Fuel injection services are growing in popularity for a lot of reasons. Some are good reasons. Some not so much.
What do fuel injection services do?
Depending on the product, injection services clean naturally forming carbon deposits from the fuel injectors and fuel rails—some will even clean the fuel tank, and valve carbon deposits.
Do they work?
In short, yes. Provided it’s a premium product (such as BG), and the service is performed correctly, fuel injection services can do amazing things. They can improve fuel efficiency, increase horse power, and repair some performance concerns – although attaining all of these benefits together are rare.
Fuel injection services have also been known to quiet carbon knocks (a knocking noise from the engine due to excessive carbon build-up coming in contact with internal engine components).
Is fuel injection maintenance worth it?
Maybe. It really depends on the condition of the vehicle. If the service achieves any of the advertised claims, it may be worth it. However, the consistent use of quality fuel, and proper vehicle maintenance should be all that is necessary to keep a car running properly, and your fuel system clean.
Consistent use of cheap gas and poor adherence to an auto maintenance schedule, as well as certain driving styles can significantly increase the accumulation of carbon deposits. Thus the possibility of poor fuel efficiency, decreased horsepower, and performance issues increases – all of which could be helped by injector maintenance.
The other factor to consider is the expense. How much fuel savings justifies the cost of the fuel injection service, and how long until the pay off. BG claims that their product will pay for itself in a year’s time. Remember that the condition of the vehicle is a big variable before this is proved.
How often should it be done?
It depends on the product, but generally between 15,000 to 30,000-miles.
Is carbon build up bad?
Carbon is a naturally forming deposit of combustion. Too much though can absorb gas and restrict air flow. Less gas = less power = less efficiency, meaning you have to step on the gas harder to get up an go.
Can a fuel injection service do any damage to my engine or car?
Not if done correctly. Done incorrectly, anything goes. A technician could conceivably hydro-lock your engine, or blow a hole in the piston—although both scenarios are rare.
If anything does go wrong, there is usually an underlying problem, which gets exacerbated by the fuel injector auto maintenance.
Why doesn’t my manufacturer recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance?
No manufacturer recommends fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance under normal operating conditions. From a manufacturer’s viewpoint: take care of your car right (i.e., as the manufacturer dictates) and you’ll be fine.
However, depending on the problem, some manufacturers will recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance as the cure—especially for carbon knock, and also to clean out fuel system contaminants caused by the use of certain low grade fuels available on the market.
With so many fuel grades and quality differences, manufacturers may eventually consider adding fuel system cleaning as part of regular service intervals.
How much does fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance cost?
Prices vary depending on the service center and the actual procedure performed, and product used. The procedure you want should clean the entire fuel system including the tank and should not cost more than $150. Fuel injection maintenance is often presented in such a way as if it is the magical cure for all your car’s quirks – it not. When in doubt, don’t do it.
Note: with BG products, there are two “fuel-saving” services. The injection service, which we have been discussing, and an induction service (air induction).
The induction service is a separate service, which focuses on cleaning the throttle body of naturally forming carbon deposits. Cleaning the throttle body is nothing new. Technicians have been doing this service for years (with a $4.95 can of over-the-counter carburetor cleaner) to address a variety of concerns from stalling to poor gas mileage, and even emission failures.
The induction service is a fabulous service for vehicles with excessive carbon deposits in the throttle body. If you decide that an injection service is right for you, negotiate to have the induction service done as well at no extra cost.
Some final thoughts to consider that reveal the motive for the popularity of these services…
- Increases service center’s profit
- It’s an easy sell with today’s gas prices
- Offsets manufacturers’ maintenance reductions
- Poor gas quality
- Poor adherence to vehicle maintenance
Notice that “It’s required” did not make the list. That’s because fuel injection services are not required as much as service centers would have you believe. In short, if your fuel efficiency is fine don’t bother with a fuel injection service—save your money.
The following video will provide a visual of the service…