Injector Cleaners Effectiveness - or How much 'Bulshi' goes with Wasa'

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:25
ThreadID: 131817 Views:2523 Replies:9 FollowUps:18
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Don't jump in too early with this one Lad's, a lot off research has been done on Diesel and Petrol injector cleaners removing the opinions and hearsay with some facts. At least it's the best we can come up with.

Personal Experience's:
Had a 1986 HJ75 (new) not used for commuting. A mate who had a local Wynns franchise advised to used IC from new because they don't work too well once residual deposits are built up.

Practical Test:
Run up a steep hill and got over it in third in 1986 @ 4,000km
Identical result in 2014 @ 285,000km
(Had the original injectors when sold in 2014)

Tech's comments:
RACQ and NRMA summary, not justified economically for long term use. IC Results variable.

Measurable Quantification:
On YouTube (don't laugh) a Yank tech put a camera into the combustion chamber on an older petrol car, used IC to manufacturers spec's, run it for 1,000km then filmed again. Visual results - on two chambers about 30% removal of residues and on the other two next to nothing.

And around the world:
BMW Forum: BMW sells it's own IC but was the centre of Rip-off claims in the USA.
Some members advise when using IC to change the oil after 1,000km due to oil degradation caused by IC.
Some Euro exotic brands advise not to use any IC - they claim IC attacks various seals and other components at a micron level.

Awaiting to hear from Toyota and Nissan au

Cheers

dad









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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 12:43

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 12:43
Dad1340 - The internal condition of the engine depends a lot on the work the engine has been doing.
Diesels do best when worked hard, and they deliver best fuel economy at 1/2 to 2/3rds throttle.

There are hundreds of thousands of diesels in urban areas that hardly ever get to proper operating temperature, and rarely run for enough length of time at modest or fast engine speeds, to ensure that they stay clean.

As a result, these diesels become clogged up with soot and carbon and sludge. All engines take 20 mins to reach full operating temperature.

In addition, excessive idling results in regular inadequate fuel combustion, soot buildup, and increased crankcase pollution due to unburnt fuel, or partially-burnt combustion by-products, contaminating the crankcase oil.

Diesels that are given regular long runs at highway speeds, and that aren't idled excessively, stay pretty clean naturally. That's why diesel vehicles with long, fast highway kms, get long engine life.

The current crop of Common Rail injection systems utilise injectors with multiple, very fine orifices, and reduced clearances between the moving components.
In addition, CR systems usually operate with multiple injections for each power stroke, instead of one injection stroke, as in the older, simpler, Bosch-type injection systems.

As a result, CR injection systems need regular injector cleaning. Isuzu are big on injector cleaning, with a factory recommendation to clean their CR injectors every 100,000kms.

So, in essence, if you're doing a lot of reasonable distance highway work at highway speeds with your diesel, you shouldn't need injector cleaner for your older, Bosch-style injections systems.
If you're running a CR fuel system, then regular injector cleaning is definitely recommended.

But, if your diesel is used mostly as Mum's shopping trolley and kids school bus, with 10-15 minute runs - then one thing's for sure - that engine will be suffering from a lot of undesirable buildup of combustion contaminants that will be clogging up oilways, injectors and combustion chambers.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 13:22

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 13:22
"Practical Test:
Run up a steep hill and got over it in third in 1986 @ 4,000km
Identical result in 2014 @ 285,000km
(Had the original injectors when sold in 2014)"

Hi

With all due respect that little experiment proves absolutely nothing as you dont have a "control" to compare with. (i.e. same car used in exactly same fashion over same time period without use of IC). Could well have powered over the hill twice as fast - we will never know.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 13:29

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 13:29
AH well, I'll keep using it. A fella at a servo asked me once "Does that stuff do any good". I said "I dunno, but it makes me feel good"!
AnswerID: 597312

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 14:12

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 14:12
You could substitute it for a viagra pill....same result !!

Or, one for you and one for the engine, then both will feel good !!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 16:35

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 16:35
Tried one of those in the Troopy Gronk.
It caused an electrical fault.
The horn wouldn't stop!
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 14:51

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 14:51
Yeah, I use Chemtech in my Chev Silverado's 6.6 Duramax engine. I also have a $800+ additional fuel lift pump/filtration system (FASS 150).

