuel injector cleaner....when I found that out I was not so happy. Good Luck and let us know what you find out.

David DeCristoforo
08-04-2008, 10:19 PM
"...all they did was put in a $2.99 bottle...cleaner..."

Maybe for $99 they put in two bottles....

mark page
08-04-2008, 10:54 PM
Take it from me, who has been in the business for years. Go buy some BG44k or Chevron Techron cleaner, dump in the tank. Then buy a can of throttle plate spray cleaner. BG products are not sold in any retail stores, have to buy from a "user" & Chevron is available at a lot of places. After dumping that in the tank, take the spray can and take off the air intake hose to the throttle body, clean the throttle plate of carbon. Some procedures take the step one further and clean the egr ports and IAC "if equipped" pentel. The only thing the shop will do better is that their service is instantaneous instead of you "cleaning" while driving. They may use a higher grade of cleaner which needs to be pro used with a pressure pot, but eventually the same effect takes place. Spend the 40 bucks on chemicals and do it yourself. Don't waste your money on the gumout or STP stuff. Use one of the two chemicals I named, BG first and then Chevron in that order, depending upon availability in your local area.

Ken Fitzgerald
08-04-2008, 11:14 PM

I bought a 1 year old '86 Toyota 4-Runner, 2.2 L 4-cyliner, 4WD, automatic transmission. It had 19,000 miles on it when I bought it. The first 3 years every 18 months or so it would get to idling rough when you stopped for a stop light or stop sign. It ran fine down the highway....accelerated fine. I'd take it to the dealer and they actually used a fuel injector cleaner kit and cleaned the injectors. It was expensive....over $100. My daughter and SIL both graduated from college with degrees in automotive mechanics. I asked my SIL one day what an injector cleaner kit (it's a tool) cost and was it worth it. His response..a good tool cost $300. What he recommended instead was to go buy 2 bottles of Chevron Techron injector cleaner. Put them in the tank; fill the tank up and drive it until it was almost empty. Then he said "Run Chevron gasoline as they have Techron in their gas." I put in two bottles of Techron, filled the tank and drove from Lewiston, Idaho, to Missoula, MT to Spokane, WA and back to Lewiston. Well, I never had another injector cleaned on any car or truck or van I've driven and I have used nothing but Chevron gas.

Dave Lehnert
08-04-2008, 11:21 PM
Thanks guys. Just what I thought it was.

Is Lucas Oil brand fuel cleaner any good?

Ken Fitzgerald
08-05-2008, 12:21 AM

I don't know about Lucas. I can only speak about my experience with Chevron's Techron.

I did a search with Techron as the search word and found many articles about it.

Check this link out: http://couponing.about.com/b/2004/03/08/5-gas-money-saving-tips-from-the-editors-of-kelley-blue-book.htm?iam=momma_100_SKD&terms=techron

Texaco is now adding Techron to their gasolines.

Al Willits
08-05-2008, 8:27 AM
Ask this on a auto forum and you'll get 200 different replies.

fwiw, I have a 2001 F150 and I dump a can of seafoam in it about every 5 or 6th tankful and she runs fine.
In fact I run either sea foam or stabil in all my stuff and considering I have a chain saw that gets started about every other year and it runs fine with the crap gas we have now, I'd say for me these two work just great.


Justin Leiwig
08-05-2008, 8:42 AM
Good advice with the chevron so far.

Additionally I would run a can of seafoam through the intake. You will need to suck it up through a vacuum line and then let the engine sit for a half hour or so. Then start it up and keep revving the engine. It will create a lot of smoke, but that smoke is the buildup on the tops of pistons and valves being cleaned. The cabon build up can hinder combustion and mess with your air/fuel mixture. Here is an example the left is after sea foam and the right is before. Engine had 30,000 miles on it:


Additionally I'd get some carb cleaner and clean out your IAC. FURDS are notoriously bad with IAC valves. I have to clean my mom's Mercury IAC valve every year or so with some carb cleaner and rags.

Tom Godley
08-05-2008, 9:39 AM
My first rule for most things ........... is do no harm. So with cars if you are not having problems do not create one. Many of the additives are not good to use on a regular basis.

I own a transport company as well as being a bit of a motor head - so I have cars that drive 60k a year and those that do 200 miles a year. In the last ten years I can count on one hand the times I have bought any kind of "cleaner" for tank or intake.

Some cars due to the design of the intake are more prone to problems that may gum some controls - but the additives added to the gasoline tank will not take care of this problem.

I have an 1988 MB that has a type of Bosh injector that often can benefit from an additive -- but that type of injector has not been used in over 15 years. The two different MB dealers that I go to use Slick 50 -- know nothing about it other than the dealers say it works on those injectors.

Gasoline is a commodity - the same truck may deliver the same gas to different stations. It was true that some brands added additional products - But all the major brands are detergent gasolines.

If you are not having any problems I would say -- save your money!

Pat Germain
08-05-2008, 11:40 AM
Thanks guys. Just what I thought it was.

Is Lucas Oil brand fuel cleaner any good?

I tried Lucas fuel injector cleaner once and wasn't impressed. I've had good luck with Chevron and Seafoam.

And I agree it's not worthwhile to pay a shop $99 to clean your fuel system. It's almost pure profit for the shop.

Ken Garlock
08-05-2008, 12:39 PM

The people I worked with used Berryman B-12 (http://www.berrymanproducts.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1) cleaner. It is available at Wally-world, and major auto parts stores.

Greg Peterson
08-05-2008, 1:17 PM
The cleaning system is called MotorVac. It has its pros and cons.

If the vehicle is low mileage, I would encourage the service. Unlike a additive you add to your fuel tank, the motorvac system is plumbed into your fuel delivery system, bypassing the fuel filter. The motorvac service is a heavy duty cleaning. Fuel rail, injectors, valves, intake manifold. It works great.

If your vehicle is high mileage, say over 100k, then I would use several consecutive techron type additives. With higher mileage engines, the motorvac service can dislodge larger deposits in the fuel rail or injectors that end up clogging or partially clogging the nozzle tips on the injectors.

We service gas fuel injectors and one of the more common problems we see are clogged injectors immediately following a motorvac service.

A good rule of thumb is to at least add a cleaning additive to your tank after each oil change. If you're using a fuel that already has a cleaning agent you can skip this step. But it doesn't hurt to give it a little boost every now and again.

Cheap gas = Pay less now, but pay me a lot later.

Justin Leiwig
08-06-2008, 7:14 AM
Cheap gas = Pay less now, but pay me a lot later.

No more true words have ever been spoken. I had a 1994 Chevy truck that I changed the oil (synthetic) every 5000k and used good quality gas with regular fuel filter changes (every 3 oil changes). I sold the truck with almost 175k on it and last I heard it was now up over 225k with no signs of engine trouble.