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Car Repair Prices: Fuel Injection Services, Are They Worth It?
Fuel injection services are growing in popularity for the following reasons in the order of motive.
1) Increases service center's profit
2) It's an easy sell with today’s gas prices
3) Offsets manufacturers' maintenance reductions
4) Poor gas quality
5) Poor adherence to vehicle maintenance
Notice that "It's required" did not make the list. That's because fuel injection services are not required the majority of the time.
However, injector services are at times beneficial, even necessary. See the following frequently asked question and answers…
What do they 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 these benefits are rare.
Whether or not fuel injection services will do all the above "every time" for your car is another story.
I have even seen fuel injection services quiet horrendous carbon knocks--a knocking noise from the engine due to excessive carbon build-up coming in contact with internal engine components.
Are they 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. In truth, most cars don’t need it. The consistent use of quality fuel, and proper vehicle maintenance should be all that is necessary to keep a car running properly.
However, 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 is the pay off. BG claims that their product will pay for itself in a year's time. However, remember that the condition of the vehicle is a big variable! If the car doesn't need it, there's no benefit.
How often should it be done?
It depends on the product, but generally between 15,000 to 30,000-miles.
Are they necessary?
It depends: See the discussion under Are they worth it?
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 carbon knock. With the wide variety of fuel qualities available, manufacturers are reconsidering fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance.
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.
Also, make sure the service is actually performed as fuel injector maintenance is a common scam across the industry.
Lastly, 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.
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