I do that for some piece of mind and to try and keep the injectors and IP in good nick......they'd cost me a kidney to replace!!

However, by FAR and AWAY (in my mind) the more important thing I've done to ensure my engine's longevity is to fit a Provent 200 oil catch can AND block off the EGR valves.

Why? Well, here's the thing: a "normal" modern diesel engine has a GREAT (sarcasm icon please) system of sending oily vapour and sooty rubbish back into the air intake downstream of the air filter. Sooty gases PLUS oily vapour turns into TAR (or what looks and feels like dried tar).

I've seen intake manifolds that are so clogged-up with this "wonderful" gunk, they can hardly breathe.

Cheers,
Roachie
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 at 20:07

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 at 20:07
Roachie, you have the best system but there is a machine that injects a spray into the inlet system to get rid of the nasties. It runs for a few seconds and then stops, then repeats the cycle until the system is clean. There a a couple of things that have to be done and they are, someone has to be present while it is operating as there is a risk of a runaway engine and after the clean is finished the oil and filter have to be changed.
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 15:59

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 15:59
I had one positive experience with injector cleaner in an old tech Nissan TB42s petrol engine. I regularly used carby/throttle body cleaner when I serviced the vehicle. One time this resulted in some gunk being dislodged which blocked the idle jet. One mechanic mate suggested a bottle of injector cleaner and a tank of Shell 98 RON which he reckoned had the best 'cleaners' in it. Worked a treat, within 15 min there was a bit of a cough and splutter in the engine and the blockage was gone. Apart from a carby strip, the alternative solution suggested was to reverse a couple of plug leads and make the vehicle backfire through the carby thereby blasting out the offending particle (may have required the removal of needle as well I can't remember).
NT Pajero
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Reply By: Steve D1 - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:00

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:00
Real life experience.

Put a small amount in a spoon. Hold a lighter under it, ( yes, like a junkie ) and watch what the burnt product produces. Some burn clean, ie they will actually clean. Others will produce more carbon than burning straight acetalene.

Then chose what you want to ad to your fuel.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:16

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:16
That is hardly a valid scientific experiment.
The nature of combustion at room pressure and temperature will not be the same case as the combustion when injected into a heated high pressure cylinder.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:21

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:21
Maybe it's not "scientific", but the reality is, some burn and create carbon, and others don't, during the simplest of tests. For me, that has merit. There is not always a need to over think some things.
Sometimes, the simplest, obvious solution, is correct.
Steve.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:47

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:47
What you say may well be correct but the point is, your test does not provide sufficient evidence to confirm it. That was Alan's point.
Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:51

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:51
That's fine everyone. Wait for the scientific evidence from the manufacturers. They have no agenda, do they. Where else do you expect to get the expert opinions, and results???

Steve
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 21:55

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 21:55
Hello again,

Can't speak for Alan but the issue is that a lot of the "expert opinions and results" provided on forums such as this are not based on any valid assessment process so could be absolute BS. Again this was the point of my response.

With respect to injector cleaning products, couldn't care less.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 22:20

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 22:20
Greg - I firmly believed that everyone on any forum is an expert! Are you telling me I'm being regularly deceived?? [;-)

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 01:55

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 01:55
Only if you regularly believe :) All good food for thought none-the-less. Just take all info provided for what its worth.

In this instance simply driving a car up a hill a few years after previously doing it or holding a match to a spoon to see what is left was never going to make the cut ..hahhha

Cheer
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:43

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 20:43
One of the things that are forgotten is the advancement in fuels. Fuel companies are not concerned with your light vehicle but they are concerned with their product in the big user areas, transport, mining, civil and light shipping. With the advent of high pressure injection systems, they have improved fuels quite a bit, to ensure their products don't cause problems in these areas, which includes keeping injectors clean and lubricating pumps.

There are many common rail engines out there that have some very big K's and hours on them and they haven't had injector problems.

Caltex do market an injector cleaner but they are also working on, road testing and marketing new fuels to stop fouling.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:02

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:02
I think you'll find Caltex do a diesel fuel for industry that is not available to the average Joe at the pump....

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 17:04

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 17:04
Yes that is correct Baz. I can't remember which trucking company recently did a 6 month trial on a couple of engines in KW's and compared fuel usage and injector fouling/ wear after the period.

