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View Full Version : Favorite Fuel System Cleaner


PeteS
05-18-2005, 09:45 AM
What is everyone's favorite fuel system cleaner that you add to your gas?

Who knows if any of the products even work, but I've been told that Sea Foam is the best.

jraben8
05-18-2005, 10:45 AM
That's what I've been using in all of my engines and it seem to work very well.

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 10:46 AM
I was just getting ready to try Sea Foam on my Land Rover, I was going to pick some up for the MC, too. It's supposed to help clean the valves in Land Rover V8's which are notorious for carbon buildup problems, so it should work on just about anything else I figure.

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 10:51 AM
Nothing like that sea foam smoke screen.

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 10:56 AM
I use gasoline.

Which is to say I don't believe fuel system cleaners are valid. IMO, if you need a fuel system cleaner, you've got other problems which you are trying to band-aid by using "fix-it-in-a-can".

I've never used a fuel system cleaner in my life, in my cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, etc. etc....and I've never had any issues either. I think it's unnecessary.
I didn't post this to bash anyone who uses it, just to point out that I dont' think spending money there is necessary or worth while. :)

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 11:03 AM
I use gasoline.

Which is to say I don't believe fuel system cleaners are valid. IMO, if you need a fuel system cleaner, you've got other problems which you are trying to band-aid by using "fix-it-in-a-can".

I've never used a fuel system cleaner in my life, in my cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, etc. etc....and I've never had any issues either. I think it's unnecessary.
I didn't post this to bash anyone who uses it, just to point out that I dont' think spending money there is necessary or worth while. :)

As far as my truck goes your right, there is an inherent problem with the exhaust valve guides in 4.0L Rover V8s. Valve jobs with the "new deisgn" head are bout $2000 and up so I'm trying to prolong that as long as possible. The dealer uses Sea Foam at the 30K intervals except I think they somehow feed it right into the injectors. This is for another forumn though.

As far as the boat I'm just trying to do anything I can to keep that engine running strong, I'm trying to limit my repair investments to the gel coat.

phecksel
05-18-2005, 11:04 AM
Techron Fuel system cleaner

http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/nafl/auto/content/fueladd.shtm

When I've needed a cleaner, this stuff is AWESOME

But, cleaners are seldom needed, especially with the higher octane gas requirements. They tend to have additional additives to help prevent build up.

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 11:13 AM
All brands of gasoline and all grades have detergent in them. You can't buy gasoline at the pump that doesn't have it. If everything is fine working condition, then the detergent in your normal gasoline should be more than suffcient to keep you carb/injectors, intake and intake valves clean.

Adding seafoam, or some similar bottle-tune-up won't "keep that engine running strong" any better than the basic tune ups you should normally do, and running regular gasoline. A much better investment to keep your engine running strong, would be in synthetic oil, and keep it is a good state of tune, which is a mechanical aspect and nothing a liquid in a can will fix.

I don't know about Land Rovers exhaust valve guide issues, but hearing about that and the $2k head-fix just added to my opinion of Land Rovers. :uglyhamme

PS, how would fuel system cleaner fix an exhaust valve guide issue anyway?? It's nothing but hot exhaust gas by the time it gets to the exhaust valve.

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 12:26 PM
All brands of gasoline and all grades have detergent in them. You can't buy gasoline at the pump that doesn't have it. If everything is fine working condition, then the detergent in your normal gasoline should be more than suffcient to keep you carb/injectors, intake and intake valves clean.

Adding seafoam, or some similar bottle-tune-up won't "keep that engine running strong" any better than the basic tune ups you should normally do, and running regular gasoline. A much better investment to keep your engine running strong, would be in synthetic oil, and keep it is a good state of tune, which is a mechanical aspect and nothing a liquid in a can will fix.

I don't know about Land Rovers exhaust valve guide issues, but hearing about that and the $2k head-fix just added to my opinion of Land Rovers. :uglyhamme

PS, how would fuel system cleaner fix an exhaust valve guide issue anyway?? It's nothing but hot exhaust gas by the time it gets to the exhaust valve.


