Q. I try not to miss your column in the Daily Herald. It is very informative. You have helped me with questions about my 2000 Jaguar in the past and I thank you for that.
The new question I have is a general one. Where do you stand, or do you wish to comment, on the many additives sold by auto supply stores (i.e. STP, injector cleaners, etc.)?
The only one I have tried is an injector cleaner and I can't really tell if it did anything. I am ready to winterize my car using the information in your last column.
A. Thank you for being a loyal reader. I really appreciate it and I am glad you have found the information I have shared helpful.
As you have indicated, there are many additives on the market and they all claim to be the best, so it can be a bit confusing. When it comes to fuel injector cleaners, here is my advice. First, use a good quality Top Tier Fuel. You can find a list of these gasoline brands on the internet under Toptiergas.com. If you have do not have a gas direct-injection engine, you should be able to get by with putting an additive in the tank at every oil change.
We use the Valvoline products and this should help keep the injectors clean. However, you will most likely still get some carbon buildup in the intake manifold and around the valves that will have to be cleaned professionally every 30,000 miles or so.
If you have a GDI engine, you are going to need to clean the valves and injectors more often with a more involved process. These engines are really prone to hard carbon buildup that is not easily removed. Again, we have a great product and system by Valvoline to take care of this problem.
Some of the symptoms of carbon buildup may be a rough start up, poor drivability and/or a check engine light alert. We have seen several engines completely crash as a result of runaway buildup around the valves. I hope you find this helpful.