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Old 02-07-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Duarte, CA
4,995 posts, read 4,990,568 times
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Default Fuel Injector Cleaner: Before or After Oil Change?

First of all, I do not wish for this to turn into a debate whether or not fuel injector cleaners work. I've already made up my mind to use them, the only question is "when?" Last time I used them almost a year ago, my mechanic diagnosed my car with dirty injectors, and I opted to use the cleaner instead of shelling out for cleaning at the shop. It stopped the shaking at idle and increased my mpg slightly.

I did not do the cleaning right before my oil change at that time but I've been told this should preferably be done right before an oil change. Is there any merit to changing your oil right after using fuel injector cleaner?
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Unless I'm missing something, I can't see any link between the two basic functions. So it should make absolutely no difference whatsoever.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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jtur88 is right on. They are completely seperate systems and one won't effect the other. Most people who run injector cleaner do it when they change the oil just as a routine. One thing I would recommend is running the tank down to near empty, adding the cleaner and then filling the tank in order to better mix the injector cleaner with the gas.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Unless I'm missing something, I can't see any link between the two basic functions. So it should make absolutely no difference whatsoever.
I'd say he's worried about the FI cleaner contaminating his oil.

To the OP. If you're just pouring a can of cleaner in the gas tank, it won't make a difference one way or the other.

If you're having real problems, seek out a shop that uses a Motorvac FI cleaning system. It not only cleans the injectors, it cleans the entire fuel system and cleans the combustion chambers of carbon. You will definitely feel the before and after difference.

Here's an article The Auto Channel--MotorVac
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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You add it in before an oil change. The idea is that as it breaks up anything the oil can catch it, and then you want to replace the oil.

What y'all are missing is that the gas and oil do mix in the pistons, and that can be where the oil picks up the additive and any crud from the injectors. If you use the additive, change the oil after a tank of normal gas.

Whether there is merit in that or not, who knows, but that's the theory.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:09 AM
 
6,345 posts, read 7,004,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
You add it in before an oil change. The idea is that as it breaks up anything the oil can catch it, and then you want to replace the oil.

What y'all are missing is that the gas and oil do mix in the pistons, and that can be where the oil picks up the additive and any crud from the injectors. If you use the additive, change the oil after a tank of normal gas.

Whether there is merit in that or not, who knows, but that's the theory.
If anything is loosened, it's going out the exhaust rather than in the oil.

And how does gas and oil mix in the pistons? If you mean in the cylinders and the rings are that worn, a mechanic in a can isn't going to help.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:18 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 16,411,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
You add it in before an oil change. The idea is that as it breaks up anything the oil can catch it, and then you want to replace the oil.

What y'all are missing is that the gas and oil do mix in the pistons, and that can be where the oil picks up the additive and any crud from the injectors. If you use the additive, change the oil after a tank of normal gas.

Whether there is merit in that or not, who knows, but that's the theory.
It's not the "crud" that's the issue, but the cleaner itself. The crud gets broken down and burned off in the combustion chamber. Some of the cleaners (since they don't burn that well) can leech past the rings into the crank case and contaminate the oil. Generally, the better the cleaner, the worse it is for the oil.

With that said, most of the ones you are going to find in the parts store like Techron, Lucas, STP, etc. aren't going to cause any issues being run through once or twice in between oil changes. In fact, I believe Techron won't even show up on an oil analysis.

Now, if you are using something like BG 44k cleaner, it would be best to use it in the last tank before the oil change. I guess if you want to be ultra-cautious you would always run it in the last tank before getting the oil changed, but it really isn't necessary with the majority of common cleaners people use.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Right there on the bottle of Techron, it says (well it's been awhile since I looked at a new bottle of Techron, but at least a few years ago this was true) if you are going to run a "cleanup" full dose, you should change the oil when you finish most of that tank full of gas, I think 3-steps is correct in saying the issue is that some of the FI cleaner will get into the oil.

BTW the recommended way to use a cleanup dose is to add the FI cleaner to a tank of gas, then run that tank full of gas down to 1/4 tank without adding any gas to the tank. At least a few short trips that leave the valves wet with gas/cleaner for a relatively long time will help too.
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