From my understanding the carbon builds-up on the valve seats and causes "sticky valves."
You use a vacuum hose on the intake to suck it in through the upper intake. It will get to the top of the valves before vaporizing. You turn the engine off and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Start it up and watch it smoke. Whether it works or not can be debated. If a $6 can is prolonging a $2000+ head job, I will try it for a while. I do also use synthetic and have since 30K miles. I also try to find the best gas possible.

Jsonova- If you need help on doing this to your D2 let me know. I have some pictures of which hose to use on the D2 engine.

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 12:36 PM
From my understanding the carbon builds-up on the valve seats and causes "sticky valves."
You use a vacuum hose on the intake to suck it in through the upper intake. It will get to the top of the valves before vaporizing. You turn the engine off and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Start it up and watch it smoke. Whether it works or not can be debated. If a $6 can is prolonging a $2000+ head job, I will try it for a while. I do also use synthetic and have since 30K miles. I also try to find the best gas possible.

Jsonova- If you need help on doing this to your D2 let me know. I have some pictures of which hose to use on the D2 engine.


Thanks, if you have them handy let me know, I'll prbably give it a try over Memorial Day weekend. As far as synthetic oil goes, I haven't been using it in mine because of how few miles I put on it. I change every three months which only equals about 1000 miles maximum for me. My oil still looks new when it comes out. I disn't think the extra money would make it worth it, but maybe I will consider it. Doesn't it have a tendency to make Rovers even more porous than they already are? My favorite quote was always "it's not leaking, it's marking it's territory!" :purplaugh I think the quirkiness of them adds to the appeal.

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 12:52 PM
I use gasoline.

Which is to say I don't believe fuel system cleaners are valid. IMO, if you need a fuel system cleaner, you've got other problems which you are trying to band-aid by using "fix-it-in-a-can".

I've never used a fuel system cleaner in my life, in my cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, etc. etc....and I've never had any issues either. I think it's unnecessary.
I didn't post this to bash anyone who uses it, just to point out that I dont' think spending money there is necessary or worth while. :)

That's a good point. I've never considered it a substitute for any other required maintenance and tend to be really anal about running my carb on a regular basis to keep gas from sitting in it too long and stabilizing the fuel t'boot. Sea Foam certainly didn't solve anything of the issues with my last carb post rebuild. Haven't felt too compelled to use it on this one yet.

All that said, somebody else owned my boat for 10 years before I got a hold of it. And it sure did spawn a lot of white smoke. I don't know if that's just the sea foam burning or what. Haven't really bothered using it since.

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 01:20 PM
Thanks, if you have them handy let me know, I'll prbably give it a try over Memorial Day weekend. As far as synthetic oil goes, I haven't been using it in mine because of how few miles I put on it. I change every three months which only equals about 1000 miles maximum for me. My oil still looks new when it comes out. I disn't think the extra money would make it worth it, but maybe I will consider it. Doesn't it have a tendency to make Rovers even more porous than they already are? My favorite quote was always "it's not leaking, it's marking it's territory!" :purplaugh I think the quirkiness of them adds to the appeal.

I have the pics at home...

Shoot me an email and I will forward them on to you...
brciatn@hotmail.com

I like the quote "If it's not leaking, it's empty."

As far as synthetic goes, I have always been told NOT to start using it on engines with a lot of miles.

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 01:24 PM
That's a good point. I've never considered it a substitute for any other required maintenance and tend to be really anal about running my carb on a regular basis to keep gas from sitting in it too long and stabilizing the fuel t'boot. Sea Foam certainly didn't solve anything of the issues with my last carb post rebuild. Haven't felt too compelled to use it on this one yet.

All that said, somebody else owned my boat for 10 years before I got a hold of it. And it sure did spawn a lot of white smoke. I don't know if that's just the sea foam burning or what. Haven't really bothered using it since.

I think the SeaFoam is going to cause white smoke regardless of carbon build-up.
I would swear my truck accelerates quicker. Instead of a 0-60 time of 22 seconds, it's down to like 21.86 seconds. Of course, that could have been the wind. :)

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 01:24 PM
I have the pics at home...

Shoot me an email and I will forward them on to you...
brciatn@hotmail.com

I like the quote "If it's not lwaking, it's empty."

