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Are fuel additives good or bad?

06-10-2005, 03:36 PM
I have a 1994 4 cyl 2.2 L Toyota Camry. I want to clean out the fuel system, and I see Fuel Injector cleaner and such a lot that you add to your fuel. I want to use them, but I am afraid. I heard from some that they are good, but I heard from others that they are really bad for your car.

I just want a straight forward answer, are they good or bad? And if it depends on which kind, which one would be best for this car? How often should I do it..etc?

Thanks for any opinions. If people are both for and against it, I hope to see decent reasons which I can use my own judgement on, thanks. I would like to see both sides if they both exist.

06-10-2005, 03:53 PM
I use Lucas fuel injector cleaner every oil change. Not sure if it makes a huge difference, but for three and a half dollars, what the hell. I also use Chevron gas, which has a cleaning additive in it already. So I say go ahead and put some in your car, it won't hurt it.

Mike Gerber
06-10-2005, 03:58 PM
I feel fuel injector cleaner is one of the few good additives available for cars. I use it about every 5000 miles. Click and Clack (the guys on public radio on Saturday mornings) recommend Chevron with Techron. It's a bit pricey but well worth the money IMHO.


Brian R.
06-10-2005, 04:00 PM
Gasoline additives are harmless and are actually a benefit.

Gasoline is mostly just straight and branched-chain hydrocarbons which, as a class, are very poor solvents. The additives you buy, such as Chevron Techron and others, are just good solvents which burn just like hydrocarbons - because they are for the most part hydrocarbons.

The reason putting them in gasoline does something is because, being much better solvents than gasoline, they dissolve deposits that gasoline cannot.

06-10-2005, 10:26 PM
I use Berryman's B12 Chemtool. It works really good. I use it every oil change.

06-11-2005, 01:33 AM
I've used Sea Foam, which is available at O'Reily's and had very good luck with it. I've also got into the habit of using Heet during the winter every time I fill up the tank.

06-11-2005, 03:42 AM
I also use Techron fuel injector/system cleaner along with Chevron gas. I add a bottle at each oil change which is every 5,000 miles. I use the larger bottle which treats 20 gallons of gas since the Camry has an 18.5 gallon tank. Seems to work just fine.

Daniel M. Dreifus
06-11-2005, 10:09 AM
I use the Redline complete fuel system cleaner only.
Several years ago, BMW tested fuel injector cleaners exhaustively and wound up recommending only the Redline, and from what I've heard, even private labeling it for sale at their dealerships.
It also contains a protective synthetic upper cylinder lubricant, helps remove residual moisture and prevents rust. Regular use will improve engine breathing by cleaning valves. Please take the time to read their technical info section, there's even a graph for a four cylinder Toyota.
The Redline is safe for continual use. While you will probably notice a significant, immediate improvement in power with the first bottle, best results only occur over time (10-15,000 miles). Just add a small amount each time you add fuel. One bottle treats around 100 gallons.
The high temperature detergent also survives the combustion process to clean emission control components.
One of the interesting items in the tech info, is that if one injector is less than perfect, the oxygen sensor at the exhaust manifold will cause the ECM computer to richen all the injectors to compensate.
I also use Chevron gas, but have never been able to observe any benefit in the past when trying the Techron additive separately.
I also like Berryman, but that product is a solvent and I will not use it internally in the engine - I use it for cleaning external engine components.
I also use the Lucas oil products, but did not like the statement on their fuel treatment label about "burning hotter" so I do not use the fuel treatment.
Much of the power created by the Toyota engine relies upon the four valves per cylinder to improve engine breathing, increasing power roughly 30 per cent over a two valve configuration, so it helps to keep those valve faces clean to enhance efficiency.
After using Redline for several years now, I happened to do major servicing, then had a smog test performed for California registration renewal. Results were better at 120,000 miles than they were at 80,000, nearly zero on several measures, plus the Redline seems to have improved smoothness at idle.

Daniel M. Dreifus
06-11-2005, 10:12 AM
Forgot to mention, some additives like ZMax have been enjoined by the FTC for false advertising (simple straight mineral oil) and can actually harm your engine.

06-12-2005, 07:16 AM
I've used Redline's "Water Wetter" coolant additive and have been very happy with it. When I used to run the California freeways on a daily basis, I would add it to my overflow tank instead of adding water & coolant. Also, it's ironic but my other car, Land Rover, recommends against any gasoline additives as they state it harms engine gaskets and 0-rings. The ironic part is that they sell a gasoline additive in their parts department. It's obviously a re-labeled additive and it just might be Redline or at least some other top name brand. :screwy: I'm starting to think that the Redline fuel system cleaner is so strong that maybe a half a bottle in each car would suffice for a quick clean up.

06-12-2005, 11:28 AM
I will check out the Redline. I have an 89 toyota Camry and it needs all the help it can get. Berryman's works good, but I would like something better. :smile:

06-12-2005, 01:46 PM
This may be a dumb question, but do I need to put it in where that metal valve kind thing closes? or can I just let it seep through the small hole next to it. Everytime I go to push it through the valve, I'm afraid of spilling it, lol.

06-12-2005, 02:50 PM
With the long neck of most fuel injector cleaner additives, just push it through the fuel door like you do with the fuel nozzle. No leakage.

06-12-2005, 02:52 PM
With the long neck of most fuel injector cleaner additives, just push it through the fuel door like you do with the fuel nozzle when fillinf with gas. No leakage. By the way, I also use Chevron Techron about once every two or three months. Works excellent.

06-12-2005, 03:00 PM
I use Regane(every 3k miles)for my 89 Camry 4 cyl. Tried using Techron and it did not work, car would still knock, Regane cleans out the carbon better on this engine and eliminated the knock.

06-17-2005, 11:55 AM
Linky for info on Oil Additives (

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