They took data from before the test, after the test and then went and used standard truck diesel again. The results were a success and as you say the fuel will only be available at trucking outlets, fuel farms and deliveries. This fuel I am sure will find it's way into the general service station outlets over time.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 22:35

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 22:35
The easiest way to determine what is in injector cleaners, is to look at the MSDS sheet for each one.

The bulk of the ingredients in most are simply naptha products and other petroleum products.

The major constituent of the cleaners is usually simply a petroleum-based solvent chemical that strips deposits such as carbon, gum and varnish from injector and engine components.

"Stoddard solvent" is a common ingredient to all the injector and fuel system cleaners, along with "proprietary additives" in small quantities.

Often, the proprietary additives are not disclosed due to "commercial sensitivity" - but they rarely feature in any quantity, and are rarely toxic - or they would have to be listed in the MSDS sheet.

Stoddard solvent is a mix of aliphatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons, produced as the original dry-cleaning fluid in 1924 in the U.S.

It has been superseded since the late 1950's by an improved dry-cleaning fluid that is less toxic and safer to handle for the benefit of long-term health.

The closest we have today to Stoddard solvent is White Spirit, which is also a very effective solvent and also used to get difficult stains out of clothing.

So, you could drop 100-150ml of White spirit into your fuel tank, and essentially get a very similar result as the "brand name" injector cleaners, at far less cost!

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 597330

Follow Up By: Bill D6 - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 12:58

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 12:58
I wouldn't be adding any "White Spirit" - its about 17per cent aromatic hydrocarbons - and aromatic hydrocarbons burn with a characteristic smoky flame. Try igniting Turps - its very similar to White Spirits.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:11

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:11
Bill - Once again - as Greg has pointed out the error with Dad1340's "test" - simply burning White Spirit in a normal atmosphere environment is a completely different scenario to injecting it into a combustion chamber, and compressing the fuel/air mixture to a high pressure and temperature, until it ignites under the heat and pressure.

Power Kerosene (when it was still available) burnt in the open air with lots and lots of black smoke - but when used in tractors and engines designed to use Power Kero, it burnt clean.

Besides, 1% White Spirit added to a full tank of fuel is a pretty low % of added solvent.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Bill D6 - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:37

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 15:37
Ron
I don't know much about diesels - I'm a chemist. I have always had an interest in these additives though as they cost so much - for something of very little real cost. Its amazing how much you can get for something in a small bottle. That said, the additives probably work by solubilising the black partially combusted materials and so called cured varnishes. The fact is that hydrocarbons are not very good solvents - those containing some aromatics like White Spirit are better solvents. In a truck stop years ago I looked at a diesel additive - the active was an extremely good solvent called butyl icinol. I happened to use this material at the time and started adding a bit to the tank when I remembered. Have done so in most of my diesels for the best part of 20 years. I don't know if butyl icinol is still available - there were a few safety issues with it - and I don't really know if it did anything.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 18:47

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 18:47
Bill, you're not wrong on the cost of the aftermarket fuel additives. I'd reckon, out of the retail cost, they're probably about 20% ingredients cost, 20% transport costs, 10% advertising hype costs, and 100% profit.

I can remember, in the 50's through to the 80's, there was a bloke from Sydney who used to advertise "Krause" gearbox and diff oil additive, in the Modern Motor magazine.

"Krause" was guaranteed to cure diff whines and gearbox growls, and work magic in any ancient drive train. A tiny little bottle cost a lot of money.
I can recall buying a bottle, only to realise upon opening and examination, it was only regular oil with a good dose of Molybdenum Disulphide powder added! The almost pure-black colour was a giveaway!

I reckon that bloke probably retired in a huge house on a nice waterfront block around Sydney Harbour, with the profits he made from that "Krause" product! [;-)
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Follow Up By: Bill D6 - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 18:50

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 18:50
Its called Alchemy!
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Reply By: dad1340 - Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 00:33

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 at 00:33
Wow, I didn't realise how many chemical engineers watch this site. Thanks guys.

Exceptional responses that should be read by all readers.

Brilliant !

Cheers

dad
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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 at 18:24

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 at 18:24
Only got half way though and fell asleep.


Cheers
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