As far as synthetic goes, I have always been told NOT to start using it on engines with a lot of miles.

I have 58,XXX miles on mine currently, but I've only put about 14K on in the last 2 and half years. Thanks for the help!

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 01:42 PM
As far as synthetic goes, I have always been told NOT to start using it on engines with a lot of miles.

That applies to synthetic oils of the 70's relative to creating leaks or making current leaks worse; Synthetics back then didn't have the addatives to keep seals supple hence created a reputation for leaking on older engines. This is no longer true and running today's synthetic oil in an older engine is not only fine, but better.

As for the head rebuild deal, bcampbe, I don't know if you have a Land Rover or not but again, unless there is specifically something wrong w/the engine, you should not need it (fuel system cleaner). What I mean is, if you have a Chevy/Ford, Dodge, Honda, BMW -anything but a Range Rover I guess, you won't be prolonging the head life in any way by using that stuff. The head/valve life isn't defined by carbon and varnish build up on the valves. It MIGHT be if normal, plain old gasoline didn't already come w/detergent in it, but it does, and therefore, does a great job of keeping your valves clean as you drive already. So by NOT using fuel system cleaner, you not condemed to head replacement/rebuild at some specific time, by any means. Unless you have some specific issue that is causing build up on the valves faster than regular gas cleans them. Then you can fix the problem ($$$ perhaps) or pour more detergent in you tank every time you fill up.

P.S. My first car had a 305 Chevy engine in it. I sold it running VERY strong, w/200,000 miles to a friend. They sold it at 230,000 miles, still running awesome. Intake valves were clean, and the heads didn't need any "rebuilding". All that car ever got was beat on, and oil changes.

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 01:48 PM
That applies to synthetic oils of the 70's relative to creating leaks or making current leaks worse; Synthetics back then didn't have the addatives to keep seals supple hence created a reputation for leaking on older engines. This is no longer true and running today's synthetic oil in an older engine is not only fine, but better.

As for the head rebuild deal, bcampbe, I don't know if you have a Land Rover or not but again, unless there is specifically something wrong w/the engine, you should need it (fuel system cleaner). What I mean is, the head/valve life isn't defined by carbon and varnish build up on the valves. It MIGHT be if normal, plain old gasoline didn't already come w/detergent in it, but it does, and therefore, does a great job of keeping your valves clean as you drive already. So by NOT using fuel system cleaner, you not condemed to head replacement/rebuild at some specific time, by any means. Unless you have some specific issue that is causing build up on the valves faster than regular gas cleans them. Then you can fix the problem ($$$ perhaps) or pour more detergent in you tank every time you fill up.

Yeah, I have a 99 D2... As jsonova99 stated, there is a pre-existing condition with the LR 4.0 V8 that causes carbon build-up. Not sure what or why exactly, I think it has something to do with weak valve springs. I do know that LR Corp. themselves recommend fuel additive (band-aid I suppose). The SeaFoam is something recommended by other Land Rover owners as preventative maintenance. I use it nearly every oil change. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I hope that I don't have to tear into the engine to do the valve job. :eek:

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 01:53 PM
Yeah, I have a 99 D2... As jsonova99 stated, there is a pre-existing condition with the LR 4.0 V8 that causes carbon build-up. Not sure what or why exactly, I think it has something to do with weak valve springs. I do know that LR Corp. themselves recommend fuel additive (band-aid I suppose). The SeaFoam is something recommended by other Land Rover owners as preventative maintenance. I use it nearly every oil change. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I hope that I don't have to tear into the engine to do the valve job. :eek:

O.K. I gotcha then. Indeed, if there is a specific problem that causes excessive carbon build up, then regular use as you are doing w/ every oil change, will help combat that build up.

I just wanted to be really clear, so everyone on this board doesn't go needlessly buying Seafoam (or whatever) to fix a problem that their Ford or Chevy boat motor doesn't have. You know what I mean? SOme one could read this thread and think, "Well LAND ROVER recommends it, so it MUST be good!" -not knowing the reason. Not that any fuel system cleaner will hurt anything (although it is hard on rubber lines), it just isn't generally necessary.

Why doesn't LR recall those units, just out of curiosity?

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 01:58 PM
Why doesn't LR recall those units, just out of curiosity?

Good question! I wish they would. I think there is a TSB on it, but no recall.

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 02:00 PM
That applies to synthetic oils of the 70's relative to creating leaks or making current leaks worse; Synthetics back then didn't have the addatives to keep seals supple hence created a reputation for leaking on older engines. This is no longer true and running today's synthetic oil in an older engine is not only fine, but better.

As for the head rebuild deal, bcampbe, I don't know if you have a Land Rover or not but again, unless there is specifically something wrong w/the engine, you should need it (fuel system cleaner). What I mean is, the head/valve life isn't defined by carbon and varnish build up on the valves. It MIGHT be if normal, plain old gasoline didn't already come w/detergent in it, but it does, and therefore, does a great job of keeping your valves clean as you drive already. So by NOT using fuel system cleaner, you not condemed to head replacement/rebuild at some specific time, by any means. Unless you have some specific issue that is causing build up on the valves faster than regular gas cleans them. Then you can fix the problem ($$$ perhaps) or pour more detergent in you tank every time you fill up.

I don't know, a false sense of security is better than none I guess :confused: I've also heard that it is good to lay into it everyonce in a while, get her up to 4k RPM and blow all of the crap out. Also, premium fuel is supposed to help, which I have used since new.

bcampbe7
05-18-2005, 02:03 PM
I don't know, a false sense of security is better than none I guess :confused: I've also heard that it is good to lay into it everyonce in a while, get her up to 4k RPM and blow all of the crap out. Also, premium fuel is supposed to help, which I have used since new.


Drive it like you stole it...

I also always use premium, but that has been debated before...

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 02:06 PM
Drive it like you stole it...

I also always use premium, but that has been debated before...

The best thing is to probably just use the damn truck and forget about it. It's probably blown out of proportion anyway.

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 02:16 PM
There is a minimum amount of detergent in all grades of gasoline by law. This level of detergent should be sufficient to keep all your intake hardware sufficiently clean.

Now, you MAY get a higher concentration of detergent in higer grade gasoline, but generally you don't. The companies ADVERTISE that the premium gas has engine cleaning detergent in it (which it does), but so does the cheapo grade gas. They make more profit on the premium, so they market the "great features" it has.

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 02:29 PM
Thomas, you beat me to the punch. That was how it was explained to me. Be it 87 or 93, they now have to put the detergent in it is my understanding.

Storm861triple
05-18-2005, 02:41 PM
Thomas, you beat me to the punch. That was how it was explained to me. Be it 87 or 93, they now have to put the detergent in it is my understanding.
LOL. I'm a quick typist (not really). :)

The whole detergent thign came about when EFI came around in the late 70's/early 80's. W/o the detergent, fuel injector clogging would have been an epedemic. There were already some refineries that put detergent in their products, but some that didn't. The wide acceptance of EFI and the precision of that devise mandated that detergent be used across the board. A side benefit of that is that the rest of your (wet) induction system gets cleaned as well, including intake valves.

phecksel
05-19-2005, 11:29 AM
There is a minimum amount of detergent in all grades of gasoline by law. This level of detergent should be sufficient to keep all your intake hardware sufficiently clean.

Now, you MAY get a higher concentration of detergent in higer grade gasoline, but generally you don't. The companies ADVERTISE that the premium gas has engine cleaning detergent in it (which it does), but so does the cheapo grade gas. They make more profit on the premium, so they market the "great features" it has.
That's assuming all mfg put in the correct amount of detergent. Remember the problems last year with the fuel level sending units? Sometimes mistakes are made, although I never did hear final determination on that one.

From a friend in the industry, Premium fuel tends to have little more detergent. I still wouldn't run octane any higher then required.

Twice I had to run injector cleaner through my old bronco. I "can" and a tank of premium usually cleared up the problem.

east tx skier
05-19-2005, 11:36 AM
I was under the impression that the additives, etc. were what were causing the failure in the fuel sending units. ICBW.

BrianM
05-19-2005, 12:02 PM
I was under the impression that the additives, etc. were what were causing the failure in the fuel sending units. ICBW.

A high sulfer content is what fried the sending units. There were lots of claims around here from that one.